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Welcome to the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Fourth Edition. Some sample entries appear below. Click here for the Introduction; here for the masthead; here for Acknowledgments; here for the FAQ; here for advice on citations. Find entries via the search box above (more details here) or browse the menu categories in the grey bar at the top of this page.

Site updated on 27 June 2022
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Washburn, Robert Collyer

(1900-1978) US author, mostly of nonfiction; of sf interest is The Jury of Death: Twelve Against the Underworld (1930), a crime novel set in a Near Future version of Chicago (here Cayuga) run by the mob. Advances in Transportation, including autogyros, are evident; Television is common; an advanced Weapon, which seems to kill its victims but only stuns them until they can be roused, is used by villains. The jury prevails. [JC]

Norton, Andre

Initially the working name of US author Alice Mary Norton (1912-2005), but for most of her career her legal name. A librarian for two decades before turning to full-time writing, she was one of the few sf figures of any stature to enter the field via Children's SF, and, though much of her work is fully as adult in theme and difficulty as most general sf, she was for many years primarily marketed as a writer for children and the Young Adult market. In the 1970s and 1980s, however, as her work ...

McCaffrey, Todd

Working name of Todd Johnson (1956-    ), US computer programmer and author, son of Anne McCaffrey, and brother of Gigi McCaffrey; best known for his collaborations with his mother on later volumes of the multi-generation Pern sequence. Earlier, as Johnson, he began publishing as a Sharecropper, with Combat Command #4: In the World of David Drake's Hammer's Slammers: Slammers Down! (1988), a Tie to the Combat Command Gamebook franchise and to David Drake's Hammer's Slammers ...

Laws of Robotics

The three Laws of Robotics which govern the behaviour of Isaac Asimov's fictional Positronic Robots (and various other Robots and AIs in sf by other hands) were formally stated by Asimov in his story "Runaround" (March 1942 Astounding): / 1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. / 2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. / 3. A robot must ...

Saha, Arthur W

(1923-1999) US research chemist and editor, early involved in Fandom as a member of the Futurians. The Year's Best Fantasy Stories sequence, started by Lin Carter in 1975, passed to Saha with The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: #7 (anth 1981), and continued with The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: #8 (anth 1982), The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: #9 (anth 1983), The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: #10 (anth 1984), The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: #11 (anth 1985), The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: #12 ...

Nicholls, Peter

(1939-2018) Australian editor and author, primarily a critic and historian of sf through his creation and editing of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction [see below]; resident in the UK 1970-1988, in Australia from 1988; worked as an academic in English literature (1962-1968, 1971-1977), scripted television documentaries, was a Harkness Fellow in Film-making (1968-1970) in the USA, worked as a publisher's editor (1982-1983), often broadcast film and book reviews on BBC Radio from 1974 and ...

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