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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 17 August 2022
Sponsor of the day: Andy Richards of Cold Tonnage Books

Pratt, Fletcher

(1897-1956) US author and historian who began his career as an author and translator for Hugo Gernsback's Wonder Stories and its companions in the early 1930s; his first published story was "The Octopus Cycle" for Amazing in 1928 as with Irvin Lester (a Pratt pseudonym). While doing translations of German sf novels Pratt evolved what became a renowned method of extracting payment from the notoriously slow Gernsback organization: he would submit the first part of a novel, wait until it was set ...

Linton, Dr C E

(1865-1930) US author of The Earthomotor and Other Stories (coll of linked stories 1920), a series of tales involving Transportation with the aid of various Inventions including the eponymous burrower, which carries the cast into a Hollow Earth where a Lost World is discovered whose inhabitants enjoy Immortality; and a Spaceship/flying boat which conveys them to the Moon and into Arctic realms, where another Lost Race is uncovered, this time an extremely advanced Telepathic civilization whose ...

Dawson, Les

(1931-1993) UK stand-up and television comedian, whose self-mocking, pantomime-based, "working-class" humour made a strong impact on a very wide audience; of his several novels, A Time Before Genesis: A Novel of the Future's Past (1986), a seriously overwritten Near Future tale dousing its sf elements in Horror tropes as the protagonists discover the true masters of the universe. [JC]

Phoenix: Space Chapter, The

Japanese Original Video Animation (OVA) (1987; original title Hi no tori: Uchū-hen). Madhouse, Tezuka Productions. Based on the Manga by Osamu Tezuka. Directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri. Written by Hideo Takayashiki and Tomoko Konparu. Voice cast includes Tesshō Genda, Masako Ikeda, Akira Kamiya, Keiko Toda and Mori Katsuyuki Yuu. 48 minutes. Colour. / In 2557 four Spaceship crew members are woken from Suspended Animation when their ship is hit by a meteorite; they wonder why the ...

Walter, W Grey

(1910-1977) American-born neurophysiologist, cyberneticist and author, in the UK from 1915. He was a pioneer, between 1936 and 1956, of the development and use of electroencephalography in the UK; his early popular study, The Living Brain (1953), was influential in its time. In the late 1940s he constructed early Robots known as tortoises, capable of locating a recharging point when their batteries ran low, and of being "taught" through simple conditioned reflexes. His sf novel, Further Outlook ...

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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