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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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Minot, Stephen

(1927-2010) US academic and author whose Chill of Dusk (1964) is a Ruined Earth tale set a several decades after a nuclear Holocaust, in a small Maine community increasing beset by invading barbarians, including a tribe of sun worshippers (see Religion) who sacrifice the protagonist's daughter. His attempts to preserve the records of prewar civilization, and the values that created that civilization are doomed. The previous world is no longer remembered. There will be no dawn. In Surviving the ...


A singularity in Mathematics is a point where a graphed equation veers off towards infinity and ceases to give physically useful or meaningful results: hence the singularity point predicted at the heart of a Black Hole by theoretical models which assume the total mass must be compressed by Gravity into an infinitesimal volume whose gravitational attraction at close range approaches infinity. The Singularity, or technological Singularity, is a hypothetical point in time at which human Technology ...

House, Brant

House Name associated with the magazine Secret Agent "X" (which see for fuller details). The Secret Agent "X" character was created by Paul Chadwick (1902-1972), who wrote many of the long lead stories by whose titles the issues are traditionally distinguished; another prolific contributor, also as House, was G T Fleming-Roberts (1910-1968). Seven of these title stories, mostly by Chadwick, were reissued as novels by Corinth Books in 1966 [see Checklist below]; but this attempted revival was ...

No Escape

Film (1994; vt Penal Colony; vt The Prison Colony; vt Escape From Absalom). Pacific Western/Allied Filmmakers/Columbia Tristar. Produced by Gale Ann Hurd. Directed by Martin Campbell. Written by Michael Gaylin, Joel Gross, based on The Penal Colony (1987) by Richard Herley. Cast includes Kevin Dillon, Don Henderson, Lance Henriksen, Ernie Hudson, Michael Lerner, Ray Liotta, Ian McNeice, Kevin J O'Conner, Jack Shepherd and Stuart Wilson. 115 minutes. Colour. / Curiously, this is one of two ...

Lombard, Louis

(1861-1927) French-born composer, financier and author, in the US for long periods after 1876, where he became Director of the Utica Conservatory of Music; his Lost Race tale, The Vicious Virtuoso (1898), describes an advanced superscientific race in pre-pharaonic Egypt, a Utopia eventually destroyed by Religion. [JC]

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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