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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 24 January 2022
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Applin, Arthur

(1873-1949) UK aviator in World War One, playwright and author whose Near Future sf tale, The Priest of Piccadilly (1910) offers the worry that Britain might be taken over through a revolution fomented by a demagogue. [JC]


American film (2013). Tristar Pictures/Sony. Directed by Neill Blomkamp. Written by Neill Blomkamp. Cast includes Alice Braga, Sharlto Copley, Matt Damon, William Fichtner, Jodie Foster, Diego Luna and Wagner Moura. 109 minutes. Colour. / In the year 2154, Earth's wealthiest citizens have retreated to an enormous, torus-shaped Space Habitat called Elysium (see Keep), where they enjoy idyllic lives in Earth orbit while masses of poor people suffer on the surface of an overpopulated, polluted ...

Payne, Bernal C, Jr

(1941-    ) US author the protagonists of whose Time Travel novel for Young Adult readers, It's About Time (1984; vt Trapped in Time 1986), travels back to 1955 where they meet their parents as teenagers. The future children of their marriage must ensure it takes place. The slightly later Back to the Future, released 1985, was conceived independently. The Late Great Dick Hart (1986) is an afterlife fantasy; Experiment in Terror (1987) is horror. [JC]

Townsend, Sue

(1946-2014) UK author best known for the nonfantastic Adrian Mole sequence [not listed below]; of sf interest is the Satirical Queen sequence beginning with The Queen and I (1992) [see Checklist for theatrical versions], set in a Near Future republican Britain where the royal family, relocated into a council estate, must learn to cope with real life. The ex-Queen (all characters retain their historical names) does well; the ex-prince Philip does not. In the end – perhaps to avoid ...

High Treason

Film (1929). Gaumont. Directed by Maurice Elvey. Written by L'Estrange Fawcett, based on a play by Noel Pemberton-Billing. Cast includes James Carew, Basil Gill, Benita Hume and Jameson Thomas. 95 minutes, cut to 69 minutes. Black and white. / This forgotten curiosity, one of the earliest UK sound movies, was quite a big film in its day, when it was seen as a kind of English Metropolis (1926) – a comparison that does not for an instant hold water. Set in the world of 1940 (a Channel ...

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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