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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 23 May 2022
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Short Circuit

Film (1986). Turman-Foster/Tri-Star. Directed by John Badham. Written by S S Wilson, Brent Maddock. Cast includes Steve Guttenberg, Brian McNamara, Ally Sheedy and Fisher Stevens. 98 minutes. Colour. / Military Robot Number Five, a prototype killing machine, is struck by lightning which endows it with sentience. It escapes from evil Nova Robotics, finding refuge with nice animal-lover Stephanie (Sheedy), who assumes it to be an Alien. It educates itself and is winsome. When she finds it is ...

Criminali della Galassia, I

["Criminals of the Galaxy"] Film (1965; vt The Wild, Wild Planet). Mercury Film International/Southern Cross Productions. Directed by Antonio Margheriti credited as Anthony Dawson. Starring Tony Russel, Lisa Gastoni, Franco Nero, Massimo Serato, Carlo Giustini, Enzo Fiermonte. Written by Renato Moretti and Ivan Reiner. 93 minutes. Colour. / On Space Station Gamma 1 (see Space Stations), Commander Mike Halstead (Tony Russel) dislikes the gruesome scientific experiments being conducted by Mr ...

Ogilvy, Arthur James

(1834-1914) Indian-born civil servant and author, educated in the UK, in Australia from 1851, most of whose work is nonfiction, some of it studies of Evolution. Of sf interest is The Ape Man (1913 chap) as by A J O, in which a prospector discovers the last survivors of a tribe of quasi-human apes (see Apes as Human) in the Amazon, and lives with them. [JC]

Dream Hacking

Term used in this encyclopedia for the now frequent sf trope in which entry is made into someone's personal dreams or mental landscape (as though this literal Inner Space were a physical geography or Pocket Universe) to study or influence the contents. This has long been imagined as an intriguing technique of future Psychology. / A pioneering sf example is Peter Phillips's "Dreams are Sacred" (September 1948 Astounding), in which the mental link is provided by a glorified ...

Wank, Elihu S

Pseudonym of UK author A Gordon Jones (?   -?   ) whose How I Discovered the North Pole [for full title see Checklist below] (1909) is a Parody of Polar expedition narratives, including the use of a prehistoric mammoth (see Lost World; Prehistoric SF) in the role of elephant, and the capture of giant whelks. Sherlock Holmes makes a brief appearance. [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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