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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
Sponsor of the day: Andy Richards of Cold Tonnage Books

Maugham, W Somerset

(1874-1965) French-born physician (he never practised), playwright and author, in UK from late childhood, Robin Maugham's uncle. He remains best known for Of Human Bondage (1915), a rather grim Bildungsroman, partially autobiographical, for The Moon and Sixpence (1919), a fictional portrait of Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), and for Cakes and Ale (1930), a roman à clef whose main target was Hugh Walpole (1884-1941); none of Maugham's supernatural tales edge into sf. "The Choice of Amyntas" ...

DesJardin, Marie

(1958-    ) US author of a Young Adult sf novel, For the Time Being (1998), set on a planet – which may have been colonized by human explorers – where a group of young protagonists are abducted by Aliens who need their human brains to build a Time Machine; Virtual Reality episodes, Clone conundrums, and further sf tropes, are enjoyably implicated. [JC]

Gentry, Curt

(1931-2014) US author whose Near-Future sf novel, The Last Days of the Late, Great State of California (1968), vividly depicts a San Andreas Fault Disaster, which causes much of California, including Los Angeles, to slide into the sea; some of the book's sidebar Ecological arguments, blaming Man for the destruction of the state, are laboured. [JC]

Herbert, Benson

(1912-1991) UK editor and author with a master's degree in science who began publishing sf in US magazines with "The World Without" for Wonder Stories in February 1931 and was fairly active in the 1930s. Crisis! – 1992 (October 1935-January/February 1936 Wonder Stories as "The Perfect World"; 1936), with an introduction by M P Shiel, deals with the ominous passage of another planet close to Earth's orbit, and with what humans discover when they land on it: the planet is actually a World ...

Hull, Elizabeth Anne

Working name of Elizabeth Ann Hull (1937-2021), US academic and critic who taught English for more than 30 years at William Rainey Harper College in Palatine, Illinois, and remained a Professor Emerita of that institution; married to Frederik Pohl from 1984 until his death. She was long active in the Science Fiction Research Association, editing its SFRA Newsletter 1981-1984 and serving as president 1989-1990, and receiving the SFRA's Thomas D Clareson Award in 1998. Her critical essays and ...

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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