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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 29 March 2023
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Thomas, D M

(1935-2023) UK poet and author who made use of sf themes most explicitly in such early Poetry as "The Head-Rape" in New Worlds for March 1968 and the two-part "Computer 70: Dreams & Lovepoems" (March-April 1970 New Worlds), a sequence assembled with other poetry of interest in Logan Stone (coll 1970); or the later "S. F." (in The Umbral Anthology of Science Fiction Poetry, anth ...

Roys, Willis E

(?   -?   ) US author of Flame Eternal; And, Maharajah's Son (coll 1936), the first of the two novellas assembled being a Lost Race tale in which an Edenic matriarchy (see Gender) is discovered in the heart of Brazil. [JC]

Kelley, Francis Clement

(1870-1948) Canadian-born priest and author, in the USA after about 1890; his sf novel, Problem Island (1937), is set on a tropical Island where a Lost Race is found, and perhaps saved; in Pack Rat: A Metaphoric Phantasy (1942), pale rats Parody humans, but lack souls. [JC]

Childers, Erskine

(1870-1922) Irish nationalist, military theoretician and author of a Future War novel, The Riddle of the Sands: A Record of Secret Service Recently Achieved (1903), which describes an exploratory sea journey into the Frisian Islands along the German coast, where the two adventurous protagonists uncover secret plans for a German Invasion of the UK using shallow-draft vessels. The protagonists, who are freelance and ...


Sf stories based on serious speculations about future means of transportation are greatly outnumbered by stories in which those means function as facilitating devices – i.e., as convenient ways of shifting characters into an alien environment. Inevitably, the same kinds of machines crop up in both categories of story because stories of the second kind borrow heavily from those of the first. Spaceships have been employed by sf writers almost exclusively as a ...

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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