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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 8 February 2023
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Total Annihilation

Videogame (1997). Cavedog Entertainment (CE). Designed by Chris Taylor. Platforms: Win (1997); Mac (1999). / Total Annihilation is a Real Time Strategy game, noted for its innovative design. It introduced many new features to the gameplay seen in previous RTS games such as Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn (1995) (see ...

Fan Language

Sf enthusiasts, in common with other groups, have evolved their own terminology and usage. This language comprises words and phrases used in the writing of sf itself and also the more arcane and whimsical jargon of Fandom and Fanzines. / Most sf readers are familiar with the shorthand of their literature, and words like Spaceship, Robot, ...

Rice, Elmer

First the pseudonym, then the legal name of US playwright and author born Elmer Leopold Reizenstein (1892-1967), active from around 1914. Of his plays, The Adding Machine: A Play in Seven Scenes (performed 1923; 1923) follows its protagonist, Mr Zero, from Suicide into heaven – which he despises because it is full of indecent creatures like Rabelais and Jonathan Swift ...

Boudinot, Ryan

(1972-    ) US author, born in the US Virgin Islands, who began to publish work of genre interest with "Civilization" for McSweeney's #14 in 2004, set in a savagely Satirized Near Future America where teenagers are forced to ritually murder their parents; also of interest was "Cardiology" in Real Unreal: Best American Fantasy Volume III (anth 2008) edited by Kevin ...


The word "bionics" was coined in 1960 as a contraction of "biological electronics". Both inside and outside sf it has become the preferred term for Technologies which repair or augment the human body with greater sophistication than mere inert prostheses. Bionics is the biological aspect of Cybernetics theory. Sf's traditional term for people with mechanical enhancements was Cyborg, as in the title of ...

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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