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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 4 December 2023
Sponsor of the day: Andy Richards of Cold Tonnage Books

Compton, D G

(1930-2023) UK author, born of parents who were both in the theatre; he increasingly lived in the USA after 1981. As Guy Compton, he published some unremarkable detective novels, beginning with Too Many Murderers (1962), and as by Frances Lynch produced some nonfantastic Gothics throughout his career; but soon turned to sf with tales almost always set in the Near Future, and anatomizing moral dilemmas within that arena: the future is very clearly ...

Brissett, Jennifer Marie

(1969-    ) London-born software engineer and author, in USA from the age of four, who began publishing work of genre interest with "The Executioner" in Warrior Wisewoman 2 (anth 2009) edited by Roby James. The apparent over-complicatedness of her first novel, Elysium (2014), dissolves in the unpacking of the intricate but lucid story, which is initially set in an unnamed (but identifiable) version of New York, where a ...

Sturgeon's Law

An aphorism formulated by Theodore Sturgeon in the early 1950s: "Ninety percent of everything is crud." This needs to be placed in context as his response to blanket condemnations of sf which were based on the worst examples of the genre. According to James Gunn, Sturgeon's Law originated in a Sturgeon talk at the 1953 Worldcon, and was phrased approximately as ...

Pearson, Drew

Working name of US newspaper and radio columnist Andrew Russell Pearson (1897-1969), famed for effective though sometimes ill-researched muckraking attacks on usually deserving targets; of sf interest is The President (1970), set in a Near Future America where Paranoia and political expediency and assassination attempts have created a Dystopian land, which President Hannaford, after winning ...

Earth Dies Screaming, The

Film (1964). Lippert/Planet. Directed by Terence Fisher. Written by Henry Cross, from a story by Harry Spalding. Cast includes Virginia Field, Willard Parker and Dennis Price. 62 minutes. Black and white. / This is the first of three sf films that Terence Fisher (best known for his Hammer Horror films) made during the 1960s; the others were Island of Terror (1966) and Night of the Big Heat ...

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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