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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

Peek, Ben

(1976-    ) Australian author whose first work, The Enigma Variant (1999 chap) with Chris Mowbray is horror. He began publishing work of wider genre interest with "Cigarettes and Roses" in Passing Strange: A New Anthology of Australian Speculative Fiction (anth 2002) edited by Bill Congreve; further short stories have been assembled as Dead Americans and Other Stories (coll 2014). Of specific sf interest is his first novel, Black Sheep (2007), set in a distant Near Future ...

Toynbee, Polly

(1946-    ) UK investigative journalist and author; she is of the fourth generation of Toynbees to be involved in literature. Leftovers (1966) depicts with feeble verve the mixed destinies of a group of youths, survivors of a poisonous gas (see Poison) which has destroyed the rest of humanity. [JC]

Ryner, Han

Pseudonym of Algerian-born French philosopher and author Jacques Élie Henri Ambroise Ner (1861-1938), which he adopted in 1898, after having published fairly widely under his own name. His philosophical position, as articulated in many articles and books, combined epicurean stoicism about the purpose of life with anarchist political views which led to his taking a pacifist stand in World War One, a position reflected in Les Pacifiques ["The Pacifists"] (1914), where a shipwrecked band ...

Wood, Mrs J

Pseudonym of US journalist, editor and author William Mill Butler (1857-1946); in his anti-Feminist Dystopia, Pantaletta: A Romance of Sheheland (1882) as by Mrs J Wood, the narrator, Icarus Byron Gullible (see Gulliver), having traveled to the North Pole in an Airship of his own Invention, discovers a Symmes-style Hollow Earth society governed by a female tyrant; men are forced to cross-dress and shave, and the Satire soon becomes heavy. Butler himself claimed to have subsequently changed his ...

Valley of the Dragons

Film (1961; vt Prehistoric Valley UK). Zimbalist-Roberts-Bernds Productions/Columbia Pictures. Produced by Byron Roberts. Directed by Edward Bernds. Written by Bernds and Donald Zimbalist, based very loosely on Hector Servadac: voyages et aventures à travers le monde solaire (1 January-15 December 1877 Magasin d'Éducation et de Récréation; 1877 2vols; trans as Hector Servadac 1877) by Jules Verne. Cast includes Cesare Danova, Danielle De Metz, Gregg Martell, Sean ...

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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