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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 24 January 2022
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Cold Night's Death, A

Made-for-tv film (1973). Spelling Goldberg/ABC. Directed by Jerrold Freedman. Teleplay Christopher Knopf. Cast includes Robert Culp and Eli Wallach. 73 minutes. Colour. / Interesting, atmospheric but ponderous yarn with a bizarre premise about two quarrelsome scientists, one emotional (Wallach) and one dispassionately rational (Culp), in a remote Arctic station. Their experimental chimpanzees (see Apes as Human) turn the tables and start conducting stress tests on the scientists themselves. ...

Shea, Michael

(1938-2009) Scottish diplomat and author, press secretary to the Queen between 1978 and 1987; it has been suggested that he left this post under a cloud for having exhibited candour. His fiction – about twenty novels in all – more safely conveys his wry, politically centrist point of view. As Michael Sinclair (his given names) he wrote a Near-Future thriller in which shameless entrepreneurs manipulate international money markets, The Dollar Covenant (1973); and, under his normal ...

Maitland, Edward

(1824-1897) UK author and Theosophist (see Theosophy) whose speculative Utopia By and By: An Historical Romance of the Future (1873 3vols), set several hundred years in the future in Africa, takes an unusually optimistic view of the likely effects of Technology (irrigating the Sahara), is much interested in social theory, imagines several varieties of marriage and foresees a somewhat limited emancipation of women (see Women in SF). This didactic book is the third of an extremely loose trilogy; ...

Bennett, Margot

(1912-1980) Scottish screenwriter, journalist and author, her first novel being a crime novel, Time to Change Hats (1945); most of her subsequent work, in a subtle and atmospheric style, was in the same genre. A fantasy story, "An Old-Fashioned Poker for My Uncle's Head" (August 1946 Lilliput), was reprinted in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in May 1954. Her first sf novel, The Long Way Back (1954), has become well known. Long after a 1984 nuclear Holocaust has ended European ...

Oliphant, Laurence

(1829-1888) South African-born UK adventurer, diplomat politician and author, well known for nonfiction texts which described his own adventures in Asia, Africa and South America while at the same time advocating solutions to the "problems" he encountered, whether social or military; on more than one occasion these texts were tacitly sponsored by the UK Foreign Office. In 1867, he joined an American Utopian community, the Brotherhood of the New Life, founded by the poet Thomas Lake Harris ...

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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