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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 17 January 2022
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Shannon, Terence

(?   -    ) US author in whose What Happened to the Indians (2000) America is threatened with an Alien Invasion, these events prefigured by UFO landings in the 1940s; and responds more vigorously than the "Indians" did when the white man first came to the continent. A markedly right-wing pattern of argument (see Politics), presented without remission, leads to peculiar plot turns: as when America decides to spook the aliens by initiating a perfectly justified ...

Foyle, Naomi

(?   -    ) UK editor, poet and author whose first novel, Seoul Survivors (2013), is a Near Future thriller set just before a meteor known as Lucifer's Hammer threatens to devastate the planet, as in Larry Niven's and Jerry Pournelle's Lucifer's Hammer (1977), about a Comet striking Earth. A plot to use Genetic Engineering to save some humans has side-effects. The Young Adult Gaia Chronicles sequence beginning with Astra (2014) interestingly describes an ...

Hodgson, William Hope

(1877-1918) UK author who ran away to sea in his youth and was deeply affected by his experiences aboard ship: he never lost a profound fascination, reflected in all his poetry and most of his stories and essays, for the mysteries of the sea. His first published story was "The Goddess of Death" for Royal Magazine in April 1904. His fantastic sea stories – the first was "From the Tideless Sea" (April 1906 Monthly Story Magazine; exp with addition of "More News from the Homebird" [August ...

Becker, Walt

(1968-    ) US scriptwriter, author and director of a number of films, whose Link (1998) posits an Extraterrestrial origin for humanity; the plot soon thickens in South America, where the missing Link may tell us if we are descendants of a Forerunner species, or if human Evolution is a planetary phenomenon. [JC/SH]

Banville, Théodore de

(1823-1891) French poet and author, a formalist and symbolist involved in various literary controversies over the course of his forty-year career. His penetration of the veils of reality may not have been lastingly profound, but the modestly transgressive thrust of the tales assembled as Contes Féeriques (coll 1882; trans Brian Stableford as Magical Tales 2021) demonstrates a use of Fantastika to grasp the unstable gist of a brittle culture. [JC]

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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