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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 26 September 2022
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Hammill, Peter

British composer and musician, best known as the lead singer of Van der Graaf Generator. His solo releases, most of them similar to the prog-rock complexities of his group work, have been varied and, often, rather wayward. Popular success has eluded him although he inspires great devotion in his fans. "Imperial Zeppelin", on Hammill's first solo album Fool's Mate (1971), is an unusual example of steampunk SF-pop, possibly indebted to Michael Moorcock's Edwardian fantasies. His second solo work, ...

Spacesuit Films

Spacesuit films, as defined by the critic who has promoted the term, Gary Westfahl, are those space films that endeavour to plausibly portray the harsh conditions and novel features of life in outer space and on other planets – such as the absence of air, zero or low Gravity, and dangerous radiation – as most prominently indicated by the fact that their characters constantly wear, or are in close proximity to, protective spacesuits. Space films which ignore or marginalize spacesuits ...

Mason, Colin

(1926-2020) New Zealand-born Australian journalist, politician – Senator for New South Wales 1977-1987 – and author whose Near Future sf novel, Hostage (23 July-3 August 1973 Melbourne Sun; 1973), sets the beginning of World War Three in Israel and its climax in Australia. The 2030 Spike: Countdown to Global Catastrophe (2003; rev vt A Short History of the Future – Surviving the 2030 Spike 2006) as Colin J Mason is a nonfiction exercise in Futures Studies which describes a ...

Bourke, Niall

(1981-    ) Irish teacher, poet and author, in UK for some time, active from around 2015; his first novel, Line (2021), which is set in an abstract but unmistakable Near Future Dystopian world, carries its protagonist, who had spent the first half of the tale in unending queues, from what seems a Purgatory out of Franz Kafka to Nodnol (ie London). The City, and seemingly the planet, is under corporation control; the protagonist's attempts to escape the trammels of the world ...

O'Brien, Fitz-James

(1828-1862) Irish-born US author, whose natal name was Michael O'Brien; active from his arrival in New York in 1852 (when he changed his name to Fitz-James O'Brien) until he died of an infected wound in the Civil War. O'Brien contributed numerous poems and minor stories to the magazines, his first work of genre interest being "An Arabian Nightmare" for Household Words in 1851; but his importance rests on a handful of brilliantly original sf tales, which were influential not only on subsequent ...

Robinson, Roger

(1943-    ) UK computer programmer, bibliographer and publisher, active in UK Fandom for many years. The Writings of Henry Kenneth Bulmer (1983 chap; rev 1984 chap) is an exhaustive Bibliography of one of the most prolific sf writers, and Who's Hugh?: An SF Reader's Guide to Pseudonyms (1987) is similarly exhaustive in its listing of Pseudonyms. Criticized at first for its failure to annotate its findings – so that, for instance, pseudonyms used for sf could not be ...

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