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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.

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Britton, Lionel

(1887-1971) UK author, a conscientious objector during World War One who gained some prominence in the interwar period for Hunger and Love, Etc (1931), a speculative proletarian/modernist Dystopia, written before (and influential upon) but published after Brain: A Play of the Whole Earth (1930), a drama in which a giant Computer is set up in the Sahara to run human affairs according to ambiguously Utopian tenets. This it does until nearly the End of the World, when a wandering star collides ...

Langley, Bob

(1939-    ) UK broadcaster and author of Technothrillers, some being of sf interest: Warlords (1979) is a Young Adult tale depicting the Near Future overthrow of an effective UK government through undercover American influence; in Precipice (1991) a Soviet weapons satellite under Antarctica threatens to blow up the South Pole and environs; and in Fireball (1997) the reactivation of a dormant weapons system generates a near-space conflict that might end in World War Three. ...

Harting, Pieter

(1812-1885) Dutch polymath, immensely prolific in scientific fields such as biology, medicine and geology, and an early advocate of Charles Darwin's theory of Evolution. His one sf novel, Anno 2065: een blik in de toekomst (1865 chap; vt Anno 2070: een blik in de toekomst 1870 chap; trans Alex V W Bikkers as Anno Domini 2071 1871) as by Dr Dioscorides, posits a liberal world 200 years hence which is at peace, has new sources of power, and is highly industrious. [JC]

Ascher, Maurice

(1873-1965) German author, much of his nonfiction being studies in Judaism and Jewish issues. He is of sf interest for Gulliver's Neue Reise ["Gulliver's New Journey"] (1915), a Fantastic Voyage tale based on Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels (1726; rev 1735), Gulliver in this case being an aviator who makes a crash-landing on an unknown Island. Here he finds two separate Utopias, Risolia and Pleuresia, whose solutions to human life are subjected to some Satire. [JC]

Cormier, Robert

(1925-2000) US author, highly esteemed for his Young Adult novels, especially perhaps The Chocolate War (1974), which is not fantastic. Of sf interest are The Bumblebee Flies Anyway (1983), which depicts the experiences of a child being experimented upon in a hospital called only the Complex; and Fade (1988), a tale of inherited Invisibility hovers Equipoisally between fantasy and sf whose protagonist gains markedly but suffers greatly through his alienating power. [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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