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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 21 January 2022
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Time Opera

A potentially useful item of Terminology which has yet to be generally adopted. It seems to have been coined by Anthony Boucher in his Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction editorial introduction to the first story in Poul Anderson's Time Patrol sequence, "Time Patrol" (May 1955 F&SF): / "Space operas are all very well; but for real honest swashbuckling adventure, spiced with intellectual paradoxes and startling historical contrasts, give me that rarer art form, the time opera." ...

Acriche, Marc Daniel

(?   -    ) US author whose first novel, the Young Adult Drained (2021), is set in a Near Future New York with a focus on municipal Politics, though strong hints of Climate Change put this in context. By 2048, a tyrannical mayor has transformed New York into a repressive city state; the young protagonist, whose family is complexly involved in this world, joins a Resistance movement. The ending contains some hope. [JC]

Near Future

Images of the near future in sf differ markedly from those of the Far Future in both content and attitude. The far future tends to be associated with notions of ultimate destiny, and is dominated by metaphors of senescence; its images display a world irrevocably transfigured. It is viewed from a detached viewpoint; the dominant mood is – paradoxically – one of nostalgia, because the far future, like the dead past, can be entered only imaginatively, and has meaning only in terms of ...

American Flagg!

US Comic-book series (1983-1989, 63 issues), published by First Comics, created by writer/artist Howard V Chaykin. Generally considered one of the best sf Comics of the 1980s, American Flagg! is set in a media-saturated USA reduced to Third-World status, and stars Reuben Flagg, drafted into the Plexus Rangers in Chicago in the 2030s (Plexus being a Mars-based mega-cartel planning to sell off the USA piece by piece). American Flagg! is sophisticated fun, featuring cynically humorous writing and ...

Harte, Bret

Working name of US editor, poet and author Francis Brett Harte (1836-1902), active as a journalist and editor in California from 1857, serving as first editor of the Overland Monthly from July 1868 until he resigned in January 1871; in the UK from 1880. He is best-known for his early poetry, burlesques and fiction, his most familiar story being "The Luck of Roaring Camp" (August 1868 Overland Monthly), a tale with supernatural implications: an infant named Thomas Luck seems to bring luck and ...

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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