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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 4 December 2023
Sponsor of the day: Andy Richards of Cold Tonnage Books

Compton, D G

(1930-2023) UK author, born of parents who were both in the theatre; he increasingly lived in the USA after 1981. As Guy Compton, he published some unremarkable detective novels, beginning with Too Many Murderers (1962), and as by Frances Lynch produced some nonfantastic Gothics throughout his career; but soon turned to sf with tales almost always set in the Near Future, and anatomizing moral dilemmas within that arena: the future is very clearly ...

Schiff, Stuart David

(1946-    ) US army dentist and editor best known in sf/fantasy circles for editing Whispers (which see), a Semiprozine of some note that ran from 1973 to 1987 and spun off the Whispers Anthology series beginning with Whispers: An Anthology of Fantasy and Horror (anth 1977) [see Checklist below]. Schiff has also edited other anthologies such as the ...

Dow, Alechia

(?   -    ) US author whose loose Young Adult Sound of Stars sequence beginning with The Sound of Stars (2020) is set in a Near Future world devastated by an accidental War between Homo sapiens and the Alien Ilori, whose Post-Holocaust Invasion of Earth ...

Airplane Boys

The Wright Brothers' first successful heavier-than-air flight at Kitty Hawk in December 1903 signalled the inevitable death of the Airship Boys subgenre of boys' adventure series before it properly began. Tales involving juvenile chums creating and/or piloting lighter-than-air craft, almost always dirigible Balloons, did not in fact come into the market until Harry Lincoln Sayler published the ...

MacLean, Alistair

(1922-1987) Scottish author whose novels are mostly – like The Guns of Navarone (1957) – well-crafted action adventures, usually set at least in part at sea. The Dark Crusader (1961; vt The Black Shrike 1961) and The Satan Bug (1962), both as by Ian Stuart, are Cold War thrillers which make use of sf McGuffins, though in the latter the eponymous manufactured virus ...

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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