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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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MacDonald, Philip

(1900-1980) UK-born screenwriter and author of detective novels, son of Ronald MacDonald and grandson of George MacDonald, in California from 1931. He was best known for a series of detective novels, most featuring the amateur investigator Anthony Gethryn, beginning with The Rasp (1924) and including the remarkable serial-killer procedurals Murder Gone Mad (1931) and X v. Rex (1933 as by Martin Porlock; vt Mystery of the Dead Police 1933; vt The Mystery of Mr. X 1934); at least four of his ...

Allen, Johannes

(1916-1973) Danish journalist and author of popular fiction and film scripts from about 1941. Among his few sf titles the best known is Data for din død (1970; trans Marianne Helweg as Data for Death 1971), which tells of a criminal organization whose acquisition of advanced Computer techniques permits it to blackmail people with information about their time of death. [ND]

Canty, Thomas

(1952-    ) US illustrator known for his pale, delicate style, for the Art Nouveau-inspired, ethereal women he often paints, and for his use of stylized costume details. His approach has been famously described by Terri Windling as "New Romanticism", said to contrast with the "Heroic" style associated with artists like Frank Frazetta. Canty's fame is out of proportion to the amount of work (mostly book covers) he has published, though he works also under pseudonyms. While he ...

Comic Inferno

A more or less self-explanatory item of Terminology coined by Kingsley Amis in New Maps of Hell: A Survey of Science Fiction (1960), describing sf which cheerfully extracts Satire or outright black Humour from a scenario rooted in Dystopia. Examples cited by Amis include Anthony Boucher's "Barrier" (September 1942 Astounding as "The Barrier"), Frederik Pohl's "The Midas Plague" (April 1954 Galaxy), Robert Sheckley's "A Ticket to Tranai" (October 1955 Galaxy) and William Tenn's "Null-P" (January ...

Science Fantasy News

UK Fanzine (1949-1960) edited by A Vincent Clarke and "sub-editor" Kenneth Bulmer. Fifteen issues from #1 (January 1949, dated Winter 1948) to #16 (June 1960) – there was no #6 – plus four interim issues titled SFN Minor (all 1949) and separately numbered, and some other addenda. The format varied from half-foolscap (#1-#4) to UK quarto (#5, #13-#16) to full foolscap (#9-#12); all issues were stencil-duplicated; page count ranged from 4pp to 24pp. / Science Fantasy News began as ...

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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