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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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Dickinson, John

(1962-    ) UK author, son of Peter Dickinson, who began publishing work of genre interest with "One for Sorrow" in Fear for March 1990; most of his subsequent work has been fantasy, including the Young Adult Cup of the World sequence beginning with The Cup of the World (2004) and the Muddle and Win sequence for younger children beginning with Muddle and Win: The Battle for Sally Jones (2013). He is of sf interest for WE (2010) whose protagonist, after an eight-year voyage ...

Ralston, Gilbert

(1912-1999) Northern Ireland-born screenwriter and author, in America for many years, who may have sometimes written as by Stephen Gilbert (see Stephen Gilbert for discussion of the resulting confusion). It was, however, under his own name that Ralston wrote the screenplay for Willard (1971), the film of the 1968 novel by the "real" Stephen Gilbert, and for the sequel, Ben (script 1971; novelization 1972); in the 1970s he wrote several Westerns, also under his own name. [JC]

Godfrey, Hollis

(1874-1936) US engineer, academic and author in whose sf novel, The Man Who Ended War (1908), the inventor of a radioactive metal-disintegrating Ray (an early nuclear weapon of sorts, though not the first in world literature; see Robert Cromie) threatens to destroy the world's warships from a secret location, one by one, if the great powers refuse to disarm. They initially resist and he carries out his threat, though the protagonists of the tale track him down utilizing a second Invention ...

Wilson, William H

(1869-1915) US author whose sf novel Rafnaland: The Strange Story of John Heath Howard (1900) describes a voyage by Balloon to the North Pole, where the eponymous Lost World is discovered, inhabited by Vikings. Unusually, after falling in love with the local princess, the balloonist, while attempting to escape with his love, perishes. [JC]

Doherty, G D

(1927-    ) UK editor. An English teacher and sf enthusiast, Doherty produced the Anthology Aspects of Science Fiction (anth 1959), designed for use in British secondary schools. A carefully chosen selection, it proved popular and successful among both pupils and teachers. Further anthologies similarly aimed were Second Orbit (anth 1965) and Stories from Science Fiction (anth 1966). Doherty also contributed articles to SF Horizons, SF Impulse (see Science Fantasy) 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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