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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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Stellar Conquest

Board and counter Wargame (1974). Metagaming Concepts. Designed by Howard Thompson. / Stellar Conquest is perhaps the earliest precursor of the 4X Videogame form (see 4X Games); it inspired Reach for the Stars (1983), which was a major influence on such later games as Master of Orion (1993). Players take the parts of starfaring civilizations which have simultaneously discovered an uninhabited but resource rich cluster of stars. Gameplay revolves around the exploration and colonization of ...


Videogame (1998). Valve. Platforms: Win (1998); rev PS2 (2001). / Half-Life is a First Person Shooter, notable for its depth of narrative immersion (see Game Design). It was the first FPS in which a storyline was presented without the use of non-interactive scenes interposed between levels set in different locations. Instead, the story is integrated with the gameplay, using such techniques as overheard conversations and prescripted events triggered by player actions. While the storyline ...

Beast, The

Videogame (2001; vt A.I. Web Game). Microsoft. Designed by Jordan Weisman, Elan Lee, Sean Stewart. Platforms: Web. / The Beast was the first Alternate Reality Game. The key premises underlying its design were that it should be a cooperative game (solved by many people working together on the internet), that its existence should be kept secret from the players (so that they could discover it on their own), that its story should be delivered through as many routes as possible (including ...


Film (1969; vt Journey to the Far Side of the Sun). Century 21 Productions/Universal. Producers Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. Directed by Robert Parrish. Written by the Andersons, Donald James. Cast includes Ian Hendry, Herbert Lom, Lyn Loring, Roy Thinnes and Patrick Wymark. 101 minutes, cut to 94 minutes (US). Colour. / The first live-action feature from the Anderson production team responsible for a number of television series featuring puppets in sf adventure scenarios, Doppelganger, ...

Wattenberg, Ben J

Working name of US neo-conservative political commentator and author Joseph Ben Zion Wattenberg (1933-2015), whose Against All Enemies: A Novel of the White House (1977) with Ervin S Duggan is a Future War novel told from a moderately conservative standpoint, in which conflict is generated by a fissure between the views of the American President and Vice-President. [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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