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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 17 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." ...

Education in SF

Arguably, many sf works project the aura of a classroom, as writers undertake to explain their fantastic worlds' new Technology and other features at length by means of instructional Infodumps. A common pattern in Utopian novels is to pair naïve newcomers with longtime residents assigned to show and describe how their society functions, as seen in Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward 2000-1887 (1888) and Hugo Gernsback's Ralph 124C 41+: A Romance of the Year 2660 (April 1911-March 1912 Modern ...

London

As the City at the heart of the British Empire, London was long seen by UK speculative authors as bearing the brunt of whatever Disaster the future might bring. There are many proleptic post-imperial visions of London destroyed or depopulated, as in William Delisle Hay's The Doom of the Great City; Being the Narrative of a Survivor, Written A.D. 1942 (1880 chap), and other works discussed under Ruins and Futurity, this being perhaps the first tale to conflate the growing health crises caused by ...

Caunter, C F

(1899-1988) UK aviator (he was a pilot with the Royal Air force in World War One), scholar and author of popular engineering texts from 1920; he also worked as an electrical engineer. The distressed protagonist of his one published sf novel, Madness Opens the Door (1932), is taken via Matter Transmitter first to the Moon and thence through interstellar space to an entirely new planet. From the late 1940s until 1959, Caunter was Assistant Keeper of Road Transport for the Science Museum, London, ...

Bertagna, Julie

(1962-    ) Scottish author who has concentrated until recently on books for younger children; her Young Adult sf Exodus sequence comprising Exodus (2002), Zenith (2007) and Aurora (2011), is a tale of global warming (see Climate Change) beginning in 2099, continuing into the early twenty-second century and skipping forward to 2116 in the third volume. The ocean rises sufficiently to force the evacuation of a small Scottish island; led by a young girl, the islanders examine ...

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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