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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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Videogame (1990). Maxis. Designed by Will Wright. Platforms: DOS, Mac, Win (1990); AtariST, SNES (1991); Amiga (1992); MegaCD, PCEngineCD (1993). / SimEarth is a Toy Game which simulates the evolution of a terrestrial planet, using a model influenced by James Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis, a description of the Earth as a self-regulating system (see Ecology). Players have access to a wide variety of options, including the ability to control the rate of mutation for living species, the level of ...

Bisson, Terry

(1942-    ) US author who has also worked as a New York publishing copy-writer. His first novel, Wyrldmaker: A Heroic Romance (1981), is a too rapidly told but intermittently dazzling Generation Starship tale told in the guise of a heroic fantasy (see also World Ship). With his second, Talking Man (1986), he comes into his full powers as a novelist whose narrative voice is urgently and lucidly that of a teller of tales. The figure at the heart of Talking Man – who does ...

Paternoster, G Sidney

(1866-1925) UK author whose Motor Pirate sequence, comprising The Motor Pirate (fixup 1903) and The Cruise of the Conquistador: Being the Further Adventures of the Motor Pirate (fixup 1905), features the exploits of the eponymous masked highwayman (and later pirate), making use of a car of an advanced Technology, and later – in episodes internally identified as being set in the Near Future – in a similarly daunting ship. The magazine in which the series of tales originally appeared ...

Dennis, Geoffrey

(1892-1963) UK author whose fantasy Harvest in Poland (1925; rev 1931) bases its augurs of a grim future for Europe on the decay of civilization demonstrated by the horrors of World War One, in which he served. The Devil and X Y Z (1937) with Hilary Aidan St George Saunders, writing together as Barum Browne [for Saunders see Francis Beeding], is a supernatural thriller featuring, as does its predecessor, battles against diabolic possession. The End of the World (1930), despite its sf-like ...

Gamboe, Scott

(1969-    ) US author whose Avenger sequence, comprising The Killing Frost (2006) and New Dawn Rising (2009), is Military SF set within an interstellar Space Opera venue, where a human coalition, corrupted from within by politicians, comes close to war with an Alien counterpart hegemony; the hero of the tale breaks all the rules in order to gain revenge and keep the larger picture from darkening. Gamboe's second novel, The Piaras Legacy (2008), is fantasy. [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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