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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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Time Abyss

The recognition of deep Time – the realization of truly awesome timescales – is one of sf's staple generators of Sense of Wonder. It is not solely the bald statement of temporal immensities which brings this thrill, but the sense that the gulf is or will be spanned by some understanding, some process, though the barely ponderable temporal immensity concealing from human view the heart of the Empire in Franz Kafka's "The Great Wall of China" (written 1917; many posthumous printings ...

Anders, Agnetha

(?   -    ) UK author of whom nothing is known beyond her authorship of the Pleasurehouse sequence of erotic sf novels, set in a class-ridden Near Future Britain, and comprising Pleasurehouse 13 (1991) and The Last Days of the Pleasurehouse (1992). [JC]

Mackel, Kathryn

(1950-    ) US screenwriter and author who writes for adult and Young Adult readers as Kathryn Mackel, and for younger readers as Kathy Mackel. Her work throughout is infused with Christian beliefs and advocacies, which govern her deployment of sf tropes, so that events initially seen as sf soon become Equipoisal between sf and supernatural fiction before unfolding in terms of dramas where the End of the World is couched as a Godgame drama designed to separate sinners from ...

Long Night

Term used by Poul Anderson in his Technic History sequence to denote the galactic Dark Ages expected after the fall of a Terran Galactic Empire already mired in Decadence, a narrative of Decline and Fall and the Darkness to come that comprises a central thread in the megatext (see SF Megatext) of the West, as exemplified in the twentieth century by Arnold J Toynbee (1889-1975) in A Study of History (1933-1961 11vols), especially Volumes V and VI (both 1939) where his depiction of "The ...

Tayler, J Lionel

(1874-1930) UK medical doctor, teacher, minister and author whose remarkable Future History, The Last of My Race: A Dream of the Future (1924), has perhaps suffered through its being structured as a dream. Without its debilitating conclusion, the narrative reads as a worthy precursor of the cosmic histories soon to be composed by Olaf Stapledon. After awakening from Suspended Animation (see Sleeper Awakes), the twentieth-century narrator finds himself, three hundred millennia hence, in a world ...

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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