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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 20 May 2022
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Positronic Robots

Because Isaac Asimov's Robot stories are so celebrated, this term is one of the best known in the genre; it is not, however, a generally used item of sf Terminology, few writers having had the cheek to borrow the idea from its inventor – although H Beam Piper went one better in "Graveyard of Dreams" (February 1958 Galaxy) with a "positron-neutrino-photon" Computer, and Data, the Android in Star Trek: The Next Generation, is described as having a positronic brain. The positron is the ...

Dead Kids

Film (1981; vt Strange Behavior). Endeavour/Bannon Glenn/Hemdale. Directed by Michael Laughlin. Written by Laughlin, William Condon. Cast includes Arthur Dignam, Louise Fletcher, Fiona Lewis, Michael Murphy and Dan Shor. 99 minutes, cut to 93 minutes. Colour. / This Australian/New Zealand exploitation sf/Horror movie is set in the US Midwest and has a largely US cast, but was actually shot in New Zealand. It is the first of a projected trilogy (linked by theme only) of which the second is ...

Spacewar

Videogame (1962). Designed by Stephen Russell, J M Graetz, Wayne Wiitanen. Platforms: Mainframe, Arcade, Others. / While not the first game to be implemented using electronic hardware, Spacewar was the first such game with an original design, and the first to be widely distributed. Inspired by E E Smith's Lensman and Skylark series, the developers decided to write a game for the new PDP-1 minicomputer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, based around the theme of interplanetary ...

Parks and Recreation

US tv series (2009-2015). NBC Universal, Deedle Dee, Fremulon, 3Arts, Schur Films, Universal Media Studios. Directed by Dean Holland, Tom McGill, Michael Schur and others. Written by Megan Amram, Aisha Muharrar, Matt Murray, Amy Poehler, Michael Schur, Jen Statsky, Harris Wittels, Alan Yang and others. Cast includes Aziz Ansari, Jim O'Heir, Aubrey Plaza, Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt and Adam Scott. 125 22-minute episodes. / Earnest civil servant Leslie Knope (Poehler) idolizes women in ...

Matson, Norman

(1892-1965) US author now best known for his completion, after the death of Thorne Smith, of the latter's The Passionate Witch (1941), capturing Smith's melancholy, mildly madcap, sentimentally erotic style very neatly, despite touches of unSmithian sourness. Matson also wrote a sequel, Bats in the Belfry (1943). A film, I Married a Witch (1942), and the television series Bewitched (1964-1972) were loosely based on the books. Earlier Matson wrote a fantasy, Flecker's Magic (1926; vt Enchanted ...

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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