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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 21 January 2022
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Polish Sociological SF

A term coined in the 1980s in the wake of the proliferation and popularity of novels and short stories employing science-fictional tropes to allegorically depict and critically analyse either pathologies of the Polish communist state or totalitarianism in general. Several writers were involved in initiating the school, yet in the early 1980s, when most of Janusz A Zajdel's novels were published, he became its most prolific and popular writer, and as a result its natural leader. / A ...

Herzl, Theodor

(1860-1904) Hungarian author, founder of Zionism in its modern form, perhaps most significantly in his nonfiction Der Judenstaat: Versuch einer modernen Lösung der Judenfrage ["The Jewish State: Proposal of a Modern Solution for the Jewish Question"] (1896 chap). The title of Simone Zelitch's novel, Judenstaat (2016), is taken directly from this work. / Herzl's fiction was also influential, beginning with the fictionalized speculative Alternate History tale, "Der Unterhimer Bounaparte" ...

Forerunners

Term used in this encyclopedia for the frequent Space Opera plot device of a bygone Alien race which once dominated the galaxy but – following what may or may not be a significant Time Abyss – has mysteriously vanished, generally leaving behind numerous relics of its "Old Technology" which may serve as tempting McGuffins. Such artefacts often include enigmatic Big Dumb Objects or Macrostructures. Often the Forerunners prove to have seeded the galaxy with life and thus to be our ...

Dixie, Florence

(1855-1905) UK traveller, journalist (the first female war correspondent in the English language) and author whose nonfiction Across Patagonia: A Lady Combs the Pampas (1880) – the only woman in her party, she was its dominant figure – captures something of her Feminist urgency. In Gloriana, or The Revolution of 1900 (1890) a woman disguised as a man is elected Prime Minister of the UK and, though unmasked, establishes full equality between the sexes; by 1999, a woman-ruled UK ...

Lovecraft, H P

(1890-1937) US author who spent almost all his life in Providence, Rhode Island, maintaining extensive social contacts mainly by mail. He was an important figure by correspondence in the careers of many authors who later published work clearly influenced by him; and the correspondence between him and Robert E Howard illuminates these two solitary (but intensely communicative) figures. He joined the United Amateur Press Association (see APA) in 1914 and produced much of his early fiction in ...

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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