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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 August 2022
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Älgarnas Trädgård

Swedish space-rock band, whose only release Framtiden är ett svävande skepp, förankrat i forntiden (1972) combines pseudo-medieval folk and futuristic psychedelic styles to surprisingly good effect. The title translates as "The Future is a Hovering Ship Anchored in the Past", and a time-clash science-fictional theme links the tracks. [AR] see also: SF Music. /

Absurdist SF

The word "absurdist" became fashionable as a literary term after its consistent use by the French author and essayist Albert Camus (1913-1960) to describe fictions set in worlds where we seem at the mercy of incomprehensible systems. These systems may work as metaphors of the human mind – outward manifestations of what J G Ballard means when he uses the term Inner Space – or they may work as representations of a cruelly arbitrary external world, in which our expectations of rational ...

Morel, Dighton

Pseudonym of UK teacher and author Kenneth Louis Warner (1915-1990), whose middle name has also been given as Lewis. Standing to one side of his crime fiction, Moonlight Red (1960) is a thriller set in the Near Future after a Pandemic has caused worldwide madness. [JC]

Balchin, Nigel

(1908-1970) UK author, industrialist and wartime scientific adviser to the Army Council; married (1933-1951) to Elisabeth Ayrton. From the beginning of World War Two his fictions specialized in the creation of psychologically and physically crippled "competent men", as in The Small Back Room (1943), and were plotted around scientific problems at the verge of sf; A Sort of Traitors (1949), in particular, nears new territory as its boffin protagonists come close to releasing a cure to viral ...

Hay, L F

(1891-1946) UK government intelligence agent and author of some thrillers, one of which, It Wasn't a Nightmare (1937), edges into the very Near Future in its description of mysterious and cruel experiments conducted in the Pyrenees and Macedonia by an arms manufacturer eager to start World War Two. [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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