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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 23 May 2022
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Time Opera

A potentially useful item of Terminology which has yet to be generally adopted. It seems to have been coined by Anthony Boucher in his Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction editorial introduction to the first story in Poul Anderson's Time Patrol sequence, "Time Patrol" (May 1955 F&SF): / "Space operas are all very well; but for real honest swashbuckling adventure, spiced with intellectual paradoxes and startling historical contrasts, give me that rarer art form, the time opera." ...

History of SF

Sf is an impure genre (see Definitions of SF) which did not finally take shape until the late nineteenth century, although all its separate elements existed earlier. If the labelling of any earlier story as sf depended only on the presence of sf elements there would be many such. The Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, for example, has a Fantastic Voyage and a great world-flood (see Disaster), and in those respects it qualifies; but such retrospective labelling is not very useful, since there is no ...

Angel's Egg

Japanese Original Video Animation film (1985); original title Tenshi no Tamago. Studio Deen. Created by Yoshitaka Amano and Mamoru Oshii. Directed and written by Mamoru Oshii. Voice cast: Mako Hyōdō and Jinpachi Nezu. 71 minutes. Colour. / A young man (Nezu) watches a vast eye-like sphere, adorned in praying statues, descend into the sea. Meanwhile a girl (Hyōdō), carrying a large egg under her dress, travels through a bleak megalith-strewn landscape to enter a derelict ...

Blum, Yoav

(1978-    ) Israeli software developer and author whose first translated novel, Metsarfe ha-miòkrim (2011; trans Ira Moskowitz as The Coincidence Makers 2018), in which (in a traditional sf sense) a group of young men and women exercise their professional skill, which resembles Psi Powers: the ability to create coincidences and events binding on the future, under the control of a Secret Master cabal. But the tale is in fact a Fabulation, exuberantly echoing various ...

Pidgin, Charles Felton

(1844-1923) US statistician and author of an early Alternate History novel, The Climax: Or, What Might Have Been: A Romance of the Great Republic (1902), the Jonbar Point of which being a different outcome to the fatal 1804 duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. In this world, not having killed Hamilton, Burr conquers Mexico and Central America, becomes President of the United States in 1808, and soon oversees the construction of the Panama Canal in 1814, and the abolition of Slavery ...

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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