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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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Hall, Hal

Working name of US author Harold Curtis Hall (1911-1992), not to be confused with Hal W Hall; his Future War novel, The Great Conflict (1942) is faintly inspired by World War Two. [JC]

Dickinson, Charles

(1951-    ) US author of several non-genre novels, beginning with Waltz in Marathon (1983); his A Shortcut in Time (2003) is a Timeslip tale set in a Chicago suburb very similar to Arlington Heights (where he lives), where characters from different times become entangled according to their nature, with effects like those achieved by writers like Ray Bradbury, Jack Finney and Ken Grimwood. [JC]

Rayner, Claire

(1931-2010) UK agony aunt – noted for her no-nonsense frankness and for the wide range of her compassion – campaigner for various causes, and author of several historical novels; she is of sf interest for The Meddlers (1970; vt The Baby Factory 1971), a Near Future tale tracing the life of the first Genetically Engineered test-tube baby, who is subsequently experimented upon by Scientists. [JC]

Bell, M Shayne

(1957-    ) US author who began publishing work of genre interest with "Earthlonging" for The Leading Edge in Winter 1981, and who was a 1987 winner of the Writers of the Future Contest for "Jacob's Ladder" (Fall 1985 Leading Edge); he has since published nearly 50 stories. His first novel, Nicoji (1991), effectively parlays a number of clear influences – from Orson Scott Card for narrative impulsion, to H Beam Piper for photogenic Aliens – into an unchallenging ...

Sensory Deprivation

The real-world Technology of the sensory deprivation chamber or tank has been frequently invoked in borderline sf as well as Genre SF. A typical setup might be a tank of lukewarm water in which the suitably garbed subject floats, supplied with air but cut off from such normal senses of Perception as sight, hearing and touch. Sensory deprivation techniques are invoked as brainwashing or conditioning tools in the film Man in the Moon (1960), directed by Basil Dearden, and in James Kennaway's ...

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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