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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 May 2024
Sponsor of the day: Andy Richards of Cold Tonnage Books

Franklin, H Bruce

(1934-2024) US critic and academic, a cultural historian in various positions at Stanford University from 1961, in that year giving one of the earliest university courses in sf in the USA. In 1972, despite holding tenure, he was dismissed by Stanford for making speeches allegedly inciting students to riot against the university's involvement in the Vietnam War – a case well known to those interested in questions of academic freedom. He became full professor, again with tenure, at Rutgers ...

Spence, Catherine Helen

(1825-1910) Scottish-born author, in Australia from 1839, where she was a central literary figure for more than half a century; her first novel, Clara Morison: A Tale of South Australia during the Gold Fever (1854), was the first novel by an Australian woman to be set in Australia; An Agnostic's Progress from the Known to the Unknown (1884) is an afterlife allegory. She wrote two works of sf interest. Handfasted (written circa 1879; 1984), a ...

McDonald, Sandra

(1966-    ) US military officer and author who began to publish work of genre interest with "Opening Night" for Electric Velocipede in 2002, and much of whose often transgressive, Equipoisal short fiction has been assembled as Diana Comet and Other Improbable Stories (coll 2010). Her Jodenny Scott/Terry Myell sequence – comprising The Outback Stars (2007), ...

Media Landscape

The degree to which Communications technology (and foreseeable future extensions of it) was replacing the natural world with a "media landscape" was scarcely noticed until the 1950s. Coined to denote a world dominated by the images of Advertising and the popular arts (among which sf images, especially the iconography of movies and magazine covers, loomed large), the phrase was initially used to describe the obsessions of Pop ...


One of the principal features of sf Fandom, conventions are typically weekend gatherings of fans and authors, almost invariably with a programme of sf discussion and events. In Fan Language conventions are usually referred to as cons; "relaxacons" are social gatherings with light-hearted programming or none at all. Traditional conventions rooted in old-style fandom are informal, not professionally organized, and without delegated ...

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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