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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 27 June 2022
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Chambers, Whitman

(1896-1968) US screenwriter and author, active from about 1923, most of whose novels were Westerns or detective fiction; his Near Future sf tract, Invasion! (1943), is a Yellow Peril tale set in a World War Two Los Angeles (see California) invaded (see Invasion) by a Japanese expeditionary force which destroys the City; the tone, even for 1943, is hysterically racist, as the well-known cover illustration – featuring rabid Japanese soldiers about to rape white American women in the ruined ...

Dixon, Dougal

(1947-    ) UK geologist, palaeontologist and author whose After Man: A Zoology of the Future (1981) provides a quasifactual view of a Far-Future Earth in which Homo sapiens, having exhausted the planet and become extinct, gives way (in a fashion reminiscent of the work of Olaf Stapledon) to succeeding forms of life adapted by Evolution to new-found ecological niches: bats, for example, become highly diversified, including flightless land-walking species. The New Dinosaurs: ...

Lamming, George

(1927-2022) Barbadian poet, journalist and author, five of his six novels being nonfantastic; he remains best-known for the first of these, In the Castle of my Skin (1953), the semi-autobiographical narration of a Barbadian childhood, which has remained extremely influential. Water With Berries (1971) conveys a sense of the intermixture of lives and modes of a contemporary Black activist with a vivid, quasi-allegorical sense that each of these lives is inherently separate (see Fantastika). ...

Voermans, Paul

(1960-    ) Australian author who began to publish work of genre interest with "The Broken Butterfly" in The View from the Edge: A Workshop of Science Fiction Stories (anth 1977) edited by George Turner. His first novel, And Disregards the Rest (1992), mixes sf and Magic Realism into a somewhat spatchcocked tale of Near-Future Australia, mixing together a metaphysical discourse about the consequences of a performance of William Shakespeare's The Tempest (performed circa ...

Rand, Peter

(1942-    ) US author of The Time of the Emergency (1977), an sf novel set in a world subsequent to a nuclear Holocaust – but how much farther into the future it is hard to distinguish – so that the abstract desert and surreal hotel that provide a stage for the four protagonists' shattered behaviour may in fact be described as inhabiting a Ruined Earth. [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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