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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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Horror in SF

The often propounded notion that sf is a literature of rational, scientifically based extrapolation is at best misleading and in many instances false. Much sf is anti-science, for reasons partly historic and perhaps partly intrinsic: the relationship of Fantastika as a whole to the eighteenth-century Enlightenment was uneasy from the very first. The famous remark of the Spanish painter Goya (1746-1828) that the Sleep of Reason breeds Monsters is inarguable in its most obvious meaning: when ...

Pollack, Rachel

(1945-    ) US author, resident in the Netherlands 1973-1990, subsequently in America, who published her first sf story, "Pandora's Bust" as by Richard A Pollack, with New Worlds, in New Worlds Quarterly 2 (anth 1971) edited by Michael Moorcock. Her focus as a teller of tales has moved steadily away from sf, though her first two novels were sf. The first, Golden Vanity (1980), is an ornate Space Opera whose large cast of Aliens ransacks a venal Earth in search of a female ...

Hesky, Olga

(1912-1974) UK editor and author in whose wry and somewhat Surrealist sf novel, The Purple Armchair (1961), the Alien who resembles an armchair and is purple must decide whether or not the human race – caught in a near-future Dystopia dominated by Computers – should survive. Eventually the "chair" says no. [JC]

Knox, Hugh

(1942-2011) US author of erotic novels, some of them sf (see Sex), including Eros 2000 AD (1970) as by H R Kaye, which suggests that the Near Future will be engaging; and The Satyr (1970), which hints at Superman tropes. [JC]

Kenyon, Ley

(1913-1990) UK designer, photographer and illustrator, active from the 1930s; after gaining the Distinguished Flying Cross as a rear-gunner while serving in World War Two, he was shot down on his 45th mission, and as a prisoner of war forged passports and other papers in preparation for the Great Escape from Stalag Luft III in 1944; in later life, he specialized in images of the underwater world, publishing several nonfiction books on the subject, the best known being Pocket Guide to the ...

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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