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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 24 January 2022
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Tompkins, Walker A

(1909-1988) US author, mostly of Westerns; he is of sf interest for Ozar the Aztec (January 1933-June 1933 Street and Smith's Top-Notch all sections under the House Name Valentine Wood; fixup 1935), a Lost Race tale whose inhabitants, under the leadership of Ozar, survive in the contemporary West. [JC]

Ransmayr, Christoph

(1954-    ) Austrian editor and author, active from the late 1970s, mostly in Ireland 1994-2006. His first novel, Die Schrecken des Eises und der Finsternis (1984; trans John E Woods as The Terrors of Ice and Darkness 1991) verges upon but does not engage with the aura of Fantastika that tends to influence novels set in unexplored Arctic regions. His second, Die letzte Welt (1988; trans John E Woods as The Last World: A Novel with an Ovidian Repertory 1990), is an ...

Travel Guides

These occasionally feature in sf, the most famous of all being Douglas Adams's comic creation The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy (which see) – a guide that gives little space to such minor destinations as Earth, famously listed only as "Harmless" and amended after extensive further research to "Mostly harmless". In older sf, Jack Vance makes witty use of invented guidebooks – e.g. "Popular Handbook of the Planets, 303rd edition" – for background Infodumps in his Demon ...

Ruhen, Carl

(1937-2013) New Zealand-born author, in Australia from 1947, highly prolific from the early 1960s to 1989 with 78 reported novel publications – many from the high-output Australian "pulp" publisher Horwitz – plus numerous short stories and articles. His novels included some routine horror, not listed below. Ruhen is of sf interest as probably the principal collaborator on the film Tie Mad Max 2 (1982) with Terry Hayes and George Miller, novelizing Mad Max 2 (1981; vt The Road ...

Volk, Gordon

(1885-?1962) UK author who also wrote as by Raymond Knotts, in active service during World War One; he specialized almost exclusively in crime adventures without fantastic elements, with the exception of The Isle of Men (1932), a Lost Race tale set on a South Pacific Island where a race of physically superior humans is discovered. [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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