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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 January 2022
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Pohlman, Edward

(1933-    ) Indian-born author, in the USA from an early age, whose sf novel, The God of Planet 607 (1972), attempts with moderate success to fuse Religion and Space Opera. [JC]

Ellis, Dean

(1920-2009) US illustrator whose main interests lay outside the sf genre – he did much Illustration for advertising, for general magazines, and notably for postage stamps in the US and some other countries. He received his formal art training at the Cleveland Institute of Art – his studies interrupted by four years' active service in the Pacific – graduating in fine art, followed by postgraduate work at the Boston Museum School of Fine Art. He fell into commercial illustration ...


The computer revolution transformed the real world so rapidly that sf had to struggle hard to keep up with actual developments. Although Charles Babbage's attempts to develop a mechanical computer have lately attracted attention in such Steampunk novels as The Difference Engine (1990) by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, they failed to inspire the nineteenth-century literary imagination. In fiction the notion of "mechanical brains" first evolved as a corollary to that of mechanical men (see ...


Superhero fiction is a genre based on many early models, but which crystallized in Comics; since then it has infiltrated the Cinema, Radio, Television and books. Stories involving figures with super (or at the least extraordinary) powers, and whose actions tend to keep the world safe, almost certainly existed, in some form, before Alexandre Dumas (who see for bibliography and detailed argument) created the Count of Monte-Cristo in 1844, though his story was exceedingly influential for the rest ...

Tremaine, F Orlin

(1899-1956) US editor and author; his first story was "The Throwback" for Weird Tales in October 1926 as by Orlin Frederick. Already experienced in Pulp-magazine publishing – he had edited various magazines from 1921 onward, including Bernarr Macfadden's Brain Power 1921-1924 and True Story in 1924 – Tremaine assumed the editorship of Astounding Stories (see Astounding Science-Fiction) in October 1933, after it had been taken over by Street & Smith; curiously, although he had ...

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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