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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 20 May 2022
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Buckner, M M

(?   -    ) US author and environmental activist (she has done work for the World Wildlife Fund) whose first three sf novels are set on an exceedingly grim but realistic planet Earth, though her excessively intricate plotting tends to divert attention from the harshness of the Near Future/moderately distant future she posits. HyperThought (2001) and War Surf (2005) – the latter won the Philip K Dick Award for 2006 – are closely linked. An ...

Sur un air de Charleston

Film (1927 France; vt Charleston Parade). Produced and directed by Jean Renoir (1894-1979). Written by Pierre Lestringuez from an idea by André Cerf. Cast includes Catherine Hessling and Johnny Hudgins. 20 minutes. Black and white. / This incomplete film is Renoir's only venture into science fiction. Set in the year 2028, it involves an African explorer (Hudgins) travelling to a devastated post-War Europe in a globular Airship. There he encounters a native, a white woman (Hessling) ...

Russell, Addison Peale

(1826-1912) US journalist, politician and author whose Sub-Coelum: A Sky-Built Human World (1893) is a Utopia written, like so many others from this decade, to counter the influence of Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward 2000-1887 (1888). The setting is an unspecified Near Future, in a land with no name, whose inhabitants – who constantly observe and report upon one another – are forcibly conditioned into behaviour patterns the author designates as "pure" (see B F Skinner): Sex is ...

Pantropy

This useful item of sf Terminology was coined by James Blish in the stories later melded together as The Seedling Stars (fixup 1957). Blish's view was that in humanity's Colonization of Other Worlds (which see for further discussion), we must either change the planet to make it habitable (Terraforming) or change humanity itself to fit it for survival in an alien environment (pantropy). The Greek root of the word means "turning everything". Pantropy is usually undertaken by some form of ...

Clangers, The

UK animated tv series (1969-1970; 1971-1972; 1974). BBC/Smallfilms. Created, produced, written and narrated by Oliver Postgate (1925-2008). Sets and puppets by Peter Firmin (1928-2018). 27 nine-minute episodes (first series 1-13; second series 14-26; plus 1974 special). Colour. / Several generations still whistle and coo in memory of this stop-motion animated series, whose episodes were repeated over and over again in the early evening, at a time when both adults and children – not ...

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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