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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.

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Optimism and Pessimism

In the most simplistic version of the History of SF, sf was always (and rightly) an optimistic literature until the New Wave came along in the 1960s and spoiled everything. This was at best a very partial truth, being only remotely applicable to Genre SF and not at all to Mainstream sf. / In the mainstream, not even the work of individual authors could be categorized as simply either optimistic or pessimistic. Both Jules Verne and H G Wells took a darker view of the future as they became ...

Perkins, Michael

(1942-    ) US author and poet, whose erotic sf novels for Essex House (see Sex) included Evil Companions (1968) and Terminus (1969). [JC]

Strieber, Whitley

(1945-    ) US author, much better known for horror novels – like The Wolfen (1978) (see Horror in SF; Werewolves) and the Hunger sequence beginning with The Hunger (1981) (see Vampires) – than for his sf, though he has continued to produce the latter intermittently throughout his career, with an emphasis on the Near Future seen through a perspective that sometimes attempts to justify Paranoia about government conspiracies against the American people. Warday: And ...

Olemy, P T

Pseudonym (ie Ptolemy) of US author George Baker (?   -    ) of two spoofish thrillers, Pink Dolphin (1967) and The Transgressors (1967). In his sf novel, The Clones (1968), Clones, because of their powers of Communication, may be able to save Earth from Invasion by Aliens; or in fact help Earth invade other planets in turn. [JC]

Phantasy Star

Videogame (1987). Sega. Designed by Rieko Kodama, Yuji Naka. Platforms: MegaDrive (1994); MasterSystem (1987); vt Phantasy Star Collection GBA (2002). / Phantasy Star was one of the earliest Console Role Playing Games (see Computer Role Playing Games), and was influential on the development of the unique characteristics of the form. Both this game and its contemporary Final Fantasy II (1988) (see Final Fantasy) added a greater depth of characterization to the formula established by Dragon ...

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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