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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 1 August 2022
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Hirschfeld, Burt

(1923-2004) US author, notably of some crime novels set in Florida; Gas!; Or, It Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It (1970) novelizes the Roger Corman film Gas-s-s-s, Or It Became Necessary to Destroy the World ... (1970). [JC]

Wakefield, Tom

(1935-1996) UK teacher and author, who wrote nonfiction about his teaching experiences at special schools in Hackney (an East London borough); his only novel of sf interest, The Love Siege (1979), also reflects his pedagogical experiences through its depiction of a Dystopian Near Future London where all "handicapped" children are condemned to extermination. The staff of the school revolts. Wakefield's other fiction mostly comprised acute and humorous depictions of gay life in his era. [JC]

Ruddell, Gary

(1951-    ) American artist, sometimes credited in error as Garry Ruddell. As a high school student, the precocious Ruddell was already selling interior artwork to car magazines, but he formally launched his artistic career after earning a BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts in 1975. While also working for magazines like Rolling Stone and Playboy and other clients, Ruddell began painting sf book covers in 1981 with a portrait of a frightened woman for an ...


Telepathy or mind-reading is the most popular and durable paranormal ability in sf; its hypothetical roots in scientific reality are discussed under ESP, as are instances of pre-Genre SF usage and various stories which deal with telepathy as part of a wider spectrum of Psi Powers. / The vogue for telepathy stories in the sf magazines was hugely advanced by John W Campbell Jr, whose enthusiasm for superhuman mental powers (see Superman) led to the notorious "psi-boom" in his Astounding and ...

Curry, E S

(1837-1906) Canadian-born minister and author, who became a US citizen in 1901; his The No-Din: Romance, History and Science of Pre-Historic Races of America and Other Lands (1899) is Prehistoric SF. Somewhat confusedly, 8000 years after the birth of Adam, an Edenic continent in the South Pacific is destroyed by a Comet; the survivors of this Disaster flee far and wide in Airships – including the No-Din itself and eventually colonize "Amurica", "Atlantuz", "Ophur" and other territories. ...

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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