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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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Lowell, Percival

(1855-1916) US astronomer, best known for making the calculations which led, in 1931, to the discovery of the purported ninth planet, Pluto (see Outer Planets), though that distant world is no longer regarded as a genuine planet; its name was chosen in part because its first two letters were Lowell's initials. While he wrote no works which could be regarded as genuine sf, Lowell contributed immeasurably to the genre when he built upon the observations of Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli ...

Restif de la Bretonne

Name by which the French author Nicolas-Anne-Edmé Restif (1734-1806) is usually known, though he sometimes signed his books N A E Restif de la Bretonne; his surname at birth was simply Rétif, without the spoof addition, which was the name of a family field. He was an extremely prolific author, publishing about 250 volumes in all beginning in 1767, including many formless, semi-autobiographical novels often attacked for imputed pornographic content. Of his Utopian texts, Le ...

Portal

Videogame (1986). Nexa Corporation. Designed by Rob Swigart. Platforms: Amiga, AppleII, AtariST, C64, Mac, PCBoot. / Portal was an attempt to create a "computer novel", a form that was intended to more closely resemble that of hyperfiction (see Hypertext) than that of the text Adventure. The player takes the part of an astronaut sent on a solitary mission of exploration in a slower-than-light Starship. When they return, a century after their departure, Earth is deserted and the only ...

Brautigan, Richard

(1935-1984) US author and poet, known primarily for his work outside the sf field. Most of his whimsically surreal fiction – like A Confederate General from Big Sur (1964) or Trout Fishing in America (1967) – lies on the borderline of Fantasy, but does not pass over. In Watermelon Sugar (1968), set in an indeterminate hippie-pastoral setting, echoes the Post-Holocaust novels of conventional sf. The Hawkline Monster: A Gothic Western (1974), which is sf, plays amusingly with the ...

Beast Must Die, The

Film (1974; vt Black Werewolf). Amicus Productions and the British Lion Film Corporation. Directed by Paul Arnett. Written by Arnett (uncredited), Scott Finch (uncredited) and Michael Winder, based on "There Shall Be No Darkness" (April 1950 Thrilling Wonder Stories) by James Blish. Cast includes Tom Chadbon, Marlene Clark, Peter Cushing, Anton Diffring, Charles Gray, Michael Gambon, Calvin Lockhart and Ciaran Madden. 93 minutes. Colour. / Six guests are invited to the Island estate of ...

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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