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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 27 June 2022
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Wicked City

Japanese Original Video Animation (OVA) (1987). Madhouse. Based on the novels by Hideyuki Kikuchi. Directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri. Written by Norio Osada. Voice cast includes Takeshi Aono, Toshiko Fujita, Ichirō Nagai, Yūsaku Yara and Mari Yokoo. 82 minutes. Colour. / A woman (Yokoo), seemingly the one he has been dating for three months, invites Renzaburo Taki (Yara) back to her place. After sex she transforms, clasping him with four spider-like limbs – a set of vagina ...

L'Estrange, Miles

Pseudonym – which can be translated as Unknown Soldier – of an unidentified late-nineteenth-century UK author (?   -    ) whose What We Are Coming To: A Forecast (1892) describes in Satirical terms its narrator's response to a secular, "progressive" England where women have been emancipated (see Women in SF) and the currency has been decimalized. [JC]

Attack the Block

Film (2011). Studio Canal, Film4, and the UK Film Council present a Big Talk Pictures production. Written and directed by Joe Cornish. Cast includes John Boyega, Nick Frost, Luke Treadaway and Jodie Whittaker. 88 minutes. Colour. / An ostentatiously British sibling to Skyline (2010) recentred on the urban teenage underclass with a namecheck to J G Ballard, television veteran Cornish's first feature seeks to freshen up the Alien-attack genre by transplanting its tropes to a setting, and a ...

Phillips, Michael J

(1879-1926) US soldier and author, active contributor of fiction to magazines from 1903 to around 1926; in his Future War tale, In Our Country's Service (1909), the war of 1938 between an augmented America – Canada having been "annexed" in 1928 – and a powerful Japan (see Yellow Peril) ends in the latter's swift defeat, due to the protagonist's feats of espionage. In "The Unborn Element" (23 June 1926 Adventure), a death Ray helps turn the tables in another war. [JC]


Major US weekly magazine which ran from 10 May 1924 to July 1950. It was founded by Robert McCormick of the Chicago Tribune who wanted a magazine along the lines of Collier's Weekly and the Saturday Evening Post. Liberty never reached the heights of those magazines, but it was still regarded as a prestigious market. The initial editor, John Neville Wheeler, built up the circulation primarily for women readers and it carried little that could be classified as sf or fantasy, though he did poach ...

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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