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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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Watson, John B

(1878-1958) US psychologist and author, the principal figure in the creation and advancement of the school of behaviourism that dominated modern American Psychology for many decades (its influence was greatest in the US). He is of little direct sf interest, though indirectly his theory and practice can be seen to tacitly underlie much Genre SF, in tales where it is assumed that any child can gain competence, and even Superpowers, through the benefits of proper education (see Children in SF; ...


A convenient shorthand term employed and promoted by John Clute since 2007 to describe the armamentarium of the fantastic in literature as a whole, encompassing science fiction, Fantasy, fantastic horror and their various subgenres (see also Gothic SF; Horror in SF; SF Megatext), but not Proto SF. It is a concept normally restricted to narratives. More generally understood, the term has long been used in Czech, other Eastern European and Russian discussions of genre; it is the title of ...

Lydston, G Frank

(1858-1923) US medical doctor specializing in urology; his experiments in sex gland transplants precede those more famous Serge Voronoff; more remarkably, he performed his first transplantation on himself. A prolific author of nonfiction in his speciality, his occasional fiction includes Over the Hookah: The Tales of a Talkative Doctor (coll of linked stories 1896), in which a series of medical anecdotes, several of them sf, are told within a Club Story venue. [JC]

Skinner, Michael

(1953-    ) US journalist, editor and author, mostly of nonfiction books about the American military during the 1980s. Of sf interest is the Near Future Technothriller First Air: A Novel of Air Combat in the Persian Gulf (1991), set after Iran has nuked Baghdad, trapping American forces who can only be rescued by a maverick private corporation whose advanced planes are operated by madcap fighter pilots. [JC]

Fitzpatrick, Ernest Hugh

(1863-1933) US doctor, poet and author, whose first novel with sf content, The Marshal Duke of Denver; Or, the Labor Revolution of 1920 (1895) as by Hugo Barnaby, uninterestingly inveighs against the rise of unions; and whose second, The Coming Conflict of Nations; Or, the Japanese-American War (1909), is a Future War tale in which Japan – incensed at American treatment of Japanese immigrants – invades America, but is defeated. [JC]

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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