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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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Rhine, J B

(1895-1980) US botanist and early promoter – from a position at Duke University – of the nascent science or Pseudoscience of parapsychology, most famously through a series of tests designed to demonstrate the measurable existence, in terms of "abnormal" Psychology, of various forms of extrasensory perception (see ESP; Perception; Psi Powers; Telekinesis; Telepathy). His findings, later disputed for methodological flaws by numerous critics including Martin Gardner and John T Sladek, ...

Longevity in Writers

Though it did not yet seem remarkable in 1979, when the first edition of this encyclopedia was released at a time many founding authors of Genre SF were still in mid career, a few decades later, when the second edition appeared in 1993, it seemed appropriate to include an entry on the extreme longevity of some sf and fantasy writers and publications (for magazines and their editors see Longevity in Publications). Three decades later, the phenomenon of longevity has become all the more ...

McDonald, Ian

(1960-    ) UK author, a resident of Northern Ireland, who began publishing sf with "The Islands of the Dead" for Extro in April/May 1982; this, with other short work, was assembled as Empire Dreams (coll 1988); later stories were assembled as Speaking in Tongues (coll 1992); he is not a prolific story writer, though "The Djinn's Wife" (July 2006 Asimov's) won a Hugo award in 2007. He very quickly demonstrated a fascination with garish sf impedimenta and a habit of rococo ...

Williams-Ellis, Amabel

Nickname and working name of Mary Annabel Nassau Williams-Ellis (1894-1984), UK editor and author born Mary Annabel Strachey and under that surname an early member of the Bloomsbury Group to which her cousin Lytton Strachey (1880-1932) also belonged. After her marriage in 1915 to Clough Williams-Ellis (1883-1978) she used his surname, collaborating with him on some nonfiction works, most interestingly on Ecological threats to the environment; and participating with him in the creation and ...

Frost, Thomas

(1821-1908) UK author of radical leanings – he was particularly active in the 1840s as a Chartist and as a writer who came close to espousing revolutionary actions – perhaps best known for his first volume of autobiography, Forty Years' Recollections, Literary and Political (1880). The North Pole, and Charlie Wilson's Adventures in Search of It (dated 1876 but 1875) as "By The Author of 'The Realm of the Ice King'" is a Fantastic Voyage tale whose young protagonist, maturing fast on ...

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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