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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 21 January 2022
Sponsor of the day: Martin Dorfer

Parsec

The official SI unit of astronomical distance; the name is a contraction of "parallax-second". The measure was introduced by UK astronomer Herbert Hall Towner (1861-1930). As the Earth travels from one side of the Sun to the other in half a year, parallax makes the position of any comparatively nearby star apparently shift. Using simple trigonometry, from the observed angular displacement of the star's measured position and knowledge of the distance between Earth and Sun the distance of the ...

Pedler, Kit

Working name of UK author and scientist Christopher Magnus Howard Pedler (1927-1981). He was a medical doctor, practising from 1953 for about three years, after which he began the research into the experimental pathology of eye disease that resulted in a second doctorate; from his early years he was a passionate advocate for the proper conservation of the planet. In collaboration with Gerry Davis he created the menacing Cybermen for the Doctor Who storyline The Tenth Planet; these inimical ...

Ashen Stars

Role Playing Game (2011). Pelgrane Press. Designed by Robin D Laws. / Ashen Stars is a Space Opera game which – like Trail of Cthulhu (2008), an earlier work which makes use of the same core mechanics – focuses on the solution of mysteries. As in Trail of Cthulhu, player characters can fail at any task except those required to reveal a clue relevant to their current conundrum. Discovering the truth behind the peculiar events with which sessions of the game generally begin is ...

Clarke, I F

(1918-2009) UK Intelligence officer and code-cracker during World War Two, Professor of English (from 1964) at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, and author. His first major publication was the Bibliography The Tale of the Future: From the Beginning to the Present Day: A Check-list of those Satires, Ideal States, Imaginary Wars and Invasions, Political Warnings and Forecasts, Interplanetary Voyages and Scientific Romances All Located in an Imaginary Future Period – that have been ...

Incredibles, The

Animated film (2004). Disney/Pixar Animation Studios. Written and directed by Brad Bird. 120 minutes. Cast includes Maeve Andrews, Bird, Spencer Fox, Eli Fucile, Holly Hunter, Samuel L Jackson, Jason Lee, Craig T Nelson and Sarah Vowell. Colour. / Superhero Bob Parr (Nelson), known as Mr Incredible, is forced into early retirement – along with his colleagues – by lawsuits over the collateral damage of his crime-fighting heroics. Fifteen years later, Parr is disgruntled, ...

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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