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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 18 September 2023
Sponsor of the day: Andy Richards of Cold Tonnage Books

Atomic Platters

The name – coined by Bill Geerhart at the Conelrad website [see links below] – for a short-lived sub-genre of 1940s and 1950s pop music concerned with an atomic World War Three and its aftermath (see Holocaust). Many, though not all, of the artists and songs that might be so classified fell into later obscurity, but this was in its day a fairly lively aural manifestation of the fascinations of ...

Woodroffe, Patrick

(1940-2014) British artist. His academic background was in modern languages, not art, and he taught French and German for several years until the popularity of his paintings allowed him to focus exclusively on his art. His early sf book covers stood out for a number of reasons: an appealingly childlike aura, unusual creativity, meticulous attention to detail, and bright, surprising colours. It is difficult to single out particular examples, but his cover for the 1973 paperback edition of Robert ...

Oldfield, Mike

(1953-    ) English composer and performer, whose multi-layered, multi-instrumental and usually vocal-free work has enjoyed considerable commercial success. His first and perhaps most influential release, Tubular Bells (1973) was a fluently inventive, varied and musically charming piece, not least in its cod-caveman interlude "Piltdown Man". Of his many dozen subsequent releases, Oldfield's most straightforwardly science-fictional album is ...


Cosmology is the study of the Universe as a whole, its nature and its origins. It is a speculative science (there being little opportunity for experiment) and in discussing past writings on the subject it is occasionally difficult to distinguish essays and fictions. Johannes Kepler's Somnium (1634) is basically an essay inspired by the heliocentric theory of the Universe, opposing the Aristotelian system then favoured by the Church (see ...


US Comic-book series by writer Warren Ellis and artist John Cassaday, published by Wildstorm Comics (which later became an imprint of DC Comics). The series ran for 27 issues and was published sporadically from April 1999 to October 2009. Three additional issues outside the main series, one of which crossed over with Batman, were also published in 2000, 2002 and 2003; two of these were drawn by other artists. / ...

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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