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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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Malec, Alexander

(1929-2014) US author, variously employed, who began publishing sf with "Project Inhumane" for The Colorado Quarterly in Spring 1964. Extrapolasis (coll 1967) assembles much of his sometimes awkward but frequently sharply pointed work, which was restricted to short stories, only one of which – "10.01 A. M." (March 1966 Analog), a Near Future tale about Crime and Punishment – ever appeared in a Genre SF magazine. [JC]

Kearney, Susan

(1955-    ) US author, usually of paranormal romances like the Pendragon Legacy [for titles see Checklist], though some of her work – especially the loose unnamed series comprising The Challenge (2005), The Dare (2005) and The Ultimatum (2006) – is amply tinged with sf. In the first of these, a secret agent finds love in the future through Time Travel; in the second, an AI in love subjects herself to Identity Transfer into the body of a teenager so her affair can ...

Bunce, Oliver Bell

(1826-1890) US playwright, publisher and author of The Story of Happinolande and Other Legends (coll 1889), the title story describing an egalitarian but exceedingly well-financed Utopia; something like universal income is provided to all residents. Another story here assembled, "The City Beautiful", contrasts the filth of New York – where Bunce was born and died – with a utopian city described in terms consistent with the garden suburb. [JC]

Elliott, John

(1759-1834) UK author, imputed author (though he seems young for the task) of The Travels of Hildebrand Bowman ... (1778) as by Hildebrand Bowman, a Fantastic Voyage into various remote parts of the South Pacific, including Islands and Utopias, some in nether New Zealand; see Checklist for full title, which is thorough. It has been suggested in the magazine of the Captain Cook Society [see links below] that the true author may be either Robert Boyne Home (1713-1786) or his son Robert Home ...

Back to the Future

Film (1985). Amblin Entertainment/Universal. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, Steven Spielberg among the executive producers. Written by Zemeckis, Bob Gale. Cast includes Michael J Fox, Crispin Glover, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson and Thomas F Wilson. 116 minutes. Colour. / One of the major sf hits of the 1980s, Back to the Future is a disarming, calculated and intelligent comedy about Time Travel. Teenage guitar-playing Marty (Fox), son of a tacky and ineffectual mother and father (Thompson ...

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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