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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

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

Film (2001). Warner Brothers/Dreamworks/Amblin Entertainment. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Written by Steven Spielberg, based on a screen story by Ian Watson itself based on the story "Super-Toys Last All Summer Long" (December 1969 Harper's Bazaar) by Brian W Aldiss, with uncredited contributions from Stanley Kubrick. Cast includes Brendan Gleeson, William Hurt, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor, Haley Joel Osment, Sam Robards, Jake Thomas and Robin Williams (voice). 146 minutes. Colour. / In ...

Hall, Louisa

(1982-    ) US academic, poet and author who is of sf interest for her second novel, Speak (2015), a multi-voiced tale moderated and in part iterated by AIs, who have come to something like self-consciousness through a radical concept underlying their development: that consciousness is not generated by number-crunching but through the centripetal magnetism through time of storytelling. The figures depicted range from a young seventeenth century emigrant to America through a ...

Barr, James

(1862-1923) Canadian-born author, in the UK from 1883, of much short fiction of sf interest, in particular "The Last Englishman" (July 1906 Monthly Story Blue Book Magazine), a Yellow Peril tale in which a worldwide Chinese hegemony proves hollow, and "The World of the Vanishing Point" (March 1922 Strand), a striking adventure in a microscopic world of Monsters (see Great and Small). Also of note was a series for The Red Magazine during 1911 which looked into possible events of the Near Future, ...

Kirby, William S

(1964-    ) US author whose Iapetus (1993) is a noir Cyberpunk thriller set on the eponymous moon of Saturn (see Outer Planets), where Telepaths are running amok. [JC]

Stasis Field

A variation on the traditional sf Force Field which provides an advanced form of Suspended Animation, first introduced in Robert A Heinlein's Beyond This Horizon (April-May 1942 Astounding as by Anson MacDonald; 1948). Time does not pass within such a field and its living contents will emerge, when the field ceases to operate, without any perception of duration. In the comic Utopia of Robert Sheckley's "A Ticket to Tranai" (October 1955 Galaxy), wives are placed in stasis when not required ...

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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