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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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Early item of Terminology coined by Hugo Gernsback as a contraction of "scientific fiction" and thus defined by him in the first issue of Amazing Stories in April 1926 (see Definitions of SF). Gernsback dated his original coinage of the word to 1915, most probably referring to its appearance (in italics) in the opening paragraph of "Thought Transmission on Mars" (January 1916 Electrical Experimenter), the eighth episode of his Baron Muenchhausen's Scientific Adventures sequence. In 1924 he had ...

Sutton, Jeff

(1913-1979) US author, married to Jean Sutton, who began publishing sf with "The Third Empire" for Spaceway in February 1955; whose background – he had been a journalist, served time in the Marines and done research in high-altitude survival – was reflected in several of his novels, from First on the Moon (1958), his debut, to Spacehive (1960) and Whisper from the Stars (1970). Sutton alone wrote with a somewhat dilute clarity, his tales occasionally rising above the routine when he ...

Almedingen, E M

Working name of Russian-born author Martha Edith von Almedingen (1898-1971), who emigrated to the UK in 1923. Of her children's fictions, which made up about half her total works, several are of fantasy interest. Her only title of clear sf import is Stand Fast, Beloved City (1954), about a Dystopian tyranny. [JC]

Holmes, Oliver Wendell

(1809-1894) US poet, essayist, editor, medical doctor and author, of sf interest in the latter capacity for Elsie Venner: A Romance of Destiny (January 1860-April 1861 The Atlantic Monthly as "The Professor's Story"; 1861 2vols), in which the classic fantasy and supernatural topos of the Lamia is reconstructed in terms of Biology: the eponymous young female, having been "poisoned" in the womb with rattlesnake venom (see Poison), grows up half-ophidian: her blood is cold; her bite venomous; she ...

Stein, Herbert

(1916-1999) US economist and author, whose conservative-liberal views on markets and governments seem far more centrist than they did in the twentieth century; he is known for an aphorism, "If something cannot go on forever, it will stop," which became something of a mantra for those opposed to governmental "interference" with neoliberal aspirations. He wrote one Near Future sf novel, On the Brink (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1977) with Benjamin Stein, whom see for details. [JC]

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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