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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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Knott, William C

(1927-2008) US teacher and author, who also wrote as by Bill J Carol, Taylor Evans and Bryan Swift; most of his novels are either sports stories or nonfantastic Westerns, some of the latter dark in tone. Of sf interest is Journey Across the Third Planet (1969), a Young Adult tale of First Contact told from the viewpoint of a young humanoid Alien forced to abandon his Starship and land on Earth. After travails, and after meeting a young human who shares his adventures, he undertakes a Fantastic ...

Barton, Samuel

(1839-1895) US author who worked as a broker and also published under the pseudonym A B Roker. His sf novel, The Battle of the Swash and the Capture of Canada (1888), thought by Thomas D Clareson to be the first American Future War tale, was written to show the defencelessness of the US coasts (and incidentally the vulnerability of Canada) as the USA and UK come to blows, a conflict eventually won by the US through the invention of self-destructing torpedo boats. This author has been wrongly ...


Our cultural fascination with the great lizards of prehuman Earth has inevitably led to much sf in which – as never in history – humans encounter living dinosaurs. This may take place in Prehistoric SF set in an anachronistic deep past, as in In the Morning of Time (coll of linked stories 1919) by Charles G D Roberts. A modern enclave of surviving dinosaurs is somewhat less risible. This notion is best known from the novel that gave the Lost World subgenre its name, Arthur Conan ...

Charnas, Suzy McKee

(1939-    ) US author and former teacher, with an MA in that field. She began publishing sf with the Holdfast Chronicles, an emotionally intense and tightly argued series of novels examining Gender relations and some of the possible consequences of radical change set in a Ruined Earth; the sequence comprises Walk to the End of the World (1974), Motherlines (1978), both assembled as Walk to the End of the World and Motherlines (omni 1989; vt The Slave and the Free 1999), The ...

Zombies of the Stratosphere

Serial Film (1952; vt Satan's Satellites). Republic Pictures. Produced by Franklin Andreon. Directed by Fred C Brannon. Written by Ronald Davidson. Cast includes Lane Bradford, Judd Holdren, Leonard Nimoy, Aline Towne and Wilson Wood. 12 episodes. 167 minutes. Black and white. / Marex (Bradford) and Nareb (Nimoy), humanoid-appearing Aliens from Mars, arrive on Earth and make preparations to blow it out of orbit with a "super H-bomb," so that their chilly planet can be moved closer to the ...

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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