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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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Hawthorne, Nathaniel

(1804-1864) US author, father of Julian Hawthorne, whose work in the literatures of the fantastic – a surprisingly high proportion of his oeuvre – concentrates supernatural fiction, much of this material being rationalized, however, in sf terms. One of the formative figures in US literature, Hawthorne was intrigued throughout his writing career by themes that would become common to sf. His extensive notebooks outline dozens of projected sf works – some of which he was able to ...

Wilson, Kelpie

(1956-    ) US engineer, environmental activist, journalist and author whose sf novel Primal Tears (2005) is an Apes as Human tale describing the birth and upbringing of a hybrid child, half Homo sapiens and half bonobo. A right-wing Christian fundamentalist sect threatens to destroy her (see Religion), but she escapes into the forests along the Pacific Rim, where she lives with protesters against the Ecological degradation of the planet. [JC]

Tani Kōshū

(1951-    ) Seiun Award-winning Japanese author in multiple genres, a graduate in civil engineering from the Osaka Institute of Technology, whose work, in retrospect, largely divides into a sprawling Military SF Future History and a set of Near-Future Technothrillers; not included here are several historical military novels, contemporary spy adventures and tales of mountaineering and mountaineers, just as lauded in their own fields but outside the scope of this encyclopedia. ...

Erskine, Douglas

Pseudonym of Scots-descended Canadian lawyer John Stuart Buchan (1852-1927). It has implausibly been suggested that Erskine was a pseudonym of John Buchan – perhaps because his son's full name was John Norman Stuart Buchan (1911-1996). Erskine's novel – A Bit of Atlantis (1900) – lacks any resemblance to Buchan's own work of the time; in this tale, a Scottish Canadian inventor, who descends from lost Atlanteans, is shipwrecked on a present-day Island, the site of Atlantis ...

Continuous Creation

Now relegated to Imaginary Science, this was an essential axiom of the Steady State Universe Cosmology which was proposed in 1948 by Hermann Bondi, Thomas Gold and Fred Hoyle but increasingly superseded by the rival Big Bang theory (see George Gamow) since the late 1960s. The notion of an expanding yet essentially unchanging universe required the spontaneous creation of new atoms – hydrogen isotopes and other light elements – in tiny but cosmically significant quantities. E E Smith ...

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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