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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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DeMaitre, Edmund

(1906-1991) Hungarian newspaper reporter and author born Ödön Demeter, who covered World War Two for various papers, and who settled permanently in the US after the war; his sf Satire, The Liberation of Manhattan (1949) with Mark J Appleman, comically depicts the invasion of New York by its Soviet liberators. [JC]

Meluch, R M

(1956-    ) US author whose first novel, Sovereign (1979), shows a competent grasp of the conventions and venues of sf adventure while at the same time refracting traditional material through an unusually complex protagonist, who is the precarious culmination of a Genetic Engineering programme haunted by the continuing image of his first enemy: his own father. There are, perhaps, too many additional enemies for plausibility – as the protagonist defeats them all, ...


In sf Terminology, a ship capable of travel between the stars – one of the many sf neologisms which have passed into the language. Various aspects of such ships are discussed under Faster Than Light; Generation Starships; Spaceships; Suspended Animation; World Ships. [PN]

Genetic Engineering

In his remarkable prophetic essay Daedalus, or Science and the Future (1924) J B S Haldane looked forward optimistically to a day when biologists have "invented" a new species of alga to solve the world's food problem, and in which "ectogenetic" children born from artificial wombs can be strategically modified by Eugenic selection. Nothing was known in 1924 about the biochemistry of genetics, so Haldane spoke mainly in terms of "selective breeding", but he nevertheless anticipated not merely ...

MacLeod, Sheila

(1939-    ) Scottish author, married 1963-1976 to actor and pop singer Paul Jones (see Privilege), an experience reflected in her first novel, The Moving Accident (1968), which is nonfantastic. Her second, The Snow-White Soliloquies (1970), is a Fabulation with surprisingly firm sf underpinning, describing in technological terms the Suspended Animation of its eponymous heroine as the search for a Prince continues in a grey world. Xanthe and the Robots (1977), set in an ...

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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