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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 23 May 2022
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Panspermia is the speculative notion that life may spread around the universe via drifting seeds or spores that provide a starting-point for Evolution on planets. The concept is ancient, dating back to Anaxagoras (circa 500 BCE-428 BCE), but was revived by such scientists as Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894) and Svante Arrhenius (1859-1927), winner of the 1903 Nobel Prize for chemistry. Panspermia has been seriously elaborated upon by Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe ...

Williams, F P

(1848-1930) US author of Hallie Marshall: A True Daughter of the South (1900), an Alternate History in which the South has won the American Civil War after its victory at Gettysburg; as witnessed by a visitor from our world, the "Southland", which retains slavery, continues to flourish in 1900. Blacks, here normally called darkies, are more than content (see Race in SF). The visitor falls in love with Hallie Marshall, but is wrested back to cruel New England. [JC]

Boswell, James

(1906-1971) New Zealand-born painter and illustrator, in the UK from 1925, who sometimes signed his work Bos or Buchan; he was a member of the London Group of painters intermittently from 1927, where his passionate socialism had an ongoing impact on his contemporaries. His work shows the influence of German graphic artists like Georg Grosz and the British James Fitton (1899-1982); in turn, he influenced younger artists like Ronald Searle and Paul Hogarth. A suite of eight vividly premonitory ...

Latin America

The Latin America entry in the 1993 edition of this encyclopedia was divided into sections on individual countries – now replaced by more specific international entries for each country or region within or linked to Latin America and Iberia, as well as detailed entries for selected authors. Relevant international entries are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Catalan SF, Central America (covering Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama), Chile, Colombia, Cuba, the ...

Nakamura Tōru

(1960-    ) Japanese translator and editor, a graduate in Law from Chūō University, who drifted into sf Fandom while studying and during his subsequent employment at a printing firm. His first credited translation was The World Wreckers (1971; trans 1987) by Marion Zimmer Bradley, followed by novels from, among others, Stephen Baxter, Terry Bisson, Robert E Howard and Michael Moorcock. In 2005, a year which saw no less than three movie adaptations of H G Wells's ...

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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