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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 27 November 2023
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Compton, D G

(1930-2023) UK author, born of parents who were both in the theatre; he increasingly lived in the USA after 1981. As Guy Compton, he published some unremarkable detective novels, beginning with Too Many Murderers (1962), and as by Frances Lynch produced some nonfantastic Gothics throughout his career; but soon turned to sf with tales almost always set in the Near Future, and anatomizing moral dilemmas within that arena: the future is very clearly ...

Bell, Madison Smartt

(1957-    ) US author, most of whose work has been nonfantastic. His second novel Waiting for the End of the World (1985) is, however, an exercise in intermittently postmodern Fantastika (see Postmodernism and SF); its protagonist, who speaks with the devil, plans to explode a nuclear weapon in New York, but instead of accomplishing this goal achieves a ...

Anderson, Michael

(1920-2018) UK-born film director, in Canada from 1981, whose career in Cinema began in 1936 as an office boy at the Elstree studios; his first great success, and perhaps his best known movie, was the World War Two adventure The Dam Busters (1955). Productions of genre interest include Vice Versa (1948), directed by Peter Ustinov (1921-2004) with Anderson as assistant director, which is based on the ...

Peterkiewicz, Jerzy

(1916-2007) Polish author active as a poet in his native land from 1934 until he was forced to escape in 1940, spending World War Two in the UK, where he settled, wrote in English, and was married to Christine Brooke-Rose 1948-1975. His first novel in English, The Knotted Cord (1953), a tale dense with folklore, was published as by Jerzy Pietrkiewicz, the original spelling of his surname. The Quick and the Dead (1961) is an ...

Williams, Scott B

(?   -    ) US author whose Near Future Pulse sequence beginning with The Pulse: A Novel of Surviving the Collapse of the Grid (2012) describes in Survivalist Fiction terms life in a post-Disaster America after solar flares have destroyed power grids everywhere; significant members of the cast eventually learn to survive on a Caribbean ...

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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