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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 3 October 2022
Sponsor of the day: Joe Haldeman

Lavers, Norman

(1935-    ) US ornithologist, academic and author whose sf novel, The Northwest Passage (1984), engages in an experiment (see Postmodernism) familiar to readers of the modern novel: the book comprises a "text", complete with a scholarly apparatus which is itself, of course, part of the "text". In this case, a far-future editorial apparatus surrounds (see Ruins and Futurity) the late-twentieth-century scholarly edition of an eighteenth-century manuscript journal recording the ...

Davidson, Michael

Pseudonym of Michael Zeik (?   -    ), US author of two sf novels: The Karma Machine (1975), a dystopian vision of a Computer-dominated world; and Daughter of Is: A Science Fiction Epic: An "Else-when" Parable (1978), an Alternate-History tale. Davidson should not be confused with the poet Michael Davidson (1944-    ). [JC]

Sleeper

Film (1973). Rollins-Joffe Productions/United Artists. Directed by Woody Allen. Written by Allen, Marshall Brickman. Cast includes Allen, John Beck, Mary Gregory, Diane Keaton and Don Keefer. 88 minutes. Colour. / The plot device of having a man from the present suddenly finding himself in the future (this time through Cryonics) is nearly always used to comment on contemporary society rather than to speculate about the future (see Sleeper Awakes). This, one of Allen's best slapstick ...

Siegel, Martin

(1938-1972) US author who died young of leukaemia. His sf novels are Agent of Entropy (1969) and The Unreal People (1973). The first combines Satire and Space Opera in a heated tale; the second is a post-holocaust Pocket-Universe tale in which Earth's surface is uninhabitable and people live frenetically and desperately Underground. [JC]

Decadence

Although the concept of "decadence", meaning the state of decay to which an institution has fallen after a long period of prosperity, can be dated to the early 1500s, the more modern sense, of an entire culture succumbing to an enervating lack of vitality (or an indulgence in sloth or sensual pleasures), began to emerge only in the nineteenth century. The belief that cultures eventually fall into a debilitating (and usually irreversible) sickness owes much to The History of the Decline and Fall ...

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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