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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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Schaffer, Gene

(1941-    ) US author in whose sf novel, Countdown to Doomsday (1982), Aliens direct a remote-control satellite to Earth, where it emits a Ray that makes all women infertile; the purpose is eventually to clear the planet of humans. [JC]

Carlock, Michaela

(?   -    ) US author whose sf novel, Planet Dreams (1998) depicts two contrasting futures, a polluted, violent Dystopia and a pastoral Utopia connected solely when the protagonists engage in lucid dreaming. Both worlds are depicted with some realism, though an element of wish fulfilment is necessary to believe in the second. [JC]

Great and Small

One of the commonest fantastic devices in literature and legend is the alteration of scale. Mythology and folklore abound with giants and miniature humans, and different perspectives dependent upon changes of scale are central to many of the Satires recognized today as works of Proto SF, most notably Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels (1726; rev 1735) and Voltaire's Micromegas (in Le Micromégas de Mr. de Voltaire ..., coll 1752; trans anon 1753). Mark Twain's uncompleted works include ...

Creswick, Paul

(1866-1947) UK author, who began publishing work of some genre interest with "The Only Prince" for The Quarto in 1897, whose Robin Hood and His Adventures (1902; vt Robin Hood 1917) is one of the finest adaptations of the cycle, and whose The Beaten Path: A Fantasy (1924) is a capable ghost story. Of sf interest is The Turning Wheel (1928) for its combination of mystical themes with contemporary Disaster motifs: as the sea inundates most of Britain, the protagonists escape London and eventually ...

Morgan, Charles

(1894-1958) UK man of letters, playwright and author, in active service during World War One; some of his novels, like Sparkenboke (1936) and The Judge's Story (1947), verge solemnly upon the fantastic. Of sf interest is his last play, The Burning Glass (1953; performed 1954), set in the Near Future and describing a new Power-Source Invention whose inventor refuses to pass its formula on to the British government in fear of the consequences to the world. A writer of modest but fatally ...

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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