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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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Videogame series (from 1998). Volition. / Descent: Freespace – The Great War (1998 Volition, Win, 2001 Amiga, vt Conflict: Freespace – The Great War in Europe) is a combat-based Space Sim in which the player pilots a single-seat starfighter, a descendant of Star Wars: X-Wing (1993) and Wing Commander (1990). Conflict: Freespace was released almost twenty years after the first such game, Star Raiders (1979), and the gameplay is an extremely refined version of the essential mix of ...

Read, Diann Thornley

(1957-    ) US soldier and author whose Saga of the Unified Worlds sequence, beginning with Ganworld's Child (1991) as Diann Thornley, is a galaxy-spanning Space Opera focusing on the trials and exploits of Tristan Sergey, a seeming orphan who has a vital role in a Lebensraum war between humans and Aliens. After he and his parents are reunited, the saga continues, with Military SF tropes beginning to dominate. The sequence was republished under Read's full name, and retitled ...

Cheney, Frank J

(1851-1919) US businessman and author whose first book, A Life of Unity and Other Stories (coll 1901), contains some fantasies. He is of sf interest for Ten Thousand Years Hence or 19002 of the Christian Era (1909), whose contemporary protagonist, the richest man in the world, finds himself transported (perhaps by Time Machine) to an Island ten millennia hence. Its inhabitants of the Utopia are superior versions of Homo sapiens who adhere to an advanced form of socialism. The capitalist returns ...

Blodgett, Mabel Fuller

(1869-1959) US author, mostly of children's books, of sf interest for her Lost Race novel, At the Queen's Mercy (1897), a tale set in Africa and visibly reflecting the influence of H Rider Haggard in its depiction of a mysterious walled city – Phoenician in origin – ruled by a white queen named La who reigns over Black subjects. Blodgett also wrote society novels, and some children's fantasy [see Checklist]. [JC]

Peacock, Thomas Love

(1785-1866) UK businessman, poet and author, with the East India Company 1819-1856, active initially as a poet from before 1805; his first full-length fiction, Headlong Hall (dated 1816 but 1815), is a discussion novel or symposium, set in the Welsh country estate of Squire Harry Headlong ab-Rhaiader, the Gothic description of which is fantastically exaggerated; the tale features a series of monomaniacal talking heads, whose individual maggots govern their names and natures and their every ...

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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