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News item dated 6 March 2018

We announce with great regret the death on 6 March of Peter Nicholls (1939-2018), who conceived and edited the first edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1979), who co-edited the second edition in 1993, and who served as Editor Emeritus of this third edition (2011-current) until today. His withdrawal from active editing was due solely to a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease in 2000, after which he rarely left his native Australia; but he continued to speak to the rest of us, sometimes firmly, always with the deepest loyalty to the encyclopedia he had given birth to and nurtured.

For almost half a century I have known and loved Peter and his immediate family, and his sister Helen who died in 2014, but this is not the place to expand upon private loss. What can be said is that Peter, boisterously knowledgeable, dangerously brilliant, gemutlichly incapable of suffering fools, marked every aspect of the SFE over the four decades since Granada and Doubleday introduced that first triple-columned print edifice to a world of print. Though everything has changed in that world and in this book, in a sense nothing has: as he is with us in every page.

John Clute

Photographs: Peter Nicholls in 2004 (above) by Roger Robinson and in the 1970s (below) by Sam Long.

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