Peter Nicholls (writer)

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Peter Nicholls
Peter Nicholls.jpg
Nicholls on a 2014 Worldcon panel discussing The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
BornPeter Douglas Nicholls
(1939-03-08)8 March 1939
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Died6 March 2018(2018-03-06) (aged 78)
Melbourne, Victoria
OccupationLiterary scholar, critic, writer
LanguageEnglish
Genre Science fiction

Peter Douglas Nicholls (8 March 1939 – 6 March 2018) [1] was an Australian literary scholar and critic. He was the creator and a co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction with John Clute. [2]

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

<i>The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction</i> reference work

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction is an English language reference work on science fiction, first published in 1979. In October 2011, the third edition was made available for free online.

John Clute Canadian literary critic

John Frederick Clute is a Canadian-born author and critic specializing in science fiction and fantasy literature who has lived in both England and the United States since 1969. He has been described as "an integral part of science fiction's history" and "perhaps the foremost reader-critic of sf in our time, and one of the best the genre has ever known."

Contents

Early career

Born in Melbourne, Victoria, he spent two decades from 1968 to 1988 as an expatriate, first in the US, and then the UK. [3]

Melbourne City in Victoria, Australia

Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 9,992.5 km2 (3,858.1 sq mi), comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, and is also the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. It has a population of approximately 4.9 million, and its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians".

Expatriate Individual temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of their citizenship

An expatriate is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than their native country. In common usage, the term often refers to professionals, skilled workers, or artists taking positions outside their home country, either independently or sent abroad by their employers, who can be companies, universities, governments, or non-governmental organisations. Effectively migrant workers, they usually earn more than they would at home, and more than local employees. However, the term 'expatriate' is also used for retirees and others who have chosen to live outside their native country. Historically, it has also referred to exiles.

Nicholls' early career was as a literary academic, originally with the University of Melbourne. He first travelled to the US in 1968 on a Harkness Fellowship in film making, and has scripted television documentaries. [2] His significant contributions to science fiction scholarship and criticism began in 1971, when he became the first Administrator of the Science Fiction Foundation (UK), a position he held until 1977. [3] He was editor of its journal, Foundation: The Review of Science Fiction , from 1974 to 1978. [3]

University of Melbourne Australian public university located in Melbourne, Victoria

The University of Melbourne is a public research university located in Melbourne, Australia. Founded in 1853, it is Australia's second oldest university and the oldest in Victoria. Melbourne's main campus is located in Parkville, an inner suburb north of the Melbourne central business district, with several other campuses located across Victoria.

The Harkness Fellowships are a programme run by the Commonwealth Fund of New York City. They were established to reciprocate the Rhodes Scholarships and enable Fellows from several countries to spend time studying in the United States. The many notable alumni listed below include the president of the International Court of Justice; former Chairman and CEO of Salomon Brothers; a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge; the controller of BBC Radio 4; the editor of the Sunday Times; former directors of the Medical Research Council, the London School of Economics and the General Medical Council; and, a vice-president of Microsoft.

Science fiction genre of fiction

Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction, typically dealing with imaginative concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, and extraterrestrial life. Science fiction often explores the potential consequences of scientific and other innovations, and has been called a "literature of ideas".

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

In 1979, Nicholls edited The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (published in the US as The Science Fiction Encyclopedia), with John Clute as associate editor. [4] [ clarification needed ]

Most of its 730,000 words were written by Nicholls, Clute and two contributing editors.[ citation needed ] It won the 1980 Hugo Award in the Nonfiction Book category. [5]

Hugo Award set of awards given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year

The Hugo Awards are a set of literary awards given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The awards are named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and were officially named the Science Fiction Achievement Awards until 1992. Organized and overseen by the World Science Fiction Society, the awards are given each year at the annual World Science Fiction Convention as the central focus of the event. They were first given in 1953, at the 11th World Science Fiction Convention, and have been awarded every year since 1955. Over the years that the award has been given, the categories presented have changed; currently Hugo Awards are given in more than a dozen categories, and include both written and dramatic works of various types.

A completely revised, updated, and greatly expanded version of the Encyclopedia, co-edited with Clute, was published in 1993, and won the 1994 Hugo in the same category. [3] A further updating of the work, with revisions and corrections, was later issued in CD-ROM format. [3] The third edition, with Clute and David Langford, was released online as a beta text in October 2011. [3]

David Langford British writer

David Rowland Langford is a British author, editor and critic, largely active within the science fiction field. He publishes the science fiction fanzine and newsletter Ansible.

Other work

Nicholls' other major publications include: Science Fiction at Large (1976; reprinted 1978 under the title Explorations of the Marvellous), a collection of essays edited by Nicholls from a 1975 symposium; The Science in Science Fiction (1983) edited by Nicholls and written by him with David Langford and Brian Stableford; and Fantastic Cinema (1984; published in the US as The World of Fantastic Films). [3]

He won several awards for his scholarship, including the Science Fiction Research Association's Pilgrim Award (1980), an Eaton Award (1995) and a Peter McNamara Award (2006). [3] He broadcast film and book reviews on BBC Radio from 1974 and worked as a publisher's editor 1982–1983. [2]

Nicholls was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2000, which gradually curtailed his activities. [2] A film on his interest and work in science fiction, titled The What-If Man, was completed in 2004. [6]

Personal life

Nicholls was the father of five children. His daughter is author and editor Sophie Cunningham. [7] He lived in Melbourne with his wife, Clare Coney, where he died on 6 March 2018 at the age of 78. [3]

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References

  1. Clément Solym. "Mort de Peter Nicholls, éditeur de l'Encyclopédie de la science-fiction". 6 March 2018. Retrieved 2018-03-06.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Clute, John; Nicholls, Peter. "Nicholls, Peter". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Peter Nicholls (1939–2018)". Locus . Retrieved 2018-03-07.
  4. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction edited by Peter Nichols and John Clute, National Library of Australia website. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
  5. "1980 Hugo Awards". World Science Fiction Society. Archived from the original on 7 May 2011. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
  6. The What If Man (2004). Ronin Films (roninfilms.com).
  7. "Alien Star". Highbeam Business. 1 March 2003. Retrieved 2018-03-07.