Nicholls on a 2014 Worldcon panel discussing The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
|Born||Peter Douglas Nicholls|
8 March 1939
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Died||6 March 2018 78) (aged|
|Occupation||Literary scholar, critic, writer|
Peter Douglas Nicholls (8 March 1939 – 6 March 2018)was an Australian literary scholar and critic. He was the creator and a co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction with John Clute.
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.
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 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."
Born in Melbourne, Victoria, he spent two decades from 1968 to 1988 as an expatriate, first in the US, and then the UK.
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".
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.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. He was editor of its journal, Foundation: The Review of Science Fiction , from 1974 to 1978.
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 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".
In 1979, Nicholls edited The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (published in the US as The Science Fiction Encyclopedia), with John Clute as associate editor. [ 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.
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.A further updating of the work, with revisions and corrections, was later issued in CD-ROM format. The third edition, with Clute and David Langford, was released online as a beta text in October 2011.
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.
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).
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).He broadcast film and book reviews on BBC Radio from 1974 and worked as a publisher's editor 1982–1983.
Nicholls was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2000, which gradually curtailed his activities.A film on his interest and work in science fiction, titled The What-If Man, was completed in 2004.
Nicholls was the father of five children. His daughter is author and editor Sophie Cunningham.He lived in Melbourne with his wife, Clare Coney, where he died on 6 March 2018 at the age of 78.
Galaxy Science Fiction was an American digest-size science fiction magazine, published from 1950 to 1980. It was founded by a French-Italian company, World Editions, which was looking to break into the American market. World Editions hired as editor H. L. Gold, who rapidly made Galaxy the leading science fiction (sf) magazine of its time, focusing on stories about social issues rather than technology.
If was an American science-fiction magazine launched in March 1952 by Quinn Publications, owned by James L. Quinn.
Keith John Kingston Roberts was an English science fiction author. He began publishing with two stories in the September 1964 issue of Science Fantasy magazine, "Anita" and "Escapism".
Unknown was an American pulp fantasy fiction magazine, published from 1939 to 1943 by Street & Smith, and edited by John W. Campbell. Unknown was a companion to Street & Smith's science fiction pulp, Astounding Science Fiction, which was also edited by Campbell at the time; many authors and illustrators contributed to both magazines. The leading fantasy magazine in the 1930s was Weird Tales, which focused on shock and horror. Campbell wanted to publish a fantasy magazine with more finesse and humor than Weird Tales, and put his plans into action when Eric Frank Russell sent him the manuscript of his novel Sinister Barrier, about aliens who own the human race. Unknown's first issue appeared in March 1939; in addition to Sinister Barrier, it included H. L. Gold's "Trouble With Water", a humorous fantasy about a New Yorker who meets a water gnome. Gold's story was the first of many in Unknown to combine commonplace reality with the fantastic.
David Pringle is a Scottish science fiction editor.
The Encyclopedia of Fantasy is a 1997 reference work concerning fantasy fiction, edited by John Clute and John Grant. Other contributors include Mike Ashley, Neil Gaiman, Diana Wynne Jones, David Langford, Sam J. Lundwall, Michael Scott Rohan, Brian Stableford and Lisa Tuttle.
Edward Frederick James is a British scholar of medieval history and science fiction. He is Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at University College, Dublin.
Science-Fiction Handbook, subtitled The Writing of Imaginative Fiction, is a guide to writing and marketing science fiction and fantasy by L. Sprague de Camp, "one of the earliest books about modern sf." The original edition was published in hardcover by Hermitage House in 1953 as a volume in its Professional Writers Library series. A revised edition, by L. Sprague de Camp and Catherine Crook de Camp, titled Science Fiction Handbook, Revised, was published in hardcover by Owlswick Press in 1975 and as a trade paperback by McGraw-Hill in 1977. An E-book version of the revised edition was published by Gollancz's SF Gateway imprint on April 30, 2014.
Everett Franklin Bleiler was an American editor, bibliographer, and scholar of science fiction, detective fiction, and fantasy literature. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, he co-edited the first "year's best" series of science fiction anthologies, and his Checklist of Fantastic Literature has been called "the foundation of modern SF bibliography". Among his other scholarly works are two Hugo Award–nominated volumes concerning early science fiction—Science-Fiction: The Early Years and Science-Fiction: The Gernsback Years—and the massive Guide to Supernatural Fiction.
Richard Neil Barron was a science fiction bibliographer and scholar. His training was as a librarian. He is perhaps best known for his book Anatomy of Wonder: A Critical Guide to Science Fiction. He won the Pilgrim Award for Lifetime Achievement in the field of science fiction scholarship in 1982. He died on September 5, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Beyond Fantasy Fiction was a US fantasy fiction magazine edited by H. L. Gold, with only ten issues published from 1953 to 1955. The last two issues carried the cover title of Beyond Fiction, but the publication's name for copyright purposes remained as before.
The 54th World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), also known as L.A.con III, was held August 29 through September 2, 1996, at the Hilton Anaheim, Anaheim Marriott, and the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, United States. The convention was chaired by Mike Glyer. Total attendance was reported as 6,703 members.
John Grant is a Scottish writer and editor of science fiction, fantasy, and non-fiction.
Australia, unlike Europe, does not have a long history in the genre of science fiction. Nevil Shute's On the Beach, published in 1957, and filmed in 1959, was perhaps the first notable international success. Though not born in Australia, Shute spent his latter years there, and the book was set in Australia. It might have been worse had the imports of American pulp magazines not been restricted during WWII, forcing local writers into the field. Various compilation magazines began appearing in the 1960s and the field has continued to expand into some significance. Today Australia has a thriving SF/Fantasy genre with names recognised around the world. In 2013 a trilogy by Sydney-born Ben Peek was sold at auction to a UK publisher for a six-figure deal.
Fantastic Novels was an American science fiction and fantasy pulp magazine published by the Munsey Company of New York from 1940 to 1941, and again by Popular Publications, also of New York, from 1948 to 1951. It was a companion to Famous Fantastic Mysteries. Like that magazine, it mostly reprinted science fiction and fantasy classics from earlier decades, such as novels by A. Merritt, George Allan England, and Victor Rousseau, though it occasionally published reprints of more recent work, such as Earth's Last Citadel, by Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore.
Fantasy Book is a defunct semi-professional American science fiction magazine that published eight issues between 1947 and 1951. The editor was William Crawford, and the publisher was Crawford's Fantasy Publishing Company, Inc. Crawford had problems distributing the magazine, and his budget limited the quality of the paper he could afford and the artwork he was able to buy, but he attracted submissions from some well-known writers, including Isaac Asimov, Frederik Pohl, A. E. van Vogt, Robert Bloch, and L. Ron Hubbard. The best-known story to appear in the magazine was Cordwainer Smith's first sale, "Scanners Live in Vain", which was later included in the first Science Fiction Hall of Fame anthology, and is now regarded as one of Smith's finest works. Jack Gaughan, later an award-winning science fiction artist, made his first professional sale to Fantasy Book, for the cover illustrating Smith's story.
"The Pi Man" is a science fiction short story by American writer Alfred Bester. It was first published in Fantasy and Science Fiction, in 1959. Bester subsequently revised it extensively for his 1976 collection Star Light, Star Bright, changing the characters' names, "develop(ing) minor scenes", modifying the typographical "word pictures", and deleting several "stale references to beatnik culture".