Peter Nicholls (writer)

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Peter Nicholls
Peter Nicholls on a panel discussing The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction at Loncon, Worldcon 2014
Peter Nicholls on a panel discussing The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction at Loncon, Worldcon 2014
Born Peter Douglas Nicholls
(1939-03-08)8 March 1939
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Died 6 March 2018(2018-03-06) (aged 78)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Occupation Literary scholar, critic, writer
Language English
Genre Non-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]

Early career[edit]

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

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 1974–1978.[3]

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction[edit]

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]

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

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]

Other work[edit]

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[edit]

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]

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]