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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 (aged 78)|
|Occupation||Literary scholar, critic, writer|
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.
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.
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.