Since the nineteenth century, one of the most consistently popular genres of literature has been science fiction. Its various themes of space travel, alien invasion, creation of artificial life, founding of perfect societies or societies that are hell on earth, or how technologies may come to rule over a complacent and spoiled human race (of course, this list does not exhaust the themes), have been the stuff of novels, short stories, movies, radio and television shows, and comic books. No doubt, as new, unforeseen media are developed, science fiction themes will be used in those as well. So, beyond the entertainment factor, what's going on with these things ? Why has science fiction played, and will continue to play, such an important role in our popular culture? We hope this guide will point you to resources to help you answer this question.
Online Reference Collections
The Gumberg Library provides access to three suites of electronic reference works geared to literature, including science fiction.
Both of these collections can be accessed off-campus, but you will have to enter your Multipass username and password word in order to use them.
This database provides information on thousands of authors and literary works. It includes biographies, reviews and news, literary criticism, and topic and work overviews.
Along with the full text of of 350,000 English and American works of literature, this database provides articles from 200 full-text literary journals and other key critical and reference resources.
For literature scholars who need an exhaustive set of scholarly resources around a literary topic for research and course planning. 500,000 primary works and millions of records from journals, monographs, and dissertations.
To visit the SFE, please click the logo above
This is a free online presentation of the third edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. It aims to provide a comprehensive, scholarly, and critical guide to science fiction in all its forms.
For more about the Encyclopedia, please follow these links:
Print Reference Works
If at any time you need help with using Gumberg Library resources, please contact Ted Bergfelt, Humanities Librarian, via email or by phone at 412-426-5430, 8:30 am-4:30 pm ET, Monday-Friday. If he is not available, Ask Gumberg
This research guide was created by Maria Sosso, English Department Intern, and Ted Bergfelt, MLS, Humanities Librarian, in April 2021