SF is what is marketed as SF.
-- Edward James, Science Fiction in the Twentieth
"It's all true!" Luciente shouted with amazement . . . "Sometimes I
suspect our history is infected with propaganda. Many of my generation .
. . suspect the Age of Greed and Waste to be . . . crudely overdrawn. But
to burn your compost! To pour your shit into the waters others
downstream must drink! That fish must live in! Into rivers whose
estuaries and marshes are links in the whole offshore food chain! Wait
till I tell Bee and Jackrabbit! Nobody's going to believe this."
-- Marge Piercy, Woman on the Edge of Time
Science fiction as a genre is often traced back to the pioneering work of
Mary Shelley in Frankenstein, the story of a person made
from reanimated body parts, a person who discovers that in the eyes of the
world he is a monster and decides to get revenge. The idea that science
might become a diabolical and anti-social force is the foundation for one
of science fiction's most basic assumptions: while many celebrate science
as the end of superstition and ignorance, science fiction warns us that
science, can also be used as a tool of oppression, violation, and
narrow-minded destructiveness. Indeed, as many critics of industrialism
explained, the products of scientific thought ultimately did more harm
than good. Technology did not free workers in the nineteenth and early
twentieth century, it merely mutilated and mutated them. HG Wells
allegorized the social/physical mutations inspired by industrialism in his
portrayal of the cannibalistic, technology-obsessed Morlocks in
Twentieth century science fiction in the United States owes much to the
gothic tradition of Frankenstein, which has returned to
dystopian subgenre of cyberpunk with its electronically generated
identities and bitter speculations about the consequences of human greed
coupled with scientific "progress." Other currents in science fiction are
more in keeping with Wells' vision, however, and speculative narratives
about life on other planets, as well as human life in other futures,
dominate the market in science fiction. A whole subgenre of "tech"
fiction has emerged in the wake of Isaac Asimov's famous anthology
Robot (1950), which offered a way of imagining
intelligence and consciousness. Utopian science fiction, heavily
influenced by feminism, ecology, and the television show Star
on during the 1960s and generated a slew of novels (like those by Marge
Piercy) about the birth of a better society made possible by the just use
of new technologies, and a notion of science counterbalanced by humanism,
spirituality, and democratic multiculturalism. What continues to unite
narratives in the science fiction tradition is an urgent desire to
reimagine human society, whether by revising its history, inventing
potential new technologies, civilizations, and life forms, or creating
H. Whipple's Guide to Feminist SciFi Resources in Print and on the
A no-nonsense approach to science fiction, with excellent extensive lists
of feminist scifi bibliographies, critical resources, and more.
- Feminist Science Fiction,
Fantasy, and Utopia
Most comprehensive site devoted to feminist scifi. Includes reading
lists, bibliographies, and authorinformation. Designed by Laura M.
Quilter, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
- Science Fiction
Frequently updated resource which is especially good for contemporary
scifi and fan-related information. If you're interested in fandom, this
is the place to go.
- Virginia Tech
Speculative Fiction Project
Devoted to preserving texts and graphic materials related to scifi.
Includes early twentieth century serials, as well as pulps from the 1940s
- SF Site
Up-to-date and slickly presented information/reviews on contemporary scifi
books and other media. Highly recommended.
- SciFi, Fantasy, and Horror Book
This database is a collection of books, synopses, reviews, and author
biographies from the scifi, fantasy and horror genres.
- The Science
From the site: "This is a project dedicated to building a database of
characters, races, places, things, and more in SciFi." Basically a kind
of "scifi companion" or concordance. It's highly incomplete, and yet
earns a spot here for being intriguing and filled with very weird
trivia. You can also add to it.
- Uchronia: The Alternate History
An annotated bibliography of novels, stories, and essays
involving "alternate histories, writings in which some past event is
altered and its effect on later history somehow described." "Uchronia" is a
fabulous term for describing this genre, and a perfect subject for a database.
Definitely worth checking out.
Isaac Asimov Home Page
A comprehensive collection of resources on the author, largely compiled
by fans (who tend to have the best, and most detailed, information.
- Greg Bear
The author's home page, complete with new writing and interviews.
Bear is the author of cyberpunk classics Eon and
- Richard Johnston and Chris Jepsen's
Ray Bradbury Page
Excellent critical and research resources, plus all the latest interviews
with the author. Links to Bradbury's online writing.
- David Brin
Excellent fan page with biography, bibliography, and hot links.
- Orson Scott Card
The official website, which is suprisingly unslick yet still corporate.
Not entirely useful.
- Arthur C. Clarke
Unofficial web page with bio-bibliography. Pretty good.
- Pat Cadigan Page
Pat Cadigan is perhaps the only well-known female cyberpunk author.
Famous for her depictions of wetware psychology and art, her books include
Mindplayers and Synners. Here you
can find information about all her writings.
- Samuel R. Delany Information Page
Excellent resource on one of scifi's most celebrated authors.
Includes a critical bibliography and timeline of Delany's work.
Philip K. Dick
Basic Dick bibliography. Dick's work is considered to be a major inspiration
- William Gibson
Annotated list of Gibson's works with a few links.
Magazines and Journals
- Science Fiction Weekly
A professional magazine devoted to the latest scifi entertainment news.
- Galaxy Magazine
One of the oldest and most influential scifi magazines of the 20th Century.
You'll find back issues here, and a history of the magazine. Hint: when
you arrive, go to the "editorial offices" on their odd map.
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