Science Fiction is fiction based on science
that may or may not exist (Derek Buker)
It doesn’t have to be science which has
already been invented.
It just has to be treated within the story as
if it really works.
What If ?
Science Fiction has never really
aimed to tell us when we might
reach other planets, or develop new
technologies, or meet aliens.
Science Fiction speculates about why
we might want to do these things,
and how their consequences might
affect our lives and our planet.
Is this stuff Sci-Fi, SF, OR
Sci-Fi AKA Skiffy
Most SF books are in series
Thus, usually need to read in order
Same Author, Many Series
Frequently the same author has more
than one series going at once
Could have science fiction, fantasy,
thriller, romance, etc. series
SF readers usually enjoy reading all books
by the same author (but may enjoy only
some of that author’s series)
• Isaac Asimov (3 Laws of Robotics)
• Arthur C. Clarke (2001: A Space Odyssey)
• Robert Heinlein (Have Spacesuit-Will Travel)
Non-ship SF Themes
Social SF Apocalyptic
First Contact (e.g.Nuclear,
Time Travel Environmental)
Alternate History Computers /
Adventures in space
Star Wars, Star Trek
Includes Military SF
SF for Reluctant Readers
Jupiter Novels series
Action-packed, good introduction to SF
SF Awards: Hugo
Voted by the fans
Awarded at WorldCon (Labor Day
Many categories: novel, novela, novelette,
short story, etc.
SF Awards: Nebula
• Voted by the writers themselves
• Awarded by the Science Fiction Writers of
America (SFWA) at annual banquet (April or
• Again, many categories
Major SF Publishers
Baen - http://www.baen.com/
Tor - http://www.tor.com/tor.html
Starscape (teen) -
• Author Web sites
• CAM-INFO - http://www.cam-
• Locus Magazine - http://www.locusmag.com/
• Sci-Fi Wire (Sci-Fi Channel) -
• Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America -
• Internet Speculative Fiction Database -
Science Fiction & Fantasy Readers’
Advisory: The Librarian’s Guide to
Cyborgs, Aliens, & Sorcerers by Derek
Buker, ALA, 2002.
Science Fiction: The Illustrated
Encyclopedia by John Clute, DK, 1995.
Sci-Fi 101 by Kim G. Kofmel, Library
Journal, Sept. 1, 2004, pp. 46-47.
Margaret’s Must Reads
• I, Robot by
• Ship Who