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Science Fiction and Fantasy Guide


Welcome to UNB Libraries' (Saint John) Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy. The purpose of this guide is two-fold: to highlight the academic side of this genre, helping you find resources related to SF&F and enhance your learning; and the not-so academic side, helping you "engage" your mind to "see what's out there." -- Shiny!

If you would like to browse through some of the notable items in UNBSJ's Science Fiction and Fantasy collections, you can do so on the UNB Science Fiction and Fantasy showcase.


How you want to begin your research depends on your topic and your knowledge. If your topic is brand new to you, you might want to start with book based material. The data and information in books, at least, in non-fiction, academic books, generally differs from that found in articles. It is presented at length but tends to be presented in less depth and with less specificity. Book content may be less "cutting edge" and more likely to present standard, and accepted information. Journal articles often present more controversial content and preliminary research results which require more testing before they are accepted.

For students, books are a logical starting point for research because they often introduce several relevant topics around a broader subject while articles often deal with a single, very specific topic with an assumed context -- that is, articles may assume an audience with a high level of subject knowledge.

Once you have some background on your topic which may help you think critically about related information and data, you will be ready to plunge into journal articles, grey literature, and beyond. Enjoy the search!

In this guide, you will find links leading you to reference materials (dictionaries, specialized encyclopedias, handbooks ...), books (both online and in print), databases (containing full-text journals, full-text articles, and linked material), and more. That said, not everything you will need will be here. Remember, you can always visit a library and ask a librarian for more help.

In addition to this course guide, you might also wish to explore:

UNB Libraries Guide to English Literature, UNB Libraries, Saint John

UNB Libraries' Guide to Canadian Literature, UNB Libraries, Saint John


News and Views

Ansible, UK

Science Fiction Books, Guardian, UK

Locus Online

New York Review of Science Fiction

Science Fiction & Fantasy, NPR Books

Tangent Online


Encyclopedias, etc.

In addition to the suggestions below, more reference resources for science fiction and fantasy can be found by checking UNB WorldCat, and the Reference Materials collection, or may be publicly accessible via the internet.



Science Fiction Awards Database, public access



The complete checklist of science-fiction magazines, Bradford M. Day, [1961], public access

Chronological Bibliography of Science Fiction History, Theory, and Criticism, public access

Annotated Bibliography of Recursive Science Fiction, NESFA, public access

Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Utopian, and Dystopian Theses and Dissertations, Leslie Kay Swigart, through 2004, public access


Encyclopedias and Guides

Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction, licensed resource

Companion to Science Fiction, licensed resource

Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, collaboration of Gollancz and the SF Gateway, public access


Images and Art

The Fantastic in Art and Fiction, Cornell, public access


Indexes and Abstracts

Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Database, Texas A&M University Libraries, public access

The Locus Index to Science Fiction, 1984-2007, Charles N. Brown and William G. Contento, public access

Index to Science Fiction Anthologies and Collections, Combined Edition, pre-1984, William G. Contento, public access

The Standard Index of Short Stories, 1900-1933, Francis J. Hannigan, public access

BSFA Magazines Index, Michael J. Cross, public access


Teaching and Study

Science Fiction-Related Materials [for the Study of Science Fiction], Paul Brians, public access

Transmedia Storytelling: Modern Science Fiction, MIT Open Courseware, public access


Find Books

UNB WorldCat searches the WorldCat database and offers up-to-date availability information for material held by UNB Libraries. WorldCat contains more than 130,000,000 bibliographic records (including books, journals, videos, music ...) referring to the holdings of libraries world wide. Many of these items may be retrieved for UNB users through the Libraries' Document Delivery Service. WorldCat also catalogues selected journal articles, often available through document delivery, and internet-based resources.

Mobile users should note that although UNB Libraries has moved to a responsive web design, mobile interfaces and apps may NOT yet provide all the functionality of other types of web-based access.

Search UNB WorldCat:
Limit to: 

Please note: While some of the following items may allow unlimited simultaneous users, in other cases, an item may allow only a single user at any given time.

Through UNB WorldCat, members of the UNB/STU community of users may access a wide variety of individual electronic book titles such as:

Demand the impossible : science fiction and the Utopian imagination, Tom Moylan, licensed resource

A companion to J. R. R. Tolkien, Stuart D Lee, licensed resource

Science, gender and history : the fantastic in Mary Shelley and Margaret Atwood, Suparna Banerjee, licensed resource

Science fiction film, J P Telotte, licensed resource

Lost in space : geographies of science fiction, Rob Kitchin and James Kneale, licensed resource

As well, collections of electronic materials are available, such as:

EBSCO eBooks, licensed resource

Some internet sites offer full-text, public access books, book-length works, and short stories either as collections or as individual linked titles. Some may be academic works; some may be fiction. Some full-text titles are free to view / access, others may not be. Examples of such sites of interest include:

Hathi Trust Digital Library, Hathi Trust

Google Books

Science Fiction: Subject Area, Online Books Page, University of Pennsylvania

Science Fiction; Short Stories, East of the Web


Find Articles

For those interested in science fiction and fantasy literary criticism and interpretation, several of the available licensed bibliographic databases are listed in Key and Additional Resources below. These databases will be especially useful when you are beginning a research project and looking for information on a topic.

For all of the Libraries' licensed databases, please see the Article Databases page.

Key Resources

  • Modern Language Association (MLA) International Bibliography & Directory of Periodicals (EBSCO)
    MLA International Bibliography is a subject index for books, articles and websites published on modern languages, literature, folklore, film, literary theory and criticism, dramatic arts, as well as the historical aspects of printing and publishing. Listings on rhetoric and composition and the history, theory and practice of teaching language and literature are also included. Dating back to 1925, the database contains more than 2.7 million citations, over 6,000 journals and series, 1,200 book publishers and over 372,000 subject names and terms and adds over 66,000 records annually (May 2018).

    Coverage is international and includes titles and full-text links from online publishers including JSTOR, Project MUSE, Wiley-Blackwell and Taylor & Francis.

    The MLA Directory of Periodicals contains all information available on the journals and series on the bibliography's Master List of Periodicals.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL)
    Based on the annual print publication by the Modern Humanities Research Association, the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature provides bibliographic records for monographs, journal articles, doctoral dissertations and book reviews published since 1920, with selected materials included from 1892 - 1919. Part of the Literature Online collections.
    4 simultaneous users.
  • Literature Criticism Online
    Provides Online access to the content of the following reference works on literature: Twentieth-century literary criticism, Nineteenth-century literature criticism, Literature criticism 1400-1800, Shakespeare criticism, Contemporary literary criticism, and Children's literature review.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.

Additional Resources

  • Literature Online
    Literature Online offers full text access to rare and inacessible works, up-to-date, reference resources, in addition to the full text of poetry, drama, and prose fiction from the seventh century to the present day. Materials are included from almost every period and genre of English literature as well as many works by 20th century authors. Contemporary criticism is available through the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL).
    Unlimited simultaneous users.

Other textual databases, bibliographic databases and citation indexers useful in the study of science fiction and fantasy include:

See also: Indexes and Abstracts, under the Reference Sources tab, above.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Database, Texas A&M University Libraries, public access

Literary Index, Gale, public access

JSTOR, freely searchable and offers some free access to selected material. Search and then choose "Content I can access"


There is also a wide variety of individual periodical titles available to UNB/STU users. You can locate these by searching UNB WorldCat or through the UNB Libraries' Journals & Newspapers list. Titles include:

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, licensed resource

Extrapolation, licensed resource

Fantasy & Science Fiction, licensed resource

Foundation, licensed resource

Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, licensed resource

Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, licensed resource


Some periodicals may be publicly accessible via the internet with selected full-text, including:


Fanzines, UNB Saint John, public access

Science fiction pulp magazines, Pulp Magazine Collection,, public access

Zines,, public access

Science Fiction & Fantasy Publications, University of South Florida, public access

Individual Titles

Alambique, public access

Amazing Stories, via the Pulp Magazine Collection,, public access

New York Review of Science Fiction, public access

ReS Futurae, public access

Science Fiction Studies, public access

SFRA Review, public access


Citing Your Sources

Resources for Writers

Writer's Digest guide to science fiction & fantasy, licensed resource

Information Center for Authors, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, public access

Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy, Jeffrey A. Carver, public access

Manuscript Preparation the "Venerable PDF handout, updated October 2008," Vonda N. McIntyre, public access

How to Write, Robert J. Sawyer, public access

Writing Tips, Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust, public access

Guide to Grammar and Style, Jack Lynch, public access


Citing Your Sources

Citations are a natural by-product of a good literature or bibliographic search -- they come from the results your search produces. They may be found, collectively, in bibliographic databases and citation indexes. They may be derived from statistical databases and other data collections. They may make reference to individual books, periodicals (journals, magazines and newspapers), working papers, and technical reports. They may be gathered from compilations such as bibliographies or appear in lists of works cited and references. Citations may also be produced in reference to material you read or heard, to images you discover, and to all kinds of electronic files which are displayed, read, played, or otherwise accessed.

To structure citations appropriately it helps to have a good guide. There are several standard guides from which you may choose. In university, choosing the "best" one will depend on the requirements of the assignment, the nature of the contents and the preferences of the individual professor. Some guides emphasize a particular discipline, some are cross-discipline and some may emphasize a particular form of material.

Style Guides

Chicago Manual of Style, HWK-REF Z253 .U7 2010

MLA handbook, 8th edition, HWK-REF LB2369 .G52 2016

MLA Formatting and Style Guide, Purdue, public access

APA Style, American Psychological Association, public access

*** As of spring 2021, the MLA Handbook is in its 9th edition; however, there are only two differences between the 8th edition and 9th edition for citation:

1) in works cited entries for MLA 9th edition, you should write the DOI number for a journal article from a database as a web address, e.g., and use a permalink only if no DOI is provided.         

2) the works cited entry for a film should begin with the title of the film, rather than the director's name. If you streamed the film, include just the name of the streaming service, not a URL. E.g. 

Black Panther. Directed by Ryan Coogler, Marvel Studios / Walt Disney Pictures, 2018. Netflix


Citation Management Software

Zotero, public access

UNB Libraries' Guide to Zotero