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(reblogged from nownovel.com)


The imagining of possible worlds is the staple of science fiction. As expert Bruce Sterling puts it, science fiction (or SF or sci-fi for short) is ‘a form of fiction that deals principally with the impact of actual or imagined science upon society or individuals’. In speculative fiction this impact can be strictly technological (as in novels featuring robots or degrees of space exploration not yet possible) or it may be environmental (as in Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood). Here are 43 must-visit sci-fi websites for writers:

Informative and research sites

  • The Gunn Center for the study of Science Fiction is Kansas University’s online portal to all things sci-fi. Here you can find essays on the science fiction writing craft along with other useful resources for aspiring speculative fiction writers.
  • Cornell University’s science fiction and fantasy research guide is a useful list of encyclopedias and guides for SF writers and researchers. Reference works such as the Encyclopedia of Fictional and Fantastic Languages and the Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction are listed along with ISBN and other information, making it easy to find and order or borrow the book you need.
  • The Ultimate Science Fiction Web Guide has an extensive timeline of science fiction, from precursors in ancient history to the present. Want to know exactly what year the telephone, airplane or robot was invented? Here you can obtain useful facts for contextualizing your story.
  • SciFiSource offers  lists of the best TV shows to watch for inspiration, and you can also find information on events and organizations that provide networking opportunities for sci-fi writers.
  • The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction is a free resource providing an A-Z of popular SF tropes and themes, from aliens to zeppelins. Browsing this guide will give you a broad overview of possible subjects and inspirations for your own novels.
  • Bruce Sterling’s entry on SF for the Encyclopedia Brittanica gives an insightful chronology of major developments in sci-fi writing.
  • Scifan – ‘books and links for the science fiction fan’ – offers one of the biggest databases of science fiction and fantasy writers. Over 10 000 authors’ published books are cataloged, and each entry provides links for purchasing the book online. Useful if you need to get a little context or background for your own SF novel.
  • Slice of Sci-fi is a blog providing the latest news on the genre. TV and film news is included alongside interviews with SF writers and links to podcasts for writers and readers of the genre.
  • The Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Database was established by Texas A & M university’s libraries. It indexes more than 100, 000 books in the SF and fantasy genres. The collection can be searched by full text, subject matter and more, making it valuable regardless of whether you want to check that your SF idea is original or find new reading matter in your genre.
  • ‘Writing the future: a timeline of science fiction’ is a useful article contextualizing modern sci-fi, written by Dr. Caroline Edwards, a lecturer at Birkbeck in London who specializes in sci-fi among other subjects.
  • ‘Science in Sci-Fi, Fact in Fantasy’ is a very useful resource for SF writers, put together by science fiction author and scientist Dan Koboldt. Find information about how you can correctly use scientific subjects such as biology and ecology, genetics and more in your speculative fiction.

Read the rest of the article here.