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Science Fiction & Fantasy: A Research Guide: Finding
Books

This research guide to science fiction/fantasy literature and film emphasizes reference resources and databases available at the Cornell University Library (and beyond).

Finding Books in the Library Catalog

The Library of Congress Subject Headings encompass topics within the genres of fantasy and science fiction in a variety of media. The following list may be useful in locating critical/historical books and other secondary materials in the Cornell Library Catalog. Use the Subject search in the library catalog, as illustrated below:


Subject headings for fantasy, horror, & science fiction:

FANTASY FICTION--HISTORY AND CRITICISM
FANTASY FICTION, AMERICAN -- HISTORY AND CRITICISM
FANTASY FICTION, ENGLISH--HISTORY AND CRITICISM
FANTASY FICTION [JAPANESE, RUSSIAN, FRENCH, etc] -- HISTORY AND CRITICISM
FANTASY IN LITERATURE
FANTASY LITERATURE--HISTORY AND CRITICISM
FANTASY LITERATURE, ENGLISH--HISTORY AND CRITICISM
FANTASY FILMS--HISTORY AND CRITICISM
ALTERNATIVE HISTORIES (FICTION)

GOTHIC FICTION

HORROR FILMS--HISTORY AND CRITICISM
HORROR IN LITERATURE
HORROR TALES--HISTORY AND CRITICISM
HORROR TALES, AMERICAN--HISTORY AND CRITICISM
HORROR TALES, ENGLISH--HISTORY AND CRITICISM
SUPERNATURAL IN LITERATURE

SCIENCE FICTION--ILLUSTRATIONS
FANTASY FICTION--ILLUSTRATIONS

SCIENCE FICTION--HISTORY AND CRITICISM
SCIENCE FICTION, AMERICAN--HISTORY AND CRITICISM
SCIENCE FICTION, ENGLISH--HISTORY AND CRITICISM
SCIENCE FICTION FILMS--HISTORY AND CRITICISM
SCIENCE FICTION FILMS--UNITED STATES--HISTORY AND CRITICISM
ZOMBIE FILMS
ZOMBIES--FICTION

SCIENCE FICTION--BIBLIOGRAPHY
SCIENCE FICTION, AMERICAN--BIBLIOGRAPHY
SCIENCE FICTION, ENGLISH--BIBLIOGRAPHY
FANTASY LITERATURE--BIBLIOGRAPHY


Subject heading searches may also be used to find critical work on individual authors or films, e.g.:

LOVECRAFT, H.P.
DICK, PHILIP K--CRITICISM AND INTERPRETATION
RUSS, JOANNA, 1937-2011--CRITICISM AND INTERPRETATION
2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY (MOTION PICTURE)
METROPOLIS (MOTION PICTURE : 1927)


Terminology

There are many alternative terms for science fiction and fantasy (and their sub-genres) worth bearing in mind when searching catalogs and databases by keyword. Among them are:

afrofuturism
alternate history
alternative history
cyberfiction
cyberpunk
heroic fantasy
horror fiction
occult fiction
paranormal romance
planetary romance
science fantasy
scientific romance
scientifiction
slipstream
space opera
speculative fiction
steampunk
supernatural fiction
sword and sorcery
transrealism
uchronia
weird fiction

So Much to Read, So Much to Watch

Don't know what SF/fantasy book to read next? Which film to see? WorldCat Genres can help you identify authors, books, and films in a variety of fictional genres and subgenres, including fantasy, horror, gothic, occult, science fiction, steampunk, dystopias, ghost stories, alternative history, and many more.


Edgar Rice Burroughs' personal bookplate


from Cocteau's La Belle et La Bete (1946)