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Research Resources: Class Guides

RST 171: Science Fiction and the Human Condition


Encyclopedia of Religion
Now in its second edition (2006), the most comprehensive reference source treating the full spectrum of religious studies. Articles are cross-referenced. Contains a synoptic outline and a detailed index.

International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences
This encyclopedia is the largest reference work ever published for the social and behavioral sciences. Every article in the electronic edition will be supported by an abstract prepared specifically for the online publication. These abstracts will be posted to the website as they become available. Updated annually.

Literary Index
An online index to various reference sources published by the Thomson-Gale Publishing Group, it combines and cross-references over 159,000 author names, including pseudonyms and variant names, as well as listings for over 210,000 titles. The Library owns many of the reources covered.

Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction
An historical dictionary devoted exclusively to science fiction, this online resource shows the development of science-fiction words and oncepts over time. The dictionary also traces the transfer of science-fiction vocabulary to different subcultures, such as neo-paganism and environmentalism.

Religion and American Cultures
Ref Room BL2525 .R448 2003
Useful for gaining an overview of its title's subject, this two volume encyclopedia has over 200 article length entries divided into two groups. Volume One covers specific religions while Volume Two deals with topics and trends in comparative religious perspective. There is a third volume comprised of bibliographies and indices.

Dictionary of Literary Biography
Ref Room PN 451 .D5
This multi-volume reference set is still in publication and systematically presents career biographies and criticism from all eras and genres. Contains bibliographies and each volume has cumulative indices.

Contemporary Literary Criticism
Ref Room PN 771 .C59
Each volume in this series profiles 6 to 8 novelists, poets, playwrights and other creative and nonfiction writers by providing full-text or excerpted criticism taken from books, magazines, literary reviews, newspapers and scholarly journals. Contains bibliographies. Each volume contains cumulative indices.

Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
Ref Room PN 3433.4 .E53 1993
Containing well over 4,000 entries that cover major and minor authors as well as themes, terminology, films, television programs, magazines, and comics, this now somewhat dated single volume encyclopedia expands upon the first edition published in 1979. Contain cross references but no index.

Anatomy of Wonder
Ref Room PN 3433.8 .E52 1993
This compendium succinctly describes over 1,400 novels and short stories deemed significant to the genre. Each individual entry provides the plot, historical significance and theme.

Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy
Ref Room PS 374 .S35G74 2005
This encyclopedia consists of two parts. The first part (in two volumes) takes the most popular themes found in both science fiction and fantasy literature, and puts them into historical and cultural context. The second part contains entries for a selected list of classic novels, films, and television series. In many entries an individual theme is traced over time in a variety of different science fiction and fantasy formats as well as other material considered outside the mainstream of science fiction and fantasy.

Science Fact and Science Fiction
Science Ref Q 123 .S735 2006
This volume focuses on the connections between science and literature. It emphasizes an author's scientific contributions in juxtaposition to literary ones. Themes, concepts, and genres are included.


Search the catalog to find out what books, videos, maps, CDs, music, etc., the library owns.

NOTE: There are no journal articles in the catalog!

To find a book, etc. begin by analyzing your topic or research question and break it down into its key concepts. These concepts become your search terms to use in the catalog's "Advanced Search" word or phrase function. Once you have found a record for an item that looks useful, click on a Subject Heading to retrieve other items with similar content.

Features nearly 60 million records of many types of material cataloged by libraries around the world.

A free book-exchange service among ibraries in Pennsylvania and nearby states. If F&M's copy of a book is unavailable, try E-Z Borrow to get the book quickly! (Requires your F&M ID barcode number.)


To find a journal article use your search terms in an appropriate journal index or article collection, such as the ones listed below.
MLA Bibliography
A comprehensive index of articles, book chapters and essays in literature, languages, and folklore.

Humanities Full Text
Indexes over 300 English-language periodicals covering classical studies, history, literature, performing arts, philosophy, and related fields. Covers 1984 to the present..

A collection of abstracts and articles from over 200 scholarly journals, many dating from the nineteenth-century to the last 4 or 5 years.


After you have find journal articles that look useful (if they aren't available within an online full text article collection), you may have to determine whether or not the F&M Library owns those journals. If they aren't available within an online full text article collection, you will next use the JOURNALS: search our catalog of print and online journals in the library feature on the Library's web site.

If the library does not have a journal you need, and you have at least 1 week to 10 days before your assignment is due, you can submit an Interlibrary Loan: request journal articles & books request to have the journal article acquired for you by the library. Allow 3-7 days for the article to arrive.


The World Wide Web can be a helpful environment in which to access scholarly information but because it is an unmediated matrix it is advisable to start one's exploration of it at bona fide sites.

Members Web Pages - SFWA
A good site to find "official" information (i.e., approved by authors) for members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

A fun site for aficionados of the genre with some useful links.


Last updated: 10/21/08 mg. Contact Marty Gordon for further assistance.

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