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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Science Fiction: Home

What is Science Fiction?

Science Fiction is a genre full of speculation and imagination. Concepts such as time travel, space travel, futuristic worlds, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life are explored within the genre, with emphasis on the potential consequences that these ideas could present. Works in this genre oftentimes avoid the supernatural, as they were originally meant to be grounded on science-based fact or theory, but now those books and/or movies that have a strict grounding in science are limited to hard science fiction, a subgenre. 

Research & this guide

This guide is meant to be a starting place for beginner readers of sci-fi and those who would like to have some basic research tools to work with. Below will be links to different starting points that can be used to search for sci-fi academic sources.

If you would like to get sci-fi books, check out the books tab above!

Database Suggestions

Below you will find a list of databases from which you can search for articles.

What if my article is not available online in full-text?

Option One: Finding print articles

Not everything is available in electronic format. Keep your citation (name of journal, volume, and issue) handy. Now search the Library's online catalog for the location of the print journal.There are two ways to search the online catalog.

  1. Through the new VU Find Catalog.
  2. Through the Classic Search.

Look to see which library holds the issue or volume that you need and jot down the location and call number. Now you need to visit a departmental library to make a photocopy. There are a number of scanners in the Library. Many are located in Room 200 and the Main Stacks.

What if the library doesn't have an article?

Option Two: Interlibrary Loan

If your article is not available in full-text online and it is not available in print, you can request the article throughInterlibrary Loan and Document Delivery. Make sure to choose "Request a photocopy" and fill out the entire form, including the source of the citation. This process typically takes 7-10 days, so plan ahead! Interlibrary Loan will most likely deliver your article as a .pdf file to your email address.

Citing Sources and Citation Management

Properly citing sources is part of research. The Library has an excellent guide for Citing Sources

The Library also has guides to popular citation management systems.

You can also Google to find help from the software vendors themselves, such as:


To access Library electronic resources from off-campus, connect through the campus VPN. Follow the instructions on this page:

Make sure to select TUNNEL ALL and not Split Tunnel.



Libguide Created by: Melina Zavala