Explore the outer reaches of Science Fiction!
Whether you’re a science fiction pro, a teacher or occasional reader, these websites offer a wealth of background, history and insight into the genre, ranging from timelines of the future to lists of great books, from literature maps to compilations of spaceships, as well as sites that help with writing and world-building. Plus links to science fiction podcasts, SF publishers, fanzines, online magazines and more.
Plus, see updates on two new Science Fiction Museums set to open… Enjoy!
History of Science Fiction: this fantastically detailed graphic by Ward Shelley charts the evolution of the genre of Science Fiction, showing its roots in the fantastic tales of legend, fables and mythology, through the filter of the Enlightenment and the tales of Verne, Wells and Kafka, onward to the emergence of Space Opera, CyberPunk, and Horror.. with side branches extending to SF’nal films such as Star Wars and Star Trek.
Literature Map: The Tourist Map of Literature. Enter your favorite author to get relevant author suggestions for similar books to explore. For example, try: What do other readers of Robert A. Heinlein like to read? This map suggests books by Larry Niven, Vernor Vinge, Robert Silverberg, Roger Zelazny and David Brin.
A Flowchart to NPR’s Top 100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books: SF Signal has created a decision tree flowchart to help you work through NPR’s list of top SFF books, asking branching questions such as: Do you prefer fantasy or science fiction? Do you like cyberpunk? Are you ready to blast off into space? What kind of aliens do you like?
A Plotting of Fiction Genres: This guide from Fast Co. charts connections between various literary genres, ranging from Crime to Horror, from Thriller to Paranormal to Hard SF.
100 Great (and accessible) Science Fiction Short Stories by Women: a list of classic stories (many available online) from Zenna Henderson, Pamela Sargent, Octavia Butler, CJ Cherryh and other excellent authors.
A compilation of Lists of Science Fiction books: with links to Best-of lists by NPR, The Guardian, io9 and numerous other lists of books to sample, from classics to new authors.
Greatest Science Fiction & Fantasy books lists my own personal favorite novels, with entries by Heinlein, Sheckley, Brunner, Bester, Bear and Benford, plus my list of Recommended Science Fiction for Young Adults.
An extensive listing of Science Fiction authors on Twitter.
==Timelines of Sci Fi ==
Timeline of the Far Future: BBC offers this graphic on peering deeply into our future: What could happen in a thousand years? A million? A quintillion? Or a hundred quintillion?
The Future According to Films: This site (by TremulantDesign) offers an extensive timeline based on the visions of Science Fictional movies, ranging from Blade Runner to Rollerball, Surrogates to Terminator and Lost in Space.
A Visual Timeline of the Future Based on Famous Fiction: Brainpickings offers this graphic (created by designer Giorgia Lupi), which charts the year each novel was published against the future date the book portrays: for instance, Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, published 1966, set around 2075 — extending out to 802701, setting for H.G. Wells The Time Machine.
Stories of the Past and Future: xkcd maps settings of literary works as a function of the date of publication. Which futuristic visions are now obsolete (2001, Space 1999…and which are still plausible? The chart also shows period fiction.
Illustrated Timeline of Robots: this timeline (from Pinfographics) charts the appearance in literature of robots, ranging from Karel Capek’s R.U.R. to Robbie, the Dalek, the Iron Giant, Bender and WALL-E.
Prediction or Influence? A chart of Sci Fi books that predicted the future.
== Spaceships and Rockets ==
Atomic Rockets: A truly detailed site (from Winchell Chung) devoted to rocket and spaceship design, and getting the science right in science fiction. An excellent resource for authors seeking scientific accuracy, help with equations. It offers designs and illustrations behind rocket design, space stations, spacesuits, weapons and much more!
Historic Spacecraft: An amazing site of space history, with photos, info, updates and drawings by Richard Kruse, covering space probes, rockets, rovers, launch pads, and timelines, cut-away views, and more.
Fastest Sci Fi Ships in the universe: This chart from Blastr (by Fat Wallet) compares fifty of the fastest rockets, spacecraft and battleships, with entries from Battlestar Galactica, Prometheus, Transformers, Star Trek, Halo, Star Wars and Doctor Who.
Size comparison of Science Fictional Spaceships: an epic illustration by Dirk Lochel that shows side by side comparisons of spacecraft from Star Trek to Star Wars, Dr. Who to Stargate and Starship Troopers. Really fun to explore.
Spaceship Alphabet: Do you know your sci fi spaceship ABCs? An illustration by Scott Markley that charts craft ranging from Andromeda to Death Star to Yamata and Z’gal.
== Some fun and useful sites ==
Sci Fi World Generator: Create a new world. Specify the percent water and ice for your planet; choose a radius and rotation rate, and this site will generate a plausible atmosphere, geologic composition, and suggest details such as atmospheric pressure, gravity, escape velocity — and see what your world looks like.
Fifty years of Visionary SciFi Computer Interfaces: This info graphic on Glow Media charts futuristic visions of computer interfaces, ranging from the flashing lights of Lost in Space, to the tricorders of Star Trek, from the immersive VR of Minority Report to the holograms of Avatar.
From Doctor Who to Superman, Princess Leia to Arthur Dent: a chart of science fictional characters who have survived their planet’s destruction.
Top 100 Things I’d Do if I Ever Became an Evil Overlord: As if you haven’t thought about this! “Shooting is not too good for my enemies.” This list by Peter Anspach addresses many of the cliched images from books and movies.
Have fun with this: Pulp-o-Mizer generates customizable retro pulp magazine covers.
== Sites of Science Fiction ==
Worlds Without End: An extensive resource for everything about Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, with compilations of Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Clarke and Stoker Award lists, Classics of SF, plus book reviews and author interviews, pages devoted to authors and publishers. They also have a BookTrackr to chart your personal reading lists. Plus lists of YA books, and lists of Banned SFF.
Strange Horizons: an online magazine of speculative fiction, featuring short stories of science fiction, fantasy and horror, as well as book reviews, interviews and nonfiction articles.
The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction offers a wealth of info about the field: with an Author A-Z, plus entries for films, games, comics, awards, fanzines…and much more to explore!
io9: We come from the Future: the go-to site for all the latest news about popular culture and futurism, covering science fiction books, shows, comics, and movies, by Charlie Jane Anders and Annalee Newitz.
Lightspeed: an online science fiction and fantasy magazine, edited by John Joseph Adams. Lightspeed includes stories, both reprints and originals, author interviews, podcasts and nonfiction articles.
SF Signal: Winner of the Hugo Award for best fanzine, this site offers reviews of books and movies, as well as Sci Fi podcasts, and columns on writing, comics anime and more.
Clarkesworld: A Hugo-award winning science fiction and fantasy magazine (published by Neil Clarke), with short stories, podcasts, articles and interviews.
Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine: the award-winning SF magazine, now available online, with reviews, new short fiction and news.
Tor.com offers new SF short stories by top authors, book reviews and extensive coverage of what ‘s new in Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Baen Books offers updates on new Science Fiction and Fantasy releases, plus e-books and author interviews.
SFFWorld.com offers news, articles, discussion forums, author interviews, book and movie reviews, short stories, book give-aways, advice on writing, and guest posts.
SF Chronicles: This British site offers discussion forums to meet up and converse about writing, your favorite authors, books, TV shows and films, along with encouragement and advice for aspiring authors.
SFWA: The website of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America has information for writers, educators, and readers, including advice and legal resources for writers. As does the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA).
== Sci Fi Centers & Musuems ==
Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction: This website (developed by Jim Gunn at the University of Kansas) offers news, background, essays, and courses on Science Fiction, covering the craft of writing and marketing books, with an emphasis on education: AboutSF offers resources for teachers about using Science Fiction in the classroom.
The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination: This new center at the University of California, San Diego (founded by Sheldon Brown) aims to bring science, art, literature and technology in order to better understand the nature of human imagination. It hosts seminars, speeches and research.
The Museum of Science Fiction (MOSF): This new museum, set to open in Washington D.C., (founded by Greg Viggiano) will feature interactive exhibits on the literature and media of science fiction that will entertain and educate — and open our eyes to the possibilities of the future.
The Hollywood Sci Fi Museum: This interactive, educational museum is set to open in 2018 in Hollywood, California (founded by Huston Huddleston), and will present exhibits from science fiction TV shows and films that will include a Hall of Interactive Robots, and a Hall of Spaceships.
The Heinlein Society: dedicated to preserving the legacy of the great Robert A. Heinlein and paying it forward, with scholarships, blood drives and educational materials. Support this worthy cause.
The Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University (directed by Ed Finn) explores the intersection of science and the fantastic, hosting seminars, workshops and publishing anthologies such as Hieroglyph.
The Science Fiction & Fantasy Hall of Fame inside the Experience Music Project in Seattle, honors the greats of SF literature.
== Sci Fi Podcasts ==
Starship Sofa: An Audio Science Fiction Magazine presents podcasts of SF short stories. Host Tony Smith also conducts author interviews, discussions, reviews and non-fiction articles.
Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy: an interview and talk show focusing on fantasy and science fiction books, movies, games and comics (run by David Barr Kirtley and John Joseph Adams).
Escape Pod offers weekly podcasts of science fiction short stories (edited by Norm Sherman).
GeeksOn is a podcast covering topics for…geeks. Science Fiction, movies, role playing games, comics, anime and more…
Once and Future Podcast: a weekly discussion about fantasy and science fiction books, as well as author inteviews (hosted by Anton Strout).
== A few more links ==
Goodreads Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club: Join other readers to discuss and rate books. Get book recommendations and create a bookshelf of your favorite books.
SciFi on Reddit: reader-suggested links to what’s new and noteworthy in science fiction.
Templeton Gate offers news and reviews covering speculative fiction books, shows, movies and comics.
Directory of Science Fiction sites with links to SF fanzines, online magazines and more.