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University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

Science Fiction

A guide to the UT Libraries science fiction collection for research and leisure reading.

Finding Books

How to Find Books in the Catalog

Looking to browse? Not sure where to start searching? The Library of Congress Subject Headings listed below may be a helpful starting point. You can do a basic search like “Science Fiction” and then narrow it down by nationality, genre, time period, author, and more. For example, search “Science fiction, Chinese” to see our collection of sci-fi originally written by Chinese authors. This also works with science fiction subgenres like Space Opera or Cyberpunk.

Want to make more specific searches? Try adding a subdivision to your search, like this: “Science fiction, Chinese, History and criticism”. The “History and Criticism” subdivision will help you find books analyzing the subject you’re looking for. So, our example search would find scholarly texts discussing Chinese science fiction. Examples of other subdivisions appear in the list below. Try searching “Space opera fiction” to see what you get!

While the Library of Congress Subject Headings are useful, they can be limited in what they display. Don’t be afraid to experiment and come up with your own search terms!

Mix and match headings and subdivisions!

Examples of subject headings:

  • Science Fiction
  • Science Fiction Films
  • Science Fiction Poetry
  • Speculative Fiction
  • Afrofuturism
  • Alternative Histories (Fiction)
  • Cyberpunk Fiction
  • Horror Fiction
  • Horror Films
  • Time Travel

Examples of subdivisions:

  • Fiction
  • History and Criticism
  • Bibliography
  • Illustrations
  • Women Authors
  • Jewish Authors
  • 19th Century
  • 20th Century
  • 21st Century
  • Periodicals



Need More Help?

Hoping to have a shelf browsing experience? Try our Virtual Browse tool. Simply select a book in the catalog and scroll down until you see something like this:

Screenshot of the UT Library Catalog's Virtual Browse feature. It displays the book covers and titles that are on the shelf next to A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers.

Virtual Browse lets you mimic the process of looking at our physical shelves. It’s great for discovering titles and for knowing what the shelf looks like if you decide to come into one of our libraries to locate it!

Still not finding what you are looking for? Take a look at these sci-fi bibliographies from the UT library. These work as basic guides for finding science fiction and exploring the genre's scholarly criticism. 


Carol Pettijohn created new content and updated this page during Summer 2023.

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