Our 2023 Crash Course in Science Fiction invited attendees to explore this popular genre's latest trends, hot titles, and tips for using NoveList resources to feel like a science fiction pro.  

Top reasons why readers love science fiction 

Anything is possible in a science fiction story! SF fans enjoy the "what ifs" of scientific possibilities. For example: 

  • What if robots developed human emotions?  
  • What if we settled on other planets?  
  • What if we had to survive in a world permanently changed by a climate apocalypse?  
  • What if science granted us perfect health? 

Readers can explore worlds and situations they would never encounter in real life — and, while they find the idea exciting — would probably never want to. We've all seen Alien, right? 

Science fiction is a very effective genre for questioning societal norms. Aliens — and alien societies — serve as powerful metaphors for how we understand our differences (or what happens if we can't).  

And the variety! Science fiction stories can be funny, action-packed, thought-provoking, moving...or any possible combination of those narrative experiences (and more). While there are familiar tropes, storylines, or themes within the genre, the variety of voices and the fact that there are always discoveries and questions fueling science fiction keeps readers turning the pages.   

Science Fiction in NoveList 

NoveList offers plenty of resources to help you stay up-to-date with science fiction and find excellent options for readers. Here are some ways to fast-track the process: 

Boldly search where you've never searched before! 

Use NoveList's advanced search (look for a link to it right under the basic search bar on the homepage). Enter "science fiction" in the first search field and select "GN Genre" from the drop-down menu. Then, you can scroll down and narrow your search by a variety of limiters, like the audience, grade level, author's cultural identity, if the books have won an award, and more. Then, click "search" and see the fantastic options you have. 

Get fancy with field codes to search within NoveList databases. Field codes are the two-letter search tags that are assigned to (indexed) pieces of information in the NoveList products. Field codes in NoveList products are two-character, capitalized abbreviations such as SU for Subject or TI for title. For a quick genre search for science fiction directly from the NoveList homepage, enter the following search string into the search bar using the GN field code for genre: GN "science fiction".

See the latest titles 

Use our genre browse carousels to explore the freshest books by age range and subgenre. These carousels let you hover over a title for its description, so you'll know if it's right for you immediately. 

Here's how to access genre browse carousels: 

  • Go to "Browse By" on the top navigation bar and select "Genre" from the drop-down menu.  
  • Scroll down on the homepage to "Browse Genres" and select any of the square images. 

Find award winners 

If you want award-winning titles — whether for your collection, displays, or recommendations — head over to our Awards Page to find science fiction notables like the Hugo, Ignyte, and Nebula Awards, all on one page. Go to "Browse By" on the top navigation bar and select "Award Winners" from the drop-down menu.  

Curate quality collections  

Ensure that you're picking the best options for your collection by using our Core Collections products. They provide impartial, authoritative guides that help librarians build and maintain well-rounded collections of the most highly recommended reference, nonfiction, and fiction books. 

Want to market and highlight your library's science fiction titles? 

Use LibraryAware to create templates and tools to create newsletters, bookmarks, shelf talkers, flyers, social and digital displays and more for promoting books and resources throughout the library and beyond. Search "science fiction" in LibraryAware to find book flyers, widgets, and other resources you can use.

Other media and resources featured in the Crash Course 

There's a constellation of resources to use along with NoveList to learn about what's happening in science fiction. Those mentioned in the Crash Course include: 

Did you miss the live Crash Course, or want to rewatch?  

You can find a recording of the webinar along with bonus content like an expanded section on finding science fiction in NoveList, and PDFs of our genre guides, on Learn with NoveList

Don't miss the next Crash Course 

Join us on May 16, 2023, for our Crash Course in Fantasy, where we'll revisit a genre that we previously covered to provide new and updated information! Learn more and register today!

Check out the Crash Course in Science Fiction, now with added bonus content, on Learn with NoveList.