Search Strategies

Search Strategies

Searching for information about science fiction can be difficult: there are less academic journals dedicated to studying genre fiction, and searching for books about the genre is not quite as easy as searching for books on religion, for example, which have their own area in most library classification systems. However, there are a few ways in which searches can be limited to retrieve more relevant information to science fiction, and the New Wave in particular.

Library of Congress Subject Headings:

One way a person can narrow down results is by utilizing subject headings. In many databases and online catalogs, resources are assigned headings which help to “tag” the information so it can be found more easily. A few headings related to New Wave science fiction, authorized by the Library of Congress, are listed below:

  • Science Fiction
    • Science fiction–Psychological aspects
    • Science fiction–Religious aspects–Buddhism, [Christianity, etc.]
    • Science fiction–History and criticism
    • Science fiction–Periodicals
    • Science fiction–Bibliography

Call Numbers

Another way to find information on a particular subject is to go to a library and look for it. It is generally useful, when doing research, to know the range of call numbers associated with a topic of interest. However, because genre fiction is generally lumped together in these classifications, it may be more useful to conduct a search of the library’s catalog online before browsing, to find out where the best place to start looking for information might be.

Some examples of call number ranges where information about science fiction can be found are listed below.

LCC Call Numbers*

  • PN3427-3448: Literature (General) — Prose. Prose fiction. — Special kinds of fiction. Fiction genres
  • PR821-890: English literature — Prose fiction. The novel.
  • PS370-380: American literature — Prose fiction.
  • PS3550-3576: American literature — Individual Authors, 1961-2000

Dewey Call Numbers

  • 800-899: Literature & rhetoric

*The LCC is used most often in larger libraries, like those for universities, and Dewey is used in smaller libraries, such as public libraries.

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