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Science Fiction And Fantasy Collection

Cover art from Amazing Stories
Cover art from Amazing Stories August 1927

The Science Fiction and Fantasy (HWK-SFF and HWK-SFF-SP) collection at the Hans W. Klohn Commons contains approximately 15,000 items. It includes rare pulp serial publications dating back to the 1920s, manuscripts, first edition novels, signed books, and much more.

For a closer look at some of the notable items in the collection, the UNB Science Fiction and Fantasy Showcase allows browsing of selected cover images and photographs of signatures and collectors’ edition information. Each item featured on the site includes rich descriptions, with tables of contents or plot summaries where appropriate. Influential SFF creators and publishers are also profiled.

The library initially decided to house and maintain a donation of a small general collection of SFF books in 1966. Since that time, the collection has expanded to support and supplement UNB teaching and research, and where possible, extracurricular interests. The collection is available primarily to members of the UNB community for teaching and research purposes and secondarily to the public through community borrower cards and interlibrary loans.

In 2006, the SFF collection underwent an evaluation, both of the collection itself and of its housing and maintenance requirements, to determine its viability, relevance, and scholarly value to the UNB community and its users.

Much of the collection is housed in open stacks in the Hans W. Klohn Commons, but a significant part of the collection is in closed stacks, not accessible to the public. Please get in touch if you would like to arrange access or discuss how the collection might suit your project!

Collection Criteria

Cover art from Astounding Science Fiction 1939
Cover art from Astounding Science Fiction 1939

Criteria for the SFF collection are based primarily on the collection’s use for teaching and research. Standard book lists and other authoritative selection aids are consulted in the selection process. Areas of interest include SFF and SFF-related works in the fields of literature, film, gender studies, culture studies, psychology, sociology, history, art, philosophy, and other areas of user interest. Generally, the following are collected:

  • Reference materials that meet library standards for authority, comprehensiveness, accuracy and currency, including encyclopaedias, dictionaries, indexes and handbooks relevant to the SFF collection;
  • Works by winning and nominated authors for the following SFF literary awards: Sunburst, Aurora, Hugo, Nebula, Tiptree, the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror category of the Lambda Award, and other awards indicating literary merit;
  • SFF works by major Canadian authors;
  • Works from Canadian sources when appropriate;
  • Literary criticism and other secondary works relevant to the SFF collection;
  • Primary works of SFF, including acknowledged classics;
  • Material by sub-genre according to teaching and research requirements, including Utopian, Arthurian, and Apocalyptic literature;
  • Individual requests and suggestions on a case by case basis based on need, cost, usage, etc.

The SFF collection does not acquire:

  • Horror;
  • Children's literature other than SFF;
  • Mass market series or novelizations based on television series, movies, comic books or other media formats such as comic books, fan magazines, posters or other artwork;
  • Realia.