The Science Fiction Foundation was launched as an educational and research network in 1971. Its founding aims were and are:
To provide research facilities for anyone wishing to study science fiction.
To investigate and promote the usefulness of science fiction in education.
To disseminate information about science fiction.
To promote a discriminating understanding of the nature of science fiction.
Through its archive based at the University of Liverpool, publication of the academic journal Foundation, and its support of activities such as the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the George Hay Lecture, the Science Fiction Masterclass, Science for Fiction and SF Outreach, the SFF continues to promote academic research within science fiction and to encourage greater public understanding of the genre. Our current patrons are Neil Gaiman, Nalo Hopkinson and Prof David Southwood. We are a registered charity - No. 1041052.
Foundation is the essential critical review of science fiction. We publish on all aspects of the genre, and on all media. In addition to academic articles, we regularly feature author interviews, conference reports, exhibition reviews and, uniquely, reviews of both fiction and non-fiction. We also publish a number of special issues. The journal is peer-reviewed and appears three times a year (Spring, Summer and Winter). ISSN: 0306-4964. Our current editorial team are:
Editor: Paul March-Russell
Book Reviews Editor: Jonathan Thornton
Media Reviews Editor: Cait Coker
Editorial Consultants: Sarah Brown, Anna McFarlane, Chris Pak, Heather Osborne, Will Slocombe
Find out more about the history of the journal at our Wikipedia page. The current editor talks about the journal here. John Clute discusses the history of the SFF, and his time as Book Reviews Editor, here. Our 50th anniversary panel, recorded in 2021, can be listened to here.
Neil Gaiman at the SFF Collection
The support of members is key to all we do at the SFF. Annual membership enables us to finance our activities. These include publication of the journal, the maintenance of the SFF Collection, bursaries for researchers to visit the Collection, speakers for the George Hay Lecture and SFF AGM, tutors for the SFF Masterclass, and financial assistance for events such as the academic track at Worldcon.
Whether you're a fan, a student, an independent scholar, an academic researcher or a university institution with a commitment to sf studies, we think you should be part of the SFF. The more members we have, and the greater our network grows, the more we can do to further our aims and to expand the sf community. So, do take out one of the packages on the memberships page - it's easy to do - and reasonably priced! In return, you will receive a year's subscription to the journal and voting rights at our AGM.
Editing SF panel at the SFRA 2016, co-organised with the SFF in Liverpool
From its official launch, the SFF’s research library has been an integral part of its activities. Dependent upon the generosity of readers, writers, publishers and fans for its acquisition of new material, the SFF Collection has become one of the most important research resources in the field. With holdings now of over 40,000 items, the Collection is the largest archive of material related to science fiction in Western Europe, and one of the most important outside of the USA.
In addition to the Collection, the SFF organises the annual George Hay Lecture at Eastercon - delivered by a leading scientist; the SFF Masterclass for sf criticism; and the Science for Fiction classes for writers interested in the latest scientific ideas. We have also organised conferences on themes such as 'fantastika and the classical world'.
Our patron Neil Gaiman introduces the SFF Collection here.
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