Internet Speculative Fiction Database

The Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB) is a database of bibliographic information on genres considered speculative fiction, including science fiction and related genres such as fantasy fiction and horror fiction.[3][4] The ISFDB is a volunteer effort, with both the database and wiki being open for editing and user contributions. The ISFDB database and code are available under Creative Commons licensing[5] and there is support within both Wikipedia and ISFDB for interlinking.[6] The data are reused by other organizations, such as Freebase, under the creative commons license.[7]

ISFDB: The Internet Speculative Fiction Database
Type of site
Online database
OwnerAl von Ruff
Created byAl von Ruff and Ahasuerus
Alexa rankNegative increase 129,626 (October 2018)[1]
RegistrationNone to view
Current status1,531,160 story titles from 183,021 authors[2]


The ISFDB database indexes authors, novels, short stories, publishers, awards, and magazines. Additionally, it supports author pseudonyms, series, awards, and cover art plus interior illustration credits which is combined into integrated author, artist, and publisher bibliographies. An ongoing effort is verification of publication contents and secondary bibliographic sources against the database with the goals being data accuracy and to improve the coverage of speculative fiction to 100%. The current database statistics are available online.[2] ISFDB was the winner of the 2005 Wooden Rocket Award in the Best Directory Site category.[8]

While the ISFDB is primarily a bibliographic research database it also contains biographic data for books, authors, series, and publishers that do not have an article on Wikipedia, particularly those unlikely to have such an article because they do not meet Wikipedia's notability standards.

In 1998, Cory Doctorow wrote in Science Fiction Age: "The best all-round guide to things science-fictional remains the Internet Speculative Fiction Database".[4] In April 2009, Zenkat wrote on Freebase " is widely considered one of the most authoritative sources about Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror literature available on the Internet."[7]

As of May 2009, Quantcast estimates that the ISFDB is visited by over 32,000 people monthly.[9]

As a real-world example of a non-trivial database, the schema and MySQL files from the ISFDB have been used in a number of tutorials. ISFDB schema and data were used throughout Chapter 9 of the book Rails For Java Developers.[10] It was also used in a series of tutorials by Lucid Imagination on Solr, an enterprise search platform.[11]


Several speculative fiction author bibliographies were posted to the USENET newsgroup rec.arts.sf.written from 1984 to 1994 by Jerry Boyajian, Gregory J. E. Rawlins and John Wenn. A more or less standard bibliographic format was developed for these postings.[12] Many of these bibliographies can still be found at The Linköping Science Fiction Archive.[13] In 1993, a searchable database of awards information was developed by Al von Ruff.[12] In 1994, John R. R. Leavitt created the Speculative Fiction Clearing House (SFCH). In late 1994, he asked for help in displaying awards information, and von Ruff offered his database tools. Leavitt declined, because he wanted code that could interact with other aspects of the site. In 1995, Al von Ruff and "Ahasuerus" (a prolific contributor to rec.arts.sf.written) started to construct the ISFDB, based on experience with the SFCH and the bibliographic format finalized by John Wenn. The ISFDB went live in September 1995, and a URL was published in January 1996.[12][14]

The ISFDB was first located at an ISP in Champaign Illinois, but it suffered from constrained resources in disk space and database support, which limited its growth.[12] In October 1997 the ISFDB moved to SF Site, a major SF portal and review site.[4][12] Due to the rising costs of remaining with SF Site, the ISFDB moved to its own domain in December 2002. The site was quickly shut down by the hosting ISP due to high resource usage.[12][15]

In March 2003, after having been offline since January, the ISFDB began to be hosted by The Cushing Library Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection and Institute for Scientific Computation at Texas A&M University.[12][16][17] In 2007, after resource allocation problems with Texas A&M, the ISFDB became independently hosted on a hired server at the URL listed above.

The ISFDB was originally edited by a limited number of people, principally Al von Ruff and "Ahasuerus".[18] However, in 2006 editing was opened to the general public on an Open Content basis. Changed content must be approved by one of a limited number of moderators, in an attempt to protect the accuracy of the content.[19]

Both the source code and content of the ISFDB are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.[5] This was done on 27 February 2005.[12][20]

See also

  • Uchronia: The Alternate History List


  1. ^ " Traffic, Demographics and Competitors - Alexa". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b "ISFDB Statistics". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Archived from the original on October 9, 2018. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  3. ^ "Link Sites". SF Site. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
  4. ^ a b c Cory Doctorow (September 1998). "Internet Column from Science Fiction Age". Science Fiction Age. Retrieved 2009-05-17. The best all-round guide to things science-fictional remains the Internet Speculative Fiction Database.
  5. ^ a b "General disclaimer". ISFDB Wiki. ISFDB. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
  6. ^ See Template:isfdb name, Template:isfdb title, and Template:isfdb series. See also the "Wikipedia link" field when editing title or author data at the ISFDB. Documentation at "Help:Screen:EditTitle". ISFDB Help.
  7. ^ a b Zenkat (2012-05-19). "The Freebase Blog » Blog Archive » Our latest mass data load: science fiction books". Archived from the original on 2012-05-19. Retrieved 2015-12-12. is widely considered one of the most authoritative sources about Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror literature available on the Internet.
  8. ^ "2005 winners: Wooden Rocket Awards". SF Crowsnest. Retrieved 2009-02-08. 14 Best Directory Site. Directories, online databases or search engines with a worthy SFF section. Winner: Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  9. ^ "Site Statistics". Quantcast. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
  10. ^ "Rails For Java Developers" (PDF). ISBN 0-9776166-9-X. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-10. Retrieved 2011-03-14.
  11. ^ "Solr Powered ISFDB – Part #1". Retrieved 2011-03-14.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h "Internet Speculative Fiction Database". onpedia. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
  13. ^ "The Linköping Science Fiction & Fantasy Archive". Retrieved 2009-07-23.
  14. ^ "What's New". ISFDB. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
  15. ^ Cory Doctorow (January 25, 2003). "Literary treasure needs new home". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
  16. ^ "ISFDB finds new home at Texas A&M". SFWA News. Science Fiction Writers of America. April 5, 2003. Archived from the original on 2011-08-11. Retrieved 2010-09-29.
  17. ^ Cory Doctorow (March 25, 2003). "ISFDB rises from the grave". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
  18. ^ "Major Contributors". ISFDB. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
  19. ^ Gandalara (December 23, 2006). "Changes to the ISFDB". Science Fiction Brewed Fresh Daily. Other*Worlds*Cafe. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
  20. ^ "What's New – 27 Feb 2005". ISFDB What's New. ISFDB. 27 February 2005. Retrieved 2009-07-30.

External links

A Medicine for Melancholy

A Medicine for Melancholy (1959) is a collection of short stories by American writer Ray Bradbury. It was first published in the UK by Hart-Davis in 1959 as The Day It Rained Forever with a slightly different list of stories. All of the included stories were previously published.

Arthur C. Clarke bibliography

The following is a list of works by Arthur C. Clarke.

D. J. Butler

David John Butler is an award-winning American speculative fiction author. His epic flintlock fantasy novel, Witchy Winter, won the 2018 AML Award for Best Novel, Witchy Eye and Witchy Winter were finalists for the Dragon Award in 2017 and 2018 (respectively), and Witchy Eye was a preliminary nominee for the Gemmell Morningstar Award.

David H. Keller

David Henry Keller (December 23, 1880 – July 13, 1966) was an American writer who worked for pulp magazines in the mid-twentieth century, in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres. He was the first psychiatrist to write for the genre, and was most often published as David H. Keller, MD, but also known by the pseudonyms Monk Smith, Matthew Smith, Amy Worth, Henry Cecil, Cecilia Henry, and Jacobus Hubelaire.

John Clute has written, "It is clear enough that Keller's conceptual inventiveness, and his cultural gloom, are worth more attention than they have received; it is also clear that he fatally scanted the actual craft of writing, and that therefore he is likely never to be fully appreciated."

Dennis Etchison

Dennis William Etchison (born March 30, 1943) is an American writer and editor of fantasy and horror fiction. Etchison refers to his own work as "rather dark, depressing, almost pathologically inward fiction about the individual in relation to the world". Stephen King has called Dennis Etchison "one hell of a fiction writer" and he has been called "the most original living horror writer in America" (The Viking-Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural). While he has achieved some acclaim as a novelist, it is his work in the short story format that is especially well-regarded by critics and genre fans. He was President of Horror Writers Association from 1992 to 1994. He is a multi-award winner, having won the British Fantasy Award three times for fiction, and the World Fantasy Award for anthologies he edited.

Dinosaur Planet (novel)

Dinosaur Planet is a science fiction novel by the American-Irish author Anne McCaffrey.

It was a paperback original published in 1978, by Orbit Books (UK) and then by Del Rey Books (US), the fantasy & science fiction imprints of Futura Publications and Ballantine Books respectively.A sequel followed in 1984, titled The Survivors (Dinosaur Planet II),

or Dinosaur Planet Survivors in the US. Jointly they are sometimes called the "Dinosaur Planet series" or sub-series. They are set on a fictional planet named "Ireta" that some characters call the "dinosaur planet". They became the first two books of the "Ireta series" in 1990, when McCaffrey collaborated with Elizabeth Moon and Jody Lynn Nye to write three "Planet Pirates" novels with the same setting.

Dragon's Time

Dragon's Time is a science fiction novel by the American-Irish author Anne McCaffrey and her son Todd McCaffrey in the Dragonriders of Pern series that she initiated in 1967. Published by Del Rey Books and released June 2011, Dragon's Time is their fourth collaboration in the series and is the sequel to Dragongirl by Todd McCaffrey.

The McCaffreys wrote one more sequel together, Sky Dragons (published July 2012).


Dragongirl is a science fiction novel by Todd McCaffrey in the Dragonriders of Pern series that his mother Anne McCaffrey initiated in 1967. Published in 2010, it is the sequel to Dragonheart and third with Todd as sole author.


Red Star Rising or Dragonseye is a science fiction novel by the American-Irish author Anne McCaffrey. It was the fourteenth book published in the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne or her son Todd McCaffrey.Red Star Rising, or Red Star Rising: Second Chronicles of Pern, was published by Bantam UK in 1996. For release in the United States the following year it was retitled Dragonseye.

Dying Earth

Dying Earth is a fantasy series by the American author Jack Vance, comprising four books originally published from 1950 to 1984.

Some have been called picaresque. They vary from short story collections to a fix-up (novel created from older short stories), perhaps all the way to novel.The first book in the series, The Dying Earth, was ranked number 16 of 33 "All Time Best Fantasy Novels" by Locus in 1987, based on a poll of subscribers, although it was marketed as a collection and the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB) calls it a "loosely connected series of stories".

Edmund Cooper

Edmund Cooper (30 April 1926 – 11 March 1982) was an English poet and prolific writer of speculative fiction, romances, technical essays, several detective stories, and a children's book. These were published under his own name and several pen names.

Elemental Masters

Elemental Masters is a fantasy series by American writer Mercedes Lackey, taking place on an alternate Earth where magic exists. The series largely focuses on Elemental Masters, people who have magical control over air, water, fire, or earth. Each elemental master has power over elementals, as well. Each book in the series is loosely based on a fairy tale.

Kathryn Cramer

Kathryn Elizabeth Cramer (born April 16, 1962) is an American science fiction writer, editor, and literary critic.

Mette Ivie Harrison

Mette Ivie Harrison (born September 30, 1970) is an American novelist. She writes young adult fiction and in 2014 began publishing an adult mystery series. Her background as a Mormon has influenced her topics of interest as a writer, especially in the A Linda Willheim Mystery series which focuses on a Mormon woman within her religious community. Her novel, Mira, Mirror won the Utah Letters About Literature award in 2006, and three other novels were finalists for the AML Awards in 2007, 2014 and 2015.

Space Mail

Space Mail is an anthology of science fiction short works edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg, and Joseph Olander. It contains a series of short stories written in the form of letters, diary entries, or memoranda. The book is broken into three sections, each of which contains stories written in the type of documentation after which the section is named.

Tara of the Twilight

Tara of the Twilight is a fantasy novel by American writer Lin Carter. It was first published in paperback by Zebra Books in October 1979.According to Carter's introductory note, Tara of the Twilight represents his attempt to combine the genre of sword and sorcery with pornographic fantasy. Based on the unresolved state of the plot, he evidently projected at least one sequel, and three Tara short stories ("For the Blood is the Life", "The Love of the Sea" and "Pale Shadow") were published in the mid-1980s that presumably would have formed the basis for such a volume. No collected edition of these was ever published.

The Merman's Children

The Merman's Children is a 1979 fantasy novel by American writer Poul Anderson, inspired by legends of Mermen and Mermaids from Danish folklore, in particular the ballad Agnete og Havmanden. Portions of the work had previously been published as an identically titled novella and the novelette "The Tupilak" in the anthologies Flashing Swords! #1 (1973) and Flashing Swords! #4: Barbarians and Black Magicians (1977). The complete novel was first published by hardcover by Berkley/Putnam in September 1979, which also issued two later editions, a Science Fiction Book Club hardcover edition in February 1980 and a paperback edition in October 1980. The first British editions were issued in 1981 by Sphere Books (paperback) and Sidgwick & Jackson (hardcover). It was also included in the Sidgwick & Jackson omnibus Science Fiction Special 44 in 1983.

Ursula K. Le Guin bibliography

Ursula K. Le Guin (1929–2018) was an American author of speculative fiction, realistic fiction, non-fiction, screenplays, librettos, essays, poetry, speeches, translations, literary critiques, chapbooks, and children's fiction. She was primarily known for her works of speculative fiction. These include works set in the fictional world of Earthsea, stories in the Hainish Cycle, and standalone novels and short stories. Though frequently referred to as an author of science fiction, critics have described her work as being difficult to classify.Le Guin came to critical attention with the publication of A Wizard of Earthsea in 1968, and The Left Hand of Darkness in 1969. The Earthsea books, of which A Wizard of Earthsea was the first, have been described as Le Guin's best work by several commentators, while scholar Charlotte Spivack described The Left Hand of Darkness as having established Le Guin's reputation as a writer of science fiction. Literary critic Harold Bloom referred to the books as Le Guin's masterpieces. Several scholars have called the Earthsea books Le Guin's best work. Her work has received intense critical attention. As of 1999, ten volumes of literary criticism and forty dissertations had been written about her work: she was referred to by scholar Donna White as a "major figure in American letters". Her awards include the National Book Award, the Newbery Medal, and multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards. Feminist critiques of her writing were particularly influential upon Le Guin's later work.Le Guin's first published work was the poem "Folksong from the Montayna Province" in 1959, while her first short story was "An die Musik", in 1961; both were set in her fictional country of Orsinia. Her first professional publication was the short story "April in Paris" in 1962, while her first published novel was Rocannon's World, released by Ace Books in 1966. Her last publication was a 2018 collection of non-fiction, titled Dreams Must Explain Themselves and Other Essays 1972–2004. This bibliography includes all of Le Guin's published novels, short fiction, translations, edited volumes, and all collections that include material not previously published in book form, as well as any works mentioned in commentary about Le Guin's writings.

Wayne McLoughlin

Wayne McLoughlin (1944 - 2015 ) was a Welsh artist who dedicated his drawings to nature, he is most known for his cover art in Erin Hunter's Warriors and Seekers series.

McLoughlin began as a young explorer in Hampstead Heath, London, and later, in the swamps of northern Florida. He first worked on creating illustrated humor parodies for national magazines, including Esquire, Omni, Yankee, and National Lampoon. He illustrated for Citibank, Ford Motor Company, IBM, Motorola, Adidas, Texaco, MasterCard, the National Geographic Society, Audubon, Scientific American, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the Nature Museum in Grafton, Vermont. His drawings can now be found in outdoor magazines such as Sports Afield and Sporting Tales, as well as many books and publications that focus on animals and aspects of nature, such as the bestselling Warriors novel series and now also the Seekers series.

The Internet Speculative Fiction Database credits McLoughlin with the cover art for dozens of books published in the twenty years and two earlier: The Haven (1977), a horror novel, and Life in Darwin's Universe (1981), nonfiction.He lived with his wife Jackie in New Hampshire.

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