So, my latest class at The Mythgard Institute is over. It was the second part of a two-part History of Science Fiction class, taught by the preeminent Dr. Amy H. Sturgis. Both semesters are now available as course packs from Mythgard.
Anyway, I wrote my final paper on Ursula K. Le Guin’s excellent novel The Left Hand of Darkness. I hadn’t read it before this class, and I knew almost immediately after putting it down what I wanted to write about. (As I’ve said before,the secret to writing is reading!)
In the course of writing my final paper, I put together quite a lengthy linked bibliography of secondary sources on the novel. It’s by no means comprehensive, and I certainly didn’t use all these sources in my paper itself (though, I read or skimmed through a fair sample of them). Mostly, this was just an exercise in finding onlineresources that I could use for research.
That said, I think it may be of use to others. There are some great tools available for science fiction (and fantasy!) research, but they don’t seem to really interact with each other in any way. For example, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Research Database is great for looking up citations and cross-referencing authors and topics, but it’s not so good in the way of actually linking up to articles themselves. Likewise with the Internet Speculative Fiction Database, which is spotty with the secondary stuff but has a fantastic list of primary sources.
Granted, this is just a single bibliography on one particular book. But my hope is to work on building more like it, and hopefully building something that can pull together similar resources on a larger scale. A boy can dream, anyway….