SciFan: books and links for the science fiction fan

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  Frequently asked questions about SciFan 
 
 Welcome to SciFan, an online resource for fans of science fiction and fantasy books. Feel free to contact us by e-mail if you don't find what you're looking for here, but please read the FAQ before you do (handling all the e-mail we get is challenging!)

  • Who is SciFan?
  • What's our purpose?
  • How to support SciFan?
  • How to order books online?
  • What was that story?
  •  
     
      Who is SciFan  
     
     

    SciFan is designed, programmed and maintained by Olivier Travers and his girlfriend Sophie Bellais. We're adding content almost daily, and spend a fair amount of time growing and tidying up our database, which as you're reading this, includes 78718 books, 22067 writers, 10491 series and 4932 web links.

    From its launch in January 1999 to the end of 2000, the editors and publishers of SciFan were Jim Harris and Olivier Travers. At the beginning of 2001, Jim decided he wanted to give fiction writing a try and is now taking courses to learn how to do that.

     
     
      Our purpose  
     
     

    Here are our main goals with this site:

    • Build a comprehensive and accurate database of SF/F writers, with their bibliographies, biographies and pictures, and links to relevant web sites.
    • Keep track of new book releases and series.
    • Inform on the history and evolution of SF&F, its themes and subgenres.
    • Promote science fiction and fantasy as worthwhile literary genres.
    • Provide convenient book shopping options, both for in-print and out-of-print books.
    • Earn enough revenue to sustain and grow the site.
    • Become an overall better resource as time goes by!

    Decades ago, a science fiction fan was a person who read the SF pulp magazines. The pulps died, but hardback, paperback and to some degree digest SF magazines flourished. SF wasn't a big world, but it grew. Meeting a science fiction fan usually meant meeting someone interested in the space program, a person who loved to read Heinlein, Asimov and Clarke, and a person who kept up with the SF field by reading prozines and fanzines. After Star Trek and Star Wars, meeting a person who called themselves a science fiction fan no longer meant they read the books and magazines. SF evolved into an industry of multimedia franchises. For decades the number of science fiction fans have been growing, but the sales of books and magazines have been declining.

    SciFan wants to help preserve the old style SF fan, who was first of all a book reader. New SF writers were people who grew up in that fandom, and knew the history of the field. We're afraid of a publishing world that would turn SF into one big multimedia tie-in industry, and we would lose the small exciting world of SF that we love. The internet and other technologies such as ebooks or print-on-demand are opportunities for "backlist" authors to be saved from oblivion, as well as help new writers to meet their public and grow their readership.

     
     
      How to support us  
     
     

    If you like what we do, and wish to help us, there are several ways you can do so. First, you can support us financially:

    • Buy books through our merchant links (more about that below)
    • Make a donation through PayPal (you can choose whatever amount you can afford and you feel reflects the value we provide)
    • If you have a product or service that might interest our audience, consider buying and ad with us (we're also open to other ad or sponsorship formats, provided they're not obnoxiously intrusive and fit our audience and content.)
    • Let your friends know about SciFan (free to you but valuable to us!)
    Readers and writers are also welcome to help us improve our site. We're always looking for tips:
    • False information - such as a wrong publication date or book title - and broken links.
    • Additional information, such as thematic data about books, or books and authors we should list.
    • Feature suggestions. We don't promise anything, and we already have a big list of ideas we want to implement, but we're always interested in hearing from you and how you'd like the site to evolve.
    Please provide sources to back up any information you send our way. We're also totally open to criticism as long as it's constructive. Did we mention we appreciate your support!

     
     
       Ordering books online  
     
     

    As a service to readers, and as our main method to earn money, we provide links to books sold by secure and reputable online bookstores such at Amazon.com. These shopping sites handle all the ordering and shipping process for you, we only guide you to them. If you buy books through our links, we receive a commission that helps us cover our web hosting costs and let us spend more time tending to the site. And this doesn't change the price you pay.

    Amazon.com, as well as the other major online book dealers will try to track down and buy out of print books for you. However, their efforts take weeks of time, and they add a hefty charge for doing the work you could be doing for yourself. At the end of 2000 Amazon added a way for individuals to sell their goods directly on the site, so that's an additional chance to find the book you want. However, there are online sources dedicated to finding and selling used books, so you'll find links to them beside Amazon's. We also recommend against buying used editions of just released books: these are review books that shouldn't be resold (these books are given to reviewers for promotional purposes and authors don't earn money on used sales.)

     
     
      What was that story?  
     
     

    One of the most common questions we get is: "when I was a kid I read this story about such and such. Do you know the name of the story and its author?". Mostly, we don't have enough knowledge of all the stories that were written to be much helpful.

    The best way to find help on this problem is to visit online forums and ask your question. Please read their archives before you ask as most often someone else will already have the same question answered.

     
    1998-2010 Olivier Travers & Sophie Bellais - All Rights Reserved