Future imperfect

June 4, 1999

Stewart Brand is correct in saying that science fiction is necessary in any library that seeks to record the "long perspective" of history and the future in literature, ("The time of our lives", THES, May 28).

He cites the Eaton collection at the University of California Riverside as the world's best library-based collection of sci-fi.

The Science Fiction Foundation library, now at the University of Liverpool, was brought together with the same perspective in mind. It is the largest collection of science fiction and material about the field to be found in a British library.

A library oriented towards the future is something that might have been proposed as a millennium project. It is interesting that, while the last turn of a century saw immense popular examination of the idea of the future (with sci-fi itself as one of the results), the fixation at the end of the 20th century seems to be on the idea that we may not actually survive that final tick of the clock.

While numerous future-oriented projects have been suggested for the Millennium Dome, how many have been accepted?

Andy Sawyer

Science Fiction Foundation Collection librarian University of Liverpool Library

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