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Due to refurbishment works in the Sydney Jones Library, Special Collections and Archives is closed to users from Monday 3 June until Monday 16 September (inclusive). We're still available for your enquiries via email.

Special Collections & Archives: Decolonising Science Fictionaccredited archive service logo

SC&A includes manuscripts and archives, medieval to modern; early and finely printed books, and science fiction collections.

Science fiction as a genre emerged from nineteenth-century adventure fiction and so is inherently informed by the discourses of colonialism. Colonialism structured storylines within popular texts and created narrative tropes now associated with the genre. It also led to marginalisation of authors from different cultures leading to a canon of predominantly white Western authors.

Decolonising as a process is to identify, acknowledge, and challenge the effects of colonialism. The goal of decolonising science fiction can be broken down into two parts. The first is viewing texts though a colonial lens; examining how they reflect and perpetuate colonial ideologies. The second is to promote voices to actively address the underrepresentation of marginalised cultures and to diversify perspectives.

The following guide is a curated resource for students, researchers, and teachers who want to engage with and take part in the process of decolonising science fiction. It provides links to catalogue information on critical texts and anthologies held in the University of Liverpool's Science Fiction Collections that either read science fiction through the lens of colonialism or explore science fiction voices from beyond or against colonial perspectives. The guide ends with external links to useful resources on decolonising the curriculum and decolonising science fiction as well as a section dedicated to resources for teaching held in the Science Fiction Collections.

The guide is a work in progress and represents only texts held by the Science Fiction Collections. Please let us know if there are texts missing from the guide or if you have any other feedback by using the suggestion form.

they carry water
"Our Grandmothers Carry Water from the Other World" (2016) by Elizabeth LaPensée, reproduced with kind permission of the artist


Teaching Postcolonial Science Fiction