I stumbled across the Internet Speculative Fiction Database recently while exploring the vast reaches of the interweb. I hadn’t heard of it before, so I checked it out. Like any moderately vain person, I typed my own name into it and—lo and behold!—I was in it. (If you’re interested, which I know you are, here’s my page.)
My entry is not much to look at—it’s missing some of my published fiction—but the fact that it lists anything for me absolutely blows my mind. Curious about the site, I did some research (thank you, Wikipedia) and found that it has its foundations back in the days of usenet (anyone else remember that?). It found its way to the internet in 1995, and Cory Doctrow gave it high praise when he called it “[t]he best all-round guide to things science-fictional” way back in 1998. It contains over 70,000 authors and nearly half-a-million story titles and gets over 32,000 visitors a month. I find it amazing that this site has been around for over fifteen years, yet I’ve never seen it before. Just goes to show you how much I need to get out more.
What amazes me even more is that it’s maintained by volunteers, so people are cruising the nebulous reaches of cyberspace compiling published spec-fic stories and regularly updating this database. That must be remarkable time consuming, especially considering the number of semi-pro and token spec-fic markets it seems to include. That might be made easier because it looks like just about anyone can do it. I’ll have to look into it. It would great to get my own information updated. While it doesn’t get a lot of visitors realtively speaking, 32,000 hits a month is nothing to scoff at. If it helps even a half-dozen potential readers find my fiction or my website, it can’t be a bad thing.
If you haven’t visited the Internet Speculative Fiction Database and you are science fiction, fantasy, or horror fan, I recommend you hop over there. It looks like a great resource for tracking down those obscure stories by your favorite (or maybe new) authors.