How do I stop a conversation at parties? By telling people I am a librarian, maintaining one of the world's largest collections of science fiction. Those not scared off by the initial confession frequently ask what a science fiction librarian actually does. The answer is that I do what any librarian does: I'm responsible for books and other media, and I deal with academics and scholars who need a particular resource. The collection in the Science Fiction Foundation Library is made up of over 30,000 books and 2000 periodical titles, including extensive runs of the "pulp" magazines of the 20s and 30s. Brought together by the Science Fiction Foundation and administered by University of Liverpool's library system, the collection is taken seriously, and it recently received a prestigious grant from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council.A more probing question, which I seldom get asked at parties, is...

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