Margaret Young, an avid reader of science fiction and the mother/mother-in-law of two former Iowa State University staff members, donated her collection of nearly 400 monographs and 35 serial titles to the University Library in the 1970s.  At the time, the collection was housed in Special Collections for two reasons: first, the donor wished the collection to remain together, and, second, the Special Collections Librarian desired to preserve the original cover art on these fragile paperback volumes.  If the books had been housed in the General Collection, the covers would undoubtedly have been lost when the books were sent out for library bindings.  As these books become more and more rare, the wisdom of housing them in Special Collections at the time of their arrival becomes more evident.  Click here for a listing of titles in the Margaret Young Science Fiction Collection.

Given how the imaginations of science fiction writers have inspired and driven the development of real technologies, this literary collection is a fitting one for Iowa State University of Science & Technology.

The collection includes some names so famous that even those not interested in the genre have surely heard of them, like Arthur C. Clarke, and H.G. Wells.

The collection also includes authors well-known to science fiction buffs, like John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris, who wrote under several different pen names, including John Beynon (left, below) and John Wyndham (right, below).

However, my favorite parts of the collection are the serials from the 1950s and 1960s.

The science fiction genre continues to thrive today: NPR just released its list of The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy.