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Fiction Works 

Tales of fiction are imagined stories, as opposed to the facts, real events, and real people of nonfiction. While plays are imagined stories, the term fiction tends to refer primarily to novels, short stories, and epic poems. Fiction can be classified into various genres such as mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, romance, Westerns, thrillers, dramas, coming-of-age stories, and historical fiction (fiction based on true events from the past). Fiction can be written for any reading level, including children, young adults, and adults.

Writers have been creating fiction for many centuries. The Mesopotamian epic poem Epic of Gilgamesh, written c. 2150–1400 BCE, is one of the oldest. Yet, for centuries the focus was almost exclusively to publish nonfiction writing, such as religious texts or government documents. Low rates of literacy and the high cost/high labor associated with creating books meant that books needed to have an urgent purpose; fiction was not perceived to be of high value because its purpose is primarily entertainment.

This began to change in the twelfth century with the creation of stories based on the legend of King Arthur. The creation of the printing press in the fifteenth century made it much easier to produce books. The better literacy rates and increased leisure time that accompanied the Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth century caused a veritable explosion in the production of fiction for leisure reading.

In the twentieth century, cheaper production methods allowed books to be affordable to practically everyone, which further increased fiction reading. This trend began to change in the latter half of the century, however, with increasing competition from other leisure activities such as television and computers.

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Fiction Works Resources

Gale provides scholarly resources, including databases, primary source archives, literary journals, and eBooks.


Gale databases offer researchers or teachers access to credible, up-to-date publications for research or teaching.

Primary Source Archives

Gale Primary Sources offers collections that include journals and articles that provide researchers with firsthand material.

Gale eBooks

Gale eBooks cover a wide range of topics: horror, short stories, sci-fi, poetry, intrigue, suspense, and more. Users can add Gale eBooks to a customized collection and cross-search to pinpoint relevant material. Workflow tools help users easily share, save, and download content. 

  • Critical Survey of Science Fiction & Fantasy Literature, 2nd Edition

    Critical Survey of Science Fiction & Fantasy Literature, 2nd Edition

    Salem Press  |  2017 |  ISBN-13: 9781682172797

    This volume provides descriptions of hundreds of famous and well-regarded tales of science fiction and fantasy, summarizing plots and analyzing their contributions to literature.

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  • Poetry Criticism

    Poetry Criticism

    Gale  |  2020 |  ISBN-13: 9781410396600

    Poetry Criticism assembles critical responses to the writings of the world's most renowned poets and provides supplementary biographical context and bibliographic material to guide the reader to a greater understanding of the genre and its creators. Each entry includes a set of previously published reviews, essays, and other critical responses from sources that include scholarly books and journals, literary magazines, interviews, letters, and diaries, carefully selected to create a representative history and cross-section of critical responses.

    Poetry Criticism offers clear, accessible introductory essays followed by carefully selected critical responses that allow end-users to engage with a variety of scholarly views and conversations. Pupils writing papers or class presentations, instructors preparing their syllabi, or anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the genre will find this a highly useful resource.

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  • Poetry for Students

    Poetry for Students

    Gale  |  2020 |  ISBN-13: 9781410388377

    Each volume of Poetry For Students contains easily accessible discussions of the literary and historical background of 16 works from various cultures and time periods. Each poem covered in this new resource was specially chosen by an advisory panel of teachers and librarians -- experts who have helped us define the requirements of learners and ensure the age-appropriateness of the subject matter.

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  • Short Stories for Students (Best Of): Presenting Analysis, Context and Criticism on Commonly Studied Short Stories

    Short Stories for Students (Best Of): Presenting Analysis, Context and Criticism on Commonly Studied Short Stories

    Gale  |  2020 |  ISBN-13: 9781410365569

    This “Best Of” volume of Short Stories For Students is comprised of brand new entries on short stories that have been previously covered in this series. These short stories are considered to be part of the literary canon and “most studied”. These entries are completely rewritten and updated, providing a new voice and containing all new criticism and images. “Best Of” volumes continue to feature a diverse mix of author nationality, ethnicity, and gender along with the time period in which the stories were written or set.

    Each volume of Short Stories For Students contains easily accessible and content-rich discussions of the literary and historical background of must-read tales from various cultures and time periods. Each story covered in this new resource was specially chosen by an advisory panel of teachers and librarians -- experts who have helped us ensure the age-appropriateness of content. Within the pages of Short Stories For Students, young researchers will discover everything they need to complete homework assignments and lead classroom discussions.

    Short Stories For Students contains concise synopses of the story's plot, characters and themes, along with a brief author biography, a discussion of the story's cultural and historical significance, and excerpted criticism geared specifically toward high school scholarship. Researchers will also find information on media adaptations of the story, discussion questions, and suggestions on what to read next. Cumulative indexes enable access to entries via author, title, nationality, and theme.

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