The History of Science Fiction diagram

I’m not huge on the SF, but I ran across this image and have a suspicion that some of youse might enjoy looking it over.

So…Here you go.

Interesting, but I’d disagree with several things in it. Jules Verne lead directly to Edgar Rice Burroughs? And didn’t influence other stuff? He ought at least to have Hugo Gernsback branching off from him. I suspect that the chart reveals the creator’s reading habits and prejudices. Mine would, too, but it’d have more 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s stuff in it, and I think some things from more recent times are over-represented. Plus the chronology of films is kinda messed up.

Impressive, although I’ve got some disagreements, myself.

The link at IO9 (where I saw it first) takes you to Ward Shelley’s website. Where you can explore other fascinating diagrams of his interests.

I’d question westerns being a distinct offshoot of gothic novels. I’d have put the western genre as an American offshoot of historical romances or fantasy adventures.

Akira’s in two places. So’s Alien Nation. Which really should lead to District 9.

Most of the work clearly went into the older half, which is kind of a pity. The right side pretty much lost the ‘influence tracks’ which are the fun part.

Rudy Rucker is always listed with cyberpunk, but Walter Jon Williams never is. IT JUST ISN’T RIGHT!!

I can’t seem to find any Heinlein in the “hard” section, but I can (for reasons I can’t begin to fathom) find Battlefield Earth there. The only science that Hubbard got right in there is that mint tea is good for a stomachache, and horses operate on principles completely unrelated to teleporters.

No link from Beowulf to Tolkein? Unless I’m reading the diagram wrong.

Pretty cool, in any case.

I’m surprised not to find Robert Forward in the “hard” section. Or have I missed it?

Comic books are completely shut out? Super-heroes are almost certainly an SF/Myth/Fantasy sub-genre, and even leaving them aside, the comics medium has had plenty of “pure” sci-fi product as well.

Well, it’s not meant to be an exhaustive listing, by any means. And, much as I love his stuff, Forward wasn’t as influential as a lot of other writers.

People have found a bunch of names misspelled.

Barry “Malzburg,” “Joe” McDevitt, and “Frederick” Pohl.

Gilgamish, Aristopanes.

Olaf Stapledon’s “First and Last Men.” Michael Moorcock’s “Erlic.” The Martian “Chronicals.”

Other names are listed twice, and some connections are just wrong.

I don’t get it. This is clearly a labor of love and clearly took huge amounts of time and effort. Everybody is passing it around and it deserves to be. But you get basic names wrong and don’t give it to someone else to proofread?

Artists! :slight_smile:

Interview with Ward Shelley about the graphic on Slate.