“History of Science Fiction” is a graphic chronology that maps the literary genre from its nascent roots in mythology and fantastic stories to the somewhat calcified post-Star Wars space opera epics of today. The movement of years is from left to right, tracing the figure of a tentacled beast, derived from H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds Martians. Science Fiction is seen as the offspring of the collision of the Enlightenment (providing science) and Romanticism, which birthed gothic fiction, source of not only SciFi, but crime novels, horror, westerns, and fantasy (all of which can be seen exiting through wormholes to their own diagrams, elsewhere). Science fiction progressed through a number of distinct periods, which are charted, citing hundreds of the most important works and authors. Film and television are covered as well.
The original is hand drawn and painted on Mylar. It has been exhibited at Teapot Gallery in Cologne and is part of an ongoing series. Other examples may be seen at: http://www.wardshelley.com This piece has not been published or reviewed but others in the series have been reviewed (links available on website) and have been placed in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum, among others.
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