Cool Stuff: Ward Shelley’s History of Sci-Fi

Here’s something for all you fellow geeks out there. Artist Ward Shelley has managed to incorporate three of my great loves (history, science fiction and surreal imagery) into one rather bizarre flowchart. Looking like a cross between an alien master-brain and a 40-a-day smoker’s lungs, Shelley’s diagram charts the path of science-fiction from its distant influences and origins right up to contemporary cinema and literature.

You need at least an hour just to explore this impressive graphic, so God only knows how long it took Shelley to research and create it. It certainly rewards the effort, though. It’s a fascinating lesson for those who thought Sci-fi started with Frankenstein. Look out for the grinning Alice in Wonderland growth and the cute Jules Verne balloon.

Click on image to see full size. And, trust me, you need to see this full size.

Shelley has announced on his site that, due to the huge interest this piece has generated, he’s looking into producing posters for purchase. Visit his site here for more details and to look at his other work.



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