The Evolutions of Science-Fiction and Fantasy Through The Year

The Evolutions of Science-Fiction and Fantasy Through The Year

Everyone knows Fantasy and Science-Fiction; every book ever written has some level of fantasy or sci-fi elements within it. The author Brandon Sanderson once said, “Everything you could possibly write in any genre can be put into fantasy, and it can have dragons.” And he’s right, almost every book ever written is technically fantasy, any book about an alternate history is fantasy, any book with time travel has sci-fi elements. Science-fiction and Fantasy both share the goal of making the impossible seem possible, even for just a moment, so it’s no surprise that sci-fi and fantasy have gone through changes throughout the years of being consumed, and we wanted to shed a little light on the history and how they’ve changed.

In the beginning, there was nothing, and then Johannes Kepler said “Let there be Somnium!” Yes you heard me right, the first real science fiction novel we had was a scientific treatise on the heliocentric cosmos, but it’s disguised as a fairy tale about an Icelandic boy and his mother. While that was technically the first sci-fi novel, hundreds of years before were the pantheons and mythoi of ancient civilizations and folk tales. While they may have believed in them during those times, it’s easy to see many early tropes that are commonplace in modern sci-fi and fantasy such as the tragic heroes or trips to the underworld.

Fantasy and sci-fi both weren’t very big genres for books in the 17th century because many couldn’t read, but fantasy began to grow in the 18th century thanks to fictitious traveler’s tales, though sadly many of those stories were lost due to lack of documentation. Science-fiction had a very, very slow start and only began to get popular in the 20th century as nuclear power and computers started becoming commonplace.

One of my favorite stories from the pulp fiction era by John Gregory Betancourt

The first big boom in the genres was from a very special type of printing books in the mid 20th century, Pulp Fiction. While many only know of the name because of the famous Tarantino movie, it was originally a cheap way to mass-produce books on paper made from wood pulp. Pulp fiction books were focused on easy to read fiction, a lot of mysteries, thrillers, actions, and of course, science fiction and fantasy, one of the biggest being A Princess of Mars. This was truly the first big boom of the fantasy and sci-fi genres.

The modern-day look of fiction is bright and beautiful, digital books and writing websites allow thousands of aspiring authors to post their work and get hints on how to improve their writing to be the best it can be. There are thousands of books that anyone can easily pick up from a bookstore cheaply or from a library for free, with huge names that ring out to different forms of media like movie and game adaptations of the work, with all of this stemming from people dreaming what wasn’t thought possible at the time. Fantasy and science-fiction are truly the all-encompassing genres of literature, allowing people from all walks of life to come together and share their thoughts freely.