History of Science Fiction Captured in an Amazingly Detailed Work of Art

Ever wonder how cyberpunk fits in with hard science fiction? What about the connections between horror and SF? How does the golden age differ from new wave science fiction? Well, don’t despair because artist Ward Shelley is here to explain it all. In his epic painting, “The History of Science Fiction”, Shelley renders the various links between the genre with loving and beautiful detail.

History of Science Fiction by Ward Shelley

While being a handy guide to the genre, this map is also a piece of original art. Shelley has made numerous other paintings in this style dealing with other subjects interest to him, including The Beats, Frank Zappa, and a history of the Avant Garde. I was lucky enough to catch Ward Shelley’s solo show at the Pierogi Gallery back in 2009. After seeing a mention of numerous SF authors in his “Media Role Models” piece, I asked him if he liked science fiction. At that time he told me he was working on a big SF painting. Now, I couldn’t be more excited to see that it’s been finished!

When contemporary art combines with SF to create works like this, everybody wins.

Click here for a HUGE version of Ward Shelley’s awesome “The History of Science Fiction.”

[Link to images via Reddit]


Ryan Britt’s writing has appeared here, with Clarkesworld Magazine and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn.

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