Books hold incredible power. They can take readers to strange new worlds, transform them into completely different people, blast away feelings of doubt and negativity, and provide a much-needed escape from the harshness of the real world. While there are several genres of reading materials to choose from, science fiction has become one of the most popular. Surveys indicate that at least 20 percent of the world’s population enjoys science fiction, but the actual figures could be much higher. Although quite a few science fiction books venture into fantastic versions of present-day life or incredible depictions of the future, they date back quite some time.
Where It All Began
Science fiction has evolved over centuries of new real-world developments and increasingly active imaginations. History indicates that the genre first came into being between 300 and 500 years ago though opinions vary on the matter. Either way, it was born in a time of turmoil and uncertainty. During its early years, humanity was making significant advancements in science, technology, medicine, and other fields. Some of that progress frightened people of the time. They believed no good could come of the new discoveries being made.
This fear and mistrust led people to talk about where all the advancements were going to take society. It also prompted some creative and ingenious minds to take down their thoughts and those of others on paper. In turn, some of the greatest novels of all time came to pass and gave rise to the genre we now know as science fiction.
Looking at the Early Days of Science Fiction
Experts argue a bit about which classic piece of written work was actually the first science fiction novel. Some insist it was Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, originally published in 1817. Others say it was Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, which was published in 1726. You could even go as far back as the early 1500s when Thomas More’s Utopia was released. Either way, the genre didn’t become official until the early 1920s.
Today, the world is filled with science fiction novels and ebooks. Movies and television series depicting space exploration, alien invasions, post-apocalyptic societies, worldwide impacts of natural disasters, and many other concepts have become incredibly popular. For those who have embraced the world of science fiction and immersed themselves in the possibilities, there’s no need to mention all the highly sought-after titles by name. At the same time, an entirely new range of science fiction novels is making its way into the genre and people’s hearts.
From the Past to the Future
Some of the science fiction novels of the early days still seem unbelievable even by today’s standards. On the other hand, many of them have proven to be eerily accurate according to modern-day advancements. It seems some people’s fears of the future weren’t as far off course as many originally believed. Quite a few concepts of science fiction have either become reality or gotten fairly close to the mark. With that being the case, one can’t help but wonder how many more of those early predictions, as fictitious as they may have been, may actually come to pass during the years to come.