The History of Science Fiction — Xavier Dollo (Writer), Djibril Morissette-Phan (Art)
The European tradition of lengthy, themed graphic novels is finally entering the American marketplace, and there is much to celebrate.
As I often say here, there is no better way to learn about any given topic than a graphic novel. The combination of data with illustrations that truly connect with it is just irresistible. My husband has vast knowledge that can be directly attributed to this—and an understandable side effect is that he can name every single superhero out there, but I digress.
I wholeheartedly agree with the introduction to this graphic novel, specifically, that sci-fi will always be a conversation about possible futures.
As Ted Chiang says:
Science fiction, as I see it, is a postindustrial Revolution kind of storytelling. […]
Science fiction tells stories that only make sense to people who have seen how technology can change the world within their lifetimes.
It′s about the awareness that the future will not simply be a version of the past with the names changed; the future will be different.
The progress of sci-fi is traced here by citing all kinds of thinkers, from Thomas Edison to Elon Musk.
The graphics are very traditional but encompass a wide array of movie scenes that have also shaped our vision of possible futures. There is mastery displayed by Djibril Morissette-Phan in this kind of representation, a very heavily researched bit where a reference can take you to a movie and back.
Though not all of the answers can be found here, it is a great place to start asking the right questions about the history and purpose of science fiction. In a time of great information intoxication, it is very nice to see such dedicated mining of data, presented in illustrated form, as a comprehensive history of all our possibilities.
Publication Date: November 23, 2021
Format: 200 pages – Color
Price: $29.99 – £24.99 – Can$39.99
Featured image by Djibril Morissette-Phan, all images belong to Humanoids.