It’s hard to believe there was ever a time when science fiction books were hard to find – how did the sci-fi genre become so popular?

Science fiction is everywhere. Sci-fi rules when it comes to television, film and especially fiction books. Perhaps it was a lack of imagination when it came to artificial intelligence and alien life but once upon a time, sci-fi was hard to come by.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, published in 1818, is considered by many to be the first sci-fi book written; however it was authors HG Wells and Jules Verne that created stories that would become the ultimate basis for the entire genre. Verne allowed us to explore the unknown depths of the deep sea, the Earth’s core, and even the moon (long before the actual moon landing). Wells’s stories take place on the Earth’s surface for the most part but they allow readers to travel to the future, witness human experimentation, and ward off alien invasions.

Find out how the genre continued to grow from before World War II through modern-day, touting gifted authors like Ray Bradbury and George Orwell, in the video below: