Who Is the Father of Science Fiction

The title "Father of Science Fiction" is commonly awarded to Jules Verne. However, he's not alone in headlining the genre, and others deserve a share in the title as well. Who else deserves to share the mantle with Jules Verne?

Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Jules Verne is considered the classic father of science fiction, and he certainly deserves accolades for pioneering the field. Verne wrote an amazing 65 books during his lifetime, and many of them were science fiction books. Some of his most famous science-fiction books are still common household names today, including:

"Journey to the Center of the Earth" (1864)
"Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" (1870)
"Around the World in Eighty Days" (1873)

Movies and other extrapolations of Verne's work have followed, and he's been an influential writer in the sci-fi industry, so much so that many sci-fi enthusiasts have attempted to emulate him. Verne is one of the most translated writers of all time, and his success indicates that he truly deserves the mantle of "father of science fiction," although his work doesn't resonate as well with modern readers as another writer who deserves to share the title.

H.G. Wells (1866-1946)
No less deserving of credit as a pioneer in the science-fiction world is H.G. Wells. Wells saw his first book published in 1895, and he is commonly viewed as the next link between the founding genius of Jules Verne and the modern science-fiction figures of the 20th century. Wells' books include such classics as:

"The Time Machine" (1895)
"The Island of Dr. Moreau" (1896)
"The Invisible Man" (1897)
"The War of the Worlds" (1898)

Many of Wells' works have also been turned into movies, and the radio broadcast of "War of the Worlds," read by Orson Welles in 1938, made international history as the world's first alien hoax. In fact, the broadcast, along with the 1947 Roswell UFO incident, may have added to the popularity of alien sightings in the following years and the growing public concern over an alien invasion. In this way, H.G. Wells can clearly be seen as one of the most influential science-fiction writers of all time, and he should share the mantle of "father of science fiction" with Jules Verne.

H.G. Wells was more than a science-fiction writer, though; his books touched on important themes and concerns in modern society. "The Time Machine" dealt with class struggle, while "The Island of Dr. Moreau" touched on the abominations that advances in science and medical technology could produce. Wells' books also feature attempts to define humanity and portray the ongoing struggle of the human race. These concerns remained valid during the World Wars and subsequent post-modern cultural and social struggles.

While Jules Verne might have been the founding father of science fiction, H. G. Wells' works resonate better with the modern reader, and ultimately they have become more ingrained in popular culture today. Both writers, though, have influenced the evolution of modern science fiction.

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