Mary Shelley set out to create a monster--along the way she created a masterpiece. In 1816, she begins stitching together a patchwork of legend, technology, and personal tragedy- giving life to her novel, Frankenstein - and the genre of science fiction.
With stories like The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells established himself as a sci-fi writer of almost clairvoyant talent. But these tales of hi-tech adventure hold an ominous warning - beware the dark side of progress.
Philip K. Dick lived a life straight from the pages of his mind-bending sci-fi stories. His writing inspired Blade Runner and influenced the development of robotics and law enforcement. The troubled sci-fi legend questioned the definition of reality.
Some sci-fi storytellers are content to predict - but Arthur C. Clarke creates. His collaboration with Stanley Kubrick on 2001 predicted videophones, iPads, and commercial spaceflight. His sci-fi legacy inspires us to unveil the mysteries of the universe.
Isaac Asimov dreamed of a better future where robots can do mankind's dirty work. His I, Robot stories led to the creation of real-life industrial robots--and inspired generations to embrace the science and technology of a robo-friendly world.
Jules Verne is the ultimate futurist, with a legacy of sci-fi adventure stories predicting everything from fuel cell technology to viral advertising. The extraordinary voyages of Jules Verne span from the center of the Earth to the surface of the Moon.
Sci-fi legend Robert Heinlein is a walking contradiction. His stories address themes of patriotism but also sexual liberation and man's inability to cooperate. Heinlein's Starship Troopers and Stranger in a Strange Land continue to ask "what is freedom?".
From the light sabre to the Death Star, Star Wars is one of the defining science fiction works of the later 20th century. George Lucas' imagination has inspired generations of scientists and engineers to push the envelope of technology.