Contrary to popular belief, the ideas for science fiction stories are not placed randomly into writers’ heads via alien transmissions. The origins of sci-fi are long, using concepts that go back thousands of years. It is only during the last 200 years or so that what can be considered “modern” science fiction began to form and take the shape that it has today.
During the 19th century, religion had been mostly replaced with science as the chief explanation for why things in the physical world behave as they do. Writers everywhere heard the call and used their minds to craft new worlds, inventions and concepts. Some of these were more successful than others, which gives birth to this list.
From the mountains of conjecture arose many concepts which would go on to form the basis of popular science fiction for more than a hundred years. Robots, time travel and planetary exploration are just a few of these. Here are 10 writers of the past (in chronological order) who have impacted the genre so much that they literally formed what the world now thinks of as science fiction.