THE EVOLUTION OF GENRES: A Sideways Look at Literature

Explore the books, writers, events, and movements across centuries that made genre fiction what it is today.

Welcome to the companion timeline to GUMSHOES, FANGS, ROCKETS & SPIES, the nonfiction book about the evolution of genres. Gold Award winner for History, 2021 Royal Palm Literary Awards.;xNLx;;xNLx;To toggle between 2D and 3D views, click on the round icon in the lower left of your screen. Maneuver about with cursor or the slider at the bottom.;xNLx;;xNLx;Feel free to link to and share this timeline! ;xNLx;;xNLx;Visit me at [KENPELHAM.COM](http://www.KENPELHAM.COM);xNLx;;xNLx;;xNLx;;xNLx;;xNLx;;xNLx;* * *;xNLx;;xNLx;All text, copyright 2018 by Ken Pelham. Unauthorized copying or use of the material herein without the author's consent is prohibited. ;xNLx;All images used are either public domain images or used with the permission of the rights holder.

0476-06-30 00:00:00

Fall of Rome

Ordoacer enters and conquers the City of Rome. Generally considered to be the end of the Western Roman Empire.

0500-01-01 00:00:00


Fairy tales, tall tales, and folklore, of all cultures, often referred by the German word Märchen, date back millennia.

0500-01-01 00:00:00


With the collapse of Rome, legends, myths, and folk tales of the lands of Europe continued to be passed along orally, and with time many found a home in writing. But the great majority of written literature was religious and theological in nature, as the few literate persons around tended to be found in churches and monasteries.

0626-06-30 00:00:00

WOODBLOCK PRINTING INVENTED, 626-649, Tang Dynasty, China

Woodblock printing is known to have existed in China as long ago as 220 AD. The first known use of the technique for printing literature dates to the Tang Dynasty, in the 7th century AD... a good eight centuries before the Gutenberg press.

0750-01-01 00:00:00


Arabian tales of wonder and imagination, composed beginning sometime in the 8th century.

0793-06-08 20:12:01

First of the Viking Raids

The beginning of a long era of domination.

0850-06-30 00:00:00


Huŏ yào, or "fire medicine," gunpowder was invented by alchemists ironically looking for an elixir to prolong life. By the year 1000, it was used in military weapons.

0868-05-11 04:53:42

DIAMOND SUTRA, Author Unknown

Containing teachings of the Buddha, the Chinese edition of Diamond Sutra is, according to the British Library, "the earliest complete survival of a printed, dated book." This book was printed nearly 600 years before the invention of the Gutenberg press, using the wood block technique developed by the Chinese in the 7th century.

0960-06-30 00:00:00

Sung Dynasty of China Founded

The Sung Dynasty ushers in an era of progressive arts, philosophy, and literature.

1000-01-01 00:00:00

"Beowulf," author unknown

The epic poem that is the oldest known in the English language. Heroic deeds and monsters galore!

THE EVOLUTION OF GENRES: A Sideways Look at Literature

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