Contemporaneity of Some SF and Mystery Authors

I noticed just a few years ago that, while I had some idea of the sequence in which the early SF authors I liked had written their works, and an even weaker idea of the same for my mystery writers, I hadn't ever compared them.

This page is my first formal shot at making some of those comparisons. I particularly noticed that Doc Smith, Dorothy Sayers, and Rex Stout overlapped quite a lot.

The authors selected are ones of personal interest, though in all cases I can make at least a stab at demonstrating they're important, too. I have tried to include the best-known genre works of each author, unless those are too numerous to fit. In several cases I have ignored non-genre works completely.


For each author, the yellow bar shows the author's life from birth until their first genre work is published. The green bar is their publishing career. The red bar, if any, is their retirement. The left edge of the title of a work is located at the point it's first published according to the scale of years across the top.

That graph isn't a graphic, by the way; it's CSS positioning and background colors and things. This means people using non-graphical browsers but with the ability to display images won't be able to download it and look at it, sorry!

Jules Verne
From the Earth to the Moon
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
The Mysterious Island
Arthur Conan Doyle
A Study in Scarlet
The Final Problem
The Lost World
Shoscombe Old Place
H.G. Wells
The Time Machine
The Island of Dr. Moreau
The War of the Worlds
The Invisible Man
Men Like Gods
Star Begotten
Gilbert Keith Chesterton
The Club of Queer Trades
The Man Who Was Thursday
The Innocence of Father Brown
The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond
Edgar Rice Burroughs
A Princess of Mars
Llana of Gathol
John Taine
The Time Stream
The Purple Saphire
G.O.G. 666
Olaf Stapledon
Last and First Men
Odd John
A Man Divided
Rex Stout
The Black Mountain
The Doorbell Rang
A Family Affair
C.S. Lewis
Out of the Silent Planet
That Hideous Strength
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Last Battle
Edward E. Smith
The Skylark of Space
Skylark Three
Galactic Patrol
Children of the Lens
Skylark Duquesne
J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit
The Lord of the Rings
The Silmarillion
Dorothy L. Sayers
Whose Body?
Strong Poison
Busman's Honeymoon
In the Teeth of the Evidence
Dashiell Hammett
Arson Plus
The Maltese Falcon
The Thin Man
Ngaio Marsh
A Man Lay Dead
Died in the Wool
Hand in Glove
Light Thickens
Robert A. Heinlein
The Rolling Stones
Double Star
Jack Williamson
The Metal Man
The Legion of Space
The Humanoids
Seetee Shock
The Ultimate Earth
The Man From Somewhere

Last modified Friday, 02-May-2014 21:01:12 PDT
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David Dyer-Bennet