Although Brooklyn-based Pop Chart Labs has been formative in turning trendy infographics into a serious business–and created some of our all-time favorite data visualizations–they’ve kind of been phoning it in lately. Its last two infographics, A Chronological Compendium of Watches, and the Taxonomical Tea Box, were both so uninspired, I couldn’t believe they were from the same designers who once gave us this breathtaking cocktail-mixing chart.
Thankfully, though, Pop Chart seems to have come out of its doldrums with its latest infographic, A Plotting Of Fictional Genres. Perfect for any bibliophile’s library, it’s an 18-inch-by-24-inch poster that helps guide you through the labyrinth of literary fiction: from the I, Ching to the latest Tom Clancy novel.
The infographic is so thorough, you probably didn’t even know some of these were literary genres. The Experimental corner, for example, includes strange sub-genres like Ergodic Literature (non-linear books that require a non-trivial amount of effort to read through, like Mark E. Danielewski’s House of Leaves), Philo-Horror (philosophical horror like Thomas Ligotti, the author who inspired True Detective) and Bizarro Fiction, which includes works with evocative titles like The Haunted Vagina and HELP! A Bear Is Eating Me!
Don’t worry, though. Pop Chart’s poster isn’t only for people with the taste for the strange. It’s just as satisfying tracing the various branches and deviations on more mainstream genres like science-fiction, fantasy, horror, and thrillers. For me, though, the true pleasure in the chart is trying to take the most unlikely pairings you can think of and then seeing how they relate to one another. For example, how many sub-genres you need to traipse through before you can connect David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest with Cameron Pierce’s seminal masterpiece, Ass Goblins of Auschwitz? (The latter of which is available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited! I checked!)
You can purchase a print of A Plotting of Fictional Genres for $30 here.