Questions about the history of the genre

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4
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1answer
282 views

Did “the force” ever use a different name?

I know that the dark side and the light side of the force were referred to as Bogan and Ashla (in reference to both Typhon's light and dark moons), But did "the force" as a collective ever use a ...
3
votes
0answers
93 views

Stories involving Time Travel and Disease Immunity? [closed]

When Europeans came in large numbers to the New World, the sicknesses they carried caused pandemics for Native Americans and wiped out much of the population. I would imagine that if a time traveller ...
4
votes
3answers
178 views

What are the roots of the 'characters representing bureaucracy' as a theme in British fantasy/sci fi?

In British SciFi/Fantasty we see the following genre/themes: Adams - HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy - the Vogons - bureaucratic officious overlords Gilliam - Brazil - The ministry - turning people ...
26
votes
1answer
3k views

Who, or what, are the human characters in the original 1977 Hildebrandt Star Wars poster?

Who, or what, are the human characters in the original 1977 Hildebrandt Star Wars poster? They are definitely NOT Mark Hamill or Carrie Fisher. Is there any canon information regarding whether or not ...
12
votes
1answer
335 views

Origin of word “matrix” used to describe a virtual reality environment?

What's the origin of the word "Matrix" used as either a name or a description of a virtual reality environment? The best known example is of course from the film of the same name, and it's widely ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

Where does the motif of a reanimated human head originate?

Futurama has all the heads in jars. The Invisibles (a little more fantasy than scifi) has a scene with the detached head of John the Baptist supposedly speaking prophecies. The general idea gets ...
11
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3answers
1k views

First known author to use the concept of “Bigger on the inside”

Who namely known author used the concept of being bigger on the inside first? A holodeck is bigger on the inside, the TARDIS is, on Diskworld the Home of Death and Rincewind's Luggage are, Hermione's ...
8
votes
0answers
194 views

What is the history of the term “Canon” as applicable to speculative fiction?

According to what I read, the original usage of the term "canon" as applicable to a set of literature works from a creator was by Ronald Knox in reference to Conan Doyle's "Sherlock Holmes" works (in ...
0
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2answers
124 views

1st occurrence of digital-currency/bitcoin-like technology in scifi [duplicate]

this blog asserts the story "Spondulix" by Paul Di Filippo in Sept 1995 issue of Science Fiction Age is possibly the first appearance of a digital-currency/bitcoin-like technology in science ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

What is the first TV instance of a Bioship?

Wikipedia suggests that the first mention of a bioship (an organic spaceship) was first mentioned as an idea in a 1953 short story "Specialist". In the science fiction short story "Specialist" by ...
10
votes
1answer
288 views

What is the first reference in Sci-Fi to a touch-screen computer interface?

I know in TNG that all computer interfaces are now touch-screen, and that got me thinking: when was the first reference to touch-screen computer interfaces in Sci-Fi made?
5
votes
1answer
97 views

Which American made comic book was the 1st to be translated into a foreign language and marketed abroad?

Which American made comic book was the first to be translated into a foreign language and marketed abroad? What language was it translated into, and what country was it intended for?
9
votes
3answers
337 views

first use of a quantum computer in science fiction genre

Nobel-prize winning physicist Richard Feynman is given credit as inventing the concept of quantum computers in about 1982 in the paper "Simulating physics with computers." Also, recently the company ...
3
votes
5answers
607 views

Who was the first publicly recognized Super Hero before the advent of comic books?

The 20th century brought us dozens, if not hundreds of fictional Super Heroes. Prior to the introduction of comic books, who is the first fictional Super Hero recognized by the public as being ...
8
votes
1answer
229 views

Why is “Chernobog” such a popular idea with fantasy creators?

I recently read a short story by Stirling (in Turtledoves alternate universe collection) set in The Peshawar Lancers universe. In the very beginning, he mentions Chernobog cult. This kind of threw ...
9
votes
3answers
276 views

Earliest use of Relativity in SF?

Einstein proposed the theory of Special Relativity in 1905, and General Relativity in 1916. I knew that the use of Relativity as a story concept appeared in Heinlein’s “Time for the Stars” (1956), ...
4
votes
3answers
209 views

What is the earliest novel/story to deal with cosmically vast expanses of time?

Can anyone tell me the name (and date) of the earliest story that deals with these kinds of journeys through cosmic time? I love stories that include journeys across incredible gulfs of time. I am ...
-1
votes
2answers
201 views

What is the origin of the legend of King Solomon's Mines in fiction?

What is the origin of the legend of King Solomon's Mines in fiction? H. Rider Haggard popularized the idea of King Solomon's Mines in his book, and plenty of fiction ran with the idea since then ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

What is the earliest work considered to be Science Fiction?

I have been reading a lot of Jules Verne's work written in the 1800's. Very clearly science fiction. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818) has some serious science in it also. What is the earliest ...
3
votes
0answers
185 views

What is the first work of fiction to treat evolution as scientific fact?

I am reading Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne, 1864 and evolution has some major roles to play in the work. The first being estimating depth below the surface of the earth, by ...
0
votes
1answer
94 views

How did the SciFi TV series originate as a genre? [closed]

What was the story behind the origination of SciFi TV series as a genre? More specifically, was it more of a drive to take SciFi ideas and material and bring it to the TV screen? Or vice versa, was ...
4
votes
1answer
150 views

Are there specific tropes/details/etc… that characterized Golden Age of Science Fiction?

Wiki article on the Golden Age of Science Fiction mentions a couple of major developments associated with it, but is pretty thin on comprehensive analysis: Space opera came to prominence ...
5
votes
3answers
285 views

What was the first SciFi work that referred to Pluto as NOT a planet?

In 2006, IAU changed its rules on what constitutes a planet. The most famous downstream impact of the new rules was that Pluto is now classified as Dwarf Planet (Plutoid) among Trans-Neptunial ...
1
vote
3answers
316 views

Where do zombies come from?

Who was the first writer/movie director/artist that came with the idea of the zombies we see in movies nowadays like Resident Evil, World War Z, Walking Dead? In general: the idea of a person seemed ...
6
votes
1answer
229 views

End-of-humanity SF

A recent story-id question introduced me to a Thomas M. Disch novel about the end of humanity while fighting, and losing, against overwhelmingly powerful alien invaders. This was in the early 1960s. ...
4
votes
2answers
137 views

How did the idea of a Tunguska meteor strike being of extraterrestrial alien nature develop in SciFi?

Many modern works of SciFi explain away the Tunguska Event as a result of alien visitation (explosion of a UFO, alien weapon, etc..). What was the history and progress of this line of explanation? ...
15
votes
2answers
431 views

What was the first science fiction work to use “credits” as currency?

I've only been able to trace it back to Asimov's "Foundation" series, first started in 1942. Anyone know if this trend of currency naming goes back any further?
15
votes
1answer
1k views

What did the “Big Three” think of each other's work?

Do we know what the Big Three (Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein) thought of each other's writing? Did they have any favorite works of each other?
8
votes
3answers
379 views

Earliest science-fiction mention of space stations?

Heinlein's The Puppet Masters, published in 1951, involved three space-stations orbiting Earth. I am curious to know which was the earliest science-fiction which involves space-stations. Furthermore, ...
7
votes
1answer
245 views

First story that take place outside the Milky Way

What is the first science fiction story that took Place outside Our own Galaxy? I know that Doc Smith wrote about it in 1934 in Skylark of Valeron, but what about before that? It was not before late ...
9
votes
6answers
451 views

What is the first instance of advanced races becoming beings of light in scifi and fantasy?

In the Malloreon of David Eddings, Star Trek, and the game Loom, among many others, there are races of beings who are shown as being highly advanced, who have the goal of becoming beings made of pure ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

TV anthologies (SF) with variable story length? [closed]

Other than the first two seasons of The Twilight Zone (1985-1989), have there been any speculative fiction television anthologies which had different numbers of stories within a single episode (time ...
9
votes
2answers
252 views

When did the idea than information is a substance first appear in science fiction?

A web novel from around 2008 had an interesting theme: intelligence, thought, ideas and coherent information are all aspects of a superdimensional force, existing alongside gravity and ...
10
votes
3answers
398 views

When did the first back-in-time Time-Traveling Robot appear in literature?

Which work of literature, film, or TV (or radio) program was the first to feature a sentient robot from the future that traveled back in time?
5
votes
1answer
245 views

What is the earliest depiction of realistic (hard sci-fi) giant humanoid mechas or robots?

The usual depiction of giant humanoid mecha/robots is very unrealistic. They disregard the square/cube law, inertia, to just name a few violations of the rules of physics. The most realistic ...
8
votes
2answers
338 views

What work of scifi broke the mold of zombies being undead voodoo minions and depicted them as mindless maneaters?

In the beginning, IIRC, zombies were undead creatures created and controlled by voodoo priests or priestesses. What work of scifi was the first to break that tradition by depicting zombies as ...
5
votes
5answers
295 views

When was the first alien invasion to feature more than one alien species?

More often than not, when an alien species invades they do so alone. Or they do so and bring their pets/creations in. I remember back when I played Xcom: Enemy unknown, you face an alliance of aliens ...
8
votes
4answers
541 views

What was the first SciFi work that theorized that Homo Sapiens were seeded on Earth by intelligent aliens?

What was the first SciFi work that theorized that Homo Sapiens were seeded on Earth by intelligent aliens (as opposed to all the other Earth species which evolved separately)? The earliest one I can ...
6
votes
2answers
247 views

Which novel or short story was the first to utilize a Bussard Ramjet?

Proposed by Robert W. Bussard in 1960, and later featured in the works of Larry Niven and Poul Anderson, which novel or short story was the first to utilize a Bussard Ramjet?
10
votes
4answers
504 views

What was the first depiction of China as a future superpower?

There is a recent trend to portray China as the future's next dominating superpower / rulers of the world or other things among these lines. They have been in the news in the last couple of years, ...
1
vote
2answers
175 views

What was the first SciFi book or story co-written by 2 authors before 1957?

What was the first SciFi book or story co-written by 2 or more authors before 1957? (1957 is simply because I'm aware of one written in that year, so that is a definite early mark).
7
votes
1answer
220 views

What was the first SciFi/Fantasy work to include intelligent beings evolved from Earth dinosaurs?

The theme that dinosaurs (or some other pre-60-million-years-ago reptilian species of Earth) may have evolved into intelligent beings who then had an encounter with men is pretty widely used ("West of ...
7
votes
3answers
272 views

Which work of Scifi/fantasy was the first to depict a person as a hologram?

Star Wars has them. So do the Star Trek and Red Dwarf series. Which work of Scifi/fantasy, written or filmed, was the first to depict a person as a hologram?
14
votes
6answers
974 views

What was the first sci-fi work that had an intelligent virus/bacteria?

What's the earliest example of an intelligent virus/bacteria? There have been a number of comic-book characters (e.g. Sublime, Hlavac, Despotellis), television versions (e.g. the black oil from the ...
7
votes
2answers
260 views

What was the first SciFi work that had a “biologically different” intelligent race?

What was the first SciFi work that had a an intelligent race that was biologically significantly different from humans? Not simply "non humanoid", but, say, non-vertebrate (non-humanoid vertebrates ...
12
votes
2answers
509 views

What was Isaac Asimov's first work?

I am wondering if Isaac Asimov's first work was published. Is it a short story or novel? Why he want to wrote scifi. Is it published in a book or in a magazine or elsewhere? When did he write it? If ...
11
votes
2answers
415 views

What work of SciFi or Fantasy was the first to depict small scale removable computer data storage media?

Star Trek TOS was using single handed removable read/write memory media (like the kind William Windom is holding below) before the floppy disk was even invented. Was Star Trek the first, or was a ...
5
votes
4answers
375 views

What kind of creature was the first movie monster to be described as “Undead”?

The undead are everywhere. Vampires. Werewolves. Zombies. Frankensteins Monster. (Edit- OK. According to Dr. Frankenstein "It's Alive!") What kind of creature was the first movie monster to be ...
4
votes
1answer
198 views

First SciFi book/movie that has species ethics deliberately built based on game theory

What was the first SciFi book/movie that has a species or other large group whose ethics is deliberately built based on game theory? Doesn't have to use the word "Game Theory", as long as the concept ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Why so little steam in steampunk?

In the vast majority of discussions of Steampunk work, in art and culture I see more references to clockwork items than steam-powered paraphernalia. It seems as though the term is more or less ...