Questions about the origin of an idea...

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2
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1answer
86 views

Which Sci-Fi work introduced the idea of big Starships which don't land on a planet?

You can find this in countless Sci-Fi works: Big Starships which don't land on any planet, but establish an orbit around a planet if necessary. If crew want to land on a planet, they use shuttle pods ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

Which Sci-Fi work introduced the concept of “Advanced aliens mistaken as Gods”?

I see "Advanced aliens mistaken as Gods" in lots of Sci-Fi works. For example, Asgardians and Kree had been mistaken as Gods in Marvel Cinematic Universe. This book also has this concept. Star Trek ...
13
votes
1answer
122 views

Origin of Arcane Magic

I apologize for the length of this post, but it's a burning question. To see the actual questions, scroll down to the quoted text. I advise against this, though, as the intermediary text is pertinent ...
8
votes
2answers
930 views

A Slime Draws Near! What work of Fantasy/SciFi introduced Slime Monsters?

A modern staple of fantasy legends, the Slime Monster is an amorphous, shapeless, gooey creature best represented by the original Dragon Quest Slime. They are typically weak, but certain slimes, ...
6
votes
4answers
558 views

Which Sci-Fi or Fantasy work introduced the idea of TV preternaturally harming people?

In Doctor Who (2005) episode The Idiot's Lantern, Rose and lots of people were sucked by TV to remove their faces. Interestingly, it wasn't my first encounter with such an idea. Long before new ...
4
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1answer
117 views

Not-So-Grim Reaper

In current media the personification of Death is often shown as a fairly pleasant and sympathetic character, as in the Sandman graphic novels and some of the original Twilight Zone episodes. How far ...
6
votes
3answers
195 views

Where did the idea of “rocket tubes” come from?

I can't remember where I first came across it, but I know that I read at least one old SF story as a child which referred to "rocket tubes". I'm not asking for story identification. I know there were ...
5
votes
1answer
90 views

What is the earliest example of Superman-style flight?

Stories of flying people (or demi-gods or gods) go back all the way into pre-history. But in my experience, most or all of the early representations of super-human flight are either based on an item ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

Which Sci-Fi work introduced “Bug-eyed Aliens”?

Although you can see Bug-eyed Aliens in modern times (Men in Black, for example), it was already out-dated in 60s. In a special episode of Doctor Who which featured making of Doctor Who, the producer ...
5
votes
1answer
242 views

Does Star Trek's adherence to naval tradition have roots in NASA or earlier real organizations or works?

Is it well established that Star Trek follows naval tradition. For example its ranks come from USN. Ships share names with real Earth vessels, etc. I was surprised that the contingency speech on the ...
4
votes
1answer
130 views

What's the Original example of the common fantastical trope of Dwarf vs Elf?

Related this another recent question What's the original fictional (including) mythological example of Elves and Dwarves being set up as rival races? Is this a trope that first made it's appearance ...
6
votes
3answers
244 views

What is the first occurrence of a pre-teen female superhero in comics?

I am looking for the first appearance of a female heroine that would generally be considered a super-human and who is under the age of 13. Wonder Tot comes to mind, but is this the first?
9
votes
1answer
178 views

The idea of humanity forgetting Earth as its place of origin

After reading Foundation's Edge I'm wondering if the Foundation series was the first literary work to consider the possibility of humanity (as a whole or most of it) forgetting Earth as its place of ...
10
votes
2answers
307 views

First use of time travel in fiction

Where was the first literary appearance of time travel? I know H.G. Wells coined the term "time machine", and according to wikipedia he popularized the concept of time travel. Since they don't give ...
34
votes
3answers
6k views

What is the science-fiction tradition of flying cars having their wheels turned sideways?

The DeLorean in Back to the Future turns its wheels sideways when it is about to fly. Also, there are many children's toys that feature similar concepts, such as this Lego kit, which features two such ...
70
votes
1answer
6k views

Where does the stereotypicial image of the 'Grey' alien come from?

As I show below, typical alien depictions include an elongated, pale face, two dark elliptical eyes, and a small mouth. Who first used this design for an alien? Where does this design come from?
3
votes
2answers
86 views

What are the origins and ur-examples of a “combine all mysteries and conspiracies” sub-genre?

One of my favorite series is "Area 51" by Robert Doherty. Among the things that attracted me was the formula of taking all (or at least a significant amount) of the worlds mythology, weirdness, and ...
2
votes
0answers
123 views

What was the first SFF work where magic (spells) had to be primarily channeled through wands?

Magic Wand is a fairly common SFF trope, made ever-so-more popular by Harry Potter. What was the earliest published SFF work where the trope was used? Criteria: Wands are listed as a ...
4
votes
1answer
324 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 ...
4
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0answers
143 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
210 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 ...
29
votes
1answer
4k 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
399 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
296 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
votes
2answers
140 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
140 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
361 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
117 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?
10
votes
3answers
462 views

First use of a Quantum Computer in Science Fiction

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
2k 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
261 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
287 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
228 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
vote
2answers
375 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 ...
19
votes
6answers
2k 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
212 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
116 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
168 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
307 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
383 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
237 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
141 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
575 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
2k 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
415 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
262 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
487 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
125 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 ...