For questions about the fictitious in-universe science found in works of speculative fiction. Questions purely concerning real-world science are off-topic.

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4
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1answer
169 views

Where does light come from in Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth?

Disclaimer: I haven't read the book yet, but am really curious about this, but am trying to avoid spoilers that give away the whole story. I'm trying to get just an answer to this question without ...
11
votes
5answers
321 views

What was the first story where a universal constant had a different value?

In some stories, the value of a universal constant is different than it is reality. For example, in Going Postal: 'Something like that, sir, probably, something like that,' said Groat. 'Three ...
51
votes
2answers
8k views

Potatoes were alive and sprouted on Mars: How were they preserved on the journey there?

Please note: The biology related aspects of this question are posted here. In "The Martian" (2015), the protagonist grows potatoes on Mars. We see him using seemingly fresh potatoes as his seeds. ...
36
votes
1answer
3k views

Is the Magic School Bus actually magic?

Is The Magic School Bus, of the The Magic School Bus franchise, actually magic? On one hand, it's called magic and does many things that science probably can't achieve. On the other hand, it is only ...
7
votes
1answer
228 views

When did zombies become “infected” rather than corpses raised from hell?

I am curious as to the evolution of the zombie concept. In old horror movies from the 60s and into the 80s, zombies were depicted as "true" undead beings; people who have died and been inhumed, and ...
10
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4answers
2k views

What was the first story describing realistic zero-g during space flight?

Newton's law of universal gravitation has been known since 1686 and it states that gravity is proportional to inverse square of the distance, but never fades to 0. This led to stories where various ...
3
votes
2answers
156 views

X-Files - Waxman-Geschwind

In season 4 / episode 23 Mulder and Scully talk about the Waxman-Geschwind Syndrome. Sometimes Syndromes and/or Phenomenons that are part of the episode, exists in reality. Does Waxman-Geschwind ...
3
votes
1answer
143 views

How much G-Force do people transported by the Flash experience?

How much is estimated g-force experienced by people grabbed and moved by Flash, and many times does it exceed fatal dose of (around) 65g? Why don't these people die because if the G-force?
6
votes
2answers
777 views

How does ash cool the planet?

It said that the Lord Ruler moved the planet too close to the Sun and it became too hot. So he kicked the ashmounts awake and let the ash cover the atmosphere and cool the planet down to a habitable ...
5
votes
1answer
227 views

Which Bone is Leela Missing?

In Season 8, Episode 9 of Futurama, called "Fry Am the Egg Man", Leela says that she has 205 bones in her body. A normal human has 206 (at adulthood), so what bone is Leela missing?
-1
votes
1answer
101 views

Inconsistent science in Planet of the Apes

In the original Planet of the Apes, the reason for their travel forward in time is their near light speed travel, which causes time to move slower for them. This is scientifically accurate, allows ...
4
votes
1answer
300 views

Could the ocean really evaporate due to nuclear war, as shown in Mad Max: Fury Road? [closed]

In Mad Max: Fury Road, it's strongly implied that the Pacific Ocean has evaporated (or almost entirely evaporated), and is now just "the Great Salt." In particular, Max says that riding across the ...
2
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0answers
75 views

How does light from the Starkiller reach Leia? [duplicate]

OK, the StarKiller base in Episode 7 found a way to send energy from a star millions of light years away at warp speed. Obviously. However visible light doesn't travel faster than light speed. ...
6
votes
1answer
220 views

Chemical Elements in the Star Trek Universe

Star Trek commonly refers to chemical elements we "haven't yet" discovered, such as "bilitrium", "illirium", "veridium", and "yominium". A few might correspond to isotopes found in the Island of ...
12
votes
1answer
527 views

What's the nutella for?

In the image below, Captain America is hugging the Winter Soldier while telling Stark and Banner ... I have my own secret club now Cap's club is Army Bros so I'm assuming that implies Stark and ...
18
votes
5answers
3k views

Why weren't they already growing food on Mars?

This might be separated in to 2 questions but I have issues with Mark Watney(Matt Damon) growing his own food on Mars. Currently the space station is growing their own food. On a side note it ...
12
votes
1answer
198 views

Story where stardrive test-pilot visits alien solar system and is attacked by a psychic (alien) child

Looking for story title and author. Can't remember if the story was a short story, novella or novel. Here's the storyline as I remember it. In the near future humans have just created a prototype ...
6
votes
1answer
216 views

Looking for title and author of book where gun powder explodes

Like the title says I'm looking for title and author of a book where gun powder explodes. I read it sometime ago (15-20 years) The story starts in a university where they are testing a machine. When ...
4
votes
3answers
437 views

Why did DS9 need a Science Officer (pre-wormhole!)?

There is some suggestion that there's a position of Science Officer aboard starships. On NCC-1701, this was Spock. On NX-01, this was T'Pol. But there really isn't such high-ranking position on ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

To build the Iron Man suit, what fields did Tony Stark need to be an expert in?

I have been thinking about superheroes lately and Iron Man seems to be the safest one. His suit allows him to practically be bulletproof. In what fields did Tony Stark have to be an expert in to ...
3
votes
0answers
122 views

Trying to find the title of a science fiction novel where the monster is singing killer space fungus

Yep. Singing killer space fungus. I'm trying to find a science fiction novel that scared the bejesus out of me when I was a kid. This book was one of those paperback novels from the '60s or '70s. ...
7
votes
1answer
351 views

Boy discovers his life is a science experiment

Children's story I read 13-15 years ago about a boy who finds out his whole life is part of a science experiment. It would have been a fairly short book with easy to understand language as I couldn't ...
1
vote
1answer
684 views

How did Ant Man interact with Yellowjacket's suit after shrinking to sub-molecular levels? [duplicate]

In the movie, when Ant Man realized he needed to shrink to sub-molecular levels to enter Yellowjacket's suit - how did he then interact with the components to destroy the suit? Titanium has a density ...
2
votes
1answer
811 views

Can tree frogs modulate their infrared output?

In Jurassic World one of the scientists said that tree frogs can modulate their infrared output. Is this science fiction or science fact?
6
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0answers
100 views

Book where a mysterious force transports most of the humans from Earth to various other planets and times

I forget the title and author, but he described the opening as such: a mysterious force, likely aliens, removes a large proportion of humans from Earth, and transports them to different planets, while ...
6
votes
1answer
116 views

Looking for 50's 60's science fiction short story - radio waves and combustion

I can't remember the name of the story, but in it a character in a remote Alaskan outpost during a war between the US and the Chinese (or Russians, can't remember). This sentry makes a discovery that ...
5
votes
0answers
85 views

Trying to find a book about slaves on a barren planet

I read it 10 years ago. It started with them on a planet that looked barren. Later on they're captured as slaves. The story centers on one person, who toils through the slave labor but later escapes. ...
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votes
5answers
163 views

Which science fiction work had the most habitable worlds in our Solar System?

By habitable worlds I mean worlds where humans from Earth could live without spacesuits or airtight enclosed habitats. The creator of this website attepted to build the ultimate solar sytem, a ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

What is the 1st published example of Kal-El using the scientific method to benefit the general population of Earth?

EDITED FOR CLARIFICATION-What is the first published example of Kal-El using the scientific method to benefit the general population of Earth? I'm looking for the first time it was noted, not an ...
6
votes
1answer
245 views

Is there magical science?

I know someone had a question about whether or not the magic from Harry Potter had science behind it[1]. What I want to know, however, is what is the magical view on Muggle science. What do wizards ...
0
votes
0answers
63 views

How do Xenosaga's KOS-MOS and her nanomachines work?

In Xenosaga, KOS-MOS is able to basically transform the frame and also function of her body and appendages into different weapons and abilities, even different energy and projectile weapon types, and ...
3
votes
2answers
227 views

Science fiction show that was shown in middle school in the 90's

I remember being in 6th grade in Home Economics (or something) and the teacher had us watching this science fiction show similar to Doctor Who where this team of people who where (orange?) jumpsuits ...
0
votes
3answers
349 views

Why not make “supermen” on Krypton?

As a scientist and a father, Jor El wouldn't send his son to a planet with an environment that could potentially kill him, so he had to test what the yellow Sun's rays would do to the Kryptonian body. ...
5
votes
2answers
230 views

Why does Ground Radiation cause mutation, but Solar Radiation does not?

In The 100, TV series: the Grounders have a serious problem with radiation caused mutants. We see that in the mutant child in the Deadlands, where it is stated that it is traditional to leave them ...
3
votes
1answer
180 views

YA Novel where the main characters family have been replaced by impostors

There's not much I remember about the book. I know it has a green cover, the hardback version anyway. The green is almost shiny with vertical lines, sort of like the matrix. This could be way off, ...
3
votes
1answer
154 views

Earliest story involving a Man-Made Creature turning on its creators?

Does anyone know of the earliest known record of a story involving some sort of artificial creature, brought into existence by humans, that, at some point, becomes violent and attacks its creators or ...
3
votes
1answer
167 views

Fantasy novel series with paraplegic protagonist

I am looking for a fantasy book where the main character travels back and forth between Earth and his world and they watch him like he is on TV. He gets stabbed in the stomach and in the second book ...
7
votes
1answer
260 views

How/where did Stanislaw Lem learn advanced mathematics?

It seems, based on some of his writings (for example this poem from The Cyberiad, http://www.aleph.se/Trans/Cultural/Art/tensor.html), that Stanislaw Lem had some background in non-basic mathematics. ...
11
votes
1answer
448 views

Stainless Steel Rat warp drive?

In The Stainless Steel Rat universe, space ships would often travel quickly across the galaxy. There was one case when DiGriz traveled a long distance to meet an alien race. I can't remember if the ...
5
votes
1answer
213 views

Short story about a woman who has lost her right to use science

This story would have been in a short story collection or anthology over the last few years. I think it was about a woman who would not allow medical treatment for her children due to vague ...
13
votes
1answer
259 views

Smallest creature an Animorph can change into?

In the Animorphs series book series, you see them change into mosquitoes, fleas and all sorts of small creatures. Could they go into single celled organisms? Also, when they changed into mosquitoes, ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

In Ex Machina, can this character survive?

This is not about who I'm quite sure is doomed, but Is there any way this character could survive for long?
6
votes
3answers
499 views

Does the Ringworld have frozen belts near the rim walls?

The Ringworld is an object around 1 million miles wide and with a diameter of approximately 2 AU, encircling a Sun-like star. From what I can tell the surface of the Ringworld is "flat", as in the ...
4
votes
0answers
86 views

Looking for a movie with a young alien conected to a control room

Years ago I watched a science fiction movie about a young alien man connected up to the control room of a spaceship. On board were several earthlings, with one of them being a model of some sort. The ...
-1
votes
2answers
170 views

Early 90s story of kids shot into space in “pod” as trial by ordeal

I read a story (in the early 90s) about kids who faced some kind of trial by ordeal where they were shot into space (I think) in what I remember to be "pods". Does this ring a bell with anyone? I ...
6
votes
1answer
200 views

Book where biological dust comes to Earth and causes havoc

I am looking for a science fiction book with a theme centered around an alien life form that sends a virus as a probe in space to look for life forms. This dust arrives at our planet and havoc ensues. ...
3
votes
1answer
134 views

Book (pre 1982) - recalled mercenary only survivor of radiation weapon [duplicate]

I read a book somewhere around 1981 or 82 at our local library. It was the first book in a series. I can almost remember the entire book just not the title nor the author. I would love to find out if ...
15
votes
1answer
933 views

How does the scientists version of the Lords Prayer (Our Father) go?

I read this a long time ago, and it was in a book written many years before. But there was a version of the Lords Prayer adapted for Scientists. Now, the normal Lords Prayer goes something like this: ...
7
votes
0answers
172 views

Movie about a mad scientist stealing life/talent/enthusiasm from unsuspecting teen girl or girls. Black guy hero

It was an older movie, probably 80's-ish era. Medium budget. Scientist was trying to defy the aging process. Girls he used were young teens, and the process killed them, I think. I only caught the ...
2
votes
1answer
149 views

Could a Warp Drive distort a planet or star? [closed]

Warp drives are supposed to be devices that alter the shape of space to facilitate very quick travel of very large distances. Now what happens if you take this fantastical potentially legitimately ...