Used for questions on the science fiction genre itself, including its tropes and conventions. Should **not** be used to categorize questions about specific works of science fiction.

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What is the origin/lore behind the website banner of Science Fiction & Fantasy? [migrated]

I've always wondered. Its quite beautiful. These are the things I've wondered... Is that an angel or some greek god? Is that an ocean horizon on the shore of rocks or overlooking a blue planet of ...
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0answers
87 views

Yuri Eden in Stephen Baxter's proxima what is his real name?

I have just read Stephen Baxter's PROXIMA and as it is early on mentioned in the novel, the protagonit's name "Yuri Eden" is not his real name. Yuri is the nickname he was given on Mars, Eden is the ...
13
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4answers
2k views

Why was the population so great in Soylent Green?

Soylent Green takes place in the 2040s and the population has become so great that they used up all the foodstuffs on Earth. Starvation is rampant so a company creates an edible product called Soylent ...
-5
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1answer
157 views

Why do Marvel Comics' Celestials appear to have humanoid forms?

According to this and their depictions in the comics, Celestials can remain levitated in the air and maneuver in any directions. If they could just fly anywhere they want and constantly remain ...
14
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1answer
1k views

Looking for a short story about a man travelling alone on a planet

About fifteen years ago I read a short story about a man on a planet (possibly Mars or the Moon), travelling alone between bases. It's written in the first person and as he's walking across the ...
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3answers
233 views

Any plans to make a movie of one of Jack Vance's books?

I'm curious if there have been, or currently are, plans to make a movie from one of Jack Vance's stories, and what the status of such plans are?
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1answer
112 views

Old series about pink aliens fighting against us, probably aired around 2000 [duplicate]

The series was about Earth battling these unknown aliens in space, the war was close to the alien's planet/planets. They wore dark body-suits with dark helmets, completely covering their features. ...
70
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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?
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2answers
83 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 ...
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2answers
362 views

In Star Trek: TNG, what is the most common away team combo (e.g. Riker, Data, Troi?) and why?

In the video games Star Trek: 25th Anniversary, Star Trek: Judgement Rites, and Star Trek: A Final Unity, the away teams are explained very rationally - e.g. Kirk commanded the team, Spock provided ...
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0answers
88 views

Looking for 80-early 90's YA book alternate dimensions

Looking for a book I read as a kid. Young teenage girl falls through portal of scientist she works for while cleaning up. Finds herself in alternate reality with only her school backpack. Possibly ...
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1answer
220 views

Scifi movie/tv-show identification: Cyborg with heart in a box, loses his cyborg arm in gunfight. + Handsome guy that sleeps in green goo

I remember watching a movie or tv-series in the 90's, could be from the 80's too. They're probably on a spaceship, one guy is a cyborg with a human head. He's got his human heart in a box in his ...
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2answers
868 views

What is the first reference to 'video calls' in sci-fi?

I was thinking earlier today about the future and how voice-based phones are probably on the way out with the rise of video-calls, which reminded me of the video calls in Back To The Future 2. Then I ...
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3answers
540 views

Is there any particular aspect differentiating feminist and non-feminist work in sci-fi/fantasy? [closed]

How does a work in sci-fi and fantasy qualify as a feminist or otherwise? Should gender based questions be part of the work and having only strong female character isn't sufficient? Case in point ...
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1answer
192 views

What are the largest characters by volume ever depicted in science fiction? [closed]

I'm talking about characters planet/star-system/galaxy-sized. Characters like Unicron, the 2001: A Space Odyssey baby, and even meta-characters, like Tenga Toppa Gurren Lagann (a ship powered by all ...
2
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1answer
309 views

Novella Identification: Dark scifi featuring AI, “heaven”, and an Egyptian god emulation

I remember reading a novella-length science fiction work for free on the internet within the last 5 years, but now I cannot find it after hours of searching despite remembering much of the plot, with ...
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3answers
424 views

What is the earliest reference to a poisoned lipstick in a work of Science Fiction?

In the Firefly episode "Our Mrs. Reynolds", Saffron is able to temporarily knock out Mal by getting him to kiss her after treating her lips with some kind of knock-out agent (Inara later gets some of ...
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1answer
235 views

Help me find a book - Telepathic Twins communicate across the stars

Sci-fi Book Identification The story starts with a space agency on earth looking for and testing twins. It seems that some are gifted in a way that allows them to communicate with each other even if ...
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1answer
73 views

Book about Miniaturized Robots that you could control similar to matrix port

The book was about miniaturization of robots. The story follows two friends who, through the use of something quite similar to the matrix movies "neck port", could port into small (~1" tall) robots. ...
3
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1answer
154 views

Short story ships use ice shields to prevent damage from interstellar dust

I'm looking for a collection of short stories, one of which featured interstellar ships that needed huge shaped chunks of ice to protect from interstellar dust while travelling at near light speed. ...
2
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1answer
238 views

Trying to recall a virtual reality MMO book with a cross genre chase

About 15 years ago or so (so, no, not Halting State) I read a science fiction book about a virtual reality MMO. The protagonist in the story was female. There's a bit in there also where she was ...
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1answer
109 views

Short story in anthology: “detunes” engines on ships to match a third, bombard uninhabited area of planet, releasing impossible number of bombs

I am seeking the title/author of two short stories; the first was about an engineer in a remote outpost near a rebelling or alien occupied planet. He orders the engineers of two ships to reduce the ...
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1answer
108 views

help identify a scifi trilogy about a planet ruled by women called “Bahronas”, another planet where catlike creatures listened to singing scarves

I read this set of stories in the 80's. What I recall is this: A planet where the ruling caste was made up of humanoid women. These women would, as almost pubescent girls, go out into the ...
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1answer
178 views

Identify 1950's scifi story - man left on empty planet and slowly becomes native [duplicate]

This is one of the 2 stories I read as a kid in the 1950's, early 60's which forever locked me into scifi. Spoiler alert! Short story about a spaceman who ended up marooned alone on an empty planet of ...
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1answer
158 views

Series Identification - YA Sci-Fi, spaceship

I remember reading in the late 80's / early 90's a trilogy (I think) about some teens in a spaceship that was sentient / had AI, and they weren't allowed in one section of the spaceship because it was ...
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0answers
72 views

Looking for patronage era European scifi scientist/inventor male author?

I'm looking for the author of a science fiction series(may just be a loose collection of his works), written by a patronage era European male scientist/inventor. I remember seeing his name in a ...
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2answers
225 views

Dreams in Sci Fi movies — Matrix and Inception [closed]

Now according to Matrix if we die in a dream we die in real too But if we go by Inception if we die in a dream we wake up or go into a limbo . What sounds more correct and logical according to Sci ...
4
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1answer
189 views

ID short Sci Fi story on a scientist that creates a potion that slows down his perception of time and dies of old age at sunset

I seek help identifying a short story I read more than 20 years ago (maybe the story itself was written before the 80's even). This short story (to the best of my recollection) involves a scientist ...
10
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1answer
419 views

Help identifying story with a future society with life span depending upon achievements

I seek some help identifying a short book I read in my childbook. It was a science fiction book about a society where due to scarcitiy of ressources you got a certain amount of life span alloted to ...
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2answers
215 views

Book about extremely overpopulated world where caring was a liability

I am looking for a book about an extremely overpopulated world where caring was a liability. It's a love story of how these two people manage to care for each other in that world. It's also about ...
3
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0answers
78 views

Could American Dad be considered a Sci-Fi series? [closed]

American dad is a Fox Television animated series that is full of satirical humor on pop culture made by the same animators as Family guy. It has the makings of a Sci-Fi: A CIA agent with access to ...
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3answers
405 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 ...
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2answers
124 views

Hermann Hesse Das Glasperlenspiel

Can somebody help me. I have only read the book in Serbo/Croatian language(a long time ago). I'm looking for the original word(s) in the book of the "feljton" or "feljtonistic'ko" (It describes an ...
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2answers
228 views

Is there an encyclopedic book of fantastic materials?

I do not believe this to be a list-type question, surely only one or at most two such books have ever been written. I am searching for a book somewhat in the vein of Barlowe's Guide to ...
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3answers
222 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 ...
3
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1answer
263 views

Is it possible to call every mobile phone in a particular area at a time? [closed]

I've seen this phenomenon in the movie Eagle Eye, Sherlock Holmes television episodes, and The Lawnmower Man. Every mobile gets a call at a same time from the same guy in a particular area. Is this ...
6
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1answer
109 views

Seeking title of a book about a one-armed cowboy who travels across time using a torus (sp?)

The elements of the plot that I remember are: 1) One-Armed cowboy spots something weird while out riding (torus, torroid, ?) 2) He breaks a Yale lock using his one hand 3) He travels through time and ...
4
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1answer
302 views

Why does River Song save the Doctor in Let's Kill Hitler?

Could any one tell me why River Song saves the Doctor after kissing him with the poisoned lipstick? She was programmed to kill him, so why did she save him ?
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1answer
392 views

Worst Sci Fi / Future Fantasy Cliches [closed]

I am creating a futuristic fantasy setting for my latest novel. In your opinion what are the most over used cliches that I should avoid when creating the setting? Many thanks.
0
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1answer
107 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 ...
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0answers
62 views

Cat Vindaloo - Bollywood on The Moon

I'm pretty sure this isn't false memory syndrome, but as a kid I frequently read scifi anthologies from my local library in the late 60's & amongst many others, one story has always stuck with me ...
4
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1answer
163 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 ...
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3answers
296 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 ...
5
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1answer
314 views

Identify a short YA Science Fiction Novel from pre-1980 set on the moon in which a boy is rescued by space gypsies?

This was the first science fiction novel I completed reading on my own some 36 years ago. Unfortunately the details are very sketchy indeed, but here's what I think I remember: It was a hard back ...
8
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1answer
366 views

A novel about a man left behind by his family's spaceship who helps discover a warp drive

This is a book I read 40 years ago I remember the plot but haven't a clue as to the title. A young man misses the takeoff of his trader families spaceship and is marooned on a planet. He has no real ...
9
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1answer
220 views

Can anyone remember a story about a builder of metal birds & people scavenging for old technology

I remember reading a SF story back in the 1970s about a post apocalyptic world where people scavenged for technology amongst mounds of rusting ancient artifacts. There was a builder of metal birds who ...
11
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1answer
379 views

Why are there so many spiders in space?

In science fiction there are a lot of spiders or spider-like creatures depicted in space. In real life there have also been a lot of studies done on spiders in space. Has science fiction been ...
2
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1answer
230 views

What is the tallest terrestrial building/arcology that is not also a space elevator? [closed]

In one of the prequels to Dune books, I forget which, they describe a 900+ story building that is in ruins. In The Night Land, the Last Redoubt is a pyramid seven miles tall. I haven't seen the new ...
5
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1answer
395 views

What book had a prison planet with people able to communicate with living rock?

A friend of mine as a child lent me a sci-fi book that I enjoyed at the time but lost track of. I've tried searching for it over the years, but having only a few scant details of the story (and no ...
2
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1answer
201 views

“The Rat Race” Young Adult, 1970's really smart mice and rats

The title I remember is "The Rat Race" but Google has not been helpful in finding it so that may be wrong. I recall reading it in the 1970's, probably a novel. Setting begins in or around a research ...