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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9
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3answers
252 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
2answers
105 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
195 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
370 views

Who originally programmed “The Matrix”?

I know it says the "The Architect" is the architect... but I guess I am asking, as a software developer myself, how could one person program the whole matrix himself? It would take many lifetimes to ...
1
vote
1answer
148 views

What book has a boy meeting a girl on an alien planet where he crash-landed?

I read a book back in the 90s about a boy who meets a girl on an alien planet, and I think he crash landed there. The cover had green hills/mountains on it, and it was either the second or first book ...
4
votes
3answers
188 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
650 views

How do you get into Hogwarts if you are muggle-born?

If you're muggle-born how do you get your acceptance letter to Hogwarts if it has 'muggle repelling charms' on it? How, for example did Hermione Granger get her letter and how did she reply to it?
3
votes
1answer
164 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
96 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
166 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 ?
1
vote
1answer
275 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.
11
votes
1answer
382 views

Title of short story: God granting immortality to others to find a way to kill himself

I am looking for a short story I read a long time ago. In it, a man dies and finds himself in a dark and featureless afterlife with a disembodied voice that calls itself god. That god reveals that ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

Looking for a short story no later than 1980's about a boy who finds the tomb of a feline space warrior on earth

In the story the boy finds the entrance to a tomb in a hill, where he finds the weapons of a dead feline warrior. Putting on the helmet enhances his senses. At the end of the story he is medically ...
0
votes
1answer
77 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
184 views

Short story: God and the Devil watching the average life of John Smith

I have been searching for a story I read about God and the Devil watching the average life of a charcter, John Smith, and seeing if he sins or not. I remember something about John Smith lying to his ...
4
votes
0answers
90 views

Short story that I believe was in Analog years back. Perhaps in the 1970's. It involved an illusionist

I am looking for a short story that I believe was in Analog years back. Perhaps in the 1970's. It involved an illusionist who it turned out was a stranded space traveler. He used his people's ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Why don't lightsaber duellists ever use the technique of turning off their lightsaber during a fight?

Since my early childhood I've been wondering about the answer to one question about Star Wars. Why, when fighting with lightsabers, do they use them to parry attacks rather than turning the lightsaber ...
1
vote
3answers
394 views

Science fiction story/novel: Giant robot Wheel rolls around primitive planet destroying very sparsely-distributed pop. Hero investigates

As I recall it, it's about an (amnesiac?) low-tech man that meets and avoids the destroyer-wheel and tries to figure out what his world is all about. The Wheel(s?) rolls leisurely around the planet in ...
1
vote
0answers
54 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
129 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
285 views

Is there a significant reason why people addicted to melange have blue eyes?

In the Dune series, people who are addicted to melange have entirely blue eyes. Is there a significant reason as to why Frank Herbert chose the colour blue over other eye colours?
5
votes
3answers
254 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
389 views

I'm looking for the title of a sci fi film about a killer robot

I’m desperately trying to find the title of a film, but all of my online searches come up with nothing (it definitely exists though!) The film's set in the future in space. The synopsis seems to be ...
4
votes
1answer
211 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
206 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
184 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
163 views

Help identify short story about senile astronaut runaway from nursing home

Scott Carpenter's recent death has me wanting to re-read a short story I read sometime in the last 10 to 15 years about an astronaut who is trying to get to the launch site on the big day, but it ...
10
votes
1answer
296 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
votes
1answer
157 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
251 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
votes
1answer
163 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
121 views

Title of novelete where human race divided into those with skin symbiote and those without

Looking for title of sci-fi novelette about where a symbiote has infected a lot of people on planet and the infected are persecuted. Turns out the symbiote is beneficial. Stories main character ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

Do authors ever create conflicting canon to irk fussy fans? [closed]

I know that this site is the haven for anyone who loves to dig deep into their favorite Sci-Fi and Fantasy. Even for a new visitor, from scrolling through this site shows that there's an awful lot ...
1
vote
0answers
268 views

Early 90's scifi cartoon - Boy under a purple dome with a 'mic' and an animal [duplicate]

It was a bit weird as I remember it - a boy was lost on a planet, was with a pet, looked a bit like a llama, went under a dome shaped thing that looked like purple trees entwined. He had this egg ...
1
vote
1answer
166 views

earth people tested on other planet

I read this book some time ago. The Story is about 2 man and 2 woman who are abducted by aliens. They meet each other on a space ship. Later on they are release on a planet where they have to ...
3
votes
0answers
103 views

A science fiction article heavily featuring Virgin

So, I came across this article written as (I think) a winning entry for a contest. As far as I remember, the contest was about how Orwell got the surveillance facts wrong as a prediction for the year ...
1
vote
1answer
158 views

1950's Sci-Fi involving a strange box that transports a boy to a different world

I'm looking for the name of a black and white 1950's science fiction movie... it starts out with a man that finds a small black box with a little cone on one side at a construction dig site. A little ...
6
votes
2answers
226 views

1980's book about a man who glows green and can use magic based upon how long his mom was in labor?

I used to be part of a sci/fantasy book club and I remember getting a compilation of the years best sci/fi-fantasy. One of the stories revolved around a young man who worked in a toy shop? and he ...
1
vote
1answer
629 views

Is it possible to journey to the center of the Earth as described by Jules Verne? [closed]

Are there volcanic tubes that could possibly lead an exploration to the center of the Earth as stated by Jules Verne in the movie "Journey to the Center of the Earth?
4
votes
1answer
241 views

Sci-fi short story from the perspective of an unseen narrator talking to a person in a room (the World Trade Center and the letter Q don't exist)

About 13 years ago I read this short story in a book of sci-fi short stories. It was told from the perspective of someone who is talking to a person in a room. The person cannot see the narrator. ...
7
votes
2answers
583 views

Did Any Of The Aliens In The Independence Day Movie Survive Well Enough To Continue To Invade?

Here are things to consider: There were 36 "City Destroyers" and each of these have smaller interceptors, the thing our heroes fly into the Mother Ship to upload the virus and set off the Big Boy, ...
4
votes
1answer
253 views

Story ID: Man from Earth kidnapped to less advanced sister planet where he fights and rides a giant bird

An Earth man is taken to a planet where bladed combat and slavery are the norm. He ends up with a giant bird that he rides into battle. He was a pawn in a game run by unseen rulers that he vowed to ...
1
vote
0answers
148 views

Novel series about space colonization and religion by (star wars EU author?)

Trying to identify this series I never finished. I'm almost positive it was written by one of the more famous star wars EU authors, but I could be wrong about that as I can't find it when looking ...
2
votes
1answer
128 views

Are “A Princess of Mars (1912)” & “At the Earth's Core (1914)” the same story?

Both "A Princess of Mars (1912)" and "At the Earth's Core (1914)" are written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Different setting, same style, same story, with a couple of tweaks. Man goes on a journey to ...
4
votes
1answer
270 views

short sci-fi story about ascending a tower of alien origin by solving mathematical problems

I'm hazy on the details, and I've tried finding this story earlier to no avail, but as far as I can recall: An entrepreneur(?) raises a team of mercenaries with the intent to ascend an alien ...
4
votes
1answer
471 views

Fictional Sci-Fi Dates Calendar?

Is there any kind of online database, that features calendar of dates from sci-fi books/movies etc. Not sci-fi real life events calendar, but something similar to this for example, but more detailed
6
votes
1answer
207 views

1980s or late 70s comic featuring a space ark with humanity frozen on board and a romance?

I may be remembering this incorrectly, but was a large hardbound SF anthology with several comics. May have been black and white, don't remember color. In one particular story, there is a space ark ...
4
votes
1answer
524 views

Book Identification: Fantasy book that turns out to be post-apocalypse

I really want to reread a book I read years ago. I can't remember the title, but I remember that for most of the book it just appears to be a classic fantasy book, but part way through the main ...
11
votes
1answer
247 views

Short story about a test subject pioneering with robot help that becomes less helpful

About 50 years ago I read a short story about a person sent to live on the moon with a robot helper. Rather than a traditional high IQ athletic astronaut, the man is an average guy in every way. The ...
6
votes
1answer
142 views

Novel about Androids in London of the Future

A novel I read probably in the late 50s, a man in London was working when a disaster occurred and he was accidentally frozen. A long time later after significant world destruction he was awakened in ...