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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4
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0answers
59 views

What is the book where a man unlikely to survive is stranded on an alien planet with water under the earth in plants?

I read this old book when I was about 12 about a man who was least likely to survive but was stranded on an alien planet and had to copy the aliens who lived there to figure it out. The aliens were ...
2
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Why does Travertine have vis own pronouns in On the Steel Breeze?

In Alastair Reynolds' On the Steel Breeze, the physicist Travertine has vis own set of personal pronouns, something like ve (nominative) ver (accusative) vis (genitive) verself ...
7
votes
2answers
430 views

Why do so many shows use a 'High Council'?

Why is it that shows like Stargate, Star Trek, and others use a government body called the "High Council"? Within Stargate, the Asgard have a High Council. In Star Trek, Vulcans and Klingons have ...
3
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0answers
154 views

What is the most widespread/numerous alien species in Star Wars (other than Human?)

I've been looking for an answer to this for years. Other than humans, what intelligent/sentient alien species are the most widespread/numerous/prevalent in the Republic and Empire? Twi'leks? ...
1
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0answers
153 views

What is the real world equivalent of “Consortium” in Dan Brown's Inferno? [closed]

Today I was reading Dan Brown's latest novel Inferno (Excellent novel btw) and out of the many bizarre things, I was most intrigued by the discreet organization called Consortium that provides its ...
2
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0answers
57 views

Civilizations in SCI-FI stories [closed]

Did exist a sci-fi novels or comics where the civilizations from an alien planets are not group in a single culture but in many?, (like us with countries, states, races and languages). I seems that ...
13
votes
2answers
139 views

Difference between Space Opera and Science Fiction?

A while back a guy came into the place where I was working. He had a book (I don't remember the name). The book was, according to him, SciFi. I told him, "Great! My favorite SciFi is the Skylark ...
13
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4answers
3k 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 ...
72
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
91 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 ...
4
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3answers
432 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
906 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
561 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
245 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 ...
-3
votes
2answers
263 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 ...
3
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0answers
105 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
477 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
235 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
232 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
votes
1answer
294 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
445 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
120 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
169 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
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3answers
313 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 ...
11
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1answer
388 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
246 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 ...
12
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
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1answer
1k 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?
10
votes
3answers
1k 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
177 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
866 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
3
votes
2answers
384 views

How could Doug Carlin possibly go through time without getting completely mangled?

I have watched this sci-fi thriller Deja Vu almost 10 times and could not get one thing. Denny (Adam Goldberg) explains to Doug (Denzel Washington) about the machine which was under the workshop ...
-3
votes
1answer
194 views

Is *Imperium* a common trope in science fiction? [closed]

In science fiction is it a popular or common trope where either the main empire or the human empire is styled Imperium whilst all others are referred to as empires?
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Does an illustration of Tochee from the Commonwealth Saga exist?

One specific creature from the Commonwealth Saga has caught my interest -- Tochee. My imagination is really bad, and I can not hold all the descriptive details in mind at once. I have tried to find ...
8
votes
2answers
366 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Why do alien cultures tend to have one language, one religion etc

What are some common logical reasons given within any sci-fi universe for the lack of cultural diversity within a single alien race? Examples of what I mean: Star Trek: Vulcans come from Vulcan and ...
14
votes
5answers
643 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 ...
1
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0answers
107 views

What is the average duration time of a sci-fi radio play(drama) nowadays and how long it was in the 60's and 70's? [closed]

What is the average duration time of a sci-fi radio play (drama) nowadays? How long were the radio plays in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s? I mean, are/were they 10 minutes, or 20, or even 30?
1
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0answers
146 views

Cyberpunk with “spiritual” elements = science fantasy? [closed]

I am working on a story that incorporates spiritual elements (the soul, non-physical beings, God, etc) in a cyberpunk setting. Does this make it "science fantasy"?
2
votes
1answer
273 views

What are Science fiction stories that feature characters with Downs Syndrome or other special needs? [closed]

The title says it all, I hope. I'm interested in movies, comics, TV-series, but most strongly written material. To give some background, I recently noticed that people with special needs don't ...
14
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
287 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
441 views

What is the earliest example in sci-fi or fantasy FILM containing a family link between Hero and Villain?

I can think of the obvious Star Wars but after that I am stumped. Anyone else have an earlier example? Edited due to question being deemed too broad.
16
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2answers
1k views

What would the sky look like standing inside a Dyson Sphere?

I am working on a roleplaying campaign guide set inside a Dyson Sphere. It's a solid shell around a star like our own and is 300 million kilometers across centered on the star. The atmosphere hugs ...
4
votes
1answer
214 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 ...
66
votes
12answers
5k views

Why aren't alien planets as varied in climate as the Earth?

The Earth in all of its varieties has wide ranging climates. At the top level it has tropical, dry, temperate, continental, and polar climates. And yet often the planets depicted in science fiction ...
8
votes
2answers
341 views

Do replicators ultimately lead to a money free state?

In all the two settings I've seen with some form or matter-matter or energy-matter converters (replicators) they both have either no money system (federation in star trek) or some other form of ...
0
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5answers
490 views

Concept of Invisibility [closed]

From the various sci-fi movies & games, Are there any logical theories for the concept of invisibilty?
45
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4answers
5k views

What is that high-pitched sound from all those 50s sci-fi B-movies?

It's an iconic sound but I have no idea what makes it and not much of an idea how to describe it. but I'll give it a try. It's an artificial, high-pitched whistling sort of sound. You normally hear it ...