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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2
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0answers
17 views

Publisher that specifically marketed educational SF to kids

I'm trying to recall the name of a (1950s?) publisher that specifically marketed educational science fiction to kids. I've been obsessing over stuff I read 30-4- years ago, which was already 30-40 ...
4
votes
1answer
75 views

Short story about the last train

I'm trying to remember the title and author of a short story about a guy in a bar who wants to catch the train out of town. By the time he gets up, the bartender tells him the last train just left. ...
1
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2answers
74 views

What was the first insect-like robot in fiction?

Insect-sized robots which fly on artificial wings or skitter around on multiple mechanical legs are becoming more and more common as subjects of real-world research and development, but they've been a ...
4
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3answers
101 views

What was the first alien probing?

There have been alien abduction stories for a long time. The aliens that kidnap people may be short gray humanoids with huge eyes, green-scaled lizard people, blond space Nazis, or even bicardiate ...
4
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1answer
86 views

Last story to feature luminiferous aether

We get a lot of questions here asking what the first story of a certain type is. This is an example of a different sort of question—the last story of a certain type. The luminiferous aether was ...
17
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2answers
3k views

What is the earliest story to present man made machines as a threat to humans?

What is the first depiction of man made machines turning against human? I know of Terminator and Matrix but I suppose the theme is much older than those two? EDIT: I'm thinking more about machines ...
7
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2answers
148 views

What was the first parasite to appear in speculative fiction?

Parasites are a mainstay of modern science fiction and fantasy. From the Yeerks to the Vord to xenormorphs to The Host to GM tapeworms, speculative organisms that feed on other organisms will make an ...
1
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0answers
109 views

Where does the Sci-Fi term “Tyran” come from?

Restating my question, In most of my history with Sci-fi games (Gears,40k,etc) and even on a lackluster sci fi wiki that Tyran is a human (Sci-Fi wiki entry: Tyran-A being who is of Human descent but ...
2
votes
1answer
120 views

Searching for a 80s/90s alien sci-fi (tv?) movie inspired by Lonnie Zamora incident

I am looking for a probably 80s or 90s sci-fi movie or TV series inspired by the Lonnie Zamora incident, also refers to Socorro ufo landing. I watched part of the movie in the 90s as I was a child. ...
1
vote
2answers
85 views

Who was the first ape in science fiction?

From Planet of the Apes to Gorilla Grodd to Curious George and the Rocket to Joop the Orangutan, apes have a long and varied history in science fiction. But which was the first ape to appear in a ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

Was the Trippies show a commentary on modern children's entertainment?

In the prequel When The Tripods Came, humans are first hypnotized and brought under control via those who watch the Trippies cartoon. In The City of Gold and Lead, Will's Master explains that they had ...
2
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2answers
83 views

What is this speculative fiction genre called?

I'm thinking about the type of speculative fiction where the characters travel to another dimension or another universe, or someone/something from another universe arrives in this one. Examples: ...
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0answers
77 views

Is there a subgenre of SF that revolves around finance & money? [closed]

William Gibson (in the Sprawl trilogy and the Blue Ant trilogy) and Neal Stephenson (in Cryptonomicon and Reamde (and, of course, the Baroque Cycle)) have both studied the world of money and finance ...
6
votes
1answer
196 views

Who Came up with the Galactic Barrier Concept?

In specific universes, this is usually explained rather well in universe. But, what I'm looking for here is a more out of universe explanation. Where did the idea of a galactic barrier come from and ...
10
votes
3answers
373 views

When was the first driverless car story written?

Reading the question about a future (the future) when non-automatic cars will be illegal, a moment sometimes called the automotive singularity, sparked the question in my mind about when the first ...
8
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0answers
124 views

Book Identification, Alien invasion with mythological undertones

I'm looking for a book I read a few years ago, because I was wanting to reread it. Only I can't remember the title or author. Cover had a lady with a sword? I honestly couldn't tell you how old it was ...
6
votes
7answers
2k views

Why are there so many science fiction conventions in California?

It seems like there are a disproportionate amount of science fiction conventions in the state of California compared to the rest of the United States. Comic-Con, Wonder-Con and the Anime Expo are ...
3
votes
1answer
135 views

Movie where an object is recovered from space and brought back to earth

When no one is looking it starts to assemble either itself or other robot creatures from objects found around the room. This is NOT one of the recent Transformer movies, it probably dates back to the ...
6
votes
1answer
77 views

Book ID: YA involving space and time travel

I read this book probably 12-13 years ago, in my high school library. Here's the specifics I remember. I'm reasonably sure the title had the word "Crystal". The story follows a girl. At the ...
30
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3answers
3k views

Who was the earliest female science fiction writer?

Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in 1818. I wonder if most readers would consider the book within the science fiction genre. It certainly has claim to the Gothic and horror genres as well. If you do ...
6
votes
0answers
157 views

Book Identification: young adult sci-fi, I think it was published in the 60s or 70s

There was a book I read when I was a kid in the early 80s, and I can't remember what it was called. It was a collection of short stories that were loosely connected. Here is what I remember: The ...
26
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4answers
2k views

What was the first sci-fi themed hit song?

Over the years, there have been many sci-fi themed hit songs, such as Mr. Roboto and The Final Countdown. Which was the first? I would define "hit" as appearing on the Billboard Hot 100, or other ...
6
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1answer
164 views

Sci-Fi and Fantasy holidays [closed]

Star Wars Day is probably the most famous sci-fi/fantasy holiday. What others are there? Please only include examples that are celebrated by a significant amount of people.
53
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4answers
7k views

What was the first story to be set in the future?

Lots of science fiction stories today are set in the future. Sometimes they give a specific date, like they'll say "AD 2532". Sometimes it's not spelled out but it's obvious, like I'm not sure if Star ...
1
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1answer
161 views

Is there a movie that is based on or very similar to Robert Heinlein's “Tunnel in the Sky”? [closed]

One book that I've always wished there was a good movie for, was Robert Heinlein's "Tunnel in the Sky". I really loved that book when I read it as a teen. I was just wondering if there was ever a ...
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2answers
126 views

How does Miller's planet in Interstellar have such huge time dilation yet such a small gravitational force? [duplicate]

In Interstellar, the crew of the Endurance experience extreme time dilation (7 years to an hour) on Miller's planet, due to its proximity to a black hole. However, they only feel 130% of Earth's ...
12
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3answers
568 views

What is the origin of the word “terrans” when referring to humanoids and other earth-related things?

Quite often in science fiction we read an Alien character say: "They're going to the Terran system". "That's a Terran ship." "They're from the planet Terra". I get that Terra is the ...
15
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1answer
568 views

Can you identify these Doctors of the science fiction genre in miniature formats?

Please identify these Doctors, their minions, their comic or science fiction genre of origin and links, if possible.
6
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0answers
109 views

Is there a precedent for the use of “sol” or other terms for solar day?

In these two questions in Space Exploration Stackexchange the origin and use of the word "sol" to describe a solar day on astronomical bodies besides the Earth are being discussed. Like so many things ...
12
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0answers
62 views

Novel about alien symbiotes persecuted after they reject their hosts

Two alien races are living in sybioses. The symbiote is an energy creature of some sort. The host aliens do something violent (maybe an action in a war?) that causes the symbiotes to decide to ...
3
votes
1answer
264 views

Why do (some) people consider “The Heat Death of the Universe” to be science fiction?

One of the stories in the collection Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century (Justine Larbalestier (ed.), 2006) is "The Heat Death of the Universe" (Pamela Zoline, 1967). ...
7
votes
1answer
196 views

What separates a Cyberpunk setting from a futuristic setting?

I understand this is a commonly used style in Science-fiction. However I can never determine the difference between what some call a "Futuristic" setting and a "Cyberpunk" setting.
3
votes
1answer
85 views

Can someone find an episode of a show that ends on a battlefield after a planetary battle?

I am looking for a sci-fi show where soldiers are staging on a space station preparing for an assault on a planet. With all the soldiers on the space station, tempers flare and there is a brawl. A ...
5
votes
1answer
125 views

Please help me remember book about children and stones that possessed power

It's a children's book, there was a group of children (who I think were running away from a man) and these kids were able to 'listen' to stones. And then there was this other child, a girl. She ...
8
votes
1answer
157 views

Looking for sci-fi book about alien invasion where Earth builds a giant laser to stop an incoming alien fleet

Looking for a science fiction novel I read as a kid where a few hostile alien saucers show up and the US Air Force is trying to bring them down. It's too fast for any missiles/cannons to work, and ...
7
votes
1answer
160 views

YA dystopia novel of battle school with unusual military control scheme

Some sort of battle school (no, not Ender's Game), where teens are being trained as military commanders. The control system for their army hinges around some sort of system that requires extremely ...
20
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5answers
3k views

Was the original Enterprise truly the first sci-fi spaceship designed purely for exploration?

In this video, the astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson chooses the Enterprise over the Millenium Falcon. One reason he gives is that the Enterprise is the first ...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

Looking for a title to a 80s sci fi film

Does anyone know the title of an 80s or early 90s sci-fi flick where there's a group in an underground facility and there's some type of monster mutants chasing them. The only part I remember at the ...
2
votes
1answer
228 views

Trying to find title of book from 70s or 80s about super intelligent being

From memory, the story had some military themes. Person or being became increasingly powerful and telepathically connected to everything and everyone. Think it was primarily set in UK. There may have ...
-7
votes
1answer
152 views

Why so many scifi books have a one world government if this idea is considered stupid? [closed]

There are some guys that believe that a new world order will happen, those guys are called crazy and etc.. with people saying their idea is super mega ultra stupid. So, my question is, why something ...
33
votes
11answers
11k views

What is the latest date for the setting in a sci-fi text or movie?

I was thinking of the Mayans this morning, and the controversy about the Mayan calendar in 2012 (through a long and circuitous thought process). But it got me thinking: Someone back 5000 years ago ...
3
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0answers
98 views

Story Identification: Devouring Darkness

So I started reading a novel somewhere around 20 years ago and I'm very fuzzy on the details. What I remember is it involved a cloud of darkness just kind of rolling over and consuming everything it ...
4
votes
1answer
151 views

What is the name of this book? Symbiosis in cave between man and alien

Old book, maybe in the 70's. A man hides in a cave and an alien creature drops on his head and they become a symbiosis. It gives him the ability to delve into disturbed minds and help them ...
5
votes
4answers
618 views

First instance of the flying saucer as a space craft?

A common idea of a spaceship, especially an alien spaceship, is the classic flying saucer, like the one below: What is the first instance of a flying saucer as a space craft in science fiction? ...
5
votes
1answer
180 views

A Sci-fi book about blue people who were enslaved

I believe it was a dystopian story about blue people who had been enslaved. I remember it as a sci-fi story. I don't remember anything else about it, just that there were blue people, they were ...
6
votes
1answer
250 views

Whose definition of “science fiction” is this?

Sometime in the last quarter of the 20th century (or just possibly in the very early 2000s) I read somewhere the following definition of science fiction (not word-for-word, I paraphrase): Science ...
5
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1answer
281 views

Book where man is abducted by crab-people aliens

It's a sci fi I read in the early 90s about a man who gets abducted by aliens (crab-people) and is kept in a room where they watch him. They put him in with another alien species female that looks ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Book about government department controlling the release of advanced technology

I read a book a few months/years/lifetimes ago. To be fairly specific about it, without giving away the plot, it's about a scientist and his team that discover how to create and control gravity and ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

Earth: Green Planet or Blue Planet?

I was reading some older (1930s-era) science fiction and noticed that Earth was described as the "Green Planet". In contrast, modern science fiction uniformly describes it as the "Blue Planet". When ...
26
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2answers
3k views

Which fictional work first used the term “space-time continuum”?

I would expect that it's post-Einstein, but probably not by too much. I know that Star Trek used it to death, but I suspect that it pre-dated ST.