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 real world equivalent of “Consortium” in Dan Brown's Inferno? [on hold]

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
52 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
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2answers
71 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
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 ...
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?
3
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2answers
85 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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2answers
372 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
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2answers
890 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
550 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
212 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 ...
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2answers
243 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
99 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 ...
9
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3answers
427 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
233 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
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3answers
225 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
276 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
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1answer
413 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
113 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
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1answer
165 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
302 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
380 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
237 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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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3answers
981 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
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1answer
171 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
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1answer
816 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
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2answers
370 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 ...
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1answer
190 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
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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
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2answers
353 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 ...
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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 ...
8
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4answers
567 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
103 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?
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0answers
144 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
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1answer
265 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
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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 ...
7
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2answers
271 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
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4answers
438 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
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1answer
208 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
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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
340 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 ...
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5answers
473 views

Concept of Invisibility [closed]

From the various sci-fi movies & games, Are there any logical theories for the concept of invisibilty?
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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 ...
3
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2answers
496 views

Are characters in scifi/fantasy TV shows more likely to die?

There are many science fiction/fantasy TV series where several/many main characters are killed (A Game of Thrones, Firefly / Serenity, Earth: Final Conflict, Robin Hood, even back in Blake's 7 days). ...
9
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2answers
474 views

What is a hollow world?

I have heard the phrase hollow world several times, but seeing the question "Does the Song of Ice and Fire take place in a hollow world?," inspired me to finally Google the topic. This led to a TV ...
7
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2answers
686 views

Which genre mentioned the first “pleasure” humanoid robot/android?

Which genre mentioned the first "pleasure" (aka sex slave/sex toy) humanoid robot/android? Was it Sci-Fi (the earliest example I can think of is "Tripping the Rift", but i'm certain there were ...
10
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4answers
422 views

What's the earliest example in Science Fiction of a robot 100% mimicking a human?

The classic example is, of course, Stephen Byerley from Asimov's "Evidence". Were there SciFi works featuring robots that are able to be indistinguishable from humans (by sight or behavior) prior to ...
19
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6answers
496 views

What was the first known mention of artificial food generators?

I'm referring to devices like Star Trek replicators and matter compilers in Neal Stephenson's Diamond Age. Are you aware of any earlier occurrences of such devices in literature or cinema?