Star Wars has them. So do the Star Trek and Red Dwarf series. Which work of Scifi/fantasy, written or filmed, was the first to depict a person as a hologram?

  • First to have a holographic representation of someone, or the first to have a character who is a hologram? Aug 16 '12 at 21:02
  • @DJClayworth The first holographic representation of someone. Aug 16 '12 at 21:04

The earliest I can think of (though there are likely others) is Foundation, published in 1951. Hari Selden appears several times as a holographic recording, warning the populace of impending crises. However, I'm pretty sure the word hologram is actually used in the book, so the thing to figure out might be who coined the word and when.

  • 1
    nature.com/physics/looking-back/gabor/index.html probably 1948 by a Dr. Gabor
    – horatio
    Aug 16 '12 at 21:56
  • Nice work. That's a pretty short window, too...
    – Adele C
    Aug 17 '12 at 2:06
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    First, I think you missed out a "not" in the last sentence; you meant to say the word hologram is not actually used. Second, Hari Seldon's first holographic recording (if that's what it was) was mentioned in Asimov's short story "Foundation" which was first published in the May 1942 issue of Astounding Science-Fiction.
    – user14111
    Jun 29 '15 at 8:58

Obviously, the benchmark to beat is 1974 when Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "The Practical Joker", introduced the holodeck.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holography#Holography_in_fiction:

The Carpathian Castle (1893 novel by Jules Verne) the plot revolves around prima donna La Stilla, represented at the times of the events as a projected image.

I'm not sure if that counts (it was a projection but not technically speaking a hologram) but will post in case you meant to include any projections and not just literally holograms.

If that doesn't count, Lem's "Return From The Stars" (1961) has "holographic 3-D photos, as well as holographic theater plays" according to TVTropes.

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    Holey moley. 80 seconds. Aug 16 '12 at 19:39
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    "80 seconds"? I'm not familiar with that novel. Was it published before 1961 and did it have holograms? Aug 16 '12 at 19:49

What about the Wizard of Oz (1939 for the movie, not sure if this was seen in the books)? Maybe not a hologram in the strictest definition, but the technique is pretty similar.

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