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Questions tagged [history-of]

For questions about the history of the genre: the origin and evolution of ideas in speculative fiction. Example topics include the first work of speculative fiction with a particular property, or the origin of a term or trope.

2
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79 views

What is the first work featuring white noise?

Alternate Question Title: Did Stephen Bartholomew invent white noise? I just read The Rumble and the Roar by Stephen Bartholomew (Worlds of If Science Fiction, February 1957) It is a story about ...
2
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1answer
90 views

Trope identification and earliest examples: Stereotype exists because of banished people

Trope described: Humans live (quite far) away from race/species/distinct group of people called X. There is a lot of negative stereotypes about the X. They are all dishonorable, thieves, murderers, ...
10
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0answers
648 views

What was the first appearance of a sword-wielding canine?

Pokémon sword will include a new legendary pokémon named Zacian which is a wolf-like creature holding a sword in its mouth. A lot of Dark Souls fans are saying that this is clearly a reference to the ...
35
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8answers
9k views

What was the first story to feature the plot “the monsters were human all along”?

The plot/trope where some crime so violent or egregious has happened that some alien/monster is automatically suspected to be behind it, only for our human protagonists to investigate, and in the end ...
9
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2answers
2k views

What was the first instance of a “planet eater” in sci-fi?

In Sci-Fi, there are quite a few 'planet eaters'; giant beings that consume/live off planets or similarly large celestial bodies. The ones I know of are: Unicron from Transformers 1986 Galactus from ...
8
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4answers
137 views

Which SFF work first showed chained destruction of an army?

In SFF world, I keep seeing chained destruction/ deactivation of an army similar to how individual nodes in a network of a mainframe go down because of a virus. For example: In Avengers movie, when ...
13
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4answers
1k views

Was there a shared-world project before “Thieves World”?

Thieves World (ISFDb) by Robert Asprin is the first formal shared-world project I can remember; its success seemed to create a bunch of similar projects through the 1980s. I'm thinking of Heroes in ...
5
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1answer
120 views

What is the source of this quote about Doombreed?

On the Spanish Wiki page, we have this quote about the Daemon Lord Doombreed, attributed to Richter Kless: Un antiguo Príncipe de Khorne llamado Doombreed empujará a los mejores y más puros de la ...
5
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1answer
96 views

What was the first monster motivated by the need to replace worn-out or damaged body parts?

At least as far as movies are concerned, I do not think I have encountered in my watching experience a monster similar to the one in Jeepers Creepers, that is motivated by the need to replace worn-...
17
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6answers
6k views

What sci-fi work first showed a weapon of galactic-scale mass destruction?

Currently, I have two examples in my mind: Halo (Halo video game series; 2001): Can destroy all sentient life within three galactic radii The Moment/ Eye of Discord/ Galaxy Eater (Doctor Who (2005) ...
3
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0answers
98 views

What is the first work featuring functional zombies at freezing temperatures?

I was reading 'Monster Hunter Alpha' (2011) by Larry Correia and there was a zombie that was able to function with temperatures well below freezing. I am not including details as spoilers. In this ...
9
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4answers
2k views

Which was the first story featuring espers? [closed]

Many stories feature "espers", or in other words, a person who is capable of mind control, telekinesis, telepathy and all kind of powers related to the mind. Some examples in comics, movies, books, ...
1
vote
1answer
154 views

Which was the first story to feature a human manned mecha “robot”?

In the Pacific Rim live action movies (2013 - 2018) they feature human manned mecha "robots". Before this, there were many others live actions / animated series featuring this, Evangelion (1995) , ...
7
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0answers
98 views

Where did the idea of the 'City in Bottle' originate?

Where did the well known trope of a 'City in a Bottle', as associated with middle eastern mythology, originate? It is referenced in modern culture (see the City in a Bottle Magic: the Gathering Card, ...
4
votes
1answer
127 views

Which was the first story to feature orbital rings?

Since they are related ideas (many times an orbital ring depends on a space elevator, though not always a space elevator has an orbital ring, neither always an orbital ring has a space elevator , ...
16
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7answers
4k views

Which was the first story to feature space elevators?

In many very popular sci-fi anime stories, there are "space elevators", or, in other words, a giant tower which allows to transport people and/or objects from the surface of Earth to space. Some of ...
10
votes
2answers
942 views

Which was the first story to feature helmets which reads your mind to control a machine?

In Pacific Rim (2013), a similar idea to this was featured. A helmet connected to your head and a suit connected to your spine allowed a human brain-machine interface, but apparently mostly in the ...
4
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2answers
132 views

Which was the first sci-fi story featuring alien genetical manipulation of native life on Earth to create humans?

In the Super Dimensional Fortress Macross (1982) Protoculture 70 years after the formation of the Protoculture Stellar Republic (497,130 years ago), a Protoculture Survey Ship landed on Earth ...
27
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9answers
5k views

Has there been a Superhero Musical Movie released in cinema theaters?

So I just watched the teaser trailer to Frozen 2 and while I was getting superhero training vibes from Elsa's interaction with the sea, I realized that this is a musical which got me thinking, has ...
26
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8answers
6k views

What was the first science fiction story set to the future without bothering about the present?

I'm not talking time travels and such, even if that can be involved. In the early days of science fiction, even if you travelled to outer space, back in time or forward in time, it always started in ...
16
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5answers
3k views

What was the first use of the phrase “Happily Ever After”?

Fairy tales and children's stories often end with some variation of "...and they lived happily ever after." I was wondering who first decided to use this wording, or when it was first written down. ...
29
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5answers
6k views

Which was the first story featuring a psychic being unable to control his own powers and destroying his surroundings with them?

I'm watching an anime called Mob Psycho 100 (2012) who features a boy who has very powerful psychic powers and he's afraid of losing control over them since when he does he can destroy buildings or ...
8
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2answers
232 views

Which science fiction story first dealt with the question of a computer program governing society?

Which science fiction story first dealt with the question of a computer program governing society?
4
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1answer
111 views

Initial uses of the term “ultradrive” as a faster FTL drive?

This question about an early story about an FTL drive with unfortunate side effects for which the answer was Randall Garrett's 1954 "Time Fuze" and the use of "ultradrive" left me pondering the ...
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votes
1answer
93 views

What's the earliest story where a planet's core is a brain?

I sent Marvel a synopsis to my sequels series about a planet that uses a brain for a core. Eight years later when I watched Guardians of the Galaxy 2 for the first time, lo and behold, Marvel was ...
40
votes
1answer
5k views

Origin of genies (from lamps) having a three wish limit?

In the original 1001 Nights (a.k.a. Arabian Nights) story "Aladdin" the titular character gets a lamp that contains a magical being called a "genie" that grants wishes. This is fairly common knowledge ...
5
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1answer
157 views

What was the first sci-fi work to have a virus that only infected computers?

In the Wikipedia entry for the original 1973 Westworld it mentions the computer scientist scoffing at the idea of 'an infectious virus that affects computers'. Is there an earlier than this sci fi ...
0
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1answer
274 views

Where did the “pew pew” phrase come from? [closed]

People make silly phrases like: Pew! Pew! I shoot you with my space gun. Where did the "pew pew" phrase come from?
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Which SFF work first had the idea of the antagonist restarting life by deliberately wiping it out?

I was wondering about this after I realised that Dr. Isaacs in Resident Evil wants to wipe out humanity again and then restart it with a chosen few so life stands a better chance. Dr. Isaacs: I ...
17
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4answers
1k views

Who first used spacefaring sapient felines in science fiction?

I've been getting into Wing Commander again lately and reading Niven's Known Universe, and Andre Norton is a life long favourite. All of these have something in common, they all have an intelligent, ...
0
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1answer
135 views

Which fantasy work first showed dragons? [closed]

Dragons possibly have an origin in Chinese mythologies, but I am not looking for mythologies. Lots of modern fantasy works have borrowed the concept of fire-breathing flying creatures. e.g. Harry ...
4
votes
2answers
213 views

First named, colonized planet in a science fiction story

What is the first non-Sol system planet that's colonized by humans in a work of fiction? To be specific, I'm not looking for "Proxima Centauri B" or that sort of scientific nomenclature, and no ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the first example of an intelligent symbiotic organism prior to Marvel comics?

I've been fascinated by Venom since I was a kid, and for years have been drafting short stories inspired by this type of character -- a sentient "infection" that can impart both power and weakness to ...
10
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3answers
2k views

Which SFF movie or TV series first showed Hitler?

Hitler is very famous in fiction world and SFF is no exception. For example, Captain America Comics has shown Hitler countless times since early 40s. But, I am only interested in the movie and TV ...
3
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0answers
197 views

When was hydroponics utilized for the first time in a sci-fi movie or a sci-fi TV show?

In the realms of sci-fi (movie or TV) with extra-terrestrial environments, from the perspective of life support, technological systems are present in order to allow human beings to survive and ...
7
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0answers
245 views

What is the first “stuck in a video game” type story? [closed]

I've recently started reading books that fall under a genre they are calling "LitRPG", and I noticed a lot of similarities to things like .hack and Sword Art Online. I remembered a lot of debate about ...
28
votes
6answers
6k views

Which Sci-Fi work introduced handheld wireless communicator?

Star Trek: TOS (1966) TV series showed such device long before mobile phones came into existence, but was it the first? In 1926, Tesla envisioned mobile phones even better than Star Trek: There ...
13
votes
1answer
288 views

What was the 1920's/1930's SF/horror “literary ghetto”?

I was doing some research on the 1920's author Leonard Cline to support an answer to this question, and I came across this October 2006 comment on his works by Weird Tales Magazine (defunct) [the ...
5
votes
1answer
331 views

Which Sci-Fi work first showed Tardigrades?

Tardigrades are tough creatures which can survive extreme heat, cold, pressure, radiation etc and that's why they are appearing in Sci-Fi works these days. Here are few examples: Star Trek: Discovery ...
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3answers
269 views

Spinning Silver: the first Jewish protagonist in fantasy?

Naomi Novik's recent novel Spinning Silver made me wonder: is it the first fantasy novel with a Jewish main character? Or were there others before it? I am not looking for a shopping list here. ...
4
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0answers
96 views

What is the first instance of a Seeing Stone or Magic Mirror with multiple simultaneous connections?

What is the first science fiction/fantasy world that used a seeing stone or magic mirror in a way where a message/connection is duplicated across multiple endpoints at the same time? I know the Lord ...
8
votes
3answers
303 views

Which was the first sci-fi story featuring time travelling by passing memories back to your former self?

I've finished watching an anime called Steins;Gate (2011), where one of the time travel methods they feature is traveling back in time by passing memories back to your former self, similar to X-men: ...
3
votes
3answers
111 views

What was the first depiction of Robots/Androids performing faster than humans in movies?

In the movie Aliens, there is a scene where Bishop does his "thing with the knife", showing speed and accuracy that no human would have. In Star Trek:TNG we often see Data entering commands/queries ...
3
votes
0answers
127 views

Is P.O.E.M. India's first superhero team?

Brahmand Rakshak (ब्रह्माण्ड रक्षक) possibly first appeared in 2002 with the comics of same name. And then, there's Protectors of Earth & Mankind (P.O.E.M). It has appeared in dozens of different ...
35
votes
9answers
7k views

What was the first fantasy world/universe without real-world ties?

There seems to be a fairly common world building method now of setting fantasy works in standalone universes, completely separate (at least explicitly) from our own world, e.g. A Song of Ice and Fire, ...
2
votes
1answer
178 views

What is the significance of the Red Lotus?

The theme of a Red Lotus seems to show up in various fantasy works. For instance: In Ice Fantasy, where the Red Lotus seems to a magical flower of great power. In The Legend of Korra, where it is an ...
12
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3answers
674 views

“Your culture will adapt to service us” - has it ever?

We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile. ...
6
votes
1answer
172 views

Where did the term “the living impaired” originate?

In The Simpsons episode 9F04, "Treehouse of Horror III" (1994), Lisa refers to the "zombies" that Bart has just summoned and Bart snarkily replies that Please Lis, they prefer to be called "the ...
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3answers
183 views

First example of the poisoned hero's last battle

The two examples I can name off the top of my head are from The 13th Warrior when Buliwyf, dying from the mother's poison, fights his final battle and wins regardless, and in David Gemmell's Drenai ...
6
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0answers
254 views

Earliest historical example of “[super]heroes NEVER kill” and when did the prohibition become pervasive and accepted?

Today, it's often taken for granted or as a truism that heroes don't kill (despite plenty of evidence historically and in fiction to the contrary). In fact, it is often taken to the extreme that the ...