Questions tagged [science-fiction-genre]

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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Which Sci-Fi work first showed an exoskeleton capable of flying?

Flying exoskeletons are famous tropes in science fiction. Some examples on the top of my mind: Ironman Star Wars (Boba Fett) Centurians Which Sci-Fi work first showed an exoskeleton capable of ...
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3 votes
1 answer
310 views

First example of mind control changing eyes?

I've noticed a common trope in SciFi/Fantasy: mind control changes the subject's eye color or, usually in more cartoonish works, gives the subject "spinning eyes". What is the original ...
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11 votes
3 answers
4k views

Where did the idea of the ornithopter originate?

This question stems from a commonly depicted mode of transportation, the ornithopter. It is the primary flight tool in the latest Dune movie as well as seen in Black Panther and in several books I've ...
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  • 4,532
28 votes
6 answers
6k views

In terms of word count, what is the longest published SFF universe?

I know this is an arbitrary metric, but if we count all books or stories officially published as part of an SFF universe, (even one with multiple authors and/or subseries), which would result in the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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The science of the book Eon by Greg Bear

Piggybacking on this question: Book about time portals inside an asteroid in Earth orbit. The answer to that question was Eon by Greg Bear. In that novel an asteroid comes into orbit around Earth. ...
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  • 151
4 votes
2 answers
317 views

What is the earliest work of fiction featuring spaceships with shield technology?

I'm trying to figure out what is the earliest mention of shield technology in any work of fiction to feature spaceships that are protected by shields or any similar force field technology (think of ...
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  • 1,117
9 votes
1 answer
224 views

On the words "science fiction" and "scientifiction"

One of the many mysteries surrounding the origins of science fiction is when this word was used first and who invented it: it was my understanding that both "scientifiction" and «science ...
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15 votes
1 answer
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When did an overlap in readership of both Sci-Fi and Fantasy first become recognized by publishers?

In the early 20th century magazines of speculative fiction began to acquire both science fiction and fantasy works. Prior to this fantasy seems to have been mostly romantic sagas or fairy tales, and ...
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10 votes
2 answers
615 views

First sci-fi story to feature electromagnetic railguns or mass-drivers?

What was the first story to feature electromagnetic railguns? The answer could be a movie, a TV show, a book, or a short story. The main difference between a railgun and most other kinds of projectile ...
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14 votes
5 answers
6k views

What was the first sci-fi TV series to have titles for each episode?

Star Trek: The Original Series had titles for each episode. (e.g. - “Amok Time,” “Balance of Terror,” “The Doomsday Machine,” and so forth.) Doctor Who episodes had titles as far back as 1963. (e.g. -...
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3 votes
2 answers
303 views

Which Sci-Fi work introduced the concept of "AI Doctor"?

We see AI doctors in Sci-Fi works all the time. Examples can be the famous medical droids of Star Wars (first encounter 1980): Click images to enlarge. The Doctor (Emergency Medical Hologram Mark ...
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4 votes
2 answers
470 views

When was “sf” first used to describe science fiction?

In a book called “My Best Science Fiction Story”, published in 1949, the author John Taine, referring to his story “The Ultimate Catalyst”, writes that the story is “my favorite s-f story”. The ...
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6 votes
1 answer
148 views

What work contained the first mushroom trees?

Mushroom trees are a familiar component of exotic locales, like Draenor (Warcraft), Morrowind (The Elder Scrolls), and Felucia (Star Wars). The first example I know of is the Mushroom Planet series ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What was the first science fiction series?

What was the first science fiction series? Did any series predate the 1936 series of Flash Gordon? I don't really know a sensible way to search IMDb for the answer. Wikipedia, erroneously, suggests:...
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  • 139
5 votes
3 answers
268 views

What is the first work of science fiction to take place during or after the most drastic effects of unintended human-caused climate change from CO₂?

Of the science fiction I have read, a lot of it takes place very or somewhat far into the future, but, even among quite recent stuff, a large majority of it makes no mention of what the Earth will be ...
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2 votes
1 answer
135 views

When was DNA evidence from a crime investigation in space first used in a SciFi plot?

In the Space SE question Why were blood and hair follicles from 25 people put on the Moon? I wrote It sounds more like a potential plot for a future CSI Spaceforce episode. That got me thinking, ...
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5 votes
4 answers
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Earliest story to mention the different surface gravity on the Moon

What was the first science fiction story to mention that the Moon has a lower surface gravity than the Earth? I'm sure that was mentioned many times in science fiction before the Space Age began in ...
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4 votes
1 answer
186 views

Is there a name for the style/genre of Sci-Fi using floating, illuminated technology elements?

Astral Chain, Mass Effect, Halo 4 (with the Forerunner technology and weapons) and Black Panther are all examples of Science Fiction that make use of floating, illuminated elements in their technology....
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11 votes
7 answers
1k views

Earliest example of double planets in science fiction?

What is the earliest science-fiction story featuring double planets? I am defining a double planet as two bodies of planetary or dwarf-planetary size that orbit a common barycenter, and the ...
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35 votes
8 answers
10k 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 ...
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  • 1,172
9 votes
2 answers
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 ...
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71 votes
4 answers
17k views

Why are energy weapons seen as more acceptable in children's shows than guns that fire bullets?

This is a question about the real-world factors that have influenced the development of science fiction and television for children. In children's television (as well as movies), especially animation,...
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27 votes
8 answers
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 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
774 views

Do the makers of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle consider the film to be science fiction or fantasy?

I've been in an argument with one of my teachers. I'd like to know if there has been any definitive statement from the makers of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle as to whether they consider the film to ...
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4 votes
2 answers
232 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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9 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
3k 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?
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3 votes
0 answers
379 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 ...
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13 votes
1 answer
492 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 ...
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  • 1,874
12 votes
2 answers
864 views

Is there a term for real-world science-based SciFi? [duplicate]

I've read just a few books in SciFi genre, never liked it, because it's usually written by writers, not scientists. Though, recently I've read few books written by Peter Watts and Stanislaw Lem. There ...
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  • 239
5 votes
1 answer
783 views

What is the genre of fantasy stories that take place in a science fiction universe?

There are some stories that superficially look like they belong squarely in the fantasy genre but contain hints (or even major revelations) that the world was a sci-fi setting all along. The ...
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101 votes
2 answers
7k views

Is there a term for the science fiction trope where a character lists two historical things and a future thing?

In Babylon 5, for example, a character lists famous bombings like "Hiroshima, Dresden, San Diego" with the first items in the list being real and the last being fictional. This dialog technique of ...
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23 votes
7 answers
6k views

What was the earliest story about an AI takeover before the book "Colossus"?

There are hundreds of movies, books, and stories today that have their roots in the 30s-50s. One of my favorites is the "computer takes over the world" genre that birthed movies like the Terminator ...
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3 votes
3 answers
863 views

What is this time loop called?

Like a stable time loop, but when each version of the time traveller goes back in time, they create a history that differs from the previous alternate history? Is there a general term for such an ...
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2 votes
0 answers
155 views

Why is science fiction and fantasy referred to as "genre fiction", but other genres are not? [closed]

An oddity I have noticed in mainstream media and criticism is that science fiction and fantasy are referred to as "genre fiction" but other genres (comedy, romance, drama, etc) are not. All the online ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Are psychic abilities more akin to fantasy or science fiction? why is this? [closed]

Psychic abilities like telekinesis, telepathy, mind-control, clairvoyance. Basically powers involving the mind. Abilities that let you levitate objects with your thoughts or speak to another person ...
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  • 1,324
5 votes
1 answer
302 views

What Was the First Science Fiction Use of Space Quadrants?

In Star Trek TOS episodes, interstellar space was divided into large volumes each containing at least several stars. These volumes were identified as sectors and quadrants. https://memory-alpha....
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4 votes
1 answer
320 views

What was the first Science Fiction use of Space Sectors?

In space operas is it common to divide interstellar space into sectors and/or quadrants containing at least several stars each. Star Trek TOS used both "sector" and "quadrant" as divisions of ...
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2 votes
0 answers
281 views

Why is finding "patient zero" in an epidemic so important? [closed]

In pretty much every sci-fi that deals with epidemics or mass illness in some way they are looking for patient Zero. My question then is: Why is finding "patient zero" in an epidemic so important? ...
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4 votes
2 answers
131 views

History of "Unphysical Intrusions" [closed]

A somewhat recurring setting in science-fiction is of "unphysical intrusions". Realms, usually spherical, which intrude upon human society, within which commonly-held laws of physics and causality do ...
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  • 565
0 votes
1 answer
234 views

Can there be SFF works that are both hard and soft scifi? [closed]

An assertion was made on Meta that it's impossible to have a work that is both hard sci-fi and soft sci-fi. Given the typical definition of both, can there be SFF works that are both hard and soft ...
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35 votes
6 answers
7k views

Which Sci-Fi work first showed hostile Artificial Intelligence?

We see hostile Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Sci-Fi all the time. Examples include Terminator movie series The Matrix movie series Superman (Brainiac) I, Robot (V.I.K.I.) Ex Machina Portal game ...
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-6 votes
1 answer
189 views

Who came up with the term "Earthling"?

Or, to make matters a bit more attainable, what is the earliest occurrence of the term attested in writing?
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  • 201
2 votes
4 answers
431 views

Who are the first dystopian science fiction writers?

My first thought is that in order to have science fiction in the middle age you need science. But magic and science aren't opposites, Amazonian tribes have a unique knowledge and a accurate taxonomy ...
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  • 47
6 votes
8 answers
1k views

What is the earliest movie/TV show with a sex changing character

With all the excitement surrounding the first(ish?) female Doctor, there's lots of cries of misogyny for taking this long to have a female Doctor. This has me curious now. I can't think of too many ...
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  • 1,858
45 votes
11 answers
13k views

What's the 'earliest future' mentioned in a work of science fiction?

Many pieces of science fiction are set in the future. E.g. Back to the Future has a future set in 2015, Bladerunner has one set in 2019, Alien seems to be set around 2087, and so forth. Q: I am ...
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  • 1,481
2 votes
1 answer
510 views

Where did the concept of lasers being futuristic weapons come from?

So I have been seeing a lot of movies that take place in the future and a lot of them (such as Star Wars) use laser based weapons. Where did this come from and why intense beams of light used in a ...
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20 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why is green considered a toxic color in movies? [closed]

In movies I often see green used to color dangerous and/or poisonous substances colored green, like green clouds of gas considered poisonous, and green acid considered dangerous. Can anyone explain ...
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1 vote
0 answers
108 views

Was the fact that Earth's position is never the same ever addressed in time travel stories? [duplicate]

Everyone familiar with space knows that: the Earth is rotating around itself and moving around the Sun. The Sun is orbiting the center of the Milky Way. The Milky Way is itself moving closer to ...
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58 votes
7 answers
7k views

When was the first time that a science fiction story mentioned the concept of a "prison planet"?

For our purposes, "prison planet" may be defined as follows: "An entire planet, or at least the vast majority of its surface area, has been classified as a good place to dump convicted criminals so ...
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