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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.

71
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4answers
15k 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,...
26
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
161 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
107 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
141 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
votes
1answer
247 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?
3
votes
0answers
195 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
269 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
755 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
266 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
163 views

Characters whose names are feared to spoken or spelled like Voldermort? [closed]

In Harry Potter most of the people are afraid to say Voldermort's name and they use the alias you-know-who. I'm looking for other characters whose names are even feared by the public in fantasy ...
97
votes
2answers
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 ...
23
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
550 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
123 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
330 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
130 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. http://memory-alpha.wikia....
4
votes
1answer
111 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
223 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? ...
4
votes
2answers
102 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
178 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
257 views

What known examples of an “ecumenopolis” are there? [closed]

Ecumenopolis is a Greek word that means "world city", and in science fiction represents a planet where urbanization has grown so much to cover its entire surface in an enormous megalopolis. The most ...
31
votes
5answers
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 ...
-6
votes
1answer
147 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?
2
votes
4answers
297 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 ...
6
votes
8answers
783 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 ...
44
votes
10answers
12k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
275 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
96 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 ...
55
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
415 views

Which Sci-Fi work introduced the concept of “Artificial Gravity”?

We see Artificial Gravity all the time. In fact, it's so common in Sci-Fi world that I don't think I need to give examples. Here, Artificial Gravity means a force similar to gravity, but without ...
10
votes
2answers
357 views

Which Sci-Fi work introduced the concept of a character who communicates in an unintelligible language?

Characters like R2-D2 (Star Wars), Chewbacca (Star Wars) and Groot (Guardians of the Galaxy) share the attribute that they speak a language unintelligible to viewers and readers - we have no idea what ...
5
votes
2answers
319 views

What is the first known work of science fiction to feature a ray gun?

Where in known science fiction—in written, broadcast, or performed form—did the concept of a handheld gun that specifically fired a ray (i.e. not lightning, not a flash of light, etc.) first appear? ...
1
vote
0answers
126 views

Which Sci-Fi work introduced the idea of “Little aliens = Hyper intelligence”?

I have encountered it countless times, but I have two clear examples in my mind at this time: 1. Grey Matter from Ben 10 From Ben 10 Wikia Grey Matter's small size belies his great calculative ...
37
votes
3answers
10k views

Why is the name “Rigel”, and especially “Rigel VII”, used in multiple universes?

Star Trek has a Rigel VII. Star Wars has a Rigel VII. Marvel Comics has a Rigel-3. The Simpsons has a Rigel 7, though I expect this is parodying the aforementioned works. All of the above systems ...
2
votes
0answers
149 views

Which Sci-Fi work introduced the idea of “Touchscreen used by fingers”? [duplicate]

"I killed the Newton because of the stylus. If you're holding a stylus, you can't use the other five that are attached to your wrist." - Steve Jobs Steve Jobs (2015) movie; I have no idea whether ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

Which Sci-Fi or Fantasy work introduced the idea of “Infinite Time Loop”?

I have encountered "Infinite Time Loop" countless times. Some examples: In Doctor Strange (2016) movie, Doctor Strange took the time dimension into the dark dimension to trap Dormammu into an ...
5
votes
1answer
168 views

What is the first reference of solid metallic hydrogen as a tool in science fiction?

There is much talking in recent days about solid metallic hydrogen and its possible uses. When was it referenced in a science fiction story for the first time? Please note that I am asking about its ...
12
votes
3answers
368 views

What was the earliest SF work that used the idea of the “Multiverse”?

The discussion below this question leads me to ask: What was the earliest SF work that used the idea of the Multiverse (parallel universes or alternate worlds)? I'm looking for fairly hard SF ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

What was the first science fiction story that showed a successful alien conquest of the Earth?

The other day, I was remembering the time when I read Mick Farren's SF novel Protectorate (1985). One scene that has stuck with me was one that showed us the thought processes of the "Protector," ...
0
votes
0answers
56 views

Are human-like characters shown in star wars humans? [duplicate]

The characters played by humans (eg. Luke, leia, solo etc) in star wars are Homo sapiens or any other species? If they are homo sapiens then how could they exist in a galaxy far far away? Did we ...
-4
votes
1answer
228 views

A genre about hidden/secret history of the world [closed]

I am looking for a genre that I cannot really find to have a common name, but what can be described as a secret or hidden history of the world. Much like Lovecraft where his heroes were studying ...
4
votes
1answer
307 views

What is the oldest science fiction story? [duplicate]

What is the oldest science fiction story? It doesn't need to be set in the future, it could also be set in the past or a combination of the two. Plese include the author, thanks!
7
votes
3answers
469 views

What was the first Time-Travel story to involve gambling?

While we were watching the first episode of 11.22.63 my wife remarked that they stole the idea of gambling with presupposed results from Back to the Future, but I am pretty sure it is a rather well-...
89
votes
4answers
12k views

Were there science fiction stories written during the Middle Ages?

Were there science fiction stories written during the Middle Ages (i.e., before circa 1500 AD)? Joannes Kepler wrote a science fiction work called Somnium in 1609, an "interview with a knowledgeable '...
4
votes
0answers
74 views

First story to describe cannibalism in a futuristic society?

What is the first sci-fi story (if any) to describe how cannibalism would look in a futuristic society?
4
votes
1answer
123 views

Earliest exampe of mind-control failing due to obvious physiological/psychological differences?

Mind-controlling aliens are science fiction's staple and have been like that for quite some time. There even is a recent Hot Question about one of the most popular and respected sci-fi franchises ...
15
votes
1answer
454 views

Was ‘The Return of the Archons’ the first example of “regularly scheduled chaos”?

In the original series Star Trek, the episode "The Return of the Archons" (TOS, S01 E21) has a placid, peaceful society with a scheduled time of utter lawless chaos. Several SFF works since then (like ...
-1
votes
2answers
513 views

Time travel where you travel back in time in your own body?

I have a question. I read somewhere, but can't remember now. What is the name of the time travel scenario used in science fiction where you travel back in time in your own body?