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.

5
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0answers
126 views

80's cartoon/anime with an alien that looks like a sunny side up egg

I vaguely remember watching this as a child in the mid nineties. It might be possible that this was not an anime, but something non-Japanese. I remember there were at least two characters in a space ...
3
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2answers
275 views

Earliest story involving a Man-Made Creature turning on its creators?

Does anyone know of the earliest known record of a story involving some sort of artificial creature, brought into existence by humans, that, at some point, becomes violent and attacks its creators or ...
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 ...
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 ...
22
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7answers
2k views

What was the first sci-fi work that had an intelligent virus/bacterium?

What's the earliest example of an intelligent virus/bacterium? There have been a number of comic-book characters (e.g. Sublime, Hlavac, Despotellis), television versions (e.g. the black oil from the X-...
12
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3answers
1k views

When was the first driverless car story written?

Reading the question about a future (the future) when non-automatic cars will be illegal, a moment sometimes called the automotive singularity, sparked the question in my mind about when the first ...
20
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11answers
4k views

Did Science Fiction anticipate a device like a smartphone?

Personally, I never saw the smartphone coming, but maybe science-fiction did. Basically, I'm looking for the first science fiction story (if one exists) where people commonly have a device which can ...
5
votes
1answer
170 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 ...
53
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9answers
9k views

What is “the prop” used in many Sci-Fi movies?

While watching the Crew Commentary on the Babylon 5 Pilot Movie "The Gathering", I heard JMS and John Navarro talk about "the mystery object", a prop which has supposedly been passed around and ...
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,...
36
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5answers
19k 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 ...
2
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4answers
303 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 ...
19
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5answers
649 views

Why do anthologies have such a prominent place in the history of written SF?

My obsession with science-fiction first came to me through short stories, read in anthologies and single-writer collections. Dangerous Visions and The Science-Fiction Hall of Fame are more or less ...
2
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1answer
145 views

Who came up first with the concept of holographic android in sci-fi?

A holographic android is, as I understand it, a robot in humanoid shape, capable of disguising itself as a real human/humanoid being via built-in holographic projectors. I assume the concept of ...
2
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1answer
187 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
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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 ...
15
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7answers
1k views

First novel to meld science fiction and western genres?

A commercial for an upcoming movie got me thinking about works in which the genres of science fiction and western are combined. I've done some preliminary searching online, and it appears that while ...
6
votes
3answers
397 views

What is the origin of interstellar human civilisation as a “Federation” in science fiction?

It is a common trope in science fiction that the futuristic human civilisation originating from planet Earth is frequently known as "The Federation". Examples include: The United Federation of ...
5
votes
1answer
159 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 ...
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
280 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?
17
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1answer
3k views

What was the First Science Fiction Film?

Is Georges Méliès' film A Trip to the Moon (1902) the first science fiction film ever made? Or are there any SF films before it? I've searched and researched, on and off since I first saw it in a ...
6
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8answers
834 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 ...
7
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3answers
488 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-...
15
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1answer
460 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
572 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 ...
16
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3answers
605 views

Are there subgenres for science fiction with accurate science vs. made up science?

Are there terms that describe a science fiction story that strictly adheres to, I guess, plausible science concepts and technology versus science fiction were the science is really just made up and is ...
12
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2answers
767 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
289 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 ...
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 ...
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0answers
165 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 ...
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 ...
2
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0answers
130 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
391 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
142 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
117 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
321 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? ...
14
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3answers
6k views

What is the origin of the word “terrans” when referring to humanoids and other earth-related things?

Quite often in science fiction we read an Alien character say: "They're going to the Terran system". "That's a Terran ship." "They're from the planet Terra". I get that Terra is the ...
8
votes
2answers
508 views

Do replicators ultimately lead to a money free state? [closed]

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 ...
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 ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Science Fiction plot resource (website)

At least five years ago, I had an idea for a website that was a database of plot elements used in science fiction books and movies, creating lists of the works that use each element. So one entry ...
7
votes
1answer
726 views

Sci-Fi and Fantasy holidays [closed]

Star Wars Day is probably the most famous sci-fi/fantasy holiday. What others are there? Please only include examples that are celebrated by a significant amount of people.
-7
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6answers
319 views

Which science fiction work had the most habitable worlds in our Solar System?

By habitable worlds I mean worlds where humans from Earth could live without spacesuits or airtight enclosed habitats. The creator of this website attepted to build the ultimate solar sytem, a ...
2
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0answers
236 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? ...
14
votes
3answers
803 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 objects;...
4
votes
2answers
104 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
186 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
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2answers
280 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 ...