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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.

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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
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1answer
459 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 ...
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2answers
536 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?
8
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5answers
726 views

What was the first civilization based on the Nazis in science fiction?

From the Imperials of Star Wars to the Daleks of Doctor Who, there have been many, many villains and bad guys based on or inspired by the Nazis. What was the first example of a Nazi-based ...
6
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3answers
396 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 ...
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2answers
210 views

What was the first insect-like robot in fiction?

Insect-sized robots which fly on artificial wings or skitter around on multiple mechanical legs are becoming more and more common as subjects of real-world research and development, but they've been a ...
3
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3answers
2k views

What was the first alien probing?

There have been alien abduction stories for a long time. The aliens that kidnap people may be short gray humanoids with huge eyes, green-scaled lizard people, blond space Nazis, or even bicardiate ...
4
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1answer
165 views

Last story to feature luminiferous aether

We get a lot of questions here asking what the first story of a certain type is. This is an example of a different sort of question—the last story of a certain type. The luminiferous aether was ...
18
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2answers
3k views

What is the earliest story to present man made machines as a threat to humans?

What is the first depiction of man made machines turning against human? I know of Terminator and Matrix but I suppose the theme is much older than those two? EDIT: I'm thinking more about machines ...
11
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2answers
462 views

What was the first parasite to appear in speculative fiction?

Parasites are a mainstay of modern science fiction and fantasy. From the Yeerks to the Vord to xenormorphs to The Host to GM tapeworms, speculative organisms that feed on other organisms will make an ...
0
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1answer
245 views

Where does the Sci-Fi term “Tyran” come from?

Restating my question, In most of my history with Sci-fi games (Gears,40k,etc) and even on a lackluster sci fi wiki that Tyran is a human (Sci-Fi wiki entry: Tyran-A being who is of Human descent but ...
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2answers
252 views

Who was the first ape in science fiction?

From Planet of the Apes to Gorilla Grodd to Curious George and the Rocket to Joop the Orangutan, apes have a long and varied history in science fiction. But which was the first ape to appear in a ...
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2answers
189 views

What is this speculative fiction genre called?

I'm thinking about the type of speculative fiction where the characters travel to another dimension or another universe, or someone/something from another universe arrives in this one. Examples: The ...
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0answers
147 views

Is there a subgenre of SF that revolves around finance & money? [closed]

William Gibson (in the Sprawl trilogy and the Blue Ant trilogy) and Neal Stephenson (in Cryptonomicon and Reamde (and, of course, the Baroque Cycle)) have both studied the world of money and finance ...
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 ...
7
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1answer
327 views

Who Came up with the Galactic Barrier Concept?

In specific universes, this is usually explained rather well in universe. But, what I'm looking for here is a more out of universe explanation. Where did the idea of a galactic barrier come from and ...
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 ...
7
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8answers
3k views

Why are there so many science fiction conventions in California?

It seems like there are a disproportionate amount of science fiction conventions in the state of California compared to the rest of the United States. Comic-Con, Wonder-Con and the Anime Expo are ...
36
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3answers
4k views

Who was the earliest female science fiction writer?

Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in 1818. I wonder if most readers would consider the book within the science fiction genre. It certainly has claim to the Gothic and horror genres as well. If you do ...
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4answers
2k views

What was the first sci-fi themed hit song?

Over the years, there have been many sci-fi themed hit songs, such as Mr. Roboto and The Final Countdown. Which was the first? I would define "hit" as appearing on the Billboard Hot 100, or other ...
7
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1answer
724 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.
58
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3answers
8k views

What was the first story to be set in the future?

Lots of science fiction stories today are set in the future. Sometimes they give a specific date, like they'll say "AD 2532". Sometimes it's not spelled out but it's obvious, like I'm not sure if Star ...
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2answers
2k views

How does Miller's planet in Interstellar have such huge time dilation yet such a small gravitational force? [duplicate]

In Interstellar, the crew of the Endurance experience extreme time dilation (7 years to an hour) on Miller's planet, due to its proximity to a black hole. However, they only feel 130% of Earth's ...
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 ...
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1answer
705 views

Can you identify these Doctors of the science fiction genre in miniature formats?

Please identify these Doctors, their minions, their comic or science fiction genre of origin and links, if possible.
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0answers
149 views

Is there a precedent for the use of “sol” or other terms for solar day?

In these two questions in Space Exploration Stackexchange the origin and use of the word "sol" to describe a solar day on astronomical bodies besides the Earth are being discussed. Like so many things ...
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1answer
1k views

Why do (some) people consider “The Heat Death of the Universe” to be science fiction?

One of the stories in the collection Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century (Justine Larbalestier (ed.), 2006) is "The Heat Death of the Universe" (Pamela Zoline, 1967). ...
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1answer
2k views

What separates a Cyberpunk setting from a futuristic setting?

I understand this is a commonly used style in Science-fiction. However I can never determine the difference between what some call a "Futuristic" setting and a "Cyberpunk" setting.
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5answers
4k views

Was the original Enterprise truly the first sci-fi spaceship designed purely for exploration?

In this video, the astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson chooses the Enterprise over the Millenium Falcon. One reason he gives is that the Enterprise is the first sci-...
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1answer
397 views

Why so many scifi books have a one world government if this idea is considered stupid? [closed]

There are some guys that believe that a new world order will happen, those guys are called crazy and etc.. with people saying their idea is super mega ultra stupid. So, my question is, why something ...
33
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12answers
11k views

What is the latest date for the setting in a sci-fi text or movie?

I was thinking of the Mayans this morning, and the controversy about the Mayan calendar in 2012 (through a long and circuitous thought process). But it got me thinking: Someone back 5000 years ago ...
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4answers
4k views

First instance of the flying saucer as a space craft?

A common idea of a spaceship, especially an alien spaceship, is the classic flying saucer, like the one below: What is the first instance of a flying saucer as a space craft in science fiction? ...
6
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1answer
347 views

Whose definition of “science fiction” is this?

Sometime in the last quarter of the 20th century (or just possibly in the very early 2000s) I read somewhere the following definition of science fiction (not word-for-word, I paraphrase): Science ...
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3answers
8k views

Earth: Green Planet or Blue Planet?

I was reading some older (1930s-era) science fiction and noticed that Earth was described as the "Green Planet". In contrast, modern science fiction uniformly describes it as the "Blue Planet". When ...
31
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3answers
3k views

Which fictional work first used the term “space-time continuum”?

I would expect that it's post-Einstein, but probably not by too much. I know that Star Trek used it to death, but I suspect that it pre-dated ST.
6
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1answer
596 views

Did Star Trek invent the holodeck?

I first saw the holodeck in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Had any other science fiction work used computer-programmable virtual recreation before Star Trek? If so, where was it first used in sci-fi?
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5answers
591 views

Origin of black hole time-travel and alternate universe tropes in sci-fi?

As far as I know, the first person to suggest in the scientific literature the existence of what we would today call a black hole was John Michell in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal ...
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4answers
666 views

What is the earliest incident where an AI Logic Bomb is ignored or shrugged off

Modern computing is not immune to logic bombs or race conditions or runaway threads. But it does have techniques to minimize the impact of this. A watchdog timer requires that the program or system ...
1
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1answer
240 views

Are there any sample of elvish-like civilization being in their prime time [closed]

In a lot of SF and Fantasy work, there is a civilization being elven archetype. I mean, civilization being in their fall, once powerful and full of magic or technology or sometimes both, now dying out....
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1answer
411 views

How Can Fictional Fusion Reactors Possibly Be Dangerous? [closed]

In various science fiction movies and tv shows fusion reactors can sometimes have runaway reactions and explode, the threat of that happening is used in various *Star trek: The Next Generation *...
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6answers
433 views

Which Science Fiction Story, etc. Had the Most Life Bearing Worlds in the Solar System?

This is different from asking which story,etc. had the most habitable worlds in the solar system. A habitable world is one where Humans can live without space suits and airtight enclosed communities ...
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6answers
318 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 ...
17
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3answers
2k views

What is the origin of the term “first contact”?

This term has a long history in Star Trek: Star Trek: First Contact ST:TNG episode "First Contact" First Contact Day Also: Stargate: Atlantis episode "First Contact" Does this term originate in Star ...
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0answers
60 views

What is the origin of the 'typical' alien? [duplicate]

When most people (well, probably not people from this site, but the general public) think of an alien, they probably think of an alien in the general form like below: This sort of alien has the large ...
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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 ...
19
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2answers
3k views

What is earliest version of a “horcrux”? [duplicate]

I just realized a few days ago that Sauron's One Ring is kind-of like a horcrux, in that Sauron can't ever be totally destroyed as long as the One Ring exists. That set me to wondering: did Tolkien ...
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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 ...
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2answers
864 views

Why do so many shows use a 'High Council'?

Why is it that shows like Stargate, Star Trek, and others use a government body called the "High Council"? Within Stargate, the Asgard have a High Council. In Star Trek, Vulcans and Klingons have one....
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0answers
110 views

Civilizations in SCI-FI stories [closed]

Did exist a sci-fi novels or comics where the civilizations from an alien planets are not group in a single culture but in many?, (like us with countries, states, races and languages). I seems that ...
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 ...