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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27
votes
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 ...
3
votes
0answers
118 views

Sci fi book with a one-man worldwide army

I read this book between 5 and 10 years ago. I really can't remember any of the story (I've had it on my mind for two days now), all I remember is this scene. A female protagonist is beside a bridge ...
12
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1answer
2k 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 ...
100
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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 ...
13
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4answers
627 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 ...
7
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3answers
739 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 ...
32
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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 ...
18
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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 ...
32
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5answers
3k 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 ...
59
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
13
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1answer
3k 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....
10
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3answers
709 views

What was the first SciFi work that had a “biologically different” intelligent race?

What was the first SciFi work that had a an intelligent race that was biologically significantly different from humans? Not simply "non humanoid", but, say, non-vertebrate (non-humanoid vertebrates ...
15
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1answer
278 views

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 ...
39
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5answers
25k views

Difference between Space Opera and Science Fiction? [closed]

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
294 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 ...
15
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4answers
5k 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. -...
5
votes
4answers
290 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
219 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
250 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 ...
4
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2answers
447 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
132 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 ...
45
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11answers
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 ...
3
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1answer
292 views

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:...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What was the first science fiction TV show?

Is the BBC's pre-war live adaptation of Karel Capek's R.U.R., broadcast on February 11, 1938, the first science fiction television show? Originally, I would have thought that the American series ...
2
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1answer
124 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, ...
4
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1answer
165 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....
4
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1answer
155 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 ...
1
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2answers
272 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 ...
11
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7answers
776 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 ...
31
votes
8answers
3k views

First use of the term “warp” to denote travel/speed?

I have just watched Space Battleship Yamato (2010) and they used the term "warp" to denote a type of drive. I think Star Trek is the obvious place where this term was first used to describe faster ...
6
votes
3answers
418 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? ...
3
votes
2answers
287 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 ...
34
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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
votes
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
votes
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 ...
19
votes
11answers
5k 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
188 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 ...
54
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8answers
12k 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
votes
4answers
16k 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,...
2
votes
4answers
347 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
votes
5answers
716 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
votes
1answer
158 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
492 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
237 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
398 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
1k 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
4k 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
votes
8answers
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 ...