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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50 views

A summary of Dejah Thoris and her skills?

Though I have not read the novels, a situation I intend to remedy eventually, can anyone summarize the skills, abilities and proficiencies Dejah Thoris possesses both mundane and fantastical both from ...
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1answer
262 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 ...
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2answers
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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. -...
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2answers
203 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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2answers
441 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 ...
5
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1answer
125 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 ...
3
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1answer
270 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
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3answers
247 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 ...
2
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1answer
119 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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4answers
282 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 ...
4
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1answer
159 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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7answers
748 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 ...
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
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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 ...
71
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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,...
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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 ...
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1answer
400 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
145 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
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1answer
221 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 ...
1
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1answer
911 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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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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1answer
369 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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2answers
794 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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1answer
458 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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173 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 ...
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2answers
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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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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
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3answers
679 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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0answers
135 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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1answer
662 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 ...
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1answer
192 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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1answer
188 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
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0answers
278 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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2answers
115 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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1answer
196 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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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 ...
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1answer
182 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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4answers
337 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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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 ...
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 ...
2
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1answer
329 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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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 ...
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0answers
101 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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7answers
6k 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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2answers
447 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
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2answers
364 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 ...
6
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3answers
406 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? ...
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0answers
132 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
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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 ...