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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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14
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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," ...
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What is the relationship between fantasy and science fiction? [closed]

While reading another questions, I had to think about what is the relationship between fantasy and science fiction? Is science fiction just a sub-genre of fantasy? If they are considered different ...
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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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Why do alien cultures tend to have one language, one religion etc

What are some common logical reasons given within any sci-fi universe for the lack of cultural diversity within a single alien race? Examples of what I mean: Star Trek: Vulcans come from Vulcan and ...
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SF, Sci-fi, Science fiction and Speculative fiction

In communities discussing written s*f*, I've often found the following terminology: Speculative fiction, or sf, is anything that asks “what if?”: stories about the future, fantasy, alternate history, ...
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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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778 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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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 ...
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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 ...
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7answers
694 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 ...
11
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2answers
665 views

What work of scifi broke the mold of zombies being undead voodoo minions and depicted them as mindless maneaters?

In the beginning, IIRC, zombies were undead creatures created and controlled by voodoo priests or priestesses. What work of scifi was the first to break that tradition by depicting zombies as ...
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522 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 ...
11
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1answer
589 views

Why are there so many spiders in space?

In science fiction there are a lot of spiders or spider-like creatures depicted in space. In real life there have also been a lot of studies done on spiders in space. Has science fiction been ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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2answers
361 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 ...
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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 ...
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588 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 ...
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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 Zoline, 1967). ...
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915 views

What is a hollow world?

I have heard the phrase hollow world several times, but seeing the question "Does the Song of Ice and Fire take place in a hollow world?," inspired me to finally Google the topic. This led to a TV ...
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5answers
753 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 ...
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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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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 ...
8
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423 views

First SciFi book/movie that has species ethics deliberately built based on game theory

What was the first SciFi book/movie that has a species or other large group whose ethics is deliberately built based on game theory? Doesn't have to use the word "Game Theory", as long as the concept ...
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8answers
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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 ...
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Which genre mentioned the first “pleasure” humanoid robot/android?

Which genre mentioned the first "pleasure" (aka sex slave/sex toy) humanoid robot/android? Was it Sci-Fi (the earliest example I can think of is "Tripping the Rift", but i'm certain there were ...
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2answers
886 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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427 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 ...
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3answers
510 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-...
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1answer
750 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.
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200 views

Which work of science fiction was first to link alien invaders with Halley's Comet?

The 1985 movie Lifeforce featured space vampires traveling in the tail of Halley's Comet. Is Lifeforce the first work of science fiction to link invaders from space with Halley's Comet?
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1answer
347 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 ...
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5answers
579 views

What is the earliest example in sci-fi or fantasy FILM containing a family link between Hero and Villain?

I can think of the obvious Star Wars but after that I am stumped. Anyone else have an earlier example? Edited due to question being deemed too broad.
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8answers
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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 ...
6
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3answers
392 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? ...
6
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3answers
440 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 ...
6
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3answers
209 views

Is there a web site (and/or) the book(s)in which are accumulated theories/ideas from science fiction & fantasy books/movies? [closed]

I'm searching for sites and/or books which have the most interesting theories (pseudo-theories), philosophical/religious ideas, and hypotheses gathered from speculative fiction, primarily, in science ...
6
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1answer
617 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?
6
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1answer
351 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 ...
6
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1answer
340 views

Are there specific tropes/details/etc… that characterized Golden Age of Science Fiction?

Wiki article on the Golden Age of Science Fiction mentions a couple of major developments associated with it, but is pretty thin on comprehensive analysis: Space opera came to prominence ...
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0answers
150 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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611 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
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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? ...
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1answer
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Fictional Sci-Fi Dates Calendar?

Is there any kind of online database, that features calendar of dates from sci-fi books/movies etc. Not sci-fi real life events calendar, but something similar to this for example, but more detailed
5
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1answer
101 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 ...
5
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1answer
572 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 ...
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In Star Trek: TNG, what is the most common away team combo (e.g. Riker, Data, Troi?) and why?

In the video games Star Trek: 25th Anniversary, Star Trek: Judgement Rites, and Star Trek: A Final Unity, the away teams are explained very rationally - e.g. Kirk commanded the team, Spock provided ...
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1answer
160 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....
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2answers
204 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 ...
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1answer
307 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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1answer
165 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 ...