Questions tagged [sentience]

To be used when referring to the sentience of a being or normally non-sentient object e.g. Herbie ('The Love Bug') is a sentient car.

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1 answer
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Scientist who talks to ants and is killed by wasps (or hornets)

I read this short fiction (novelette or novella) about 10-15 years ago, but it could be much older. I believe I read it in French, but I am not sure. Also not sure whether in a collection or in a ...
Alfred's user avatar
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11 votes
0 answers
82 views

A sentient war machine damaged to the point it can't tell friend from foe [duplicate]

This is a short fiction, probably a novelette. I read it not so many years ago (but still BC, I mean, before Covid) in a collection. But I think it was a very old collection. The main character is a ...
Alfred's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
72 views

Short fiction about virtual pets [duplicate]

This story was a longish novelette, or a shortish novella. I read it about 5 years ago, maybe a bit more. Since I almost never read magazines, it was probably in some collection, but I don't remember ...
Alfred's user avatar
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20 votes
1 answer
3k views

Are humpback whales granted civil rights?

The events of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home establish that humpback whales are sentient beings with their own language, and that this language is at least in theory learnable by non-whales (e.g. the ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
147 views

In Mimic (about giant insects that evolved to resemble men) -- the story and/or the movie, any indications that the insects are intelligent?

I read the story long ago and my sense was, the insects had to be fairly intelligent to blend in and come to think of it, seemed to be able to, for example, implicitly open doors and other human ...
releseabe's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
639 views

Are Androids sentient in the "Alien" franchise?

Of the known androids in the Alien franchise, Ash, Bishop, Call, David, Walter, do any of them show the basics of being or becoming sentient? Sentient comes from the Latin sentient-, “feeling,” and it ...
jim's user avatar
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25 votes
1 answer
3k views

Man and artificially sapient dog alone on Mars. Dog starts behaving erratically

I'm trying to recall a story I read about a man alone on a Mars outpost except for the companionship of a dog that had already either been modified post-birth or natally bioengineered to have human-...
Jacob C.'s user avatar
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13 votes
4 answers
1k views

Novel: Sentient lifeform enslaves all life on planet — colonises other planets by making copies of itself?

I'm trying to find the name of this book I read in the past couple of years. The book was about a sentient lifeform (I can't recall what kind, something that normally isn't sentient — the planet ...
GombleGomble's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
95 views

Looking for series about young man escaping earth authorities only to find intelligent alien ship on a crater of the moon

I am looking for a book series I read about a young man finishing up high school. He had abilities to know when he was being observed by people or electronics and that got him in trouble. He escapes ...
Makram Alexander's user avatar
25 votes
1 answer
3k views

70s or older story about a sentient forest who discovers the A-bomb

In this story I read long ago, the trees of each forest are all connected (through their roots ? by some psychic power ? I forgot). Each tree is thus just a "body part" of the forest he belongs to, ...
Alfred's user avatar
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20 votes
5 answers
2k views

Who first used spacefaring sapient felines in science fiction?

I've been getting into Wing Commander again lately and reading Niven's Known Universe, and Andre Norton is a life long favourite. All of these have something in common, they all have an intelligent, ...
Ash's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
627 views

Short story about shark-like alien species that eats other sentient aliens

I'd read a short story online a few years ago where an astronaut is woken from cryogenic sleep when her ship encounters an alien vessel. It is implied that the aliens look like sharks, and they eat ...
Sameer's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer
341 views

Short story: Modem improves user's BBS or Usenet posts, ultimately kills him

Short story plot: Narrator notices that the quality of a friend's BBS or Usenet posts has improved -- just expanded diction and perfect spelling, at first, I think. He finds out his friend has been ...
Jacob C.'s user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
316 views

Short story where a sentient bear and a few other sentient animals band together to save the planet using AM waves

This is a short story of about 30 pages or more in a pre-1990 sci-fi anthology. I only remember a few details, eg a sentient bear and a few other sentient animals that band together to save the planet....
peter's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
405 views

SF novel with sentient planet that consumes the bad guys

The book involved a group that had crashed onto a planet that augmented their natural abilities. A group of characters (the bad guys) became talented liars and politicians. A geologist (the good guy) ...
jpl's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
317 views

Short story: hunter hired to kill last of a "pest species" which turns out to be sentient

Looking for the name of a SF short story about a hunter who has been hired to kill the last of what is thought to be a "pest species" but he has begun to think it is sentient (it is).
Jaddo's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
314 views

Dystopian future, AI Space weapons, sentient dolphins, Railroad gauge wars and more. What's the book name?

So I read this book several years ago and now I'm trying to remember the name. I know this is a fairly vague description but I'm hoping it's enough for someone to catch on and help me. I know this ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 133
11 votes
1 answer
683 views

Looking for Name of Sentient Tree Short Story

Seeking a short story I read in a collection at least 5 or 6 years ago, can't trace the name or origin. Please help! Here's what I remember: Race of sentient trees (looks like a normal forest to us). ...
Crys's user avatar
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16 votes
3 answers
3k views

Identify science fiction novel about ancient machines destroying all sentient planets

I read this in late '90s and thought the premise was fascinatingly haunting: A very ancient alien race created either a single or many "berzerker" (?) machines during a war with another race. The ...
Tom Russell's user avatar
20 votes
1 answer
283 views

Malevolent and Cruel Sentient Earth

I read a story somewhere online in the last couple of years. It was point of view from our planet from the start of life to near future. The narration indicated that the world did not care for life ...
Overthinks's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
887 views

Do the minifigures have any control of their actions within the LEGO world?

Spoilers for The LEGO Movie below. In The LEGO Movie we eventually learn that Within the LEGO World, are all the minifigures' actions manipulated by humans, or do they control themselves to any ...
Rogue Jedi's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
687 views

Why did Larry Niven name his creature "Bandersnatch?"

Why did Larry Niven call his immense armless, headless, sentient Known Space creatures Bandersnatch? How does the name relate to the Lewis Carroll beast mentioned in the "Jabberwocky"?
Major Stackings's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
232 views

A SF Book set in a Cyberpunk universe

The book is about a guy (I think he is a young adult) who makes a living by giving ideas away in exchange for services. There is a scene about him and a few other guys and 1 girl about them talking ...
Astearon's user avatar
  • 103
9 votes
1 answer
994 views

Trying to identify a story about Sentient Trees

Trying to identify the title and author of a Science Fiction story about a human boy and girl who are on an alien world. Notable is the teleportation device that only allows non-living material or ...
Roger Connor's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is the Force sentient?

In thinking about this excellent question it occurred to me that what's probably first needed is an answer to whether the Force has an awareness of itself? Equivalently, we know that living ...
Athena Widget's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
653 views

What fantasy film or TV show first depicted a sentient automobile? What kind was it?

Which film or TV show first depicted a sentient automobile? I can think of three that could qualify, Herbie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and my mother the car. I know there are likely others that predate ...
Major Stackings's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
171 views

Sentient computer fakes alien probe?

I'm trying to find a novel that I read 10+ years ago (maybe), what I remember is: Computer becomes sentient, but hides it For some reason it interferes with some data (from a human probe? Or radio ...
Bigwave's user avatar
  • 151
8 votes
1 answer
933 views

Humans colonize planet of animals that are actually sentient

I read this series when I was very young so the details are fuzzy, but I remember it being about a race of animals resembling rodents or monkeys with no normal speech or anything. However, they have a ...
coffee's user avatar
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13 votes
4 answers
2k views

Looking for a story about a Sun that becomes self-aware [duplicate]

Trying to find this book. In it, over eons of time, a sun actually begins to think. He becomes self-aware, and then, one day MOVES itself, and its system. I read this approximately 10-15 years ago, ...
Lu Johnson's user avatar
61 votes
13 answers
11k views

The Moriarty Sentience Problem - A.K.A. Why isn't the Enterprise computer considered sentient?

In Elementary, Dear Data, Geordi instructs the computer to create an opponent to intellectually best Data. The conceit of the episode is that the computer does just that, and creates a sentient ...
Tritium21's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
396 views

Why was the EMH's personhood ever questioned?

In the final season of Voyager, the EMH is forced to undergo a hearing where his personhood (for the purposes of authorship of a holonovel) is questioned. Ultimately, the arbitrator declined to decide ...
RoboKaren's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
373 views

Story [novel, novella?] that featured faster-than-light or hyperdrive gained from observing distant drive use, also had a sentient star

I have little recollection when I read this, but it started with people observing indications of some special engine use many lightyears away, and it led them to 'reverse-engineer' the traces to ...
Solemnity's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
1k views

Are there any SciFi/Fantasy novels with a Whale Civilization at the core? [closed]

I was reading something with my kids about how humpback whales could probably communicate across an entire ocean before human noise pollution was introduced. This plus the theorized intelligence of ...
zipquincy's user avatar
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4 votes
8 answers
2k views

Is there an example of a sentient plant-based life form in any of the major book/movie/TV SciFi franchises? [closed]

UPDATE: Please note that the question was already answered perfectly - I am not looking for additional examples I remember that there was a sentient life form evoloved from plants in Star Control 2 ...
DVK-on-Ahch-To's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
731 views

Sentient Bomb in a city on the moon?

I would like to know the title of the short story that I believe takes place on the moon. The setting is a mall or some other very public location and the main character is a police officer. She ...
Strangeland's user avatar
  • 1,189
120 votes
3 answers
5k views

Story where scientist communicates with cities directly

In the story, a scientist discovers that cities have more or less a gestalt consciousness, and that they communicate with each other indirectly through people. He decodes this communication, and ...
Chris B. Behrens's user avatar
-2 votes
2 answers
261 views

When speaking to (or rather writing about) a Sci Fi/Fantasy World what is a "PERSON" [closed]

Whether it is the original author or fan's engaged in discussion, Does the word "Person" exclusively refer to a "human" or can non-humans be "persons" too? Are Elves "People", was (is) Yoda a person?
Cos Callis's user avatar
29 votes
2 answers
3k views

What happens to someone who destroys a Star Wars Droid?

Some Star Wars Droids are definitively sentient beings, but it appears that they are not treated as such. The Legal Status section of the Droid article of Wookieepedia (which have no references) said ...
DavRob60's user avatar
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13 votes
3 answers
3k views

What happened to the Exocomps?

In Star Trek, whatever happened to the exocomps? I recall that they were in an episode that showed them as sentient, but never saw them again.
Teknophilia's user avatar
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