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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.

112
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3answers
4k 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 ...
58
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13answers
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 ...
29
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2answers
2k 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 ...
19
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1answer
235 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 ...
17
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4answers
1k 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, ...
15
votes
2answers
727 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 ...
15
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1answer
257 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 ...
13
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3answers
2k 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 ...
13
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4answers
777 views

Looking for a story about a Sun that becomes self-aware

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, ...
11
votes
1answer
548 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
380 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). ...
10
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2answers
2k 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.
9
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3answers
710 views

Trying to find a short story about sentient weather

Years ago I read a short SF story in which scientists have realised the weather is sentient (or perhaps it was just the clouds that were sentient). I'm trying to find it again, but can't. I think I ...
9
votes
2answers
251 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).
8
votes
1answer
213 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
662 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
638 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
521 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
344 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
144 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
300 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 Carrol beast mentioned in the "Jabberwocky"?
5
votes
2answers
339 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
247 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) ...
5
votes
0answers
109 views

This is a short story 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. One thing that sticks in my mind is that the protagonists use AM or amplitude ...
5
votes
0answers
277 views

Dog like alien creature with telepathic and telekinetic abilities

I can't remember much about it but I am looking for a science fiction story about a woman who is camping or something similar on a planet that has been marked as having no sentient beings living on it....
5
votes
0answers
155 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 ...
4
votes
8answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
196 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
804 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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
249 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?