All Questions

27
votes
6answers
4k views

Which names and terms in the Dune series come from Hebrew-inspired phrases?

Kwisatz Haderach is one example of a name that is inspired by a Hebrew phrase. What is a complete list of terms that are used in Dune and share this property?
28
votes
2answers
3k views

Are there any better English translations of Solaris available, beyond the original translation from French?

The version of Solaris that I've read, apparently been translated into English from French, was never considered to be particularly good by Stanisław Lem. Have any other translation attempts been made,...
22
votes
4answers
2k views

How “hard” is the science behind the genetics mentioned in Blade Runner?

How accurately does the science in Blade Runner reflect the current understanding of genetics?
58
votes
11answers
122k views

Significance of the origami Deckard found in Blade Runner

What was the significance of the origami figure Deckard found at the end of Blade Runner? What could it have symbolized?
64
votes
5answers
42k views

What order should I be reading the Discworld books in?

I've read some of the Discworld books, and they were referencing each other in an order different than what I've been reading. If I wanted to maintain chronology, and get all of the back references, ...
20
votes
2answers
723 views

What book features aliens defeating humanity with a sleep inducing virus?

What I remember of the plot is that aliens called Poppers (or something similar) have landed on Earth and released a virus that has put the human population to sleep. Only about one in a hundred ...
28
votes
3answers
3k views

What is a Star Trek Couch?

I've seen the pictures from Fog Creek Software's offices of their Star Trek couch. Why is that a Star Trek couch? Was the same style of couch used on-set of TNG or something? From Fogcreek.com
15
votes
1answer
341 views

In “Spin” by Robert Charles Wilson, why was it called “the spin?”

I just finished this book, and I never understood why the phenomena/event was called "the spin."
32
votes
3answers
10k views

Who was the piano player that Starbuck met in the bar on Galactica?

Towards the end of season four, Starbuck meets a piano player in the makeshift bar on Galactica. Now, it appears that this guy is some kind of ghost/angel like Caprica-6 and the ghost Baltar - but I ...
10
votes
1answer
747 views

How to read the Foreigner Universe

I have read the first trilogy in C.J. Cherryh's "Foreigner" universe and found them to be excellent. It's been a while, though, so I'm re-reading them. I've also discovered that there are actually ...
28
votes
7answers
2k views

What would be a reasonable technological explanation for why phaser beams are different colors?

On Star Trek when a Starfleet ship fires its phasers, the color of the effect is usually red/orange, but sometimes blue (in TOS). This is also generally true for the phaser sidearms (with green ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

What's happening with the Ender's Game movie? [closed]

* UPDATE: Movie is out in theaters as of 2013 * I'm not asking for rumor here, but verifiable fact. Anyone know what the status of the Ender's Game movie is? Last I heard it was in something of ...
8
votes
1answer
229 views

Are there any awards for Sci-Fi miniseries?

Sci-Fi miniseries typically rock, because they mix the conciseness - closer to a movie - with the volume of content that would take a TV show a season or more to produce. If you look for Sci-Fi mini-...
25
votes
5answers
3k views

Why exactly were the Pah-wraiths kicked out of the wormhole?

The series Deep Space Nine ultimately revolves around the Bajoran wormhole and the battle between the Pah-wraiths and the Prophets. The Wraith-Prophet war centers around the Pah-wraiths' attempt to ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Wasn't there going to be a different ending to Total Recall originally?

I once heard that Total Recall was going to have a different ending in which the lead character awoke - the whole story was not real but created by Rekall. Is that correct?
25
votes
4answers
3k views

Why does the dedication plaque on the Enterprise (NCC-1701) bridge say the ship is of the “Starship Class?”

I'm looking for a reasonable, in-universe explanation that works with the Star Trek canon. It is a well-known fact that Kirk's Enterprise as seen in the original series is of the Constitution class. ...
47
votes
3answers
17k views

What is “Blue Sun” in Firefly?

There are many references to Blue Sun in firefly. Most are background type images such as billboard advertisements or a shirt that Jayne wears. Is this ever explained, either directly in an episode ...
2
votes
0answers
102 views

Legal source of TeX Avery cartoons [closed]

Is there a complete, unedited collection of at least Tex Avery's MGM period cartoons for sale from a reputable source? (Only widely readable formats such as DVD and streaming please, no second-hand ...
21
votes
2answers
3k views

How many times throughout the Dune novels is Duncan Idaho ghola'd?

Throughout the Dune novels I would like to know how many times Duncan Idaho is ghola'd (cloned) before he reaches Kwisatz Haderach status?
22
votes
2answers
9k views

Are there any other works featuring Riddick?

I particularly enjoyed the Riddick movies. Do you know any more works featuring the hero, or at the very least in that particular universe?
16
votes
1answer
1k views

What role did the Tunnels & Cruciform parasites play in “Hyperion”

I was discussing Dan Simmons Hyperion books with a friend recently. While we both could recall the immediate roll the Cruciform parasites played in the novels, we couldn't remember where they - or the ...
22
votes
8answers
2k views

Could the terraforming techniques from Red/Blue/Green Mars work on any other planets in our solar system? [closed]

The Red Mars / Green Mars / Blue Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson describes the process of terraforming Mars so that humans could live there. Could those same techniques work on other planets in ...
19
votes
5answers
632 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

What short story interprets common idioms literally?

I'm trying to place a short story told from the viewpoint of a person who understands common idioms literally. For example, if someone asks him to “lend a hand”, he would understand that the hand ...
173
votes
23answers
54k views

Is the basic premise of humans as a power source in The Matrix reasonable? [closed]

In The Matrix the machines "grow" humans to provide a source of power. Is this really feasible from the perspective of power generation (never mind all the business of growing/feeding people)? Wouldn'...
25
votes
12answers
1k views

Why are “reboots” not done for novels? [closed]

It's pretty common for science fiction TV shows to be "rebooted" (I would guess more common than other genre because of the way that the science elements date). For example, Battlestar Galactica, ...
11
votes
1answer
742 views

Who created New Caprica City in V-world?

New Caprica City was one of the cooler aspects of the Caprica show. New Cap City was like a more detailed grand theft auto game except you could only die once. When New Caprica was introduced the ...
45
votes
3answers
3k views

What short story is about an invasion from metallic creatures?

I used to have a bunch of used short form books when I was growing up that I have since long lost, and I remember a story about an invasion of Earth by some metallic creatures that I never finished ...
31
votes
3answers
5k views

Was Roddenberry involved in the creation of Deep Space Nine or Voyager before he died?

I know that Roddenberry took a less and less active role in TNG as his health deteriorated. He died before the release of Deep Space Nine or Voyager. Did he having anything to do with the creation ...
49
votes
9answers
7k views

Where does human waste go when going to the toilet in the Star Trek universe?

Even if the society in Star Trek has evolved into a cashless state, that still leaves the matter of stools and other bodily excretions (not sweat or blood) to deal with. Where does that all faecal ...
50
votes
4answers
7k views

Is the Klingon language fully realized, or just a handful of disconnected phrases?

I watch Big Bang Theory a lot and notice they sometimes speak to each other in Klingon and I remember at one point seeing a poster, when I was little, with a bunch of Klingon phrases for like, "where ...
20
votes
3answers
856 views

Is there a disconnect between how the original Tron movie ended and the new one began?

I saw the, uh, what are they calling it -- sequel -- and was curious as to how the original movie ended. I can't find a rental copy anywhere and it's not streaming on Netflix anymore.
56
votes
7answers
12k views

In Dune, was the Golden Path really necessary?

I am trying to understand the reason why Leto III merged with the sandtrout in Children of Dune and why he was so committed to the Golden Path. I just finished the first three books and I fear that I ...
32
votes
6answers
1k views

Other than River Tam, are there any other Psychics in the Firefly 'verse?

Since it's introduced quite early in the series, I was surprised that no further psychics turned up in Serenity (if there's one there's two). Are there any other instances of psychics in the Firefly ...
7
votes
2answers
214 views

Harry Turtledove's non-alternate-history sf

Which of Harry Turtledove's sf¹ works are not alternate history? The only one I know of is The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump. There's possibly the Videssos series, from the Wikipedia description. What ...
18
votes
1answer
335 views

Who/what are Kim Stanley Robinson's Influences?

I'm a big fan of Kim Stanley Robinson's books, and as with musical interests, I like to know who their influences are. The problem is this: His work is quite distinct, and I can't find any conceptual ...
21
votes
3answers
4k views

Was the Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn an order by George Lucas for the movies 7-8-9?

I read somewhere and long ago that the "Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn" was ordered by George Lucas to make movies out of it, but that project was dropped later. Did someone have any reference of ...
82
votes
8answers
27k views

Weren't there originally going to be nine Star Wars films?

I seem to remember reading that there were going to be three trilogies originally in Star Wars, i.e. they would add episodes 7 - 9. Was that ever the case? What happened to that plan? Update: looks ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the law regarding magic in the BBC TV show Merlin?

I started watching Merlin and I've noticed that it isn't clear what law Uther exactly imposed. Is being a magician outlawed (Gaius is still alive because he stopped using magic), or Is using magic ...
15
votes
2answers
997 views

Is the Commonwealth restored in Andromeda?

The driving motivation for the main character in Andromeda was to seek the restoration of the All Systems Commonwealth. The Commonwealth, which is mostly a facsimile of Star Trek's Federation, fell ...
34
votes
9answers
3k views

Why don't Vulcans speak a loglan (a logical language)?

If anything Spock appears to be speaking a Tolkienesque Elvish language. Were Vulcans intended to be space elves or logical beings? It isn't reflected in their current language. Is canon too well ...
23
votes
1answer
962 views

What changes in society led to “Brave New World” becoming accepted?

For many years (over 50?) Huxley's Brave New World was received poorly by critics, and in many cases banned from libraries and schools. In what way did society change so that the book is now ...
43
votes
6answers
18k views

Is the “Time War” introduced only in “new” Doctor Who?

A central plot element of the "new" Doctor Who series is the Time War between the Daleks and the Time Lords. I never really watched the sixth or seventh Doctors, and haven't seen the eighth doctor ...
16
votes
3answers
595 views

Are there subgenres for science fiction with accurate science vs. made up science?

Are there terms that describe a science fiction story that strictly adheres to, I guess, plausible science concepts and technology versus science fiction were the science is really just made up and is ...
116
votes
14answers
14k views

Why and how did the Star Trek Universe evolve to a cashless/commerce-less society?

I've always wondered this ... I recall fleeting references to the lack of a money system in TNG (something about abandoning the quest for material wealth), but was it ever explained why and how and ...
10
votes
3answers
991 views

Is there a Huttese Sound Archive online?

"Huttese" is the Star Wars Language spoken by Jabba the Hutt. It was designed by sound designer Ben Burtt. I read on wikipedia that it was based on Quechua. Now... I noticed that my 1 year old son ...
38
votes
4answers
15k views

What was LOST About?

I watched every episode. I discussed every episode. In the end it all would be explained, but I'm confused as to what happened in the last episode: Is this an accurate assessment of what happened? Or ...
22
votes
3answers
828 views

How did the tech in Dollhouse go wild?

In between the seasons, I believe there was a big jump (likely from the writers having to condense several years of planned plot lines) and at some point, the Dollhouse tech went into the wild, which ...
42
votes
8answers
24k views

Why did the humans leave their original planet to found the colonies?

I watched pretty much every episode of BSG, but I can't quite remember why the humans left their homeworld to found Caprica and the other colonies. I'm guessing it's either nuclear holocaust, ...
22
votes
6answers
1k views

Who invented or theorized the replicator?

I've been told that a scientist theoretically invented the idea of a replicator, like the one used in Star Trek. Can anyone confirm this, or cite the first use of a replicator-type technology in ...

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