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22
votes
3answers
1k views

Did Skynet evolve out of Andy Good's AI Chess computer, “Turk”?

In Terminator The Sarah Conner Chronicles, we find out about an AI Chess computer invented by Andy Good. Did Myles Dyson use any of Andy's code when he invented the Neural Net CPU?
45
votes
6answers
10k views

What is the etymology of Doctor Who?

I recently decided to watch Doctor Who, and started viewing the 2005 version. I have the first two episodes from the first season, and I can't help but wonder what is the etymology of the name "Doctor ...
18
votes
4answers
38k views

In Jack Ketchum's short “The Box”, what exactly was in the box?

In Jack Ketchum's short “The Box”, what exactly was in the box? I really want to know!
18
votes
1answer
2k views

What film/TV program was set on a spaceship and…? (I can only remember the ending so have kept the title uninformative!) [duplicate]

Like the title says, I only remember the end of this. I think it was a film, but may have been an episode of something like The Outer Limits. I saw it on TV around 1999 (ish), and I think it was quite ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

How did the sandworms/sandtrout appear on Arrakis?

Were they native species? My impression was that Arrakis was turned into Dune fairly recently, geologically/paleontologically speaking.
36
votes
4answers
3k views

In the Dune universe, how do the sandworms enlarge the desert?

In Chapterhouse Dune and in Hunters of Dune, it is clear that the Sandworms are causing the desert area to grow and take more and more of the surface of the planet. However, the sandworms need desert-...
19
votes
2answers
2k views

What 70s (60s?) TV show / TV movie had a generation ship whose inhabitants did not know they were on a spaceship?

I have the vaguest memory of a TV show (maybe a BBC import?) in which the protagonists were moving through the sections of a massive generation ship whose inhabitants had forgotten that they were on a ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

In The Magicians by Lev Grossman, who are the people seen in the fountains?

In The Magicians by Lev Grossman, Emily Greenstreet would often stare into a magical fountain on the Brakebills campus where she would sometimes see other people in the reflection. Do we ever find ...
20
votes
1answer
2k views

What questions does “2001: A Space Odyssey” the book answer?

I love the film but still haven't read the book. They say it answers all the questions we ask while watching the film (and can't be answered without reading the book).
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does the X-Files have 2 different opening sequences?

I've noticed that the X-Files has 2 different opening credit sequences: one with those weird growing goo fern things and the text "Paranormal Activity" and one without. Does anyone know why?
19
votes
2answers
12k views

What is all the stuff at the end of 9?

In the movie 9, and yes this is a lead-in, you notice many strange things in concept. For instance the puppets having a soul are odd and even odder is the machinery that hunts them. So honestly I'm ...
21
votes
7answers
5k views

In Doctor Who, how does River end up in prison?

We know she'll end up there because: I really don't want to think it's the Doctor, but it does cross my mind all the time. She won't tell the Doctor, so it's a very, very good man they both know.
63
votes
6answers
35k views

Why did Tyrion visit the Wall?

Game of Thrones has Tyrion visiting the Wall, simply as he wanted to see it. Watching this, I had the feeling that, in the novel, there was another, less arbitrary, reason, but I can't recall it. ...
67
votes
6answers
242k views

Does each season of Game of Thrones roughly equal a book?

Does each current Game of Thrones season roughly equal one A Song of Ice and Fire book? And do we know which future seasons will cover which books? I am planning to read the first book after the TV ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

How many stairs are in The Wall?

After I read the initial description of The Wall I got to thinking about just how many stairs would be in the staircase from ground level to the top? I'm hoping someone with more knowledge of the ...
14
votes
2answers
784 views

Planet with hexagons with either magic or technology

I read a good book a while ago and can't remember the title. It is the story of people stuck on a planet made of hexagons, where the level of technology is set depending on the type of hexagon. Some ...
59
votes
12answers
17k views

Does the intro sequence to the Game of Thrones TV series have any meaning?

The intro to Game of Thrones episodes includes a model mechanical world sprouting up buildings at Kings' Landing, Winterfell, and other key locations. Does this have any significance other than ...
20
votes
3answers
1k views

The TARDIS forcefield

In the 2005 relaunch of Doctor Who, first season, the TARDIS was revealed as having a forcefield, which can stop the laser beam of Daleks. In episode 13, it does stop the attack of Daleks when the ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does the SGU Destiny gate vent?

In Destiny, the Stargate vents and flashes when it closes. I don't think I've seen this happen to any other gates. Are there any reasons why this is the case?
29
votes
12answers
17k views

Does the Song of Ice and Fire take place in a hollow world?

The HBO series Game of Thrones and the book series it's from, A Song of Ice and Fire, offer no examples or suggestions that the world is set in a hollow world. But the television show's opening ...
46
votes
9answers
4k views

What happened to Saruman's ring in the Fourth Age?

After Gandalf defeated Saruman, what happened to Saruman's Ring? Was it destroyed? Did it still have power, and was it wielded by him or others? Was this a topic in one of Tolkien's work, or was it ...
24
votes
4answers
19k views

What happened to Jon Snow's direwolf?

I noticed that when Jon Snow left Winterfell with his uncle to head to the Wall, his direwolf was nowhere in sight. In fact, I don't recall seeing it since they found the pups by their dead mother. ...
28
votes
5answers
5k views

Number of Jedi after Order 66?

How many Jedi survived Order 66? Was Master Yoda the only one or are there any more who disappeared into the shadows?
8
votes
1answer
465 views

Do we ever find out what Ivy wished for?

In Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison, early in the book, Ivy is given a wish. Later in the book Rachel - the POV character - notices that Ivy's necklace (which contained the charm she could use to ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Sword of Truth: Gradual style shift?

I really enjoyed the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. One of the things that I found somewhat fascinating about it is that there seems to be a gradual shift as you read the books from a ...
45
votes
2answers
77k views

General Grievous: what is he, actually?

In the Star Wars prequels, there is a somewhat-important character introduced named "General Grievous". Being lord of a large droid army and having some number of sophisticated manufacturing plants ...
20
votes
4answers
5k views

When does the Doctor cease being President of Gallifrey?

The 4th Doctor becomes President of Gallifrey in the Invasion of Time storyline. As far as I can recall, he doesn't explicitly vacate this office, but he certainly isn't President by the time of The ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the common themes present in both Tolkien's “Lord of the Rings” and Jordan's “Wheel of Time”?

This is probably going to be a rather detailed set of answers. Hopefully someone can come up with a "short list" of common themes. Both sets of books have a distinctive theme of good vs. evil, but ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Do the Night's Dawn Trilogy and the Commonwealth Saga by Peter F. Hamilton share a universe?

I've read the Commonwealth saga and I am considering reading the Night's Dawn trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton. What is the relationship of the universes between the two series? I was under the ...
10
votes
2answers
568 views

Looking for title of book, with hostile flora, tax laws

Long, long ago (probably early 80's), I read a book which actually contained three stories/books, may be by different authors, I don't recall. This particular (Dutch) edition had their pages colored ...
71
votes
5answers
43k views

What happened to the Hobbits and the Dwarves after the Elves left?

From what I understand, The Lord of the Rings is written as the mythic past of our own world. We are constantly reminded that the race of man is becoming more and more prominent. At the end of The ...
56
votes
2answers
4k views

In The Lord of the Rings, what important background information is contained in the poems?

From Jeff's answer to a separate Lord Of The Rings question: ... the songs and poems give some relatively important background information I don't recall any information that seemed important (as ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

Who are the “beings” in Robin Hobb's Realm of the Elderlings books?

In Robin Hobb's books on the Realm of the Elderlings, specifically the FitzChivalry books, Fitz ends up on an island that is revealed in the Liveship books to be the island of the "Others." I haven't ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

In SGU: Blockade (2.19) where is the actual location that was used for the city?

I'm talking about the "crap, we dialed Pittsburgh" city. Was that a set or an actual city/town? And if it was a city/town, does anyone know where that is?
16
votes
5answers
4k views

Why were there no Hogwarts Quidditch games in Goblet of Fire?

Why were there no Hogwarts Quidditch games in Goblet of Fire? Was there an official explanation from Dumbledore that the school games are cancelled due to Triwizard tournament and if so, why?
17
votes
3answers
3k views

Are there any statistics on how many people skip poetry in LOTR?

I know that some people find it impossible to read through the songs/poems in LOTR text and just skip them. Are there any sort of statistics on what percentage of readers do this?
13
votes
1answer
1k views

What short story is about changing humanity into a hive mind?

An alien lands on earth and is amazed that this species has come this far with all those separate minds. He decides to unite them and rule them. The hive mind that originates from this succesfully ...
11
votes
1answer
649 views

Does SG:U end on a cliffhanger?

I've begun to watch Stargate: Universe and am quickly becoming a fan. However, I've recently read that the second (and final) season ends on a cliffhanger (I didn't read what the cliffhanger was) for ...
13
votes
1answer
437 views

Did Land of the Lost take place inside a hollow Earth?

Did the Sid and Marty Croft show, Land of the Lost, take place inside a hollow Earth? I seem to remember day and night in the show which often would be impossible in the hollow world mythos. I ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

Is there an older Doctor Who series?

I just started to watch Doctor Who, and the episode was said to be the 1st season. The actor playing the Doctor is this guy: I discovered people in other questions on the site said something about a ...
25
votes
6answers
55k views

In the Matrix, what happened after the humans and the robots formed a truce?

Ok, I know it's not really a truce but after "The One" dies and the robots have given up fighting what happens? Are there works that showcase what happens after the last movie, Revolutions? Or is the ...
47
votes
10answers
18k views

Is the Stargate storyline continued after Stargate: Universe?

The Stargate storyline begins in the movie, and then continues in Stargate: SG1, then Stargate: Atlantis, and finally in Stargate: Universe. Are there any films, novels, or TV series that take place ...
15
votes
4answers
4k views

How did The Silence manage to stay undetected?

In Doctor Who, the Silence (from the Impossible Astronaut 2 parter) were able to edit themselves out of a person's memory. However, surely when a normal human saw one they would scream? And then ...
26
votes
8answers
6k views

Was Salazar Slytherin's whole “Don't teach muggle-born” idea less-than-brilliant?

Leaving aside ethical and moral considerations, the whole policy of Salazar Slytherin's "we should not teach muggle-born magic-capable children" seems to be completely counter-productive to the whole "...
6
votes
5answers
456 views

Are there languages for which postures are very important? [closed]

Many speculative fiction works have languages that depend to a great deal on the postures of the people communicating. Some examples are the language of the Adem in Patrick Rothfuss' The Wise Man's ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

How many people actually participated in the original Voldemort conflict?

From GoF scene where Death Eaters are returning after Voldemort's return, there seems to be VERY few of them (don't recall exact # but my impression was between a dozen and two dozen). Also, Order ...
20
votes
3answers
8k views

Why would the Bifröst Bridge in Thor be able to destroy other worlds?

I was under the impression that the Bifröst Bridge is just a bridge (wormhole) between the 9 worlds, and yet in the movie it can be used as a weapon.
9
votes
4answers
1k views

What are the origins of natives in Avatar movies?

What are the origins of natives in Avatar movies (long height people with tail, and blue color). Either literary/art origins, or explanations for evolving this way.
12
votes
1answer
2k views

1990s sci-fi series where humans in armed suits fight robots [duplicate]

I'm looking for the name of a sci-fi series, intended for children. Robots have control over the humans. There is a squad of humans who attack them. Every member in this squad has a badge on their ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a timeframe that needs to pass before you can get shot with a zat gun again without dying?

So right now I'm up to season 6 in Stargate SG1, and I've noticed the main crew gets zapped with a zat'nik'tel A LOT. Shouldn't they be dead by now? I thought the second shot kills and the third ...

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