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24
votes
8answers
3k views

What was Asimov's contribution to real-world robotics?

Isaac Asimov is one of the (if not the most) important figures of robotics in science fiction. Has he had an influence on the development of real-world robotics (in science or industry)?
24
votes
3answers
1k views

Are The Three Laws of Robotics explicitly defined in one of the Asimov's stories?

I want to know if The Three Laws of Robotics are explicitly defined in one of the Asimov's robot stories. In which one? I am asking this question because I remember reading something about the laws ...
29
votes
5answers
2k views

Plans for more sequels to Star Wars?

Does George Lucas have any plans for more Star Wars sequels or prequels? Proper movie sequels, not any supplementary animated shows or stories.
31
votes
15answers
142k views

What is the best place to start Warhammer 40k?

I've got three omnibus books containing 9 total Warhammer 40,000 stories. Before I mention which ones I've got, which book would you recommend as a good place to start the series?
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Actor or actress that have won best actor Oscar for role in sci-fi film

Are there any actors or actresses that have won an Academy award for best actor or supporting actor for their role in a sci-fi film?
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Heinlein book(s) with FTL travel?

I'm a new Heinlein fan and also an FTL (faster-than-light) fan. Did he write any books where FTL was possible? All the ones I've read so far have been intra-system (Sol) only.
13
votes
4answers
289 views

What resources exist to help SF fans meet other fans, face-to-face?

Where can SF fans who want to attend informal fannish gatherings find such gatherings? Meetup.com can be spotty, and there are lots of groups that don't have a presence there.
14
votes
5answers
597 views

Are there reference sci-fi websites that maintain lists of "must have" books? [closed]

Are there websites that maintain lists of "must have" English SF books? As an example, in French, there is La Bibliothèque Idéale de l’Imaginaire from Le Cafard Cosmique, which loosely translates to ...
15
votes
2answers
316 views

What Sci-fi film scores and soundtracks have won an Oscar? [closed]

Are there any sci-fi films whose musical score or soundtrack went on to win an Academy Award for best musical score? The Fountain comes to mind as having been nominated for a Golden Globe.
16
votes
4answers
362 views

Is there a website that shows which SF book/film awards there are? [closed]

What website references the SF awards that are awarded to science fiction books and films?
9
votes
1answer
206 views

Are SF comics considered for the same awards as books?

Are SF comics considered for the same awards as books?
27
votes
3answers
10k views

In the novels, what happens to the Doctor and the rest of the Voyager crew after they return home?

Voyager was a great show with a terrible ending. Basically the entire show revolved around the characters getting home, but when they finally do the credits roll five seconds later. So I wonder if ...
14
votes
2answers
681 views

What is filk music?

I recently heard that there was a sci-fi related music form called "Filk." What is Filk? Where can I find out about it?
27
votes
7answers
3k views

What are the ideas on time-travel so far in Science Fiction? [closed]

There are many SF-stories about time-travel. But with time-travel come the possibility for a paradox. As far as I can see, there are different solutions from different fictional works. Maybe some ...
62
votes
9answers
9k views

What is the Positronic brain coined by Asimov?

What exactly is the Positronic brain coined by Asimov? I encountered this term several times without having a clear understand of what it means and what "positronic" mainly means. Can you clarify ...
126
votes
8answers
57k views

What was the origin of Star Trek's Borg?

Was there any explanation of the origin of the Borg from Star Trek? I've seen most of the TV shows but not read any books - is it explained there?
15
votes
2answers
1k views

How long before the series start does Caprica make first contact with the other human colonies?

I've just recently started watching "Caprica" (a canceled "Battlestar Galactica" spin-off), and I was wondering at what point in the chronology of the series do the various human colonies make first ...
14
votes
2answers
201 views

What published metrics are there on how sci-fi is doing as a genre in the publishing business?

I've heard that sci-fi is on the wane as a genre. Are there numbers to reassure me that sci-fi isn't going the way of Westerns/Cowboy books?
29
votes
3answers
3k views

What novel had an isolationist Earth and the rest of humanity in a war of attrition against aliens?

In the book, humans were in a long war with an alien race that had a slight upper hand in numbers and technology, and so were slowly losing ground. At the start of the war, Earth had cut itself off ...
47
votes
4answers
45k views

Why did people look at each others hands in The Book of Eli?

In the movie The Book of Eli, some of the characters look at each others hands the first time they meet. I don't recall any explanation of this behavior in the movie. What were they doing and why?
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Are any of the questions in Rendezvous with Rama answered in the sequels

Whilst not asking for spoilers, are the Rama sequels worth reading for answers to the questions posed in the original? In particular is the nature and purpose of the unseen aliens explained?
39
votes
2answers
13k views

Who sent the distress signal in Alien?

I assume it was the pilot of the derelict ship who sent the SOS that set the plot in motion, but Alien only gives us a brief glimpse and not many clues (at least none so overt that I picked up on them)...
26
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the origin of the phrase "on the gripping hand?"

Where does the phrase "on the gripping hand" come from and what does it mean in the context of that work, The Gripping Hand? I'll add that I just finished reading The Mote in God's Eye and this is ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Story about earth children playing with alien toys. Who wrote it?

I remember reading what I believe is a short story about a brother and sister who somehow come into possession of some toys which turn out to be from aliens. Through playing with them they develop a ...
86
votes
2answers
7k views

Did Philip K. Dick watch "Blade Runner" before his death?

Was Philip K. Dick able to watch a complete version of Blade Runner before his death or just unedited material? The Blade Runner release date according to Wikipedia and IMDb was 25 June, 1982. Philip ...
21
votes
5answers
10k views

In Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl, what real world device does a kink spring correspond to?

In "The Windup Girl," there is frequent talk about kink-spring devices. Googling kink-springs doesn't turn up anything. Is this a real technology or has it been made up or is this just the same as the ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

What do the moravecs look like in "Ilium" by Dan Simmons?

What do the moravecs (humanoid machines from the Jovian system) look like in Dan Simmons' Ilium? I am halfway through the book and haven't seen a good description yet as to their appearance.
33
votes
1answer
1k views

Has anyone tried to map out all the different Star Trek timelines?

I'm thinking of some sort of visual guide to show the relative relationships of all these time-based events.
37
votes
3answers
13k views

What is the order/timeline for Iain M. Banks "Culture" novels?

I just finished Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks....I'm hooked and have a couple of questions on the Culture novels: Is there an order to the novels (preferred or otherwise) ? What is the timeline ...
74
votes
34answers
12k views

What is the largest (engineered) physical object dreamed of in science fiction? [closed]

I can think of 3 kinds of big. By volume By a linear measure By mass or weight Bonus points for all three. Extra bonus points for the object being realistic in construction. Let's add to it that it ...
13
votes
6answers
1k views

Are any Sci-Fi video games considered canon? [closed]

I believe the question speaks for itself, but to elaborate, I cannot think of any video games based on an existing IP that are actually considered canonical. For example, there exists a large library ...
21
votes
4answers
1k views

How likely that Frank Poole could be revived after 1000 years in space [closed]

How likely is it both scientifically and medically that Frank Poole could have been found in space and revived as in 3001: The Final Odyssey, 1000 years after Hal jettisoned his body from the ...
191
votes
3answers
45k views

Why did Douglas Adams pick 42 as the ultimate answer?

Star Trek often refers to 47 and Star Trek made a sport out of finding real or imagined references to 47. Why did Douglas Adams pick 42 as the ultimate answer in the Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy?
29
votes
7answers
6k views

How is the universal translator device in Star Trek supposed to work?

It is stated that Star Trek characters can talk freely with aliens using the universal translators, later built-in their com badges; but is it also mentioned somewhere how this device is supposed to ...
6
votes
3answers
613 views

Has the author ever indicated if there was to be a sequel to Freedom™?

Has Daniel Suarez ever indicated for there to a sequel to 's Freedom™? What open issues are left to solve or explore?
27
votes
3answers
3k views

How is the FTL drive supposed to work in Star Trek?

I couldn't figure this one out. Has anyone? I know it's about anti-matter and some kind of reactor, but what is it supposed to be doing?
44
votes
6answers
7k views

What influence did H.P. Lovecraft have on science fiction?

The main focus of Lovecraft's works are indeed... aliens. Lots and lots of aliens. Some visited Earth and lived on it. Some battled between themselves. Some built cities. Some destroyed cities. Some ...
25
votes
1answer
3k views

Novel about genetically engineered children who don't need to sleep

A couple of years ago I read a review of an interesting novel, but I lost the details and have never read the book. The background premise was that genetic engineering had progressed to the point ...
25
votes
3answers
2k views

Which technology was introduced through "Star Trek" (2009)?

Star Trek has a long history of introducing new technology. TOS & TNG introduced us with new technologies, who got adopted like the communicator as mobile phone. When watching Star Trek (2009) I ...
20
votes
5answers
1k views

What story contained this peculiar artificial world?

I once saw a reference to a specific artificial world and never managed to track down the actual story, wondering if anyone can help id this. The world in question was a flat disk with a sun at the ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Which actors have played The Doctor over the years?

I remember watching Doctor Who as a kid and they went through about 2-3 Doctors in that time. And nowadays I think the new TV series have had one or two. So how many different actors have played The ...
19
votes
2answers
407 views

Versions of The Demolished Man

Alfred Bester's novel The Demolished Man was initially published (in Galaxy magazine) with such character names as “T8”, “$$son”, “@kins” and “¼maine” (a precursor to SMS-speak). The subsequent book ...
14
votes
16answers
6k views

What is the longest science fiction saga in books? [closed]

What is the longest science fiction saga in amount of books that wasn't created after movies or TV shows (that is, discarding Star Trek, Star Wars, X-Files)? Just to name a few: 2001, Rama, only 4. ...
56
votes
4answers
11k views

Why is the destination of the Discovery in 2001: A Space Odyssey Saturn in the book and Jupiter in the movie?

So, in the book in 2001, it says the monolith is around Saturn, and in the movie, it says it's around Jupiter. Also, in 2010, they both agree that it's around Jupiter. Why is that?
79
votes
6answers
32k views

What was Shepherd Book's past in Firefly?

The one big question I've always had remaining about the Firefly series was, what was Shepherd Book's past? It's obvious he wasn't always a preacher, but what was he?
41
votes
9answers
17k views

In the Dune series, why are they not using computers and programming related technologies?

I've never quite understood this about the series. They have space travel, but most other things about their universe seem primitive compared to ours.
16
votes
2answers
451 views

What else should I be reading to make better sense of Cyclonopedia?

I've been slowly working my way through Reza Negarastani's fantastic Cyclonopedia the past few weeks, and while I'm thoroughly enjoying it, I can't help but think there's substantial material that's ...
25
votes
7answers
2k views

What was Isaac Asimov's view of history?

DISCLAIMER: this is most definitely subjective and argumentative, but I've always wanted a place to ask this question, and now finally there is one. Also, this is one of the example questions I ...
122
votes
9answers
190k views

What's the recommended reading order of the Ender Wiggin books?

The series that starts with Ender's Game has a parallel series that starts with Ender's Shadow. The graph of the timeline is... well... complicated. Does it make more sense if you read them in the ...
40
votes
6answers
5k views

How many different Soong robots were there?

Star Trek TNG's Data was an andriod created by Noonien Soong, who was the Albert Einstein of robots. He was a busy guy and I think I can count about 4 total robots. Does anyone know all of the Data-...

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