Questions tagged [history-of]

For questions about the history of the genre: the origin and evolution of ideas in speculative fiction. Example topics include the first work of speculative fiction with a particular property, or the origin of a term or trope.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
2 votes
1 answer
26 views

First usage of Outworlder in science fiction

I'm currently rereading Come hunt an Earthman by Philip E High (published in 1973) I've noticed throughout the book that the term "outworlder" is used to describe an alien. I know I've saw ...
  • 23.6k
16 votes
3 answers
889 views

The word "decant" for clone generation

Where did the meaning "To remove a clone from its chamber, vat, or artificial womb" (wiktionary) for the word decant originate? The wiktionary entry does not cite an usage and the OED entry ...
  • 501
12 votes
1 answer
7k views

When were Frodo and Sam first conceptualized as gay?

In my journey through the internet I came across this Reddit post which links a Cameo from Sean Astin (Sam in the LotR movies). If I understand correctly, he is responding to a question or paid for ...
  • 59.3k
32 votes
6 answers
4k views

What popularized the idea of aliens having a pair of antennae on their heads?

This right here: When I show you "this", what is the first thing that comes to mind? That is correct! That's an alien! Not a bee or a butterfly but specifically an alien. But why is that? ...
4 votes
1 answer
118 views

Science fiction story published before 1966 with constructed language demonstrating some NLP principles

In a 1966 interview, J.R.R. Tolkien was discussing his thoughts about contemporary science fiction writers. It is when dealing with the question of language, he feels, that science fiction writers do ...
  • 82k
24 votes
5 answers
3k views

First occurrence of a tractor beam?

Popular Mechanics has an article out today which claims that: scientists [have] created the first tractor beam strong enough to manipulate macroscopic objects Neato! While setting the stage for this ...
  • 959
10 votes
7 answers
4k views

First science fiction story in which a character discovers they are not human?

Note: I just realized that in Greek mythology, demigods probably find out later in life (sometimes) that their mother was impregnated by a god. Also, "changelings" might be brought up by ...
  • 12.1k
22 votes
8 answers
5k views

What is the earliest portrayal of cell phones as we know them now?

When I look at modern computing devices from the perspective of the nerdy kid I used to be, writing BASIC on a Vic 20, I am utterly astonished. I spent a lot of time reading Sci Fi and imagining ...
  • 475
0 votes
0 answers
74 views

League of assassins costumes

When the league of assassins first appeared in Batman comics they wore normal outfits but In what Batman comic issue did they start wearing their usual ninja costumes ?
1 vote
0 answers
61 views

Doc Savage’s fighting style

What martial arts did Doc Savage use in the novels? He was portrayed as a martial artist for a pulp character created in 1933. What martial arts could he be using and how many he could have known? Did ...
0 votes
0 answers
115 views

Black Panther’s connection to the real king Mansa Musa

Is it true black panther was partially inspired by Mansa Musa, king of the Mali Empire? Wikipedia claims that, but did Stan lee and Jack Kirby confirm that or it was just one of the many opinions?
10 votes
4 answers
4k views

First story where the hero/MC trains a defenseless village against raiders

I've seen this plot multiple times, the main character (either alone or with his squad) arrive into a village where there's no warriors but they face a menace, it can be monsters, bandits, raiders, ...
  • 679
-4 votes
0 answers
58 views

What inspired the dime novel detective Nick Carter? [migrated]

What inspired the creation of the dime novel detective Nick Carter who was created by John R. Coryell and Ormond G. Smith?
1 vote
2 answers
973 views

Bruce Wayne’s pre Batman love interests

Has Bruce Wayne dated any girl before becoming Batman or he only trained and had no time for them ? if he has then how many had he dated?
5 votes
1 answer
177 views

At what point in the writing of The Lord of the Rings did Bilbo's "Translations from the Elvish" appear?

The original framing story for Tolkien's Book of Lost Tales, which later developed into The Silmarillion, was a sailor named Eriol/Ælfwine who chanced upon Tol Eressëa and was told the stories by his ...
  • 13.7k
9 votes
8 answers
2k views

Earliest avian aliens in sci fi

Which is first known work of sci fi, that include avian alien race? Notes: This must be sapient species/race, not just part of extraterrestrial fauna This must be birds or bird-like beings, winged ...
9 votes
4 answers
691 views

First story of brain augmentation using computer implant?

Polar explorers find failed alien colony This question mentions a story in which a brain implant enhances intelligence and the answer seems to be a story from 1963. I wonder when the first time this ...
  • 12.1k
8 votes
0 answers
145 views

What's the earliest use of the word/words "Redshirt"/"Red Shirt" to mean "expendable character?

In Harry Turtledove's Three Miles Down which takes place in 1974, the main character (an SF writer and fan in his early 20s) thinks "The first redshirt down on some new planet didn’t have a ...
  • 22.3k
10 votes
0 answers
174 views

What did Superman's creators think of his evolution from their vision to the very different modern superhero?

The original Superman had fewer and more limited powers (and more vulnerabilities) when Shuster and Siegel first created him. He could not fly and while bullets could not hurt him, a "bursting ...
  • 12.1k
9 votes
1 answer
174 views

When was the term "fantasy" first used to describe the genre?

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction was first published in 1949 (under the title The Magazine of Fantasy no less). Does it mean that the fantasy was recognized as a distinct genre at the ...
8 votes
0 answers
431 views

What is the first sci-fi time travel movie where a person can travel back in time, not instantaneously, but at the rate of 1s per second?

In most movies that feature time travel, traveling back in time is instantaneous or takes just a few seconds, regardless of how long ago a person travels back. The exceptions I know of are two of my ...
1 vote
0 answers
50 views

What is the earliest example of a hivemind? [duplicate]

I have come across many instances of a hivemind/collective mind over the years. The Buggers from Enderverse The Zerg from Starcraft The Tyranids from Warhammer 40K The Borg from Star Trek These seem ...
  • 1,989
5 votes
3 answers
216 views

What was the earliest story that included maintaining the physical body while the mind was in another/virtual world?

Based on a now deleted question over at Worldbuilding, I was contemplating the various stories I'm familiar with that deal with the idea of maintaining the physical body while the mind or ...
  • 1,286
1 vote
0 answers
129 views

What was the inspiration for Doc Savage (the Man of Bronze)?

When Lester started writing the pulp hero Doc Savage, he portrayed the character as a genius, doctor, scientist, engineer, martial artist, etc. Do we know what inspired the character’s concept?
24 votes
5 answers
5k views

What is the earliest science fiction story to depict legal technology?

What is the earliest work of science fiction to depict legal technology? By legal technology I mean the use of scientific or technological developments to aid in litigation or the practice of law. ...
-3 votes
3 answers
228 views

Which was the first sci-fi/fantasy movie to feature epic final battle?

Epic final battles have become a major part of blockbusters nowadays, with most franchises like Avengers, Avatar, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Star Wars ending their films with an epic final ...
  • 4,437
4 votes
1 answer
366 views

Did "Enterprise" feature any particularly progressive political points?

I've come across some complaints that ST-Discovery is "too woke", with stuff like a genderqueer character coming out and being accepted as such. To me, this fits in nicely with a proud Star ...
  • 387
18 votes
3 answers
5k views

Earliest sci-fi film or program where an actor plays themself

The trailer for the The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special features Kevin Bacon, appearing to play himself. What is the earliest sci-fi film or television program where an actor has played ...
  • 2,965
15 votes
4 answers
3k views

First occurrence of a character being philosophically overwhelmed by the multiverse

Quite often a character in stories (comics, movies, books, etc) that discuss parallel worlds and the multiverse is overwhelmed mentally and philosophically. The concept that pops their mental fuse is ...
  • 4,714
7 votes
4 answers
190 views

First story in which apparent prehistoric people live in a post-apocalyptic world?

Another question was posted that asked about one such story and it was rightly pointed out that there are many such stories. What I am interested in is a specific thing: The first story in which at ...
  • 12.1k
1 vote
0 answers
76 views

Did Chester Gould actually confirm that breathless Mahoney was visually based on Veronica lake?

Breathless Mahoney from the Dick Tracy comic strip is said to be modelled after actress Veronica Lake. Is it true or just people’s assumptions? Has Chester Gould ever confirm that?
  • 31
11 votes
4 answers
2k views

What's the first instance in published fiction that shows an item from the future traveling back through time by itself?

When I say by itself I mean that it's not worn, carried or used to carry a time traveller. It also cannot be sentient, thinking or automated in anyway, no time traveling robots please! I'm also only ...
  • 82.3k
27 votes
8 answers
11k views

What was the first Really Big Thing to appear in Science Fiction?

That's no moon. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars (1977) Perhaps the Death Star wasn't your introduction to the really big, ridiculously enormous thing, big for the sake of being big, but it was mine. It ...
  • 13.7k
40 votes
7 answers
7k views

What is the origin of the "self-destruct sequence"

As far as I'm aware, we don't have anything like a self-destruct or auto-destruct sequence in real life ships at sea or in space, so where did the idea originate? I'm thinking of a specific function ...
  • 699
13 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is the first fantasy work to feature both dwarves and dwarfs?

A staple trope in fantasy and indeed European folklore is a race of short humans, usually fond of mining; these mythical creatures are usually spelt dwarves after Tolkien. They do not exist in real ...
1 vote
0 answers
136 views

Was Star Trek's "Shore Leave" explicitly inspired by Disneyland?

Shore Leave was broadcast in 1966, about 11 years after Disneyland opened in California. Is there any documentation mentioning a connection between the immersive resort with robotic devices ...
  • 22.3k
13 votes
1 answer
181 views

Missing / lost final Lensmen book?

The tumblr feed Vintage Geek Culture claims that there's one more Lensmen novel out there, which was too...much to be published back in the day. Somewhere, in the hands of the Jeannie and Clarissa ...
  • 12.9k
0 votes
1 answer
159 views

What’s a plausible explanation for the inconsistent progression of the Galactic Republic? [closed]

I know this is a bit silly to treat the Star Wars galaxy so seriously but I look at the universe from a Watsonian point of view as opposed to Doylist. So. I was reading the Timeline of Galactic ...
  • 69
5 votes
1 answer
260 views

Is Stargate the first example of a one-way wormhole in fiction?

Wormholes are a common element in science fiction, but I think most wormholes shown in fiction are bidirectional, that is, matter can move both ways through the wormhole. Stargate really dialed the ...
  • 3,837
2 votes
0 answers
61 views

When was the first superpowered girl in comics? [duplicate]

Is there a superpowered girl older than the Magician from Mars (1939), that is, if I have my information right? The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen: Awesome Female Characters from Comic Book ...
  • 3,318
2 votes
3 answers
199 views

first science fiction story that deals realistically with population genetics?

Many, many science fiction stories involve growth of a population from a small initial population (e.g. TV tropes' Adam and Eve plot). I just read H. Beam Piper's Genesis (1951), in which Homo sapiens ...
  • 1,729
7 votes
2 answers
348 views

What is the earliest story with a matter duplicator in SF

What is the earliest SF story in which a matter duplicator plays a significant or central role. By a "matter duplicator" I mean a machine or device which can be used to easily and quickly ...
  • 2,612
4 votes
2 answers
207 views

What is the earliest work of fiction with a dystopian future?

Taking the following definition of dystopia: an imagined world or society in which people lead wretched, dehumanized, fearful lives It would seem there’s a certain aspect to it that is very much ...
13 votes
2 answers
3k views

What’s the first Indian alien story?

India doesn’t have a strong Sci-Fi history. Here are some examples of Indian works which featured aliens: Koi Mil Gaya (2003) movie featured aliens Aaryaman (2002) TV series was full of aliens as it ...
23 votes
6 answers
4k views

Which Sci-Fi work introduced the concept of speed-based time travel?

We see speed-based time travel all the time in science fiction. It’s possibly a result of crude interpretation of Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity which makes time a speed-dependent quantity. ...
9 votes
1 answer
3k views

Is Forbidden Planet the only movie that indicates something unusual occurs when dropping below speed of light prior to Star Trek?

I had not remembered, but early in the film, the crew gets into chambers prior to deceleration. The chief hurries up the men, asking them rhetorically, "Ya wanna bounce through this one?" I ...
  • 12.1k
7 votes
3 answers
649 views

Is Tomboy of Sterling Comics, from 1954, the first independent superheroine in comics?

Is Tomboy of Sterling Comics, from 1954, the first independent superheroine in comics? "Superheroine" because she's a 10-year-old girl that can cling to the outside of a plane and jump into ...
  • 3,318
-5 votes
2 answers
149 views

Which SFF work first used Pyramids?

We see Pyramids in the SFF works all the time. Few examples in my head right now: X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) The Mummy (1999) Which SFF work first used Pyramid? Note: Here, I am not talking about the ...
12 votes
2 answers
3k views

When was the first mention of a female chief engineer on a Starfleet vessel in Star Trek?

Note that I'm not asking about when a female chief engineer was a main character, just when it was first mentioned that a female was a chief engineer of any Starfleet vessel. Also note that I'm ...
6 votes
0 answers
201 views

First use of backwards time travel in fiction?

The First use of time travel in fiction question resulted in forwards time-travel as the accepted answer. So now I'm wondering about backwards time travel. This answer from that question, which I ...
  • 3,318

1
2 3 4 5
16