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1

A solid example of graffiti-tagging the Moon comes from the original "Tick" comic (issue #4, ~1990). Not only a solid example that occurs as the perfidious villain Chairface Chippendale attempts the most narcissistic gesture ever, but, for many, possibly the most well-known.


4

Five on the Black Hand Side (1973) 15 years before They Live (1988). Not saying this is the original, or that piper actually had a line. All I'm saying is that this was a saying before They Live.


3

The Star Trek: The Animated Series episode Yesteryear (1973) features Spock traveling back in time and saving his child self from death by posing as his "cousin" Selek.


6

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1820), in which Ichabod is frightened by a headless horseman, is a good candidate. From Wikipedia: Although the true nature of both the Headless Horseman and Ichabod's disappearance that night are left open to interpretation, the story implies that the ghost was really Brom (an agile stunt rider) in disguise, and suggests ...


2

Dr No (1962) The first James Bond movie villain, Dr. No, has a typical Supervillain Lair (Warning: TV Tropes) in Crab Key guarded by a dragon. Locals residents stay away from the island because of the dragon. Anyone who has gone there hasn't returned. When Bond goes there to investigate Dr. No, he discovers that the dragon is actually a tank with a ...


2

Mary Shelly's Frankenstein is good, but HG Wells' 1896 The Island of Dr Moreau nails it. From Wikipedia: The text of the novel is the narration of Edward Prendick, a shipwrecked man rescued by a passing boat who is left on the island home of Doctor Moreau, a mad scientist who creates human-like hybrid beings from animals via vivisection. The novel ...


14

Scooby-Doo (1969) is a good contender. Most episodes follow exactly the plot you describe: Some crime or shenanigans is afoot (though as a kid's cartoon there isn't egregious violence) Some monster is assumed to be behind it Our human (and canine) protagonists investigate In the end we find out the culprits were actually humans Whether it passes the "...


16

This is the woman who lives in the house … a woman about to face terror, which is even now coming at her from - The Twilight Zone. The Invaders - The Twilight Zone S02E15 (1961) A woman hears noises and finds a UFO lands on her roof. Small aliens (looking about 6" tall) come into her house and start attacking her. She beats one and throws it into the ...


7

How about Mary Shelly's Frankenstein. First published in 1818. In the end, who is really the monster?


16

I do not know which story was the first, but I do know of a story decades earlier than the examples in the question that made a big impression on me, a short story by Lord Dunsany. The story is "Mgamu" published in The Fourth Book of Jorkens (1948). A monster called the sivver-verri is feared by all the tribes in Kenya, and known only by the carnage it ...


43

I Am Legend (1954), by Richard Matheson. At the end of the novel:


0

This is later than the accepted answer, but I think it's worth including for posterity - the 1948 Ray Bradbury short story Fever Dream has a child being taken over by a virus that takes control of his entire body, eventually replacing his brain and becoming an intelligent organism that then sets out to infect others. From Wikipedia: The story concerns ...


9

Can metaphors be science fiction? I'm not sure when the earliest example of such imagery comes from, but many alchemical texts use the symbolism of a green lion eating the sun (and the sun seems to only look mildly concerned about it, if it even shows a reaction). Apparently, "[o]n a chemical level this is a metaphor for when a green, liquid sulfate ...


18

1948: "Thang", a short short story (about one page) by Martin Gardner. According to Contento it was first published in the Fall 1948 issue of something called Comment. The earth had completed another turn about the sun, whirling slowly and silently as it always whirled. The East had experienced a record breaking crop of yellow rice and yellow children, ...


5

I'll suggest that the destruction of the One Ring in The Lord of the Rings (specifically Return of the King published in 1954), which caused Sauron to fall into nothingness. When he did, his armies of orcs and trolls lost the will to fight and were easily destroyed, and his stronghold of Barad-dûr collapsed.


3

For some time we did not want to respond to these false narratives perpetuated by people who were not there or if they were there played very minor roles and are now seeking to change the history to make themselves look better. But unfortunately it seems these inaccuracies are taking a life of their own in the dark reaches of the internet and without light ...


6

Since nobody has jumped in with anything better, and I haven't found anything older in a quick search, I'm going to suggest Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers (1959). The "brain bugs" control the warrior and worker bugs, and killing a brain bug will cause the workers and warriors under its control to at least lose conscious volition if it doesn't ...


3

Since your seem happy to accept deactivated droids I offer as a real obscure example the 1979 (so beating Ender Game by a few years) German young adult novel "Notsignal aus dem All" (part of a series called "Weltraum-Tramps") by one Ralph Henders (almost certainly a pen name, and certainly not a good book by any description), published by Egmont-Ehapa. An ...


2

1985 Ender's game A classic work that includes a scenario like this is Ender's game by Orson Scott Card, published in 1985. I'm not certain if that's the first one, but it's a good starting point so we'd need to look at early SFF and ignore the most recent thirty years or so.


5

It's probably as old as civilization. Mythologies, such as Greek mythology, were the result of probably hundreds if not thousands of authors in a shared universe, and there are works of literature such as the Iliad that make reference to characters in those mythologies. The general consensus is that the Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John come from ...


8

Argh! Fuzzyboots mentioned the Cthulhu Mythos before me. I remember a shared world project that might possibly have a similar date as Thieves World. I remember reading a story in a magazine set on the same planet as a story by another author and wondering what was up. It turned out that it was a shared universe. I later read a collection of stories set ...


14

It will all depend on exactly how you wish to define the concept, but in short there were many before 1979. In 1866, the magazine All the Year Round published a set of short stories at Christmas titled Mugby Junction. This contained related stories, including Charles Dickens' ghost story The Signal-man. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction article on ...


24

Arguably, the Cthulhu Mythos fits the mold. While H.P. Lovecraft was the primary author, he also encouraged and endorsed the work of other authors, such as Robert E. Howard and Fritz Leiber, in the same universe. For example, Robert E. Howard's character Friedrich Von Junzt reads Lovecraft's Necronomicon in the short story "The Children of the Night" (...


5

1929: "Venus Liberated", a novella by Harl Vincent in Amazing Stories Quarterly, Summer 1929, available at the Internet Archive. This issue is dated July 20,1929, on the contents page. The excerpt below is from page 302, column 2. "However, I shall not trouble you for ten of your earth days. I shall give you my message now and allow you sufficient time to ...


0

A. E. van Vogt's fixup novel The Mixed Men (1952) has the following passage: There was no whine of sirens, so it was not a battle alert. He put down his book, slipped into his coat, and headed for astrogation and instrument room. Several officers, including the ship's executive astrogational officer, were already there when he arrived. They nodded ...


5

This quote is indeed from the Liber Chaotica, Volume One (Khorne). It appears in the section Black Crusades, which is Kless's account of some of his visions of the future (that future being the events leading up to and including the Warhammer 40K era). The "Warhawks" and "Venerators" refer to two Space Marine chapters that are completely destroyed during ...


0

From page 75-76 of The History of Science Fiction by Adam Roberts, viewable on google books here, two possible very early examples: Francis Cheynell's six-page political squib Aulicus: His Dream of the King's Sudden Coming to London (1644) is sometimes described as the first published future fiction. This oversells it, as there are plenty of prior ...


1

Marvel's character Terror had a similar power. When he needed to run quickly, he would tear off the legs a sprinter and attach them as his own, when he needed upper body strength, he would rip off the arms of a weight lifter (there are obvious problems with this but, comics). Terror was created in 1988 but didn't get his own comic until 1992. He has never ...


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