149

Arguably it all started with the Outer Limits episode "The Berrello Shield" from october 1964. According to wikipedia, the grey aliens, also known as "Zeta Reticulans" rose to fame following the alleged abduction of Barney and Betty Hill in New Hampshire in 1961. The couple underwent hypnosis in 1964 to retrieve memories of the abduction and it was from ...


124

TV Tropes calls it "Famous, Famous, Fictional." The trope description does not cite any other name, which means there almost certainly is not another commonly used term for it. (The trope descriptions are generally quite good about citing more traditional terminology for such things.)


99

I would say a good case can be made to answer 'yes' on this. Per Wikipedia, "During the Middle Ages in the Middle East, foundations for the scientific method were laid by Alhazen in his Book of Optics." The site goes on to say, "Medieval science carried on the views of the Hellenist civilization of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, as shown by Alhazen's ...


90

In the Futurama episode "The Late Philip J Fry" they travel forward in time to the heat-death of the universe, and even further until a new Big Bang spontaneously occurs and they loop back to the year they started from. Twice. According to Wikipedia, the estimated time frame for quantum fluctuations to create a new universe is 10^10^56, so we can estimate ...


89

Since humans evolved on the Earth, we're sensitive to its climatic variations. -10C is arctic, +30C is tropical. Alien planets are unlikely to be centred around the temperature ranges that humans find comfortable. If a planet has as much variation as the Earth but in the range -60C to -20C, it's all arctic. If it's +30C to +70C, it's all hot (and much of it ...


84

Because it's a bright "star" (it's actually a group of stars, and the 7th brightest in the night sky) and its name is familiar with budding star gazers. It's also enormous and placed in the obvious and well-known constellation of Orion. The star as seen from Earth is actually a triple, quadruple or quintuple star system, with the primary star (Rigel ...


77

The Comics Code Authority restricted the amount of blood and gore that could be depicted, starting in the mid-1950s: (7) Scenes of excessive violence shall be prohibited. Scenes of brutal torture, excessive and unnecessary knife and gunplay, physical agony, gory and gruesome crime shall be eliminated. (CCA 1954; CODE FOR EDITORIAL MATTER) Thus, it was ...


68

It's a Theremin. The theremin is associated with a very eerie sound, which has led to its use in movie soundtracks such as Miklós Rózsa's for Spellbound and The Lost Weekend and Bernard Herrmann's for The Day the Earth Stood Still and as the theme tune for the ITV drama Midsomer Murders. Here's a video of the inventor using it. It's a really cool ...


66

The Partisan Leader: A Tale of the Future by "Edward William Sidney", pseudonym of Nathaniel Beverley Tucker; available at the Internet Archive. Published in 1836, set in 1849. A work of alternate history, it is listed in the Internet Speculative Fiction Database and in Everett F. Bleiler's Science-Fiction: The Early Years. Summary from Wikipedia: The ...


63

I'm not sure how specific of a date you're looking for, but "Utopia", an episode of the third season of the revived Doctor Who, takes place in the year 100 trillion: Doctor: We're accelerating into the future. The year one billion. Five billion. Five trillion. Fifty trillion? What? The year one hundred trillion? That's impossible. Doctor Who Series ...


63

1899: "Moxon's Master", a short story by Ambrose Bierce; first published in the San Francisco Examiner, April 16, 1899; reprinted in the collection Can Such Things Be?, which is available at Project Gutenberg. LibriVox has readings ([1], [2]) and an etext of "Moxon's Master". Wikipedia plot summary: The master, Moxon, who creates a chess-playing ...


60

No, not really. 1924 - Psycho-ship was the vehicle in Goncharov's book "Psycho-Ship" ("Психо-машина") - part of "Interstellar Traveller" dilogy. It was designed for exploration and moved using psychic energy. 1956 - Passing the torch temporarily (pun intended) to English speaking works, Heinlein's "Time for the Stars" has torchships, explicitly designed for ...


60

There are several partial answers rather than one simple one. In the United States, the convention of guns firing Sci-Fi laser bolts instead of bullets was a mixture of self-censorship by the studios, voluntary agreements by the broadcasters, regulation by the Federal Communications Commission, and pressure by watchdog groups on stations through their ...


57

It depends on which works you consider to be science fiction. The most obvious candidate would be Mary Shelley, who, as you mentioned, wrote Frankenstein in 1818. She also wrote The Last Man in 1826, which by some accounts has an even stronger claim to being science fiction than Frankenstein does (thanks to Hypnosifl for this). But depending on how narrowly ...


55

"Solution Unsatisfactory" by Robert A Heinlein was published in 1941 and set between 1944 and 1951, as the US tries to develop a nuclear weapon to end WWII.


47

Billy Murray - Come Take a Trip in my Airship (1905) The Billboard 100 didn't exist at the time of its release, but from the small amount of information I can find online, I understand that this was a popular phonograph recording. Certainly Billy Murray was a very popular artist at that time, but I don't have hard ...


46

1946: "The Disciplinary Circuit", a novelette by Murray Leinster, first story in his Kim Rendell series; published in Thrilling Wonder Stories, Winter 1946, available at the Internet Archive. The prison planet is called Ades: "Ades!" Kim said furiously. "They go to the transmitter and name their chosen place of exile, and the transmitter-clerk dutifully ...


45

10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 AD Part of Time by Stephen Baxter is directly mentioned to take place 10 ^ 113th power years into the future. As the descendants of humanity try to survive the heat-death of the universe. They succeed partly by becoming lossless computing ...


44

SciFi authors select stars that can be seen in their backyard, are close by, or both. Rigel is featured because it is bright and therefore well known. But it is not close, compared to other bright stars. Let us see how Rigel compares to other celebrities: Top 10 brightest stars in Earth's sky: 1. Sirius: The Patrick Stewart of the sky. "Sirius in fiction" ...


44

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


42

Earliest instances of the term "space-time continuum" The earliest use of the full term "space-time continuum" that I can seem to find is by H.P. Lovecraft in the story "The Whisperer in the Darkness" written February-September 1930 and first published in Weird Tales, August 1931. It contains the following passage: The blasphemies which appeared on ...


39

Science Fiction is the genre heading for a kind of literature which uses extrapolations of scientific, engineering or social theories to posit a point in time where those ideas change society for better or worse (usually worse). Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginative content such as futuristic settings, futuristic science and ...


38

From the Liezi text, of the 4th century AD: The king stared at the figure in astonishment. It walked with rapid strides, moving its head up and down, so that anyone would have taken it for a live human being. The artificer touched its chin, and it began singing, perfectly in tune. He touched its hand, and it began posturing, keeping perfect time...As the ...


37

While @Abulafia's is wonderful, the Outer Limits was not the origin of the archetypal "grey alien". The Outer Limits simply helped to proliferate a pre-existing image. Grey aliens in The Unknown Danger (1933) The first description of such extraterrestrials appeared three decades earlier in Swedish author Gustav Sandgren's novel Den okända faran: En ...


35

Seems like Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven beat Clarke by a couple of years with "The Mote in God's Eye" from 1974. In that book, people are constantly using pocket computers. They contain large amounts of personal data, have calendars, can connect with other computers to call up even more information and are used to send messages to other people. Usage ...


35

1909: E.M. Forster: "The Machine Stops". The story is set in a world where humanity lives underground and relies on a giant machine to provide its needs. Most of the human population has lost the ability to live on the surface of the Earth. Each individual now lives in isolation below ground in a standard room, with all bodily and spiritual needs met by the ...


34

There are several reasons science fiction worlds do not suffer the climactic variability of Earth. Increased simplification of writing or display in media, lack of scientific knowledge of writers regarding weather and climate, and unless weather is an active participant in the story, it is more a window dressing or stage setting than something to be focused ...


34

I like Hypnosifi's answer, but there's a tiny little funny situation that technically counts even if it probably wasn't intended by the OP. The classic book series Gargantua and Pantagruel, written in the 16th century (first book c. 1532, last book c. 1564), occasionally gives mention of how much time had passed. There is about one specific date in the ...


32

I'm surprised nobody mentioned The Last Question by Isaac Asimov. This short story traces humanity's evolution until it exists outside of space or time, after the heat death of the universe (10 trillion years in the future). You can read it here.


32

FuzzyBoots' answer seems like a good one, but it might count as a "religious prophecy"--the description of humanity becoming enfeebled was likely connected to the idea of history going through a cycle of 4 ages known as Yugas during which the human race becomes increasingly weaker and less virtuous. Edit: It also seems January First-of-May's comment on ...


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