Hot answers tagged

107

I think you’re misinterpreting the Prime Directive. (It’s not actually written down in any official Star Trek work, so any discussion of it is necessarily going to be a bit vague.) The Prime Directive is, in part, intended to prevent Starfleet from visiting less-advanced civilisations and dicking around with their development, whether for fun, profit, or ...


66

All in all, the Lord of the Rings novels have even fewer scenes featuring women than the movies do, and the few that do show up (Arwen, Eowyn, Galadriel, Goldberry and Lobelia Sackville-Baggins, and I can't think of any others that actually have any lines) don't actually share any scenes, so the Bechdel test goes right out the window. If there's no scene ...


59

I think the answer is a lot simpler than the philosophical answers I've seen so far. So I am going to take a shot at a logical answer. For a moment, as you read this, imagine Spock is giving you this answer :-) Once a civilization has attained warp speed travel, they can hardly be prevented from initiating first contact of their own accord. It would ...


45

Kirk: Er, well, sir, volatile is all relative. Maybe our data was off.. Pike: Or maybe it didn't erupt because Mister Spock detonated a cold fusion device inside it right after a civilisation that's barely invented the wheel happened to see a starship rising out of their ocean. That is pretty much how you describe it, is it not? (Star Trek Into Darkness) ...


33

Edited to add in the correct info about the first minority super hero. In DC Comics All-Star Western #117 published in February 1961 the first Native American superhero appeared with the horrible name of Super-Chief. A summary of his origin can be found here The Crowning of Super-Chief. Super-Chief appeared in the next two issues and then the series was ...


31

It's a novel rather than a short story, but that sounds exactly like Beyond this Horizon by Robert Heinlein. The novel depicts a world where genetic selection for increased health, longevity, and intelligence has become so widespread that the unmodified 'control naturals' are a carefully managed and protected minority. Dueling and the carrying of arms is ...


24

"Rump-Titty-Titty-Tum-TAH-Tee", a short story by Fritz Leiber; first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May 1958, available at the Internet Archive. This story involved an artist creating a series of splodges Simon seized a brush and plunged it deep in the pot of black paint. Usually he used black for a final splatter if he used it ...


24

We have cases of this in Enterprise. the V'Tosh Ka'Tur "Vulcans without Logic" are a group that Enterprise (NX-01) encounters. This group while not abandoning logic, instead open up to emotions, and make decisions that take into account both logical, and emotional considerations. They were scoffed at by mainstream Vulcans and by T'Pol, the resident Vulcan ...


22

The only arguably "illogical Vulcans" we see TOS or later are few and far between. Sybok lived apart from Vulcan society. Some apocrypha indicates that he was banished. Other sources, Gene Roddenberry included, indicate that Star Trek V is itself apocryphal. Valeris, for her acts which Spock considered illogical, was arguably mind-raped on the bridge of The ...


17

Zorro was introduced in 1919 and is a Spanish hero. But I don't know if you could consider him a minority hero as he fought crime in a Spanish colony in California, so he would have been of the majority. But the character was created by Johnston McCulley who was born in Illinois and was printed in the USA.


16

A work of science fiction like Star Trek that supposes the galaxy to be densely populated with intelligent beings capable of interstellar travel needs to offer an answer to the question, "why didn't they visit Earth earlier?" (The "Fermi paradox".) The SF Encyclopedia discusses a number of common ways in which science fiction writers answer this question, ...


13

Honorable mention to Luke Cage, aka Power Man (of Power Man/Iron Fist fame), since I believe he is the first with his own eponymous title. First appearance - 1972.


12

This has a couple of similarities to an Asimov story called Profession. Most people are taught their professional skills via some sort of mind tape, except for those few who are unteachable and are therefore kept in a House for the Feeble-Minded. Of course, it turns out that these are the only ones who are intelligent enough to create new tapes.


11

If you count Jules Verne as "SciFi" as a whole, "Around the World in Eighty Days" (1873) had Phileas Fogg marry an Indian widowed princess Suttee he saved from being burned alive. By American standards of Kirk's time, I'm going to declare that "interracial", though exact definition of what constitutes "interracial" is extremely vague (see spirited/nasty ...


11

Marvel introduced the Black Panther in 1966. The Black Panther, one of the Avengers, was originaly from Wakanda Africa. He visited America and lived there for a time where he used the secret identity of Luke Charles, an American teacher.


10

Tarzan, I should think. Since he spends all his time in Africa, he's definitely in an ethnic minority group.


10

In the episode First Contact, Riker is on a planet that is finishing its warp drive. Eventually, Picard meets with the president, and explains that in spite of their other advances, the ability to visit new life is both a wonderful and scary decision. The president ultimately decides to scrap the project, because people are so scared of the extra-...


10

"Black Is Beautiful", a 1970 short story by Robert Silverberg; originally published in The Year 2000, an anthology of new stories edited by Harry Harrison. Comments from Majipoor.com: A lot of people seem to think that the races can't get along and never will, so what we need to do is live apart. In this future, “White flight” from the inner cities has ...


9

I don't have a copy of the movie, or the book, so I can't verify it, but according to the comments on this page, it appears that "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" does pass the Bechdel test: Red disagreed with the rating and said: Are children considered in this? If so, the character of Freda (little girl who rides with her brother from ...


9

Star Trek really was not utopia; it may have had the appearance on the surface but we saw beneath that surface to the ugly truth of human nature many times on all the series. The Prime Directive is not entirely sacrosanct; it gets violated on many occasions but that's neither here nor now. The simplest explanation is the fact that once a civilization ...


9

The premise of your question isn't really true. If you watch the various series and movies, you'll see that the Federation has dealings with many, many, many starfaring races that are manipulative, greedy, or warlike. Contact isn't a function of moral purity, good behavior, good government, or anything like that. Due to the Federation's peaceful philosophy, ...


8

I think you want Arthur C. Clarke's 1951 novelette "Second Dawn", first published in Science Fiction Quarterly, August 1951, available at the Internet Archive. That story was the subject of this old question and also this one, but I'm afraid the previous answers don't have enough detail about the story for a positive identification as the answer to your ...


8

It's not difficult to see how economy works in City of Ember. What stimulate people to work when you have 200 years of supplies ? City of Ember isn't autonomous city with robots doing all works. The works people do are real and critical works which someone needs to do. If people wants to sit and eat, who would transport canned foods or other items to ...


7

I think you may be refering to one of the books (probably the first) in Pier's Anthony's 'Cluster' series. There was at least one underwater race (they show up in several books) that had three genders. If all three got close enough together, mating would occur involuntarily, and involved them overlapping as part of it. The order they came together ...


7

This description reminds me of “The Vandal” by Ann Schlee, published in 1979. This book won the Gaurdian’s Children’s Fiction Prize in 1980. It also features the forgetting, but it has a shrub as well. The hero is a boy called “Paul”, the Vandal of the title. He lives in an ordered society, where order is maintained because everyone forgets all specific ...


7

Methinks not. There's always something that can't be replicated, whatever kind of replicators you use. And because of the good old human nature, in the given society, the very same thing will become expensive (in any kind of currency) and people will want to have it. Consider a few historical examples. Nowadays we take a lot of things for granted, things ...


6

Othello and Desdemona? That's pretty far back, I am sure there are probably several more answers that go back even further too. -As per comments this didn't necessarily fit within the genre, so: Claribel and the King of Tunis from the Tempest. Also references to interracial relationships can be seen in the Prose Edda, and various other classical ...


6

Egan starts from the observation that there's a finite amount of available energy in the universe, and hence a finite amount of computation that will be able to take place. So exponential growth must come to an end: if not voluntarily abandoned, it will come up against a physical limit to growth fairly soon. The only question is what the eventual steady ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible