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30 votes
Accepted

First fictional lab-created plague

"Professor Bakermann's Microbe" (original title "Le microbe du Professeur Bakermann, récit des temps futurs") by Charles Epheyre, first published in Revue Bleue (Revue politique et ...
DavidW's user avatar
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16 votes

What is the origin of the "suddenly you have no mouth" trope?

This probably originates from Harlan Ellison's short story (found in the collection of the same title), "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" (first published in IF: Worlds of Fiction, March ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
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14 votes
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Earliest 'space locust'/'devouring swarm' type of alien in science fiction?

1930: Last and First Men, a novel by Olaf Stapledon, available at Project Gutenberg Australia. The Earth is invaded by Martians, who exist as cloudlets of motes with a kind of hive mind. Terrestrial ...
user14111's user avatar
  • 161k
12 votes

First fictional lab-created plague

"E. F. Bleiler's Science-Fiction: The Early Years" has no better answer than DavidW. With thanks to user14111's insight: the ten references are 22 (dated 1895), 533 (1930), 646 (1892), 896 (...
David McKee's user avatar
7 votes

First fictional lab-created plague

Not sure if it perfectly fits your criteria, but you could find it interestingly related anyway. In the 1887* illustrated sci-fi story La Guerre au 20ème siècle ("War in the 20th Century") ...
J-J-J's user avatar
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3 votes

Earliest 'space locust'/'devouring swarm' type of alien in science fiction?

1950: "Strange Exodus", a short story by Robert Abernathy, first published in Planet Stories, Fall 1950, available at the Internet Archive. The text of "Strange Exodus" is also ...
user14111's user avatar
  • 161k
1 vote

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

There may have been self destruct mechanisms in the old space opera series of Interstellar Patrol stories by Edmund "World Wrecker" Hamilton from 1928 to 1930. Most of the enemies lived on ...
M. A. Golding's user avatar

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