Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction

Order by: alphabetical | chronological

Word Definition
3-di n. (No cites) see three-D n.
3V n. (No cites) see tri-v n.
actifan n. (1941) someone who is actively involved in fandom
adamantium n. (1912) a metal alloy having exceptional strength
adult fantasy n. (1932) fantasy intended for adults rather than children
aerocab n. (1908) = aircab n.
aerocar n. (1900) a small, personal flying vehicle
Africanfuturism n. (2018) Nnedi Okorafor’s term for: a subgenre of science fiction that heavily features elements of African history or culture; cf. Afrofuturism
Afrofuturism n. (1993) a movement in literature, music, art, etc., featuring futuristic or science-fictional themes which incorporate elements of Black (American) history and culture
Afrofuturist adj. (1994) of, relating to, or characterized by Afrofuturism n.
Afrofuturistic adj. (2000) = Afrofuturist adj.
AI n. (1973) a sentient computer; = artificial intelligence n.
aircab n. (1934) a flying taxicab; cf. earlier aerocab n.
aircar n. (1871) = aerocar n.
airlock n. (1930) a small intermediate compartment with controlled pressure and two airtight doors, used to facilitate movement between the interior and exterior of a spacecraft; (also) either of the doors to such a compartment; cf. space lock n.
Aldebaranian n. 1 (1930) a native or inhabitant of the Aldebaran system
Aldebaranian n. 2 (1939) the language of Aldebaranians
Aldebaranian adj. (1937) of, pertaining to, or characteristic of the Aldebaran system or its inhabitants
alien n. (1820) an (intelligent) being from a location other than one’s own, esp. such a being that is not from Earth
alien adj. (1919) of or pertaining to an (intelligent) being or beings from another planet; that derives from another world
alien life form n. (1937) = alien n.
Alpha Centaurian n. (1931) a native or inhabitant of the Alpha Centauri star system; cf. Centaurian n. 1
Alpha Centaurian adj. (1934) of or relating to the Alpha Centauri star system or its inhabitants; cf. Centaurian adj.
alternate future n. (1941) in time-travel contexts: one of a number of possible futures; cf. slightly earlier alternative future n.
alternate history n. (1954) a timeline that is different from that of our own world, usually extrapolated from the changing of a single event; the subgenre featuring such a timeline; (also) a story featuring this
alternate reality n. (1950) = alternate world n.
alternate universe n. (1950) = alternate world n.
alternate world n. (1944) one of many possible universes, which may have different physical laws or a different history than our own
alternative future n. (1932) = alternate future n.