Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction

Order by: alphabetical | chronological

Word Definition
faster-than-light adj. (1940) that is travelling or can travel faster than light
faster than light adv. (1928) at a speed faster than that of light
feelie n. (1929) a motion picture augmented by tactile effects which are felt by the viewer; chiefly in plural (frequently with the): the screening of such pictures; such pictures as a type of entertainment
fembot n. (1976) a robot resembling a woman in appearance; (also) a woman characterized as having robotic behavior or demeanor
femmefan n. (1940) a female fan
fen n. (1940) plural of fan
ferry n. (1941) a small spacecraft used, esp. on a regular schedule, to transport passengers or cargo over a relatively short distance, as between an orbiting craft and a planet’s surface
filk n. (1953) among science fiction and fantasy fans: a type of popular music, commonly performed at fan conventions, characterized by the use of familiar or traditional songs whose lyrics have been rewritten or parodied (usually on themes drawn from science fiction or fantasy literature)
filk v. (1978) among science fiction and fantasy fans: to write or perform filk songs
filker n. (1981) one who sings filk songs; a filk singer n.
filking n. (1983) among science fiction and fantasy fans: the writing or performing of filk songs
filksing n. (1968) a session or event of filk singing
filk singer n. (1979) one who sings filk songs
filksinging n. (1965) the singing of filk songs
filk song n. (1953) a song in the filk style
fillo n. (1959) a small illustration used to fill space, esp. in a fanzine
first contact n. (1945) the first meeting between two different intelligent species
fix-up n. (1975) a novel constructed from shorter material written separately
flame gun n. (1934) a gun (esp. a handgun) that shoots flames; cf. earlier flame pistol n.
flame pistol n. (1930) a pistol that shoots flames; cf. flame gun n.
flash crowd n. (2005) a sudden increase in the number of visitors viewing a (small or niche) website, esp. after the site has been mentioned in a more prominent venue
Flash Gordon adj. (1938) used attributively to indicate something science-fictional, especially relating to or suggestive of stereotypical or hackneyed science fiction; Buck Rogers n.
fleet n. (1898) = space fleet n.
flitter n. (1941) a small usu. short-range aircraft or spaceship
floater n. (1928) a vehicle or device powered by antigravity; (specif.) an antigravity platform that flies relatively close to the ground
flux capacitor n. (1981) in the film Back to the Future and its sequels: the core component of the time machine made of a DeLorean automobile
flying saucer n. (1947) any of various unidentified disc- or saucer-shaped objects reported as appearing in the sky, presumed to be of extraterrestrial origin; (hence) a saucer-shaped alien spacecraft
Force n. (1974) (with the) in the fictional universe of the Star Wars franchise: a mystical universal energy field which certain individuals, such as the Jedi, can harness to gain special powers or abilities
force beam n. (1929) = tractor beam n.; = pressor beam n.
force field n. (1931) a field of energy that acts as an invisible barrier; cf. shield n.
force screen n. (1932) = force field n.
frak v. (1978) (a euphemism for) fuck, in various senses and parts of speech
Franken- prefix (1967) (used to form nouns in the sense ‘created or modified by scientific techniques, esp. genetic engineering’)
Frankenstein complex n. (1947) Isaac Asimov’s term for: the anxiety and distrust humans feel for robots
free fall n. (1931) a condition of weightlessness
fresher n. (1940) a bathroom or shower