Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction

Order by: alphabetical | chronological

Word Definition
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
food pill n. (1885) an edible item providing a person’s complete nutritional needs in compact form
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
ftl adj. (1950) = faster-than-light adj.
ftl adv. (1950) = faster than light adv.
fugghead n. (1949) a stupid, obnoxious, or incompetent person
fuggheaded adj. (1949) stupid; obnoxious; incompetent
fuggheadedness n. (1949) the quality of being stupid, obnoxious, or incompetent
future history n. (1937) a fictional, self-contained, consistent, chronological framework (esp. realized across a body of work); (also) the subgenre of science fiction that uses such a framework
future war n. (1931) a subgenre of science fiction dealing with warfare and how it will be practiced in the future
gadget story n. (1942) a story in which the primary focus is on inventions or the process of inventing
gafia n. 1 (1940) participation in fandom
gafia n. 2 (1950) the state of having quit fandom (cf. earlier gafia n. 1); cf. gafiation n.
gafiate n. (1956) a person who has quit fandom; one who has gafiated
gafiate v. (1959) to cease involvement with science fiction fandom
gafiation n. (1959) the state of having quit fandom; cf. gafia n. 2
galactic n. 1 (1942) an inhabitant of the galaxy; a member of a galaxy-wide civilization
Galactic n. 2 (1954) a language commonly spoken throughout the galaxy; cf. Standard n.
galactographer n. (1965) one who maps the physical structure of galaxies; an expert in galactography n.