Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction

Order by: alphabetical | chronological

Word Definition
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.
galactographic adj. (1950) relating to galactography n.
galactography n. (1950) the science of mapping celestial objects within galaxies
galaxy-wide adj. (1937) extending throughout a galaxy
galaxy-wide adv. (1949) throughout a galaxy
gameplay n. (1979) the (characteristic) way in which a player interacts with an (electronic) game; the tactical aspects of play, such as rules, plot, etc., as distinct from graphics or sound effects
gamer n. (1973) a participant in a war-game or role-playing game; a player or creator of such games
Ganymedian n. (1928) a native or inhabitant of Ganymede, the largest satellite of Jupiter
Ganymedian adj. (1928) of, relating to, or from Ganymede, the largest satellite of Jupiter
gas giant n. (1952) a large planet composed mostly of gaseous material thought to surround a solid core; spec. each of the four largest planets in the solar system (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune)
gate n. (1931) a matter transmission device, esp. a portal or device by means of which something may be (instantaneously) transported to another point in space or time, or into another dimension or alternate universe; cf. slightly earlier gateway n.
gateway n. (1928) a portal allowing travel or communication between dimensions, alternate universes, etc.; = gate n.
geas n. (1921) in fantasy writings: a spell; a magical compulsion
gee n. 1 (1949) a measure of gravitation or acceleration
gee n. 2 (1951) spec. a unit of acceleration equal to that due to gravity at Earthโ€™s surface; a force arising from such acceleration; cf. earlier gravity n.
generation ship n. (1955) an interstellar spacecraft in which multiple generations of passengers are born, live, and die before arrival at its destination
generation starship n. (1979) = generation ship n.
genetically engineered adj. (1969) produced by genetic engineering n.
genetic engineer n. (1954) a scientist who works in the field of genetic engineering n.
genetic engineering n. (1951) the alteration of the genome of an organism by laboratory techniques, esp. by the insertion, alteration, or removal of a gene
gengineer n. (1987) = genetic engineer n.
gengineer v. (1989) to produce, develop, or alter through genetic engineering n.
gengineering n. (1985) = genetic engineering n.
genre n. (1993) the literary fields of science fiction, fantasy, and horror collectively; imaginative fiction
genre fantasy n. (1977) stories, novels, etc. that are explicity written or published in the genre of fantasy, as opposed to ones which contain fantastic or supernatural elements but are written or published as mainstream or in another genre
genre science fiction n. (1971) stories, novels, etc. that are explicity written or published as science fiction, as opposed to ones which contain science fictional elements but are written or published as mainstream or in another genre
Gernsbackian adj. (1943) of, relating to, or characteristic of Hugo Gernsback, and esp. of the writing that appeared in the magazines he edited, esp. in featuring extensive discussions of scientific or technological issues
glassite n. (1930) a strong transparent synthetic material; an artificial substitute for glass
glitch n. (1998) in phrase a glitch in the matrix: in the 1999 film The Matrix: an anomaly in the virtual representation of reality in which much of the film takes place, indicating a change or error in the underlying computer simulation; (hence, broadly) a mistake, an error, a problem
golden age n. (1948) a period in the past regarded as the time when science fiction was at its best
gram v. (1940) = spacegram v.
grandfather paradox n. (1939) a paradox concerning the implications of time travel, expressed by the idea that a hypothetical time traveller could potentially go back into the past and (deliberately or inadvertently) kill his or her grandfather, thus preventing the time travellerโ€™s existence and the possibility of having travelled back into the past in the first place; cf. time paradox n.