Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction

Order by: alphabetical | chronological

Word Definition
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.
graser n. (1964) a device that produces a beam of gamma radiation, usually as an energy weapon n.
grav n. 1 (1939) an anti-gravitational propulsion device; (typically as) gravs: a propulsion system using antigravity
grav n. 2 (1939) an earth-standard acceleration; gee n. 2
gravitic adj. (1935) of, caused by, or powered by gravity
gravitically adv. (1958) by means of gravity; with regard to gravity; cf. gravitic adj.
gravitics n. 1 (1944) the science of studying or controlling gravity
gravitics n. 2 (1982) any of various devices making use of gravity or gravitational waves, as (a) sensors that use gravitational waves to detect objects in space; (b) a system that creates artificial gravity
graviton n. (1929) a subatomic particle thought of as propagating the action of gravitational force
gravitonic adj. (1929) of or relating to gravitons
gravity n. (1930) = gee n. 2
gravity drive n. (1932) a spaceship drive that uses any technology associated with gravity
gravity plate n. (1930) a device that creates or nullifies the effects of gravity
gravity screen n. (1926) a device that creates or prevents the effects of gravity; the effect of such a device
gravity well n. (1954) the area of space near a large mass (such as a planet or star), in which significant energy must be expended in order to counteract the objectโ€™s gravitational pull
grimdark n. (2008) a subgenre of (esp. fantasy) fiction characterized by a nihilistic, violent, and dystopian atmosphere or setting
gripping hand n. (1986) on the gripping hand: used to introduce a third point of view, fact, case, etc., that contrasts with two previous statements
grok v. (1961) to perceive or understand fully; to feel empathy with; to enjoy, appreciate
groundcar n. (1930) a car incapable of flight (in contrast with an aircar n.)
groundhog n. (1940) a person who does not regularly travel in space
groundlubber n. (1939) = groundhog n.
groundside adv. (1951) = planetside adv.
group mind n. (1930) a collective intelligence composed of individual intelligences combined into a larger whole; hive mind n.
gynoid n. (1979) a robot having female or feminine characteristics; = robotrix n.
gyrobus n. (1933) a bus powered by a gyroscopic flywheel; (also) a flying bus
gyrocab n. (1942) a flying taxi
hard science fiction n. (1957) science fiction which does not violate known scientific laws; science fiction based on the hard sciences
heat ray n. (1897) = ray n.
Heinleinian adj. (1956) of, relating to, or characteristic of the writing of Robert Heinlein
helicab n. (1943) a helicopter serving as a taxi
heroic fantasy n. (1961) = sword and sorcery n.
high fantasy n. (1973) a subgenre of fantasy set in an imaginary world with a medieval-style society and level of technology, usually featuring a quest or a conflict between Good and Evil, and often written in an elevated style