Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction

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Word Definition
kipple n. (1960) useless or unwanted (household) objects; junk; rubbish
Klingon n. (1967) in the fictional universe of the Star Trek franchise: a member of a humanoid alien race, characterized by authoritarian brutality and a strict code of honor; (also) the language of this race, now widely studied as an artificial language
Kobayashi Maru n. (1982) in the Star Trek universe: a training exercise in which a cadet commanding a ship must rescue a civilian vessel in enemy territory, with any strategy leading to an unsuccessful outcome; (hence) any no-win situation, esp. one used as a test of character
Kornbluthian adj. (1941) of, relating to, or characteristic of the writing of Cyril M. Kornbluth
kryptonite n. (1943) in the fictional world of the comic book hero Superman: a substance that renders Superman weak when he is exposed to it; (hence, in figurative or allusive use) something that can weaken or damage a particular person or thing; an Achilles heel
K/S n. (1978) a subgenre of science fiction, originally published in fanzines and now esp. online, in which the Star Trek characters Kirk and Spock are portrayed as having a homosexual relationship; (later) any similar fiction in which a pair of (established) male characters is so portrayed
landspeeder n. (1977) in the fictional universe of the Star Wars franchise: a small vehicle that uses antigravity technology to hover close to the ground
laser cannon n. (1962) a large weapon, similar in size to a cannon, that fires a laser
laser gun n. (1963) a weapon that fires a laser
laser pistol n. (1963) a hand weapon of similar size to a pistol that fires a laser
laser rifle n. (1963) a long shoulder weapon that fires a laser
launching laser n. (1971) a high-powered laser used for the launching of spacecraft, either by vaporizing propellant at the rear of the craft, or by radiation pressure on a solar sail n.
Law of Robotics n. (1944) in the writing of Isaac Asimov: each of three (later sometimes four) rules devised to govern the behaviour of robots
letterhack n. (1942) a fan who frequently writes letters to magazine or fanzine letter columns
lifeboat n. (1907) a small spacecraft designed for escaping from a damaged spaceship or space station; cf. lifeship n.; escape ship n.
lifeship n. (1930) an emergency spacecraft; lifeboat n.
life tube n. (1930) an escape pod having a cylindrical shape; cf. lifeboat n.
light n. 1 (1934) = lightspeed, used as a unit of measure; cf. light-speed n. 2
light n. 2 (1961) a light year
light barrier n. 1 (1930) a force field made of beams of light
light barrier n. 2 (1950) the speed of light, as a theoretical limit of speed of any object
light-century n. (1908) the distance light travels in 100 years
light-day n. (1933) the distance light travels in 24 hours
light-hour n. (1920) the distance light travels in one hour
light-minute n. (1945) the distance light travels in one minute
light-month n. (1933) the distance light travels in one month
lightsaber n. (1975) in the fictional universe of the Star Wars franchise: a weapon resembling a sword, but having a destructive beam of light in place of a blade
light sail n. (1963) = solar sail n.
light-second n. (1915) the distance light travels in one second