Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction



Word Definition
atomics n. 1 (1932) any device powered by nuclear energy, esp. a nuclear-powered engine
atomics n. 2 (1943) atomic weapons
autodoc n. (1966) a system providing automated medical care
auton n. (1970) an autonomous robot or robotic device; (specif. in form Auton) in the British television series Doctor Who: one of a group of malevolent humanoid robots having plastic-like skin
avatar n. (1986) a VR representation of a person
avian n. (1948) a bird-like alien
avian adj. (1931) (of an alien) bird-like
beam v. (1951) to travel through space as if along a beam of light or energy; to transport (someone or something) in this manner
beam weapon n. (1936) a weapon that fires a destructive beam of energy
beanstalk n. (1982) = space elevator n.
Belter n. (1966) a native or resident of an asteroid belt n.
BEM n. (1940) = bug-eyed monster n.
big dumb object n. (1981) a large, mysterious, alien-made artifact encountered in space or on another world
biocomputer n. (1952) a computer having components and circuits formed from or modelled on biological molecules or structures
bionic adj. (1941) of or pertaining to bionics; having or being an artificial, esp. electromechanical, device that replaces part of the body; having ordinary human capabilities increased (as if) by the aid of such devices
biopunk n. (1991) a subgenre of science fiction which focuses on the societal effects of biotechnology and genetic engineering
biotechnician n. (1940) a person, esp. a laboratory technician, involved in biotechnics or biotechnology
blaster n. (1925) a weapon that fires a destructive beam of energy
blast-off n. (1937) the initial thrust required to launch a rocket or the like into space; the launching of the rocket itself
blast off v. (1937) (of a person or being) to take off in a spaceship, esp. one propelled by rockets; (of a spaceship) to take off
blast rifle n. (1935) a long shoulder weapon that fires a destructive beam of energy; cf. blaster n.
blowup n. (1945) a war that destroys a culture or a large part of the population
blue pill n. (1998) a drug that allows one to remain ignorant of reality; cf. red pill n.
BNF n. (1948) someone who is extremely prominent within a particular fandom
boat n. (1930) = spaceship n.
Borg n. (1989) in the fictional universe of the Star Trek franchise: a group of cybernetically enhanced aliens linked in a hive mind
bot n. (1969) a robot
braintape n. (1946) a recording of the (entire) contents of a person’s mind
Buck Rogers adj. (1934) = science fictional adj.; characteristic of hackneyed or dated science fiction
bug-eyed monster n. (1939) a monstrous alien with bulging eyes, esp. as a stereotype