Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction

Order by: alphabetical | chronological

Word Definition
Asimovian adj. 1 (1942) of, relating to, or characteristic of the writing of Isaac Asimov
Asimovian adj. 2 (1990) (of a robot or AI) governed by the Laws of Robotics
asterite n. (1933) a native or inhabitant of an asteroid
asteroid belt n. (1867) the toroidal region of space around a star in which most asteroid orbits occur
asteroid field n. (1942) a region of space in which there is a high density of asteroids; cf. asteroid belt n.
astrobiology n. (1941) a branch of biology concerned with the discovery or study of life on the celestial bodies
astroengineer n. (1947) an engineer who works on spacecraft or in space; a person who designs or operates the propulsion systems of spacecraft
astroengineering n. (1971) large-scale structural engineering in space, esp. the modification of the physical structure or configuration of a planet, a star, or an entire solar system; cf. terraforming n.; (also) (broadly) any form of engineering in or related to space, such as the design or operation of the propulsion systems of spacecraft
astrogate v. (1941) to navigate in space
astrogating n. (1932) = astrogation n.
astrogation n. (1931) the act of navigation in space, esp. by means of the observation of celestial objects
astrogational adj. (1940) of or relating to astrogation n.
astrogator n. (1931) one who practices astrogation; (also) an instrument used for this purpose
astronavigation n. (1935) = astrogation n.
astronavigator n. (1933) = astrogator n.
atmosphere suit n. (1948) = space suit n.
atomic engine n. (1914) an engine powered by nuclear energy
atomics n. 1 (1932) any device powered by nuclear energy, esp. a nuclear-powered engine
atomics n. 2 (1943) atomic weapons
autodoc n. (1965) a system providing automated medical care
automatics n. (1932) a system that controls the flight of a spacecraft with little or no human intervention; any system or technology for the unsupervised control of a vehicle, environment, etc.
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 graphical representation of a person in a computer-generated environment (as a game)
avian n. (1948) a bird-like alien
avian adj. (1931) (of an alien) bird-like
Ballardian adj. (1964) of, relating to, or characteristic of the writing of J. G. Ballard, esp. in featuring desolate, dystopian settings and a pessimistic view of the effects of modern technological society
battleship n. (1900) a military spaceship having heavy armor and powerful weapons
beam v. (1951) to travel through space as if along a beam of light or energy; to transport (someone or something) in this manner
beamer n. (1945) a device (esp. a weapon) that emits a beam of energy
beam weapon n. (1936) a weapon that fires a destructive beam of energy
beanstalk n. (1979) = space elevator n.
beast mode n. (1991) in a video game: a (temporary) state in which a human transforms into an animal or mythical creature, typically having extra power or skills; (hence) a (temporary) state of aggression or great performance