Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction



Word Definition
deflector n. (1931) a force field that protects something (such as a spaceship or a city) from potentially harmful objects or energy; a beam of energy that repels such objects; cf. shield n.
different story n. (1919) esp. in the early pulp era: a science fiction, fantasy, or weird story; an impossible story .
dimension n. (1901) a universe coexistent with our own, but which cannot be perceived or accessed by ordinary means and which often possesses different physical laws; cf. alternate world n., parallel universe n., plane n.
dimensional adj. (1931) between dimensions; joining dimensions
dirtball n. (1978) a planet
dirtside n. (1955) the surface of a planet
dirtside adv. (1953) on or to the surface of a planet (as opposed to in space)
dirtsider n. (1984) a person who lives on a planet (in contrast to a person who lives or frequently travels in space)
disaster adj. (1975) designating a genre that deals with a global catastrophe (natural, man-made, or extraterrestrial in origin) and its aftermath
disintegrator n. (1903) a weapon that disintegrates its target
disruptor n. (1931) a type of energy weapon; a weapon that disrupts some function of its target, as an object’s molecular bonds
downtime adj. (1978) esp. in time-travel contexts: in or from the past; cf. uptime adj.
downtime adv. (1972) esp. in time-travel contexts: in, into, or toward the past; cf. uptime adv.
droid n. (1952) a robot, esp. a humanoid one; an android
dropshaft n. (1949) a liftshaft with no lift-cages, using controlled gravity to move people up and down at high speed
Dyson sphere n. (1970) an artificial structure in the form of a hollow shell surrounding a star
dystopia n. 1 (1952) a work set in a dystopia n. 2
dystopia n. 2 (1955) an imaginary place or state of affairs in which conditions are extremely bad; the genre of fiction set in such a situation; cf. utopia n.
dystopian n. (1868) one who advocates or describes a dystopia n. 2
dystopian adj. (1953) of or pertaining to a dystopia n. 2
dystopianism n. (1962) dystopian quality or characteristics
dystopic adj. (1967) of, pertaining to, or resembling a dystopia n. 2
earthborn n. (1940) a person born on Earth; people born on Earth collectively
earthborn adj. (1900) originating on the planet Earth, as opposed to outer space or another celestial body
Earthbound adj. 1 (1928) headed toward Earth
earthbound adj. 2 (1933) based on Earth; unable to leave Earth
earther n. (1952) a native or inhabitant of Earth
earthfall n. (1952) the arrival of a spaceship on the surface of Earth; cf. planetfall n.
earth folk n. (1931) = earth people n.
earthgirl n. (1911) a girl or woman from the planet Earth
Earthian n. 1 (1907) = earthling n.
Earthian n. 2 (1943) a language spoken on Earth, esp. a universal language spoken widely by Earth people