Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction

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Word Definition
dalek n. (1963) in the British television series Doctor Who: a member of a race of aggressive alien mutants in mobile armoured casings
dark fantasy n. (1973) a subgenre of fantasy that features gloomy or frightening themes, incorporating elements of horror n.
darkside n. 1 (1939) the side of an object in space (as a spaceship, or a moon or planet) that faces away from the closest star; cf. farside n., nightside n.
Dark Side n. 2 (1975) the force of evil
datapad n. (1962) a thin handheld electronic device for viewing and manipulating information; a tablet computer
datasphere n. (1989) the notional environment in which digital data is stored; esp. the internet viewed in this way; (also) the realm of virtual reality; cyberspace n.
dayside n. (1914) the side of a planet that is in daylight, sometimes in the context of a planet with one side permanently facing its sun
death ray n. (1902) a destructive beam of energy; a device that generates such a beam
deep space n. (1921) that part of space far away from planets or stars
deep-space adj. (1937) of or in deep space n.
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. (1896) 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. (1898) 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