Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction
alphabetical | chronological ( asc | desc )
AI n. (1973)
a sentient computer; =
artificial intelligence n.
artificial intelligence n. (1973)
a computer program or system capable of reasoning in a manner regarded as equivalent to a human being; a sentient computer
gamer n. (1973)
a participant in a war-game or role-playing game; a player or creator of such games
high fantasy n. (1973)
a subgenre of
fantasy set in an imaginary world with a medieval-style society and level of technology, usually featuring a quest or a conflict between Good and Evil, and often written in an elevated style
holovid n. (1973)
a holographic video; a device or system that displays or records holographic videos; cf.
Jedi n. (1973)
in the fictional universe of the
Star Wars franchise: a member of an order of heroic, skilled warrior monks who are able to harness the mystical power of the Force. Also in extended and allusive use; esp. someone (humorously) credited with great skill or preternatural powers. Also more fully Jedi knight, Jedi master
multiverse n. 2 (1973)
in figurative use: a sphere of very varied possibility, such as the mind or the imagination
Padawan n. (1973)
in the fictional universe of the
Star Wars franchise: an apprentice Jedi; also (often humorously) in extended and allusive use: a youthful, naive, or untrained person
realspace n. (1973)
the ordinary universe; space that exists outside of
hyperspace, wormholes, or other notional regions used for faster-than-light travel
SFX n. (1973)
shapechange v. (1973)
to change shape, by an imagined natural capability, and adopt the form and sometimes abilities of an animal or other being
starfaring n. (1973)
vibroknife n. (1973)
xenocide n. (1973)
the killing or attempted killing of an entire alien species; the killing of an individual alien; (also) a person who commits this act
cryosleep n. (1972)
cold sleep n.
downtime adv. (1972)
esp. in time-travel contexts: in, into, or toward the past; cf.
novum n. (1972)
an element in a work of science fiction that establishes that the work takes place in a non-normal world; the key science-fictional element in a work
spacing n. 2 (1972)
the act of executing a person by forcing them into space without a spacesuit; cf.
space v. 2
uptime adv. (1972)
esp. in time-travel contexts: in, into, or toward the future; cf.
uptime adj. (1972)
esp. in time-travel contexts: in or from the future; cf.
xenopsychology n. (1972)
the psychology of alien races
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 ; (also) ( n. broadly) any form of engineering in or related to space, such as the design or operation of the propulsion systems of spacecraft
genre science fiction n. (1971)
stories, novels, etc. that are explicity written or published as
science fiction, as opposed to ones which contain science fictional elements but are written or published as mainstream or in another genre
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.
Orwellian n. (1971)
an admirer of the works and ideas of George Orwell
pew n. (1971)
(used to represent the sound of a weapon, esp. a
posthumanism n. (1971)
the idea that humanity can be transformed, transcended, or eliminated either by technological advances or the evolutionary process; artistic, scientific, or philosophical practice which reflects this belief; cf.
alternative history n. (1970)
alternate history n.
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
construct n. (1970)
an intelligent entity that is not biological, as a sentient hologram or a digital intelligence; an artificially created or hybridized being
Dyson sphere n. (1970)
an artificial structure in the form of a hollow shell surrounding a star, built esp. in order to capture the star’s energy output
holo n. (1970)
a hologram; a device that displays holograms; holograms as a form of entertainment
jack in v. (1970)
to connect one's brain directly to a computer or cybernetic device by means of a cybernetically implanted data jack
mind-control v. (1970)
mind control on (a person); to control or influence (a person) telepathically