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Science Fiction Vocabulary

Science Fiction Vocabulary

Here are a few bits of common Science Fiction Vocabulary.


Imaginary creature from outer space.

alternate universe

A world other than our own. Similar to a parallel universe.


A human-looking robot


the idea of creating a place or object that is free from the force of gravity.

Artificial Intelligence

the study and design of intelligent agents, like robots or softwareasteroid


Rocky object orbiting the sun / star. Part of a failed planet. Usually in a belt around the sun / star shepherded by larger planets


Air or climate in a given place


Having electronically powered organs. See also cybernetics

blaster or Phaser

A handheld weapon similar to a gun that fires bolts of energy instead of physical projectiles

Black Hole

Object in space with strong gravitational pull that no matter or energy can escape.


Genetically identical organism

close encounter

Event where a person witnesses an unidentified flying object


The whole universe


Freezing of a corpse with the hope of restoring it later.


Study of extremely low temperatures


Study of communication in organisms, organic processes, and mechanical or electronic systems…When accompanied with implants, the concept of bionics is created.


A fictional being that is part-human, part-robot


fusion between man and machine set in an urban society that is usually anarchic

deep space

space beyond the Earth’s gravitational influence or beyond the orbit of the Moon


an ideal society that becomes intolerable


Existing or coming from somewhere outside Earth and its atmosphere

flying saucer

a disk-shaped flying object believed to be an extraterrestrial spacecraft

force field

a shield (in some cases large enough to cover an entire planet) to protect something from damage by natural forces or enemy attack


Assembly of stars, gas and dust


The attraction of bodies toward the center of the earth.


Very unfriendly, strongly opposed to somebody or something


describes a being from another planet that has the appearance or characteristics of a human


propulsion systems that allow starships to enter hyperspace to traverse the vast distances of space at faster-than-light speeds


A fictional space in which laws of physics may be circumvented allowing faster-than-light travel or time travel.


Occurring among/ between stars


Relating to human beings, Eventually dying


Change in genetic material


an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen gas and plasma


a star that suddenly increases dramatically in brightness and then fades to its original luminosity over a short period of months or years

super nova

a stellar explosion that creates an extremely luminous object

positronic brain

A computer CPU with the capacity to rival a human brain.


refers to Einstein’s theory on the gravitational pull on objects


a mechanical device that can be programmed to carry out instructions and perform complicated tasks usually done by people


Device that orbits a planet


capable of feeling and perception

Space Opera

 a subgenre of sci-fi that emphasizes space warfare with use of melodramatic risk-taking space adventures, relationships, and chivalric romance. Set mainly or entirely in outer space, it features technological and social advancements (or lack thereof) in faster than light travel, advanced weapons, and sophisticated technology, on a backdrop of galactic empires and interstellar wars with fictional aliens, often in fictional galaxies.

speed of light

186,000 miles per second, a speed impossible to exceed according to Einstein’s theories of relativity


a spaceship designed to travel between stars or star systems, eg Star-Treck “Enterprise”

science fiction technology

the study, development, and application of devices, machines, and techniques for manufacturing and productive processes


to move something using mental power or without traveling


Modifying a planet, moon, or other body so its atmosphere, temperature, or ecology is similar to those of Earth in order to make it habitable by humans.

time paradox

an impossible situation created by traveling back through time, for example, when a man travels back and kills his father, so that he himself could never exist

time travel

moving backward or forward in time. eg Doctor Who in his Tardis.

time warp

a hypothetical distortion in the continuum of space-time, allowing time to stand still or people to travel from one time to another

time/space continuum

the theory that space and time are interconnected. Theory that allows for time travel.

UFO (unidentified flying object)

a flying object that cannot be identified and is thought by some to be an alien spacecraft


an ideal and perfect place or state where everyone lives in harmony and everything is for the best


a hypothetical structure of space-time envisioned as a tunnel connecting points that are separated in space and time

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Cover art for "Marooned" & "Arcadia's Children" by Andrew R Williams : Girl with glowing eyes : Spaceship on fire

Playing Dirty, Operation Trouser Snake

Playing Dirty, Operation Trouser Snake

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