Some science fiction "firsts"
From this site: http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/pre...php#handwavium
And all you young whipper-snappers who think that science fiction was invented in 1977 with the first Star Wars movie, I have to inform you that you are sadly mistaken. SF was old when your great-grandfather was born.
- "Blaster" dates back to 1925 in Nictzin Dyalhis' When the Green Star Waned.
- "Disintegrator ray" dates back to 1898 in Garrett Serviss' Edison's Conquest of Mars.
- "Needler" dates back to 1934 in E.E."Doc" Smith's The Skylark of Valeron.
- "Stunner" dates back to 1944 in C. M. Kornbluth's Fire-Power.
- Isaac Asimov invented "force-field blades" in his 1952 novel David Starr, Space Ranger, which was the father of the light-saber.
- There was a form of "virtual reality" in Sir Arthur C. Clarke's 1956 novel The City and the Stars, and a more limited form in E.E."Doc" Smith's 1930 story Skylark Three.
- Zero population growth is discussed in Walter Kately's 1930 story "The World of a Hundred Men."
- Power from nuclear fusion appears in Gawain Edwards' 1930 story "A Rescue from Jupiter."
- Atomic bombs are found in Sewell Wright's 1931 story "The Dark Side of Antri."
- A "tiny computing machine about as large as the palm of a man's hand" (Palm PDA?) is featured in R. F. Starzl's 1931 story "If the Sun Died."
- And an unprotected man exposed to the vacuum of space but did not explode appeared in Nathan Schachner and Arthur Zagat's 1932 story "Exiles of the Moon."
In the science fiction short story
"Specialist" by Robert Sheckley
, published in 1953 in Galaxy magazine
, it is revealed that many galactic races are actually capable of symbiotic cooperation to become bioships, with each race forming a different part. Earth, apparently, is one of the planets inhabited by creatures that are supposed to function as FTL drives (Pushers), and, it is stated that all the conflicts and discontent of humanity are due to the fact that, while they have matured, they have nowhere to apply their true purpose. This story is perhaps the first mention of a bioship in science fiction.
It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. Carl Sagan
Last edited by RAMA; January 17 2011 at 05:47 PM.