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Parallel Visions: City of Angels City of Demons ebook and trade paperback available on Amazon (or here).
The question of whether Vance was dead or not became more than academic when he found himself in a bathtub up to his chin in ice water like some forgotten cocktail garnish, a demonic woman standing over him, and no memory of how he got there.
Read free chapters of Parallel Visions: City of Angels City of Demons here
The Red Rook, sequel to Dispensing Justice and the second novel of Nova Genesis World is now available for Kindle or as a paperback at Amazon.
Read free chapters of Dispensing Justice here (or get it here).
Read free chapters of The Red Rook here (or get it here). -- Fritz Freiheit

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SF Glossary

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AI is an acronym for Artificial Intelligence. (e)

AI character

The AI character is an Artificial Intelligence, a stock SF character. Examples HAL 2000, Data from Star Trek, and the lovable droids R2D2 and C3PO. --(Source: Fritz Freiheit) (e)

alien (trope)

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alien civilization

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alien invasion (genre)

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alien race

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alternate history (genre)

Alternate history or alternative history is a subgenre of speculative fiction (or some would say science fiction) and historical fiction that is set in a world in which history has diverged from history as it is generally known. Alternate history literature asks the question, "What if history had developed differently?" Most works in this genre are based in real historical events, yet feature social, geopolitical, or industrial circumstances that developed differently than our own. While to some extent all fiction can be described as "alternate history," the subgenre proper comprises fiction in which a change or point of divergence occurs in the past that causes human society to develop in a way that is distinct from our own. (e)


An android is a humanoid or animal-oid robot. Also see cyborg. (e)


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apocalyptic science fiction (genre)

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An arcology is a single massive structure (i.e. a megastructure) that is a self-contained city. --(Source: Fritz Freiheit) (e)

artificial gravity

Artificial gravity is a gravity generated by some means other than mass. One form that artificial gravity can take is spin gravity, but other more exotic forms are used in SF. Frequently, artificial gravity is just assumed to exist (i.e. a form handwavium) and is a common SF trope and source of authorial laziness. In movies and television SF, artificial gravity is commonly used to avoid costly special effects of weightlessness.(Source: Fritz Freiheit) (e)

artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence, or AI is intelligence derived from non-natural means. Typically the term AI is used to refer machine intelligence, but artificial and machine intelligence are not synonymous. It is theoretically possible that a machine could evolve intelligence and biological intelligence could be created.(Source: Fritz Freiheit) (e)


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causality violation

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Clarke's third law

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Clarke's three laws

  1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
  2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
  3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

(e) Clarke’s First Law

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A genetic duplicate. Not to be confused with a mental clone. (e)


In futurism, computronium refers to a hypothetical material engineered to maximize its use as a computing substrate. While futurists usually use it to refer to hypothetical materials engineered on the molecular, atomic, or subatomic level by some advanced form of nanotechnology, the term can also be applied both to contemporary computing materials, and to constructs of theoretical physics that are unlikely to ever be practical to build.
Many futurists speculate about futures where demand for computing power grows to the point where very large amounts of computronium are desired. Examples of applications include Jupiter brains, planet-sized constructs made of computronium, and matrioshka brains, concentric Dyson spheres designed to extract all possible energy from the host star for use towards computation.
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The Culture

The Culture is Iain M. Banks' space-operatic world. (e)


Cyborg, a mixed biological-artificial organism. May include anything from a replacement glass eye to a brain in a robot body. Contrast with android and robot. --(Source: Fritz Freiheit) (e)


Dyson Bubble

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Dyson sphere

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Encyclopedia Galactica

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An exoskeleton is an external framework for a human (or some other biological) with motors that augment the wearer's strength and sometimes speed. Contrast with power armor. (e)


Faraday cage

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faster than light

Faster than light travel or communication is a common SF theme, plot device, and SF trope. The science behind FTL is non-trivial and includes such conundrums as causality violations. Contrast with slower than light. (e)

faster than light travel

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A robot or android with female characteristics. Alternatively, gynoid. (e)

Fermi's paradox

The Fermi paradox is the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of evidence for, or contact with, such civilizations. The basic points of the argument, made by physicists Enrico Fermi and Michael H. Hart, are:

According to this line of thinking, the Earth should have already been colonized, or at least visited. But no convincing evidence of this exists. Furthermore, no confirmed signs of intelligence elsewhere have been spotted, either in our galaxy or the more than 80 billion other galaxies of the observable universe. Hence Fermi's question "Where is everybody?". -- (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_paradox ) (e) first contact

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flying saucer

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Acronym for Faster Than Light. (e)






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matter transmitter

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A megastructure is a very large artificial object, although the limits of precisely how large vary considerably. Some apply the term to any especially large or tall building.[7][8] Some sources define a megastructure as an enormous self-supporting artificial construct. The products of megascale engineering or astroengineering are megastructures.
Most megastructure designs could not be constructed with today's level of industrial technology. This makes their design examples of speculative (or exploratory) engineering. Those that could be constructed easily qualify as megaprojects.
Megastructures are also an architectural concept popularized in the 1960s where a city could be encased in a single building, or a relatively small number of buildings interconnected. Such arcology concepts are popular in science fiction. Megastructures often play a part in the plot or setting of science fiction movies and books, such as Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke.
In 1968, Ralph Wilcoxen defined a megastructure as any structural framework into which rooms, houses, or other small buildings can later be installed, uninstalled, and replaced; and which is capable of "unlimited" extension. This type of framework allows the structure to adapt to the individual wishes of its residents, even as those wishes change with time.[9]
Other sources define a megastructure as "any development in which residential densities are able to support services and facilities essential for the development to become a self-contained community".[10]
Many architects have designed such megastructures. Some of the more notable such architects and architectural groups include the Metabolist Movement, Archigram, Cedric Price, Frei Otto, Constant Nieuwenhuys, Yona Friedman, and Buckminster Fuller.[11] (Source: Megastructure at Wikipedia ) (e)

mental clone

A mental duplicate. (e)

military science fiction (genre)

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mind upload

The process of uploading or transferring an organic intelligence to a computational representation. (e)

monomolecular wire

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Applied technology for manipulating matter at the atomic and molecular level. In the context of Chronicles from the Nexus and the Glossary Nexium, alchemistry and nanotechnology are basically synonymous. (e)

New Wave science fiction (genre)

New Wave is a term applied to science fiction writing characterised by a high degree of experimentation, both in form and in content, and a highbrow and self-consciously "literary" or artistic sensibility. The term "New Wave" is borrowed from film criticism's nouvelle vague: films characterised by the work of Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, and others. The New Wave writers saw themselves as part of the general literary tradition and often openly mocked the traditions of pulp science fiction, which they regarded as stodgy, irrelevant and unambitious. (Source: New Wave (science fiction) at Wikipedia )
Significant New Wave authors are: Brian Aldiss, J. G. Ballard, John Brunner, Samuel R. Delany, Philip K. Dick, Thomas M. Disch, Harlan Ellison, Philip José Farmer, Harry Harrison, M. John Harrison, R. A. Lafferty, Ursula K. Le Guin, Keith Roberts, Joanna Russ, Robert Silverberg, Norman Spinrad, and Roger Zelazny. (e)

orbital ring

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power armor

Power armor is a full body armored suit that is environmentally sealed with motors that augment the wearer's strength and sometimes speed. A suit of powered armor can be thought of as a one-man man-shaped tank. Contrast with exoskeleton. (e)

post-holocaust science fiction (genre)

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The theory that the history of large populations is statistically predictable, based on psychological theories of human and social behaviour; science based on this theory. (e)



science fiction western (genre)

A Science Fiction Western is a work of fiction which has elements of science fiction in a Western setting. It is different from a Space Western, which is a frontier story indicative of American Westerns, except transposed to a backdrop of space exploration and settlement.
A science fiction Western occurs in the past, or in a world resembling the past, in which modern or future technology exists. The anachronistic technology of these stories is present because scientific paradigms occurred earlier in history but are implemented via industrial elements present at that time, or because technology is brought from another time or place. The genre often overlaps with Steampunk. -- (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_fiction_Western ) (e)

SF Critique Lexicon

A glossary for critiquing science fiction. (e)

SF stock character

A stock character in science fiction. (e)

SF theme

Themes in science fiction include: tropes, devices, plot devices, subjects, character types, narrative types. (e)

SF trope

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The Singularity

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sleeper ship

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slower than light

Slower than light (or STL) travel (and speed-of-light communication), in contrast to it's more popular alternative faster than light travel, is a less common SF theme, plot device, and SF trope. (e)


SMOF is acronym for Secret Masters of Fandom. (e)

social engineering

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soft science fiction (genre)

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solution to Fermi's Paradox

A solution to Fermi's Paradox is proposed as a theory.
Or a solution to Fermi's Paradox used in a work of science fiction. (e)

space colony

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space colonization

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space elevator

A space elevator, or skyhook, is essentially a suspension bridge from geosynchronous orbit to the surface of a planet. (e)

space exploration

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space fountain

A space fountain is a proposed active structure intended to reach from the surface of Earth to a significant fraction of the way to orbit. It can achieve this goal by relying on moving objects (thus an "active structure") to transfer the compressive stresses rather than static loading. For example, a linear accelerator could be used to launch slugs upward towards a suspension structure. The suspension structure magnetically reflects the slugs back down thereby transferring it's load to the base station, which reverses the slugs flight re-accelerating them to restore lost energy. --(Source: Fritz Freiheit) (e)

space habitat

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space opera (genre)

Space opera is a subgenre of speculative fiction or science fiction that emphasizes romantic adventure, and larger-than-life characters often set against vast exotic futuristic settings with remotely plausible technology such as time travel and interstellar travel, complex alien civilizations and depictions of human futures. (Source: space opera at Wikipedia ) (e)

space station

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star gate

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strange science fiction (genre)

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surface to orbit

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Telekinesis is the ability to move things with your mind. A psionic power. (e)


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To teleport is to instantaneously transport from one location to another without moving through the intervening space. (e)


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time machine

A time machine is a device for time travel. (e)

time travel

Time travel is to move through time, either forward or backward, at a non-standard rate, that is, not at +1 second per second. (e)

time travel science fiction (genre)

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time traveler

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transhuman (definition)

Transhuman or trans-human, is an intermediary form between human and posthuman. (e)


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warp drive

The warp drive is an FTL spaceship propulsion system that "warps" space. The concept was popularized in Star Trek in a totally hand wavey way, but has recently (i.e. around since about 2010) been raised as a serious and technically achievable method of FTL with the proposed Alcubierre and Casimir Warp Drives. --(Source: Fritz Freiheit) (e)

worm hole

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SF Glossary

Include: SF Glossary (category) (e)

Exclude: Links (category) (e), Glossary (category) (e)

SF Glossary

Include: Definition (category) (e), Science Fiction (category) (e)

Exclude: Links (category) (e)

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