Science Fiction

The Tardis

Image from bbc.co.uk

Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible (or at least nonsupernatural) content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities. Exploring the consequences of scientific innovations is one purpose of science fiction, making it a "literature of ideas”. Continue reading in Culture Landmark 5.


  Civilisation landmark
  • Sci-fi authors and their predictions
  • A-F Choose the correct answer & fill in the blanks
  1. Write a comment
  1. Research and summarize

Doctor Who, the loooongest series ever

Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC since 1963. The programme depicts the adventures of a Time Lord called "the Doctor", an extraterrestrial being, to all appearances human. The Doctor explores the universe in a time-travelling space ship called the TARDIS. Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, which was a common sight in Britain in 1963 when the series first aired. Accompanied by a number of companions, the Doctor combats a variety of foes while working to save civilisations and help people in need.

Modern doctors

Modern doctors in the series. Image from eonline.com


Sci-fi authors and their predictions

Watch the video (beginning to 00:04:24) and answer the questions below. Feel free to activate subtitles if you need them.

 Important vocabulary in the video

  • To do something at a cost of... = it costs ... to do something
  • To get something wrong = to make a mistake, misunderstand something or make an incorrect prediction
  • A degree in [biology, math...] = a diploma
  • By 2025, we will... = before 2025, we will...
  • No-one can hold a candle to someone = no-one is as good as that person
  • lb/lbs = unit of weight (pound: 445g)


Updated 5 November 2020

CLASS TEST #1 (25% 50%)

Weight updated due to COVID-19

  •   Reading comprehension
  •   Language tools
  •   Glossaries
  •   Cultural landmarks 1-2

CLASS TEST #2 (25%)

Cancelled due to COVID-19

  •   Listening comprehension
  •   Language tools
  •   Glossaries
  •   Cultural landmarks 3-4

CLASS TEST #3 (50%)

15 December 2020 at 3:30pm

  •   Writing
  •   Language tools
  •   Glossaries
  •   Cultural landmarks 1-6

A. Choose the correct answer. [Level = TRICKY]

1. What did he predict in 1988?

Check your answers >> Simple answer    Elaborate answer

2. What is the difference between "Science science" and "Science-fiction"?

Check your answers >> Science-science    Science fiction

B. Fill in the blanks. [Level = EASY]

3. Compare his predictions versus actual facts.

  1. Date:
    Prediction: In 1865, he predicted that we (1) send astronauts to the moon.
    Reality: It happened in 1969, so (2) a hundred years later.
  2. Mission’s name:
    Prediction: Columbiad
    Reality: Columbia. He was (3) .
  3. Weight:
    Prediction: 20,000 lbs. (pronounced “Twenty (4) ”)
    Reality: 26,000 lbs. He was (5) .
  4. Cost:
    Prediction: $12.1 billion
    Reality: $14.4 bn. It was close (6) the actual cost.

Check answers

C. Choose the correct answer and fill in the blanks. [Level = TRICKY]

4. What did Mark Twain predict in 1898?

Check answer


5. What prediction by Douglas Adams became a fact?

Check answer

6. This device would be used as a (1) to store the galaxy’s (2) and .

Check answers

7. Sci-Fi trivia: Siri, Can you open the pod bay doors please” is a quote [Original: “Open the pod bay doors, please, HAL”] extracted from (1) , and HAL 9000 is the “superior form of ” supposedly used by Arthur C. Clarke in his predictions.

Check answers


8. The “Hugo award”, named after Hugo Gernsback, is...

Check answer


9. When did Robert Heinlein predict screensavers?

Check answer


10. In which novel did Ray Bradbury predict flat screen TVs?

Check answer


11. Some of his 1964 predictions became true in 2014, other didn’t. Give examples.

NOTE: to express something that was considered the future at some point in the past, use “would”, not “will”.
Example: In 1980, people thought we would have flying cars.

a. Robots would still need improvement.

b. People would use (1) , but not (2) .

b. We (3) to drive our car ourselves (4) .

b. A robot (5) the surface of Mars (6) (= mission).

Check answers


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De la terre a la lune

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Fahrenheit 451

I, Robot

Images from Amazon.com


Sci-fi authors and their predictions

Watch the video (00:04:24 to the end) and answer the questions below. Feel free to activate subtitles if you need them.

D. Choose the correct answer. [Level = TRICKY]

12. Fill in the transcript

Philip K. Dick is a decidedly more (1) predictor of the future, but he too was often (2) . Maybe it’s not all sunshine and roses out there. Minority (3) Precogs had been related by some to modern efforts to use (4) in the (5) , Total Recall-level memory implantation is nowhere close to being real, but (6) in (7) suggest that (8) to (9) neurolinkage is not complete fiction. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? predicts a world full of (10) engineering and human-like (11) , and in A Scanner Darkly he predicted a level of high-tech (12) government surveillance that I think we wish wasn’t fiction. But I love the NSA, the NSA is my friend...’

Check answers

E. Fill in the blanks. [Level = TRICKY]

13. What did he predict? Fill in the table

The (1) , automatic (2) doors (in 1899), the (3) in scary details and all the radioactive (4) (in 1914) down to the nuclear (5) involved, airborne warfare, (6) , (7) overpowering humans, (8) -materials, genetic (9) . He is called (10) "."

Check answers


F. Answer the following question. [Level = EASY]

14. What is the common point between these Sci-Fi authors?

Check answer

G. Fill in the chart. [Level = EASY]
Isaac Asimov PhD in (1)
Arthur C. Clarke Degrees in (2) and (3)
H.G. Wells Degree in (4)

15. According to Isaac Asimov, what separates science from humanity?

Check answer

G. WRITING (Choose between numbers 1 or 2)

1. Write a comment you could send to Joe Hanson. Choose your level (Easy/Tricky).
  • [Level = EASY]
    Can you think of some Sci-Fi predictions become reality he might have missed?
  • [Level = TRICKY]
    What makes some Science fiction so good at predicting the future?
2. In about 150 words, answer Joe Hanson’s question:
  • [Level = HARD]
    "How does man safely manipulate nature when he too is part of nature?"


2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey





Star Trek

Star Trek

Star Wars

Star Wars


E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

Images from Amazon.com


Choose your level of challenge
  • [Level = EASY]
    Research online, then summarize.
  • [Level = TRICKY]
    Research online, then summarize from memory.
  • [Level = HARD]
    Try to answer and explain using your knowledge and your own words, without online research.


1. What is SIRI?

Possible answer

2. What is Watson?

Possible answer

3. Can you list the Sci-Fi movies mentioned in the video? Have you seen some of them?

Possible answer

4. What is Gallifrey?

Possible answer

5. Who was Carl Sagan?

Possible answer


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