We have come to visit you in peace and with goodwill.
Here’s wishing you a bright and joyous holiday from the whole O*W*C gang!
If you’re feeling ambitious, send answers to these Christmas-themed SF trivia questions to email@example.com. The first one to get ’em all right wins a prize! Answers will be posted next Monday.
(p.s. – The O*W*C hosts regular SF trivia chats. If you’d like to participate, keep an eye on our schedule!)
Question 1: In this classic short story by Arthur C. Clarke, the remnants of a now-destroyed civilization are found within the Phoenix Nebula, the leftovers of a supernova that was once visible from Earth. Name it!
Question 2: The play “A Dixie Christmas Carol,” an adaptation of Dickens’ classic tale, was written by what well-known SF author?
A) Isaac Asimov
B) Allen Steele
C) Ursula Le Guin
D) Andre Norton
E) Orson Scott Card
Question 3: In Allen Steele’s Hugo-nominated “Zwarte Piet’s Tale,” Santa Claus comes to the colonies on what planet?
Question 4: “Santa Physics” has calculated that in order to make all of his deliveries, Santa’s sleigh must move at 650 miles per second. Flying at this speed, how many G’s of centrifugal force would the jolly old elf have to endure?
Question 5: Jack McDevitt’s “Promises to Keep” is the story of a mission to save a woman stranded on Callisto five Christmases previously. Callisto is one of which planet’s moons?
Question 6: True or False? The U.S. Government tracks Santa Claus’ whereabouts every Christmas Eve.
Question 7: This author’s “The Pony” is a cautionary tale about getting just what you want for Christmas. Name the author, who writes of Impossible Things!
Question 8: This Catharine Asaro story of a ballerina and her future stepson’s trials in a virtual reality mansion appeared in the SF collection CHRISTMAS FOREVER. What is its colorful title?
A) THE RED SHOES
B) DANCE IN BLUE
C) GREEN CHRISTMAS
D) YELLOW WALTZ
E) STUDY IN SCARLET
Question 9: In this 1964 movie “classic,” the Martians kidnap Santa because there is nobody on Mars to give their children presents. Name this Christmas turkey!
Question 10: In Futurama’s only Christmas episode, what does the 8-foot-tall Santa robot do if he finds you on Christmas Eve?
A) He spanks you.
B) He impales you on a candy cane.
C) He rips your head off and stuffs you full of toys.
D) He hitches you to his sleigh.
E) He buries you under a metric ton of coal.
Question 11: In Michael Moorcock’s “Behold the Man,” time-traveller Karl Glogauer takes the place of what legendary character?
Question 12: In “The War Beneath the Tree,” sentient toys overthrow their new replacements on Christmas Eve. This short work with a rather chilling ending was written by:
A) Gene Wolfe
B) Dan Simmons
C) Neal Stephenson
D) William Gibson
E) Connie Willis
Question 13: These authors, proteges of Philip K. Dick, collaborated on “We Traverse Afar,” a bittersweet story of love and loss at Christmastime. They sometimes write as “William Ashbless.” Name them!
Question 14: True or False? There is a “Star Wars Holiday Special,” starring the original movie’s cast.
Question 15: What star of DUNE (the original mini-series) starred in a remake of the famous Dickens story A CHRISTMAS CAROL?
Question 16: According to “Christmas In The Stars” (The Star Wars Christmas Album), What Can You Get a Wookiee For Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb)?
A) Flea powder
B) Peace on Earth…or, wherever
C) A brush
D) Love, understanding, and good will to men
E) Extra-large socks
Question 17: In this author’s “The Gifts of the Magistrate,” a humorist obsessed with Mark Twain intends to die when Halley’s Comet appears, just as Twain did. His former lover saves him by knocking the comet out of the Solar system. Name the author, better known for his pun-filled stories about a certain bar!
Question 18: In the X-Files episode “Christmas Carol,” who does Scully originally suspect is the mother of Emily Sim?
A) Scully’s sister
B) Scully’s mother
C) Mulder’s ex-girlfriend
D) Mulder’s sister
Question 19: In the short story “Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus” (1956), Frederik Pohl describes a society where consumerism totally rules the Christmas season. Its themes are echoed in this 1953 collaboration with CM Kornbluth, in which corporations’ advertising departments have come to dominate daily life. Name it!
Question 20: In Isaac Asimov’s “The Heavenly Host” (1975), a young colonist and an alien help an entire planet find The True Meaning of Christmas(tm). What do the colonists call the aliens?
Question 21: In this author’s “Not a Creature,” a man takes his gun outside on Christmas Eve to find out what is making mysterious sounds near his house. One of his best-known short stories is “To Serve Man.” He was married to a fellow SF writer. Name him!
Question 22: In this classic Christmas episode of “The Twilight Zone,” Art Carney is a drunken department-store Santa who finds a magic bag. What was its title?
B) Night of the Meek
C) Henry Corwin’s Last Ride
D) Sanity Claus
E) Nothing in the Dark
Question 23: “Cyber-Claus” is this cyberpunk author’s contribution to Christmas SF. Name this author, perhaps best known for the Sprawl series!
Question 24: In this 1962 novelette by James White, six children from all over the 1960’s Cold War world use their combined powers to look for Santa Claus and end up by averting World War Three–permanently. Name it!
A) CHRISTMAS TREASON
B) WE THREE KINGS
C) SEASON’S GREETINGS
D) STAR OF THE EAST
Question 25: True or False: STAR TREK has done Halloween-themed episodes, such as CATSPAW, but there has never been a Christmas episode.