Sci-Fi Lit Characters Quiz


By: Nathan Chandler

4 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Whether they're soaring through space or exploring Earth-like dystopian nightmares, these fictional folks are up to the challenge. How much do you know about these sci-fi characters from literature?

The novel "Dune" features a main character with which name?

Paul Atreides is the son of the Duke and he plays critical roles in the first two "Dune" novels.


Cheradenine Zakalwe appears in which novel?

In "Use of Weapons," Zakalwe is a supporter of the Culture. He struggles to understand his place in the universe while fighting for his personal and political beliefs.


Joe Chip is a character invented by which sci-fi novelist?

Philip K. Dick created Joe Chip, the primary protagonist in 1959's creepy "Ubik." Chip works for an organization that stops telepaths from invading other peoples' privacy.


A computer nicknamed "Hal" appears in which book?

In "2001: A Space Odyssey," Hal is the HAL 9000, the spaceship's computer. HAL is a sentient computer that keeps the ship running to the crew's specifications.


How does a character named the Shrike kill many people in "Hyperion," by Dan Simmons?

The fearsome Shrike takes many of its victims by impaling them with a funky metal tree. By the end of the book, the scary character winds up being more than simply an evil foe.


In which book do we follow the nightmarish journey of The Man and The Boy?

Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" details a father and son attempting to survive after the apocalypse.


In William Gibson's "Necromancer," what is Henry Dorsett Case's skill set?

Case is a computer hacker who suddenly can't hack due to a chemical that affects his brain. With help, his skills are restored and he again becomes a "console cowboy."


In "Dhalgren," a character referred to as "The Kid" is suffering from what problem?

The Kid has partial amnesia as he wanders a world with all sorts of odd occurrences, such as eternally burning buildings and constantly changing street signs.


In "The Stars My Destination," Gully Foyle winds up with what animal tattooed on his face?

He doesn't get the tiger tattoo by choice -- it is forced upon him when he's captured by a space cult.


Genly Ai is the main character in which book?

Genly Ai appears in "The Left Hand of Darkness," a 1969 classic that's been reprinted more than 30 times.


In Robert A. Heinlein's 1966 novel, "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress," the inhabitants of Earth's moon are called what?

In reference to their lunar roots, the "loonies" decide to cast off their Earth rulers by starting a revolution.


In "A Canticle for Leibowitz," how old is Brother Francis Gerard at the beginning of the story?

In the 26th century, Brother Francis Gerard is a 17-year-old who discovers handwritten notes of Isaac Leibowitz, a man who survived nuclear holocaust and kickstarted a movement that scorned destructive technologies.


In "The Citadel of the Autarch," what is the name of the man who winds up fighting the Ascians?

Severian is the star of the four-volume series called "The Book of the New Sun," written by Gene Wolfe.


In "The Handmaid's Tale," what is Serena Joy's job?

Serena is a televangelist and the wife of The Commander. Cast aside as sterile, she goes to extremes in an attempt to become pregnant.


Which of the following is NOT a character in "Dune"?

Joseph Knecht isn't a "Dune" character, but he is a central character in Herman Hesse's "The Glass Bead Game."


What does Rydra Wong discover in "Babel-17"?

As war rages in space, Wong discovers that a language called "Babel-17" can be utilized as a weapon that, once learned, actually turns the learner into a traitor.


Montana Wildhack is a character in which topsy-turvy book?

"Slaughterhouse-Five" introduces readers to Montana Wildhack, an adult film actress who eventually reproduces with Billy Pilgrim.


In "Slaughterhouse-Five," Billy Pilgrim is captured during which war?

Pilgrim's experiences are a reflection of author Kurt Vonnegut's trials and journeys during World War II. Vonnegut was captured by the Germans, and as a POW he survived the bombing of Dresden.


In "Ancillary Justice," why is the character named Breq looking for vengeance?

A traitor destroyed her ship, named Justice of Toren, and she bides her time waiting for a chance to take her revenge.


How many women make up the storyline in "The Female Man," by Joanna Russ?

The novel explores the lives of four women and how their identities are shaped by place and time. One character, named Joanna, refers to herself as the "female man" so that she can gain respect from other people.


In "Kindred," Edana Franklin is forced into slavery in which state?

In this novel, which features instances of time travel, Franklin scrambles to hold on to her identity when she's forced into slavery in Maryland.


In "Ready Player One," how does Wade Watts spend much of his time?

Like millions of other downtrodden people, Wade plays OASIS, a multiplayer online game that serves as a useful distraction.


Where do the "First Hundred" go in Kim Stanley Robinson's sci-fi trilogy?

The First Hundred are the first colony of humans on Mars. The first book in the trilogy is titled "Red Mars."


Which actor winds up playing the lead character in the film adaptation of "The Martian"?

Matt Damon got the role of Mark Watney, who is left behind on Mars. The movie is based on Andy Weir's 2001 book of the same name.


In "Ender's Game," what is Ender's given name?

Ender is Andrew, a young man who takes on the "buggers," an alien race that's threatening humanity.


In "The Forever War," a high-tech military group takes on what enemy?

Humankind is pitted against the Taurans. The entire book is likely inspired by Joe Haldeman's experiences in the Vietnam War.


In "Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World," how does the Dreamreader learn to read dreams?

Thanks to unicorn skulls, the Dreamreader learns to understand dreams with the intent of erasing all evidence of the human mind from the story's setting.


In "Brave New World," the main character named John is often referred to with which nickname?

John is often called "the savage" because he and his mother are outcasts from society.


Which of the following is NOT a character in "Red Mars," by Kim Stanley Robinson?

Toh EnJoe isn't a character, he's a real person. EnJoe is the Japanese author who wrote "The Self-Reference Engine."


In which book would you find characters called "Quaddies"?

Quaddies are lab-created mutants with four arms. Treated as slaves, they break free from their masters and create a new world.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!