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Sci-fi is an abbreviation for science fiction. It was invented in the 1950s by Forrest J. Ackerman as a jokey pun on hi-fi. Many science fiction fans hated the word, considering it a trashy gimmick.

The "official" abbreviation for science fiction is SF, but journalists got hold of the word "sci-fi" and it entered popular usage. Despite its almost universal usage, many "serious" science fiction fans still cringe when they hear the word.

Others use the word to mean particularly poor or trashy examples of science fiction. For example, under such usage, Plan 9 from Outer Space would be considered sci-fi.

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