Questions tagged [science-fiction]

Stories about space, technology, the future, and other things that could be real but aren't.

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Write a story based on characters from an old novel

I am considering writing a "history" of the Morlocks (based on the characters in the H. G. Wells novel). Question: Is this allowed, or do I need permission from his descendants?
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8answers
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Is a lack of character descriptions a problem?

I have written a novel in which none of the characters are ever described. It started out by accident (3 chapters in when I realized). Question: Is this a good/unique approach or shot myself in ...
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7answers
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How do you show, through your narration, a hard and uncaring world?

As I've already mentioned, I'm working on a sci-fi novel. One of the main feelings that I wanted to represent when I started is the sense of a vast, empty, artificial world, mostly cold and uncaring ...
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6answers
355 views

How do you build a story from a world?

I have some material for a "world" (more fantasy than sci-fi at this point). I've noodled around with this world off-and-on for ages but have never had a story to put in the world. I have some brief ...
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5answers
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20 Minutes into the Future - problem with setting the period

I have just finished a short story, set in what is known as 20 Minutes into the Future - a time frame that's only a little into the future from our own. There is a change from modern times, but it is ...
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5answers
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Is every story set in the future “science fiction”?

Science Fiction is a "big tent" genre, and we all know it when we see it. Even if we argue about the specific tropes – and what might make something lean heavily towards another classification (...
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8answers
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Can I bring back Planetary Romance as a genre?

This question is about genre and reader expectations. I'm not trying to change my story to fit a mainstream genre. I have already taken steps to broaden it's appeal, but it's too late to create an ...
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10answers
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The unknown and unexplained in science fiction

Science fiction has been defined as a genre where the "incredible" elements are "recognizable as not-true, but also as not-unlike-true, not-flatly- (and in the current state of knowledge) impossible" (...
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4answers
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When an imagined world resembles or has similarities with a famous world

Arguably this might belong in worldbuilding.stackexchange.com, but the question has to do with a fiction story and its relation to other fiction in the real world. I have a plot which involves an ...
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6answers
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I have a unique character that I'm having a problem writing. He's a virus!

Yes, you read that correctly. My villain character is literally a virus. He thinks and behaves just like any other character does, mentally and personality-wise, but his body is best described as a ...
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5answers
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English words in a non-english sci-fi novel

In the modern world, english is a well-estabilished technical and scientific language. Some terms have become so commonly used that they are accepted in my native tongue (words like "computer", "PC", "...
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Is Social Media Science Fiction?

I am writing a science fiction story (actually a screenplay for a film, but I imagine that for the purposes of this question the same rules apply) and I have been told that it isn't really science ...
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7answers
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How do I create uniquely male characters?

In How to write strong female characters, Standback says that the best way to write a strong female character is to make her uniquely female, the type of character that can not possibly be male and ...
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2answers
107 views

Future battlegrounds

What makes a battle scene tense and visceral is the immediate danger and the fast-paced action and reaction. For that, the human soldier needs to be on the battlefield, in the action. Here's the ...
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2answers
117 views

Characterizing a sentient robot: inhuman PoV

Following the previous question: Characterizing a sentient robot: sensory data I'm writing a robot character with a particular PoV. In the previous question I wanted to talk about sensory data; here ...
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4answers
103 views

Characterizing a sentient robot: sensory data

I have a sentient robot in my novel. Truth to be told, I have many. Sentience is somewhat cheap to achieve, meaning that there are multiple artificial beings that can be considered sentient by our ...
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3answers
340 views

Using substitution ciphers to generate new alphabets in a novel

A substitution cipher is a method used in cryptography to encrypt the meaning of a text. In the most common form, a substitution cipher changes every letter in the target text with another, making it ...
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2answers
103 views

Handling Earth-based religions on a foreign planet

For some context to my question: The story I'm currently writing takes place on another planet. It is never mentioned whether Earth exists (or had existed), but the characters are all human, have ...
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4answers
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Is it a bad idea to use footnotes to describe new technologies in a science-fiction novel?

I am wondering if we can use footnotes to describe technologies used in a science-fiction novel instead of describing it by switching from an omniscient POV, that describes everything in a poetic way, ...
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2answers
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What are some ways to make absurdity of certain ideas in fiction more palatable?

I am writing a science-fiction short story where there are a lot of pseudoscientific ideas being dealt constantly. I was wondering how to reduce the absurdity of some of those ideas using literary ...
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3answers
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Is time travel science fiction or fantasy?

The line between science fiction and fantasy is often blurred. And that's okay. Genre is often more about marketing than anything else. As a general rule though: SciFi has science and technology ...
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3answers
75 views

Research on an alternate history novel

I love alternate history scenarios; however, I just want to start writing. Should I do research or just start writing and go with it with some research along the way?
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12answers
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Problems Blending Sci-fi & Traditional Fantasy?

I have been cautioned against blending: Traditional fantasy elements Such as magic systems and exotic, less plausible creatures (on a scientific level - magic tends to explain away these beasts) ...
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3answers
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Finding resources for sci-fi writers on Quantum Mechanics

I don't have the financial resources to hire a scientific consultant to ask him whether my science-fiction plot is realistic, so I was wondering if there were any resource that teach Quantum Mechanic ...
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9answers
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Is it time to start closing up my novel?

I realize this may be a duplicate question. I've seen, for reference [ How long can a first novel be? ] yet I think my situation is a little more specific. I find myself in a similar situation. My ...
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5answers
866 views

In the background of the Future

As I've mentioned multiple times, I'm writing a military sci-fi novel. The focus of the story is war, and that happens far away from Earth. However, I'm starting with my MC's "normal", on Earth. It is ...
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12answers
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How to explain the main plot with science based concepts, without the non-sci-fi fans getting bored?

Let me explain: I'm writing a game where the Earth gets a massive biological attack from an alien race in the close future, and only a small part of the planet's life survived (few dozens of humans ...
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1answer
146 views

How do I write a Star Trek themed fiction making the story believable?

I love reading, but I am unable to retain specifics. And Star Trek has quite a few - like the difference between the 'bridge' and the 'deck'. So, when I try my hand at writing, I tend to skirt ...
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3answers
492 views

Dystopia that isn't cliche

Dystopian fiction is a big thing right now, and YA books like The Hunger Games and Divergent are pretty individual and subsequently are bestsellers. But a lot of stuff is also really cheesy and trite,...
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0answers
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Where can I post my rough drafts for peer evaluations? [duplicate]

I apologize if I am not in the right community but I figured this would be the best place to ask. I am looking for a place or a group where I can have my story read by others, so they can offer me ...
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3answers
146 views

Writing Structure - Building an Anthology Outline

Hi more experienced writers than I, I have been struggling to figure out how to outline a story (script) I am writing to put all my ideas together. I would like to make an Anthology where it starts ...
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0answers
54 views

Halting virtual reality advancement [closed]

Imagine a world where a shadow organisation can insert, modify or delete the thoughts and actions of individuals to maintain the status quo in society. Due to one faction of the organisation becoming ...
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2answers
63 views

How to describe movement in zero-G?

Within the setting of my personal project (a hard science fiction) I need to be able to describe movement in zero-G extensively. Because I wish to write a whole narrative involving very little ...
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2answers
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Characters' motivation and feelings on defending against an alien invasion [closed]

I got really good answers to my last question, so I decided to post a new one:) In my novel, a few humans suddenly find themselves tasked with defending humanity against an imminent alien invasion. ...
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3answers
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What are key features and pacing in a satisfying ending to a science fiction novel?

My novel has been through multiple drafts and beta reads, and by and large is in good shape. I've learned how to cure a saggy middle, how to stay in point-of-view, how to keep the protagonist driving ...
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12answers
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When writing science fiction, how important is it to provide scientific details for the (fictitious) things you are presenting in the story?

I know there is a difference between 'hard' and 'soft' science fiction. But even then, it can be hard to know what sort of categorization in which to place and treat your story, and it is not really ...
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5answers
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How can I make a compelling character unlikable?

I know what goes in to making an unlikable character compelling and engaging but I'm not sure I know how to make them unlikable in the first place. In particular how does one show that a main ...
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4answers
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How alien can my aliens be if I want them to demonstrate how alien a human character is?

Using non-humans to show human failings is a mainstay of Science Fiction but is there a limit to how alien a viewpoint can be and still be used to show that a human character is devoid of an aspect, ...
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1answer
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Seeking Comp (Comparison) Titles for my Work-In-Progress [closed]

Seeking comp titles for my WIP. Can you recommend books that meet one or more of these criteria? Soft sci-fi Space setting with fantasy feel Speculative fiction about species that has advanced ...
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8answers
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Is it considered lazy writing to have a dry prelude at the start of a book?

I'm thinking of the crawl sequences at the beginning of Star Wars, that just give you the background information straight up, and then start the excitement. I've just been wondering if putting a ...
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18answers
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The role of the supernatural in hard science fiction

The response to this question makes it clear to me that I haven't quite asked the question I had intended, the answers are useful but not quite what I'm looking for. So different but related ...
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13answers
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The role of inexplicable events in hard science fiction

The modern world has few true mysteries, among them the fate of the Roanoke colonists and the crew of the Mary Celeste but do such happenings have a place in futuristic settings? In settings with ...
9
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1answer
158 views

Writing a short story set in a place I’ve never been

I’m writing a science fiction type short story set in Germany (actually Stuttgart). To some extent the location isn’t that important- it could be set anywhere but setting it there appeals to me and ...
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3answers
1k views

Researching Future Technology for a Science Fiction Novel

Because I enjoy reading Science Fiction, I'm thinking of writing a Sci-Fi novel myself. I'm interested in 'hard' (related to the engineering sciences) science fiction with a military bent (think The ...
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8answers
286 views

Why do most literature magazines take so long (several weeks or months) to respond to submissions despite having only a few hundred subs per month?

I have heard that the the editor of F&SF (Finlay) is the only one who reads all the submissions. Yet he always responds within a week! (With detailed comments on each story.) Clarkesworld is ...
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8answers
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How do I know which elements I can use from the work which orginally inspired me?

I recently read the Blood on the Stars series by Jay Allan and really enjoyed the idea of a post-Golden Age human civilization that has splintered into factions and is now at war with itself. I ...
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3answers
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How far I should describe an alien invader character that has similar appearance to human?

I'm starting to write a sci-fi story where the alien invaders will have slightly similar looks and anatomy as humans. I mean they are still imaginative characters but I wonder how I can develop those ...
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9answers
6k views

Does everything have to be accurate?

Do I have to make everything apply to logic, physics, science, etc? The Harry Potter series has been a major hit, and it is nowhere near to being scientifically possible. But I've noticed that I can'...
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7answers
5k views

Fantasy novel with obvious - but never defined - sci-fi elements?

I'm considering writing a fantasy novel. While I'm striving to make the world as original as I can, and not rely on many of the popular fantasy tropes, for the purposes of this question you can assume ...
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0answers
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Am I too young to publish a book? [duplicate]

I am writing a novel called "Abducted by Aliens", but I'm only 9 years old. Am I too young to publish a book?