Questions tagged [science-fiction]

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

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3answers
152 views

I'm trying to write a blog about future tech and science - where can I find ideas?

I watch Isaac Arthur and John Michael Godier; I’m looking for a site to help me write an online blog, that talks about a future science tech or idea every week (or every month; depending on my ...
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4answers
248 views

Writing a letter from the future

I'm writing a letter from the future to my dear friends, posing as the child they're about to have. The main aim of the letter is to be amusing, but also to give some perspective (you don't need to be ...
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2answers
114 views

Fiction copyright, mythologies and interpretations of ancient texts?

So, I understand that ancient mythologies and their characters such as Zeus etc are part of the public domain. However, what happens to individual interpretations of ancient texts? For example, a ...
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4answers
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Is anything like the propulsion systems (warp/impulse drives) copyrighted from being use in other sci-fi novels?

I'm currently writing a sci-fi/fantasy novel that mostly takes place on a star/space-ship but I'm stuck on if i'm available to use names of the propulsion drives, such as Warp or even Impulse drives. ...
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6answers
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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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2answers
179 views

What are the top most important key elements for a computer game story?

I am a programmer and in the middle of developing a TBS (turn based strategy) computer video game. Those kind of games have a flow of what is commonly known to gamer as 4X, that is, explore, expand, ...
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8answers
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How can I make a “meeting in VR” less dumb?

I've written myself into a sci-fi cliche which I have never seen done well: two characters meet in virtual reality. The gist of my scene is one character has been in a pseudocoma, more aware of her ...
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7answers
802 views

How should I introduce new and complex technologies or tools?

I'm writing a Science Fiction book. While this book doesn't push reality very far, there are some new technologies and tools that I have added. One tool is used more frequently than all the others, ...
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5answers
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How do I describe Newtonian physics to the reader in a way that is realistic yet not too complex?

I have a story where I adhere strongly to plausible physics for space combat (some behind-the-scenes development for the story: How to Conduct Plausible Space Combat Intercepts and Tactical Options ...
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10answers
954 views

My first comedy plot draft is very bland - how far can I go on calling this out?

I'm currently working on my first book, a sci-fi comedy set on an alternate history Earth which has progressed at twice the rate of our own planet (they were at our current tech when William the ...
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9answers
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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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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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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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7answers
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Spiritual elements in a science-fiction novel

Does using unexplained spiritual elements (soul, "spiritual"/non-physical beings, afterlife, God, etc.) in a story with a futuristic setting make it science fantasy rather than science fiction?
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14answers
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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 ...
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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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How do I plot the defeat of an all-knowing, god-like antagonist?

I have a plot bunny lingering in my head about a rag-tag band of defective cyborgs facing off against a god-like supercomputer. I've outlined a great deal but I'm frequently finding that it's ...
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13answers
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Can I conceal an antihero's insanity - and should I?

I have an idea for an anti-heroic sci-fi character whose character arc runs from spoilt rich girl, to a refugee in the rubble of human civilisation after an alien invasion, to crewmember and then ...
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7answers
516 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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1answer
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How would mushroom call mycellium home? [closed]

I'm wondering for some time.. How would mushrooms fruiting body call it own mycelium? Imagine you're that fruiting body and after releasing your spores you are about to die.
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Sci-fi change: Too much or Not enough

I am in the process of editing a short story. It is science fiction of the "if this goes on" kind: I take a social trend I see, and paint its event horizon - a troubling future. 1984 and Fahrenheit ...
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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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5answers
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Sense of humor in your sci-fi stories [closed]

What kind of humor do you find appropriate for your sci-fi stories? I realize that the question might seem so broad, but I think the target group for most sci-fi stories has a sense of humor that ...
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1answer
102 views

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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2answers
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How far into a speculative novel should one go before introducing the central conflict?

By speculative, I mean mostly science fiction, fantasy or intrigue. For example Neal Stephenson's Anathem, which is a 900-page book, goes well past the 200-page mark before the central conflict ...
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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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2answers
225 views

How to writer longer stories for a SciFi novel?

I'm writing science fiction short stories and intend to later expand and stitch them together into a science fiction novel. My problem is that (e.g.) the scenery is left / the destination point is ...
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1answer
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I have a race of winged characters in my story, but I'm struggling as to how and why? [closed]

I know why; they're cool, and they have a deep yearning to be free and with the air, which'll be a major theme in the story. But... I don't know how to explain their wings. I don't want them to be a ...
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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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3answers
226 views

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
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How to write about aliens without making the work seem Sci-fi?

I am writing scenes of a work where the primary setting and theme is a medieval style world. I believe the genre should be described as Heroic Fantasy. One element of the story is that the creatures ...
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5answers
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How to write a utopia?

I have always been an avid reader of utopian novels. Not necessarily those that advertised themselves as such, but the small utopias, of people doing good, of relationships going right, of a happiness ...
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1answer
152 views

Fantasy and Science Fiction - should I choose a separate publisher?

I recall reading somewhere (I believe it was Orson Scott Card's How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy) that you should either stick with one genre or the other. The reason he gave is that if you're ...
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2answers
290 views

What science fiction sub-genre is my novel?

I've written a science fiction book that has a strong feel of "fantasy." Three quarters of the story is in a medieval/primitive kingdom type settings (think Game of Thrones or Wheel of Time). There ...
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4answers
990 views

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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3answers
4k views

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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6answers
245 views

How to start doing research on scientific facts for my sci-fi? Tips and tricks

I'm a fantasy writer and seldom exposing myself to sci-fi albeit both of them can be categorise as the same genre. I have this idea to start a sci-fi short story where the technologies in this world ...
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2answers
116 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
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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
118 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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2answers
645 views

Describing a large scale battle in a science fiction/fantasy novel

In my novel, there is a large scale battle involving several factions, tens of thousands of fighters, and is a defining part of the book, as it lasts for a good deal of the novel. As I wrote it, I ...
4
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3answers
356 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
131 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
123 views

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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3answers
668 views

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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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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11answers
6k views

How to distinguish if a novel is science fiction or fantasy?

Through the process of writing my novel, I've found that I really don't know where it fits in the written realm. I believe I should have a clear understanding to identify what genre my book belongs in....