Questions tagged [science-fiction]

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

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1answer
37 views

Is sequentially encrypting messages based on previous messages a good enough excuse for preventing players from reading stuff in wrong order? [closed]

In my game players can view messages/mails. There is also a mechanic where you can hear the player character's thoughts on the content of the mail after reading it. However, the messages are such that ...
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3answers
1k views

How best to describe multiple alien species in a short amount of time?

I am in the beginning stages of writing what might be a space opera. The story starts in a society that consists of three planets that all fall under one governmental domain. The problem I'm running ...
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3answers
150 views

Is my novel Fantasy or Sci-Fi?

I have a Wattpad account and I've been entering contests... I've been using the fantasy genre to describe my novel, but I just saw descriptions of fantasy and sci-fi and now I'm wondering if my novel ...
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4answers
1k views

Managing alien languages in Sci-Fi creatively

I’m writing a story where alien races are in constant communication with humans, but I don’t want it to be awkward or have to use language tags like “...he said in x language.” Maybe I could have a ...
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4answers
2k views

How to make “new apprentice” type info-dump less boring

I'm writing a story wherein a teenager X gets suddenly and involuntarily enlisted in an sci-fi army. I need to explain certain technology to the reader, and the army needs to explain certain ...
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3answers
179 views

When writing science fiction or horror, how to prevent the villain from becoming less scary as they are fleshed out?

I'm trying to write a horror short story about a shape-shifter, but I have trouble keeping it from sounding like a science fiction story. The story starts out with a creepy tone, with a person close ...
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3answers
129 views

Modifying common fantasy species like elves, dwarves, etc.?

So I'm writing a science fiction story, with more fantasy that actual science. When I say "sci-fi" I really mean space opera. There are intergalactic companies, entire planets dedicated to ...
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2answers
139 views

Concerns about my novella trilogy's main antagonist

In my novella trilogy that I am writing, Of Aliens and Men, the leader of the main antagonist faction, an alien organization called the Empyre (pronounced: Em-peer) Empire, Empress Erika II holds nigh-...
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1answer
136 views

How do I teach my protagonist high level programming? [closed]

I am working on a science fiction story about robots and the protagonists needs to hack the main computer to stop the robots. Edit: The protagonist knows a little bit of programming but not enough to ...
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3answers
545 views

How can a portal be hidden for 5 years but found by children? [closed]

I am writing a story in which two children, ages 12-14 years old, discover a portal to another dimension. The portal is roughly the size of an average door and has existed for five years prior to ...
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0answers
23 views

Finding a book series, I read the first book awhile ago and would like to finish the series [closed]

I read a book a while ago and I'm try to remember its name. The book was about a an outcast who used to be a the general of a rebellion against a colony of planets. These planets had faster than ...
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4answers
117 views

Would you advise against having a fictional continent as the setting for a Science Fiction story?

Let me elaborate. In things such as Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings (so, high fantasy), fictional continents are quite often the setting. I don't recall ever seeing this in Science Fiction. My ...
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3answers
146 views

Would it be bad taste or honoring to name a Starship after historical places, ex: Pompeii?

In my book, Earth is gone and are all the counties and a majority of the population and cultures. A small population is left and they make a home on another planet. Now, just under 200 years later, ...
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3answers
113 views

How do I deliver a historical plot reveal?

Right before the climax of my scifi fantasy novel, there's a big reveal about who the bad guys really are and how they influenced the magic system -- throughout history. This reveal will be the much ...
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2answers
33 views

wreckage or wreckages

I'm trying to describe a ring of broken, destroyed spacecraft. I want to use wreckage ring or ring of wreckage or ring of wreckages. Wreckages is an interesting word that I'm confused about. I've ...
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3answers
199 views

How to maximize reader comprehension if worldbuilding is complicated?

Parts of my worldbuilding are critical to the plot. If readers don't understand the world, they won't understand the stakes for the protagonist and the failure conditions. Edit. Please don't assume ...
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7answers
3k views

How does one avoid inevitable influences being obvious when writing something like superheroes?

So I have been debating writing a story idea I have had swimming in my head for a long time. I love superhero comics, and I love the more character driven aspects of the stories. I have been ...
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1answer
107 views

Hierarchies and Role Titles - How do come up with them

I'm looking to see what everyone has used in the past to come up with hierarchies and position titles for your novels. For example, instead of using "President", "Prime Minister", "Pope", "Bishop", ...
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10answers
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How to avoid or mitigate heavy science lingo and “technobabble” in a science fiction story?

Background I am currently working on a small science fiction story (as referenced in a previous question of mine). The main protagonist of the story is an autistic biologist who gets stranded on an ...
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13answers
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In modern Sci-Fi/Fantasy, does real world racism need to be addressed?

I have read through a lot of questions regarding questions of a similar nature, but all of the questions I looked at involved fantasy worlds that were removed from the "real world." In my novel, I ...
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1answer
137 views

Wrtting Sci/Fi Novel with some Sumerian influences, how to bridge a lengthy time gap in my storyline?

I'm writting a novel (in Spanish, I'm from Chile) based on Sumerian culture separated in two periods (Present & Future). Present: archaeologists find some new sumerian stone tablets that hide ...
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14answers
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How can I get 2 characters to bond while standing alternate watches?

Setting is standard space opera. I am writing a story in which 2 characters are crewing a spaceship. The characters are: (1) the captain, a female in her early 20s, who has grown up on the ship and ...
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3answers
178 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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2answers
146 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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2answers
192 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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4answers
389 views

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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1answer
198 views

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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13answers
7k views

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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8answers
3k views

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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5answers
2k views

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 ...
4
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1answer
110 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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9answers
2k views

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 ...
12
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7answers
660 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
201 views

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
6k views

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
6k views

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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13answers
4k views

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
1k 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
3k views

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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6answers
1k views

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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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
5k views

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
120 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
247 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
143 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
375 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
138 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
137 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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2answers
139 views

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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