1. akexodia
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    akexodia Member

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    The world that my mind spawns!

    Sci-Fi/Mystery: Need Help.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by akexodia, Jan 24, 2012.

    I'm onto a sci-fi-ish story. It kind of keeps on revolving around 'life and after life' theme. It involves dimenson travel too.
    How far does one need to be correct with the facts/concepts involved in the sci-fi story? Can I make up new concepts which donot actually exist (ofcourse, i intend to explain them at depth too)?
    Or, to put it in other words: Do you ever read a sci-fi story and laugh the plot out saying, "haha! This is impossible. This guy is simply making up random crap!!"
     
  2. isnotgood
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    isnotgood New Member

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    Not at all. I never said that is impsosibble, only in Dragonball series and things like that:cool:
    Btw you can do whatever you want mate. Its your book. Of course you can make new concepts and there are not must to be in depth. Just be sure they make sense somehow.
     
  3. Makeshift
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    Makeshift Active Member

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    To be perfectly honest, I do sometimes laugh at things in sci-fi. The worst thing is to do is to have a completely impossible and irrational thing and attempt to explain it through some pseudo-scientific concepts, or improper use of real scientific terms. I understand sci-fi writers expand the limits a bit, after all, we surely haven't discovered all the laws of nature. Can't really comment on your story without reading it, but I would say if you write totally implausible things, call it fantasy or supernatural fiction. Nothing wrong with that. This is of course simply my opinion, probably many readers wouldn't care.
     
  4. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    SiFi is anyhting you can invent.
    I do admit I laugh at some stuff I see on TV because it does not wash out for me.
    But I don't read Sifi because I am not into it but I reckon you make anyhting you want hence the genre.
     
  5. will565
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    will565 Member

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    I think it's fine so long as you don't take the explanation too seriously.
    If you go about misinterpreting scientific principles and taking small chunks out of larger ideas, then merging them with other ideas so they seem to make an idea then it's either painful to read or just laughable.
    Just don't go about your point too seriously if you're writing about something that is impossible in this reality.
    The only problem I can really foresee is that some serious sci-fi readers can get incredibly nit picky about 'implausibilities' in a fictional story.
     
  6. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    With sci fi, I think it is important to base the concepts on what is already known. The reason why Star Trek is so popular with all the scientists is that, even with the more outlandish stuff like teleportation, it is based in valid scientific speculation, in other words, people who thought of that, knew physics pretty well. The most revolutionary and successful sci-fi writers were themselves scientists or they were interested and well versed in scientific topics they were writing about. There is a reason for that.
    With dimension travel, super string theory, the main alternative to the theory of general relativity, the maths suggest extra dimensions, but those dimensions are quite peculiar, ie. not what you would expect. For example. one of the dimensions is described as being extremely thin and coating all the objects in our dimension, which is why we don't see it. Even if your dimension is quite different, it would be better to incorporate what is currently known about extra dimensions and then you can invent your own on top of that, and by referring to what is known as well as to what you invented, will give your concepts credibility.
    Otherwise, if nothing you write is based on a scientific facts, you are writing futuristic fantasy, not sci fi.
     
  7. Kesteven
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    Kesteven Member

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    I tend to respect sci-fi more if it at least makes the attempt to base the universe's mechanics on established science rather than just 'let's throw in this word I heard on a documentary once and pretend it's whatever I want it to be'. On the other hand, I recognise that most modern writers aren't also professional physicists, and there is a limit to how accurate they can be. If you're not sure if a principle can justify the effect you want, it's usually safer to invent a new principle than try and kludge an explanation together out of misconceptions.

    If it's a mystery about the afterlife though you might want to just forget the 'science' and go for a more surreal, though-provoking, twilight-zone sort of angle, since science and conventional mysticism really just don't mesh. That sort of thing is fine, as long as you make it clear that the concessions against reality are being made deliberately to make a point, or support a narrative.
     
  8. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    The Matrix was a major Sci-Fi movie that was entirely based on a theory that at this point is basically impossible. But they went into it so in depth that people bought into it and it didn't take away from the movie.
     
  9. Kesteven
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    Kesteven Member

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    What part was impossible? I mean sure the whole 'humans as batteries' thing is completely ridiculous and breaks one of the most fundamental laws of thermodynamics, but in the original script, the Matrix used human brains (or a portion of them) as distributed processing network nodes which is fairly plausible. Aside from that, the whole 'immersive VR' thing isn't all that far out of reach of modern science, and it's certainly possible in theory. Which is more than can be said for, say, FTL travel.
     
  10. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    Ok, improbable. I can't predict the future so I don't know if we end up developing the technology to pull off the whole matrix thing... but there's a difference in between saying it can be done and feasibly being able to pull something off. In a sci-fi story, you can get away with saying something can be done if you explain how it is possible in a way that someone else can understand.

    But I guess what I was talking about when I said it was 'impossible' is that I see what happened in the Matrix as less likely compared to other TV shows and movies like Star Trek, Star Gate, etc.
     
  11. DDentonas
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    DDentonas New Member

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    I think that it is best, if you invent something that doesn't exist, like say a hologram telephone, to not explain how it works. You will only make a fool out of yourself to the people who know about science. You don't see Dr. Emmett Brown explain how he built a nuclear reactor that could fit in a Dolorean and could generate 1,21 GigaWatts. He just says that it is a nuclear reactor. You don't have an explanation about how the holographic phones work in "The naked sun" by Asimov or how faster then light travel works. He just puts them there, maybe with a buzzword that one day may create these things and then he just uses the item!

    So if you are planing to make a machine that makes dimension traveling possible, don't try to explain it. You cant. Just say it's name (maybe something relevant to how scientist's think it may be possible one day like "Quantum parallel dimension portal". I know not very imaginative..), describe what it does (according to what you want to tell to the story , perhaps you want to make it unstable or something to create drama) and tell your story! If you want to have some explanation as to why your device behaves the way it does, say general stuff. "Oh it is quite unstable, you may lose part of your brain. That's the nature of quantum mechanics i'm afraid!"
     
  12. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi guys,

    Teleportation a la Star Trek is impossible. That's one of the bug bears of the show. Even if it worked and you could dissasemble a person in one place and reassemble him somewhere else, you'd be asking the age old question, is that new person the same person that was in the other place, or have I just killed someone and then built someone else? That's why in the more modern shows you get comments like "You know that's not what it actually does." when someone mentions that they don't want their atoms sprawled across space. Of course they haven't found a new theory to replace it yet.

    As for the Matrix - actually you could make a battery out of a human being. It's just a matter of finding a way to catch the energy we give off. Body heat would be the simplest, we all generate it and if you can catch it, bingo you've got a human battery. You could also syphon off some energy abundant chemicals that we all produce, things like ATP and NADH2, and expect that our metabolisms would replace them in due course. Lastly of course you could use thebody's own physical movements to generate electricity. Just a few tiny galvanic charges in the right place, and suddenly your unconscious body is peddling a generator. So what's this fundamental law of thermodynamics it breaks?

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  13. Timewalker
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    Timewalker Member

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    I follow this sci fi law which I made up.

    All things in sci fi are possible, as long such technology is connected to technology we know and does not conflict with any current laws of nature.
     

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