1. Cyrano
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    Cyrano Member

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    Sci-Fi Setting Problems...

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Cyrano, Aug 29, 2009.

    I've been working on a plot for a while, and the bulk of it revolves around the main character being whisked away to an alternate reality. The problem is I am having a difficult time deciding what that alternate reality actually is. I have a few concepts but they all seem to have some kind of problem with them.

    My first thought was it being an alternate dimension. However, some people beleive that there are infinite dimensions, each with a minuscule difference from the last, and this would tear a large hole in my plot.

    Another thought was it being a different planet in the same universe. The universe is vast and constantly expanding, so that could possibly be explainable. However, it would be tough explaining how there would be humans on two planets light years apart. I was thinking for this option, the second planet would be the original, and thousands of years back they started a colony on earth. However, the technological gap would be too large, and I am looking for two planets with relatively similar technology.

    Basically, I am torn between different setting ideas. The plot involves there being only a small amount of these different "dimensions," each containing a race that is mostly humanoid, with two (earth and the other one) actually containing humans.

    I would like to hear some thoughts or ideas relating to my dilemma. I really want to get this out of my way before I can seriously get into writing this.

    Thanks!
     
  2. glennmid101
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    glennmid101 Member

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    alternate reality

    How about a reality that is orwellian, and he/she is there to promote freedom and liberty.

    If the world is controlled and everyone is suppressed, and the people have no idea that they can rebel.

    Another thought, is that he/she where originally from that reality, and escaped to the world that he considered home.

    just some thoughts.
     
  3. Cyrano
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    Cyrano Member

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    I was thinking that in this alternate reality, the virtually identical human traveler is discriminated and oppressed by his counterpart, simply for being from a different place.
     
  4. Mark R
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    Mark R Member

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    I would look at how your characters can move between dimensions... maybe only a few dimensions can be reached... or maybe the more differences between dimensions there are, the more energy it takes, so that generally you have to go to the similar ones.

    That way, the half dozen you need for the plot are reachable, but the rest take too much energy. Might solve the "infinite worlds" problem
     
  5. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Although there are infinite dimensions, all with minute differences, some differences would be greater than others, if they're infinate, correct? As the author, you are the one who chooses the differences.

    Just consider, if Aldoph Hitler did not come to power, and the millions of people killed during WW II did not die, and lived full lives, with children etc...how different would reality be now 60 some years down the road. Now consider this impact happening multiple times? The Californian was a liner that could have resucued folks from the Titanic as it sank, but the radio operator was asleep when the call for help was going out. Those folks (or many of them would have lived), etc.

    Not only the indivuals, but also the direction cultures and nations would have taken without some of the turning events in history (and turning events that never happened in 'our' dimension but happened in others).

    Just something to think about as you work out the setting concern.

    Terry
     
  6. Syne
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    Syne Member

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    "Infinite Dimensions" is by no means a valid scientific theory. You could ignore this frequently used notion easily. You could claim there are only 5 dimensions. You could mix in some great race that created the universes through XYZ. You can invent whatever you want, as long as it is internally consistent and sounds intriguing.
    If you do want to base your story on something scientific, you could read into quantum mechanics. Specifically, the many-worlds interpretation. (and other less mainstream ones.) It posits something similar to the "infinite dimensions" concept, but probably not what you had in mind. The differences between the worlds here are on the atomic level. Two neighboring worlds would seem identical to you, in all likelihood.
     
  7. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    I forget the journal article I was reading pertaining to the finite amount of infinite dimensions, but it was talking about how with each choice, with each element, with each and every tiny bit of our universe that is constantly in flux, there is an infinite amount of alternatives in the whole of the multiverse, contained within our string within the membrane, inside the foam of space-time.

    As you can see I didn't fully comprehend the extent of the article and other associated articles explaining this theory. But it resides within the string theory and the M-theory and quantum physics. You'll just have to do a little research on it, I think I googled parallel universes or multiverses or something like that. There is a tun of stuff on the web about it. Aim to look at more scientific journals rather than opinion blogs.

    There are a lot of ways you can mix real science in with sci-fi. How would you get travelers from other parallel universes into our universe? Well that is completely up to your imagination. It could be anything from a ripple, to vanishing doorways or gates (think stargate.) It could be through the invent of microscopic black holes, or some other space-time theory effect.

    Honestly, I don't think a hard explanation has to be given in many different types of fictional scenarios. While people like Cog might scoff at that because he is a science buff, people like me, who know some about the theories can be entertained with a little bit of mystery left in it.
     
  8. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Convergent evolution happens to be universal, so humanoids have evolved on other planets. Example is the flying squirrel (mammal) and the sugar glider (marsupial). They look almost identical but their physiology independently evolved.

    This is never a problem in Star Trek or Star Wars, or pretty much any movie with aliens from other planets that are humanoid and pretty much have human technology.

    Stargat SG-1 dealt with the problem by having aliens transport humans to other planets.
     

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