1. karldots92
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    karldots92 Active Member

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    Sci-Fi Setting

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by karldots92, Jan 4, 2016.

    I have an idea for a sci-fi novel but I'm unsure whether to set in the real universe or a fictional universe. I'm concerned if I use a fictional universe it would become derivative of other fictional universes but if I use the real universe there is a danger of not being consistent with current theory and technology. Or am I over thinking things? Has anyone come up against this problem?
     
  2. theoriginalmonsterman
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    theoriginalmonsterman Pickle Contest Administrator Contributor

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    You're overthinking things. You need to take a step back and assert your main goals within your story. What objective is your hero trying to achieve? Do you even have a hero? What's your story's theme? What message do you want the reader to receive by the time they finish reading the book? Things like this can help you a lot while developing your world, because you want to build a world where it's possible for your goals to take place.

    The key thing is to make sure you're not directly copy and pasting things out of another story. Simply changing names won't make something your own idea. If you're going to use an idea from another story; you need to take that idea and warp it. Look at that idea from a different perspective. How can I add onto this idea? How can change the purpose of this idea? Things like this can also help you develop your own ideas in the future.

    The advantage of a science-fiction novel is that it doesn't matter where your story takes place for your own theories or technologies to work. If you can create your own world in a story; then you should be able to create your own theories or technologies. Don't be afraid to change the laws of physics within your story just, because it might not make sense within our world. However, typically when things don't make sense people will want an explanation, so if you want to add your own theory or technology into your world you want to be able to explain that (but you want to keep that explanation somewhat simple or the reader may lose interest in the story).

    Hopefully this helps you progress forward with your story. If not, maybe look up some different threads that cover similar topics for ideas.
     
  3. karldots92
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    karldots92 Active Member

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    I'm only at the concept stage but basically its about a bounty hunter who is hired to track down certain artifacts/technologies scattered across the galaxy. As he carries out his mission he begins to learn that they could be used as a weapon capable of destroying worlds. He must wrestle with his conscience - continue his mission or try and stop the weapon from being used. Like I said - not sure if this is better in the real universe or a fictional one
     
  4. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think it matters too much. If they can travel accross the Galaxy, tech levels have advanced enough to suggest it's probably not the near future of Earth. So the setting is far enough removed that you'll be making a lot of stuff up.
    It'll be your own fictional universe, regardless of whether it's supposed to be a futuristic version of our own universe.
    I think there's some license in sci-fi to decide how much you base your tech on contempary theories.
    If your science is looser, it might mean you're writing space opera rather than hard-sci fi. There's no requirement to set space opera in another universe if you don't want to. - and I don't think it'd make much difference to anyone looking to pick holes in your science.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016
  5. karldots92
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    karldots92 Active Member

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    I do have some ideas on potential technologies that might be possible as well as future development of the solar system from a technological point of view - i.e. planetary colonisation and gas mining etc.
     
  6. karldots92
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    karldots92 Active Member

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    Ok I've decided to set it in the real universe 900 years into the future, that way the makey uppy stuff will at least seem plausable
     
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  7. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't worry about seeming like you're using somebody else's fictional universe. We're all borrowing from somebody else's fiction. The idea to write sci-fi didn't pop out of thin air, did it? You were influenced by someone. Be influenced by good writers. Why not? Add your own flare as you go. If they seem too much like Borg or Cylons, consider that your WIP may be fan fiction. If you're troubled by the similarities add more of your own flare. It's hard to construct fictional worlds and universes... they don't exist!
     
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  8. oTTo
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    oTTo Member

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    @Hubardo is right. I mean, how many ways are there to travel from star to star? I am working on a space opera, but I am setting it within our system and with no stellar drive engines. If I did, though, want to travel from star to star it could be via warp drives, hyperspace, wormholes, gates, dimensional drives, laser fusion drives, or a ton of other concepts. I am not the first to think of leaving Sol space, I just have to decide which way of leaving I think is best for my story. Jump drives are fast and easier to explain, jump from A to B. Either way, it is my fictional universe.

    This one is yours. Make it yours.
     
  9. karldots92
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    karldots92 Active Member

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    Thanks for the link!! :)
     
  10. karldots92
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    karldots92 Active Member

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    I would like to make it as plausible as possible. I'm not trying to create a utopia or a dystopia, I want it to be somewhat relatable - as if the reader was simply transported forward in time. I'm trying to do as much research as possible into current theories on propulsion in space etc. to try and make it plausible
     
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  11. Rob Rowntree
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    Rob Rowntree Member

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    There are plenty of theoretical star drives already designed (made up), some by very reputable scientists. It should be possible for you to invent some tech that stays within the bounds of the 'possible' scientifically, and enable your characters to get around nicely.
     
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