1. Emily Everheart
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    Emily Everheart New Member

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    scifi tropes and how to do it right.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Emily Everheart, Sep 26, 2016.

    Are there any sci fi people here. It's a genre I admire, though don't really know how to tackle. I normally do stuff about demons and monsters, but I have what could be a good idea, and a handful of other ideas. However, as I said I am a fantasy writer, not one who knows much of the tropes of science fiction other than say star wars and that's more fiction than science anyways. What makes a good science fiction book to you and what should I know before tackling the genre.

    I guess I should explain on the idea some to see if that helps. Basically, mankind lives on a few star ships, stations, and a settlement on some planets in our galaxy. There is a single leader who through scientific advancements is over a hundred thirty years old and still in his late prime. the main theme of the story though is the idea that even though we've left earth and the chaos and pollution we left behind, there's still the same destructive concepts that doom our civilization to this day. Greed, monarchy style ruling system, money, all the likes.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    You have an idea of what you want to say with your story, which puts you ahead of the curve in my opinion. I can't tell you how to write the story, but I can offer my opinion on a few things to avoid.

    Timeline: You're describing a future sociocultural structure that's radically different from today. Don't make the mistake of placing this story just decades away. Heavy sigh of frustration from me when the ultra-fantastic sci-fi future is pretty much within my lifetime. In the 50's people were showing us a super-fantastic sci-fi future with dates that have already come and gone, and guess what, except for a few neato portable electronics and the internet, we still live a life that is perfectly recognizable to someone from the 1950's. Many of us live in homes that were already built in 1950. Put your story far out, or leave the date unspecified.

    Space travel: It takes time to get from here to there. A trip to Europa is not a 3 day affair. Don't gloss this; use it.

    Polemic: It sounds like your story could very easily cross the line into polemic. That may be what you want, it may not. Just know that from what you've mentioned so far, I can see you pushing the line. Think Elysium and how heavy handed the messages were in that story. What American could watch that film and not feel like a message was being driven home with the power of a Baptist preacher?
     
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  3. Emily Everheart
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    Emily Everheart New Member

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    thank you.
     
  4. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Sci-fi is only different from Fantasy in the a few small ways. First there is amazing technology instead of magic. Then you can have space travel, something that Fantasy doesn't try to do (if it does happen it is extremely rare). Also you can have a multitude of interesting species with culture and societies, and on. Though they can be whatever you want without too many coming back and saying something to challenge it (In Fantasy there is a limited amount of races/species to work with and they all kinda have set standard and rules, but there are exceptions but they are far and few between).

    The technology can be as plausible or as outlandishly absurd as you want it to be. Sure @Wreybies is correct in setting the time at an extreme period into the future, or unspecified altogether. Though you can make it any time in the future, even a few hundred years from now if you want (though if you do, then things should be a bit more plausible). Pretty much you have limitless possibilities to do what you wish, to be absurd or as scientifically feasible. Unless you are working on Hard-Sci-fi, then you better be able to explain all the technology with some bases of what can be plausible (Though most just opt to letting things be simple or unexplained to make more room for the actual story).

    Good luck, and find your place amongst the stars. :supersmile:
     
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  5. Iain Sparrow
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    Iain Sparrow Active Member

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    First of all... spaceships, far-flung colonies, faster than light travel, aliens, etc, etc, aren't prerequisites for good science fiction.

    One of my all time favorite SF novels is The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Ladies Illustrated Primer, by Neal Stephenson. It's alternate history, and reads as much like fantasy as science fiction. Come to think of it, Neuromancer by William Gibson, and Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell are also favorites. No spaceships.
    If you're already attuned to Fantasy, then write SF without all the tired out SF props.
     
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