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Science Fiction Physics = Headaches

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It's really easy to go, "Fuck it!" and wave your hands all over the place.

Of course, for dedicated science fiction writers, that's just not acceptable. There are many stories out there that are fantastic examples of creative and original methods of coping with the deadly sci-fi problems that come up with the typical settings and situations of the genre. There are too many, in fact, and it's really a bad thing now to cheap out on your physics homework when you're writing sci-fi.

Point is, it's unlikely you're going to find a new way to do something like space-based weaponry, laser/beam technology and - dare I say it - faster-than-light travel and communication. If you try, you're just going to give yourself a headache, though I'll commend you if you manage something. Otherwise, you'll just have to cope with existing sci-fi "theories" and such. At times, it can require so much thought put into single subjects that it almost becomes seriously not worth it, since you generally have to deal with real-world physics problems and the many issues therein. Due to the nature of science fiction as currently impossible settings and situations made plausible with currently fictional science, there's a big draw to creating your own variants on technology for sci-fi universes.

It's probably this difficulty that makes people want to write fantasy and magical worlds. There, you're not as grounded in physics and plausibility as with most science fiction, and at times you're working on a smaller scale. But of course, hard science fiction isn't going to settle for that, and naturally the audience will dissect sci-fi writing like hounds for any problems in even the most carefully constructed technological lattices.

It's far from original, but one of the (technically) simplest ways to deal with those discrepancies regarding physics is to just up and create your own left-field discovery or invention that makes stuff work; you can see this in universes like Mass Effect and in works by authors like Asimov or Larry Niven. You have these Minovsky particles and element zero that exist outside of traditional physics, but are self-contained and consistent. That shifts the workload from "fitting this universe into modern physics" to "fitting fictional physics into this universe." It's a genius way to deal with so many problems, and it's not frowned upon at all, except maybe by big snobs and stuff.

Or, you can go the tough route and make everything fit generally into modern physics without compromising too much with fictional substances and ideas. But, you have to wonder if that even fits in the spirit of science fiction.


  1. Theocrass's Avatar
    I am getting massive head ache trying to combine Mass Effect with Transformers.

    Help me, Five.

    Help meeeeeeee.
  2. Five_X's Avatar
    No, Theo, you must help yourself. I am having a big enough headache myself trying to write more MPII.
  3. Theocrass's Avatar
    Ooh! Ooh! Do you still want help with that Fallout thing?

    'Cuz I might have some free time coming up.
  4. Five_X's Avatar
    It's not going to start anytime soon since RPs are all bogged down already. :P

    Plus, I'm lazy and busy as it is, and I'd rather focus on things I really want to get done/continue, like MPII which I really really have to put some more focus on and effort into.
  5. Theocrass's Avatar

    Just lemme know when!
  6. SeiKeo's Avatar
    lol, I thought I was your physics monkey, THeo.
  7. Theocrass's Avatar
    You are, Leo.

    You are.

    I just wanted something to say.