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Questions tagged [alternate-reality]

For questions in which reality is different than it is in real life. This may range from small, historical changes to absolute revisions of the laws of physics.

5
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2answers
74 views

Where must computers/telecommunication deviate from reality for a retrofuturistic setting?

I want to build a fantastical retrofuturistic setting, think Thundercats(2011) x Outlaw Star x Star*Drive. I love the aesthetics of retrofuturistic settings, how yesterday saw tomorrow is very ...
27
votes
13answers
8k views

Is an hour-long weekly driving ban feasible in modern America?

So here's the deal: my story takes place in modern America in the aftermath of an unexplained event where a runic magic system was introduced to humanity by an unknown entity. Every week a new rune is ...
8
votes
1answer
176 views

Is this a plausible timeline if the United States legalized prior restraint following the Pentagon Papers?

In actual history, the Supreme Court ruled in 1971 in New York Times v. US that prior restraint is illegal, upholding its earlier decision in 1931 in Near v. Minnesota. In my alternate history, the ...
-1
votes
0answers
55 views

Minimal changes necessary for a person who was born human to be able to fly like a bird? [duplicate]

My New Planet is sentient and affects Arkship arrivals by helping them to become whatever they are interested in, eg: birds, fish, animals, etc, while still retaining their Human mind. How would the ...
-4
votes
1answer
114 views

How to create matter in a solar system [closed]

I looked to see if anything like this was asked, but can’t find. So a star is formed, the sun for instance., and creates a gravitational force on its own. After a billion years a kuiper belt ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

How could I market beauty products to a species with a mating season?

Culture is heavily influenced by the Mass Media. Social changes are tailored to reflect what humans think is “sexy” or “appealing”. Media influences us on what the ideal body is to the style of ...
92
votes
6answers
21k views

Would a Moon made of water pose a threat to Earth during eclipses?

Is a moon made entirely of water possible? Could a planet made completely of water exist? I was inspired by the above questions to ask the following: Assume that our current Moon is replaced ...
4
votes
6answers
373 views

Sentient trees. Can they develop technology?

Flying insects are the only moving animals in this world - they take care of pollination. Adult trees (over 10 years old) are rooted to the spot with very wide-spreading root systems. Trying to ...
-2
votes
5answers
236 views

How can I keep the number of demigods limited, but stable?

In this world, there is a group of demigods that functions as a religious organization. This organization operates worldwide and defends the realm from threats of a demonic parallel realm. There are ...
5
votes
26answers
5k views

Why would people choose not to use portals when they are the safest way to travel? [closed]

This setting takes place on a ring-world similar to earth, but 25 times its surface area. Technology is medieval age, before vehicles or planes. On this ring-world is a system of portals, with one ...
2
votes
4answers
189 views

Astral Doubles (Avatar)

This might be entirely opinion based which is frowned upon in world building but I really do need help on this. I’m writing a story of an alternative version of Earth where almost 80% of its ...
-1
votes
5answers
183 views

Why shouldn't a super powered population be segregated from the rest of society?

If they should be, why? This is one of the questions I have about my own world, where the premise is that 5% of mankind possess a power. Those that deal catastrophic damage are rare, where as the ...
1
vote
1answer
203 views

How long would it take until this corporation controls America? [closed]

I have a corporation called Hero. They've essentially 'taken over' all of America. I just need to know what the minimum amount of time it would take is. When Hero was just starting out, back in 1974, ...
1
vote
3answers
203 views

Freezing Technology at a Civil War Level for 200 Years

Is there a way to "freeze" weapons, transportation, and communications technology at an American Civil War era level for at least 200 years? Basically, in the year 1867, two years after the end of ...
43
votes
11answers
9k views

How long will it take to discover they live on a moon and not on a planet?

In my alternate reality, Earth is not a planet. It is a moon and orbits a gas giant (however it has all of Earth's characteristics, it is also full of humans and life as we know it). This is the only ...
2
votes
2answers
115 views

If one traveled along a Closed Time-like Curve to arrive in a parallel universe/world-line, would the previous universe cease to exist?

This question makes several assumptions: 1) The "Many Worlds" Interpretation will have been proven through future observation 2) CTC's exist within the rotating event horizon of a Kerr black hole 3)...
83
votes
30answers
12k views

Awesomeness powered magic - why would a group of awesome magicians want to keep their “kryptonite” near them?

Fair warning - just rewatched Bill & Ted, so this is going to be a bit crazy. Imagine for a moment there exists a world where “awesomeness” is a true force of nature. Awesome people have the ...
2
votes
4answers
165 views

Biological bonding mechanism

I've been toying with the idea of a society with alternative forms of families or social structures. In one individuals of coming of age (socially imposed) or due to a biological necessity (...
4
votes
2answers
241 views

Astronomy in a universe with two “straight” dimensions plus a highly curved dimension

So for lack of a better term (I'm sure there is a better term) imagine a universe without curvature as being like a sheet of paper. You have left, right, forwards, backwards, up, and down. Now take ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Could humans wipe out all remaining wild vertebrates on Earth in one year, if no effort is spared in doing so?

Humans already exterminated more than 50 % of wild vertebrates individuals since 1970 1, 2. I was wondering if it is possible to wipe out the remaining 50 % in less than a year ? Note that, in this ...
2
votes
3answers
155 views

How would I create a society in which the known world has collapsed due to a demon influx

In my story, I wanted to have a world in which humanity had nearly gone extinct from being eaten by demons but eventually the demons ran out of humans to eat and thus died off or went into a sort of ...
1
vote
3answers
216 views

What would a civilisation be like whose people have predetermined lifespans? [closed]

Imagine a civilisation resembling our own, except that the "people" there have predetermined lifespans. That is, in the absence of unnatural death (deaths caused by external forces like car accident, ...
5
votes
7answers
541 views

Uses for “Pocket Universe” backwards Time Travel? [closed]

As it turns out, Time Travel is possible! It's just not as useful as we thought it would be, that's all. You can only go back in time, and not really. Whenever anyone goes back in time, a pocket ...
0
votes
1answer
128 views

Scifi world without cars, planes or tanks [closed]

The world is at a technology level where it is capable or interplanetary travel. What changes can be made either to the planet or to the physics that could prevent them from ever creating cars planes ...
3
votes
3answers
226 views

How would an ecosystem survive pitch-black winters of about 3000 years [closed]

I won't describe in much detail the geology and astronomy of the world I'm creating here, whose unnatural shape and so far unexplained non-Einsteinian large-scale mechanics to maintain it may not be ...
-4
votes
1answer
120 views

Gravity Change on Earth [closed]

Ok so hypothetical situation, the gravitic force of the Earth is changed. Let's say that the Earth still revolves around the sun, and the moon still revolves the Earth in the same way, but within our ...
11
votes
4answers
276 views

Wading through high-inertia particulates: how could pre-modern technology best approximate a protective, slick, waterproof suit?

In the supernatural plane of existence known as The Exhibition, time appears frozen - nothing is moving, falling objects are suspended motionless, the works. In addition to this, while outside ...
0
votes
5answers
226 views

Why might gingers be nearly extinct?

So, I’ve been creating a world, or more alternate universe, where chimpanzees are the dominant species, and humans are just a wild animal. My four main characters end up in this reality, and most ...
0
votes
2answers
136 views

Is there any real-world medication that can make people have ADHD-like symptoms? [closed]

I' want to make a world which is the reverse of our world: Instead of neurotypical people being the majority, people with ADHD are the majority. Accordingly, all those who do not display symptoms of ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Replace sea salt with sugar, what happens? [closed]

A malefic wizard has announced to the world that tomorrow he will turn all diluted sea salt into sugar. What will the environmental effects be?
-2
votes
2answers
172 views

How to survive in an Antimatter Universe/Dimension?

So, in my Science Fiction story, my character, Bryan, has just gotten (seemingly) the worst punishment anybody could ever get. A group of terrorists have just blown him out of an airlock, near the ...
2
votes
7answers
500 views

Plausible reason why the demons of Hell would be given modern weapons while angels use arrows? [closed]

In the depths of Hell, the rebellion is stirring. The demon guardians of Hell have been exceptionally cruel to the inhabitants for millennium. But finally, humans have rebelled and started killing ...
-1
votes
4answers
120 views

How can one explain shadow powers in a purely scientific approach [closed]

I have a character that is designed to be a scientist and he sees beings that have shadow powers, think Noob Saibot, he tries to explain the phenomena in a scientific way. They beings look human ...
33
votes
9answers
9k views

Realistically, how useful would a bayonet be on a crossbow in medieval, close quarters combat?

Historically, there's about a 700-year gap between when crossbows start appearing in European texts around 950, and when bayonets do the same around 1670. And those bayonets are strictly associated ...
4
votes
1answer
257 views

Time travel to the mid-1980's - how do you sneak into society and make a ton of money as fast as possible? [closed]

The scenario: You are from the distant future, and are trapped in a parallel universe in the mid-1980's. You cannot expose your true identity and your only resource is a hidden laboratory where you ...
3
votes
1answer
147 views

Agricultural population reality check

I am designing a fictional world (no magic, real-world technologies). I have an unexplained anomaly in my world: There is a natural "bold spot" in the jungle (in the thousands of square kilometers), ...
0
votes
7answers
300 views

What would be the ideal deterrent to stop people selling sex? [closed]

Historians have often speculated that prostitution has existed since the beginning of civilisation. It is thousands of years old. In a future where prostitution is a thing of the past, and preferably ...
1
vote
3answers
281 views

If a State government breaks down, does the Federal government step in or declare it a deadzone? [closed]

The world I am creating revolves around having an entire State not function at its governmental level - meaning no State police force, no continuity for municipal amenities (no running water, ...
29
votes
25answers
10k views

How can Mutually Assured Destruction be made…not assured?

By the late 1950s, the USA, the UK and the Soviet Union had enough nuclear weapons and the ability to deliver them that any nuclear exchange was virtually guaranteed to result in the destruction of ...
-1
votes
3answers
225 views

Can death create a loophole for two exact duplicate people existing in the same universe? [closed]

Here'a another one of my weird questions... So there's two universes, two of many in a many worlds/multiverse scenario. We'll call one Universe A and the other Universe B for sanity's sake. And there ...
5
votes
2answers
252 views

Solid ribcage humanoid

Can a humanoid that doesn't have ribs but instead has solid bone plates function properly ? Imagine plates starting from upper trapezius to the lower back and the obliques but leaving open the belly ...
6
votes
8answers
364 views

Protecting Dragon bombers

In short, the Portuguese invaders have arrived on the New World to meet a more organized coalition of native city-states that fields giant lizards to the battlefield. The main weapon of battle for ...
2
votes
2answers
506 views

What is INSIDE a Wormhole?

IF they were real, would wormholes work in the way that they do in sci-fi (for all intents and purposes "teleportation", travel without movement, FTL, immediately "appearing" at the other location), ...
8
votes
16answers
4k views

Handwave Computer

In many alternate technological settings (steam/electro/diesel punks) there are powerful energy sources that allowed technology boom (like whale oil in Dishonored game series). However handwaving ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

How to design a super-earth that is 80,000 km in circumference?

My question is the following: How could I design and/or justify a habitable planet that is 80,000 km in circumference? The planet should: Be habitable Have a gravity similar to earth's Have active ...
6
votes
1answer
169 views

Small-scale aviation without fossil fuels

In my setting, fossil fuels do not exist. I'm handwaving an alternative behavior of radioactive material, and alternative magnetism-like forces. These are explained below. My question now is: Can ...
6
votes
5answers
226 views

How to reduce demagogues' influence on the universe literally shaped by people's beliefs?

The laws of the Universe are not set in stone. Impossible does not exist. Everything, absolutely everything, is possible given that enough people believe in it. Centuries ago magic was as real as ...
2
votes
0answers
161 views

Infinite light speed, limited-range gravity and non-dilatable time, could it be self-consistent? [closed]

I came up with some ideas concerning the laws of physics in a fictional universe. I changed some laws that govern our reality in order to explain and justify many phenomenons like interstellar ...
1
vote
2answers
191 views

How accurately can Nuclear Missiles be tracked?

So if you're trying to build a Tom Clancy style political situation in a story about a nuclear exchange between a country and a superpower, would this be possible, or would it trigger the second ...
5
votes
5answers
266 views

Computers without semi-conductor technology

So I've been thinking up a (alt-history)setting that aims to be a classic space opera, with the caveat that it will be completely hard science, with the only handwaving being what technologies do or ...