Questions tagged [science-fiction]

For questions relating to worlds with a setting of common science-fiction.

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22
votes
10answers
5k views

Starships without computers?

Say I've got a sci-fi setting where I have one faction using relatively advanced technology (think The Expanse, or pre-Covenant war UNSC from Halo, fusion rockets and high-yield magnetic accelerator ...
2
votes
3answers
275 views

Pocket Clarketech

Background: In the year 2204, humans have colonized most of the inner solar system. During the first explorations of the vast outer system, a team of researchers uncovers a series of alien artifacts. ...
8
votes
3answers
200 views

Casaba Howitzer vs. Magnetic Shelds: Plausible Counter?

I'm trying to work through the mechanics of hard sci-fi space combat, and I came across the Casaba Howitzer. The basic idea is a nuclear shaped charge. The blast from a nuclear bomb is partially ...
-1
votes
2answers
103 views

Spaceplane simulating winged flight in the vacuum of space?

If a spaceplane were to try to simulate the look of aerial flight in the vacuum, would it be difficult or easy for the pilot to manually simulate aerial maneuvers, using just a contemporary reaction ...
3
votes
2answers
98 views

What element could be used on a fictional metal-poor planet for biological oxygen exchange?

I'm working on a hard sf novel about humans being forced to survive on a metal-poor planet. They have to take dietary metal supplements at first but eventually a bio-engineer rigs the biochemical ...
13
votes
8answers
5k views

Dogfights in outer space

Assuming spacecraft are using contemporary propulsion technology, and are engaging in a dogfight in outer space (whether they are manned, drone, or autonomous), would the movements of the craft be ...
4
votes
1answer
113 views

Anatomically Correct Modular Body Plan Animals

The fixedness of body plans varies widely across different types of Earthling organisms. At one extreme, you have things like tardigrades, for which every individual of any given species has exactly ...
11
votes
3answers
204 views

Anatomically Correct Slinky Worm

Despite the wide variety of movement strategies employed by Earthling animals, up to an including curling their bodies into circles and rolling, there is one mode of locomotion that is glaringly ...
4
votes
3answers
155 views

Anatomically Correct Hunter from Needle

Hal Clement's novel Needle was revolutionary in featuring a non-parasitic alien lifeform capable of inhabiting a human body. Specifically, the Hunter in its independent form is a gelatinous mass ...
3
votes
3answers
134 views

House blimp living [closed]

What problems might I run into if I live in an airship? I would like to entertain the possibility to park tethered to a sky scraper in an unpowered airship in order to save money and travel time. I ...
46
votes
30answers
6k views

What is my malfunctioning AI harvesting from humans?

The scenario described below is for a role-playing game. The setting is Earth-like but with a healthy dose of sci-fi. Even though the setting is sci-fi I would prefer answers be largely based in real ...
5
votes
4answers
412 views

What is the best way to cause swarm intelligence to be destroyed?

In my story, there is a large group of humanoid clones that help the city function, doing mundane tasks such as cleaning and maintaining the city. Doing all of the minimum wage jobs and 95% of the ...
0
votes
2answers
94 views

Worthy bipedal challenger for dominant species of large frogs possessing medieval technology [closed]

I'm looking for a bit of inspiration to help me with a bit of writer's block I've got going on at the moment. In my novel, "A Tale of Galaxies", every being is bipedal due to various peculiarities of ...
9
votes
5answers
355 views

What sort of solar system / atmospheric conditions, if any, would allow for a very cold planet that still receives plenty of light from its sun?

The setting I'm interested in would involve a cold planet (cold enough for most bodies of water to be frozen - I'm thinking of an average global temperature of -20C or below). The simplest way would ...
4
votes
1answer
123 views

How much of our solar system can you change without breaking the science of life on earth? [closed]

I am making a near-future setting that takes place in an alternate solar system that's similar to ours (one planet with life, a moon, and other planets without life and their associated moons). And ...
17
votes
10answers
3k views

Reasons for using monsters as bioweapons

Let's say the world is threatened by eldritch monsters or nations at war. Instead of investing in tanks, aircraft and such, the government decides to invest in bioweapons that are basically monsters. ...
1
vote
5answers
400 views

Can we move the moon to use as a shield?

Do we have the capability of moving the Moon just a little bit to time a intercept with a moon size asteroid like the one in the picture? It just said that if we could intercept an asteroid far out ...
9
votes
6answers
325 views

Scientifically accurate fuel for a small spaceship

I'm designing a small two-person spaceship for use in battles in space. It is set around the year 2100. It would be around the size of a tank (approx. 50 tons). It would need to be fast and easy to ...
4
votes
1answer
137 views

Mesas of hard(solid) light

I searched the site and found answers saying hard light can't exist. Apparently in the three years since the last question was asked, scientists started making inroads on making solid light a reality, ...
1
vote
3answers
142 views

What are some artificial Augmentations to stop the Illuminati's Army? [closed]

I am creating a future world where augmentations, all limbs and organs are the newest weapon by bolstering the natural human ability. For example, arm augmentations allow for a strength twice the ...
3
votes
4answers
207 views

Making deadly conflicts not deadly for the sake of entertainment? [closed]

I am writing a book about people getting superpowers, yada yada yada, I'll spare you the plot. Anyway, I have teams of superheroes using their powers in combat against other teams in "Leagues" for ...
0
votes
1answer
196 views

What if a thin translucent veil was drawn over the sun? [closed]

Imagine that the Earth is completely unharmed and not threatened by any weapon or disaster and is still spinning on its axis. However, a thin translucent veil slowly starts spreading over the sun and ...
1
vote
2answers
99 views

Required RPM for a Hamster wheel style Habitation ring on a spaceship to generate roughly Earth-ish gravity [duplicate]

I'm looking at a ship that is pretty big. About 720 feet from nose to tail, with two stonking big rockets on the sides, these will flip for deceleration. At roughly the same rotational pivot point, in ...
6
votes
1answer
197 views

Effectiveness of lasers of different wavelengths in space combat

I'm working on a game with combat between spaceships. It will not be hard sci-fi, but I'd like to base the mechanics on (simplifications of) real physics. When it comes to laser-weapons, I would like ...
13
votes
6answers
4k views

How would someone destroy a black hole that’s at the centre of a planet? [duplicate]

For starters, the black hole is temporarily contained. But once it’s containment fails it will devour the planet. Obviously, that’s a bad thing. What’s a reasonable way to prevent that? Also the ...
18
votes
19answers
7k views

Why limit to revolvers?

I am thinking about a game where people will shoot out in space, with different features. However, an integral part of the game is no spraying/spamming bullets. I don't want to have it in a fantasy ...
5
votes
3answers
194 views

Realistic melange - Part 1: Formation

Melange, also known as "the spice", is a fictional drug in Frank Herbert's famous Dune series, which has many benefits (and some drawbacks). In this series of questions, I'll try to see how many of ...
1
vote
0answers
82 views

Which of the Armed Forces would an interstellar service be most like? [closed]

In my story, I have an Empire, established on Earth and ruling across the few dozen nearest star systeme to it. This needs to have a fleet of ships manned by an armed service for law enforcement, ...
4
votes
5answers
271 views

Minimum Required Superscience to Make Mecha Competitive vs. Tanks [closed]

Most discussions of mecha viability seem to give advice in the vein of handwaving laws of nature or making the audience (readers, players etc.) not look too closely at the justifications. I'd like to ...
-1
votes
1answer
110 views

What's the name for the genre focusing on 70s & 80s tech-based sci-fi fantasy? [closed]

tl;dr - What does one call the genre space occupied by the 70s-80s tech of the Dharma Initiative (Lost) / Massive Dynamic (Fringe) / Hawkins National Laboratory (Stranger Things)? When looking for ...
0
votes
7answers
290 views

How would a character build an explosive from natural elements?

A character is on an alien planet that is very much like any one of our large deserts. Sort of a Tatooine like on Star Wars. He needs to cause a diversion. There aren't any explosives on planet of ...
6
votes
8answers
2k views

How can combining souls together not increase its volume? [closed]

I am Josephine Mengalus, an alchemist on the path to immortality by becoming a lich. Alchemy is the study of combining magic with science, to create a higher form of study that surpasses both. Souls ...
4
votes
1answer
138 views

What construction and physics implications would there be for life in an underwater “high rise building?” [closed]

I'm working on a project in which part of the story takes place on a planet that is mostly ocean. There is a small continent with some manufacturing and refinery structures, but the rest of the planet'...
1
vote
0answers
142 views

Possible FTL travel methods for hard(ish) sci-fi? [closed]

I'm working on a story that requires travel at about convenient* speeds (see below). I want to keep this story as hard sci-fi as possible and I've heard about stuff like Alcubierre drives which sound ...
11
votes
3answers
999 views

Can immunity be reverse-engineered simply by using a blood or tissue sample?

I'm working on a novel, in which a character was given a cutting edge vaccination to a deadly disease. She is now valuable because she was the only one given the vaccine and the research to make more ...
6
votes
3answers
369 views

Are there semi plausible scenarios where Nuclear Winter could last a thousand years or trigger an ice age?

Trying to develop a fictional scenario with a 'believable' theory as to how a Nuclear War and resulting Nuclear Winter could turn into a millennial scale ice age. By 'believable', I mean that it ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Robotic Virus Pandemic [closed]

For a story I'm working on, there is an old and advanced civilization consisting of three races, 2 organic and 1 artificial. An ancient enemy has returned, bent on destroying this civilization, and ...
2
votes
1answer
158 views

Showing proof to humans they live in a simulated world [duplicate]

I'm writing a story and I found myself asking the question : what is the best way to prove to the humanity that they live in a simulation ? I found a lot of questions about how societies would react ...
3
votes
6answers
789 views

How can my android “die” permanently?

For this sci-fi story/world hat I'm building, I'm introducing my androids which, while having intelligence closer to a human, are still just machines in nature. Theoretically one can destroy the body ...
-2
votes
1answer
218 views

What is the opposite of lightning? [closed]

I want to know what is the opposite of lightning. To give you some background, it has to be something that makes up a large aspect of the universe and cannot be anything in this list: space, time, ...
3
votes
4answers
180 views

What plant life and resources could humans consume if colonies were established on the ocean floor?

I'm interested in creating some construct of a society in the Twilight and Midnight zones of the ocean. By what means could they mine, farm, and trade in what is suppose to be a more futuristic ...
41
votes
29answers
5k views

Justifying Affordable Bespoke Spaceships

Any story about an independent, self-owned tramp spaceship crew tends to implicitly or explicitly raise the question of how the crew got a spaceship, how it afforded it, and why it doesn't just sell ...
1
vote
3answers
138 views

How would you design Sci-Fi Firearms and ammunition? [closed]

Apologies in advance, this is going to be a bit of a long read. I am working through the process of fleshing out a science fiction world and want to establish the limits of technology fairly early on,...
4
votes
10answers
515 views

How can I make the Solar System uninhabitable?

For the Universe I am creating humanity has devolved into groups of scattered tribes. This is due to the fact that we ran afoul of a really nasty alien race, who decided to leave us homeless. A ...
16
votes
13answers
6k views

What plausible reason could I give for my FTL drive only working in space

I’ve created a fairly fleshed out, detailed FTL concept. Basically, you have a circular starship, with a ring of tungsten encircling that, held in place by an antigravity ring beneath it. The rim of ...
8
votes
5answers
692 views

How could a government be implemented in a virtual reality? [closed]

In the not so far future a lot of people live inside virtual realities. But there are not only humans living in these virtual worlds but also machines (programs/AI/bots/etc...) on different levels of ...
0
votes
1answer
180 views

What would the psychological effects be of being a clone? [closed]

Let's set up a scenario; You are rich and powerful. Important to the government for one reason or another, may be 20 or 100. Age doesn't matter because when you die you will be reborn, as a clone. ...
6
votes
7answers
465 views

Alternative Uses of Bottomless Heat Sinks [closed]

Many traditional space settings feature cloaking devices, which, given what is required for them to work indefinitely against detection in space, imply ability to 'dump' waste heat 'into nowhere' (...
6
votes
4answers
337 views

A world without fire - what will the military use as their main soldier level weapon?

Assume that modern day Earth discovers a way to create portals to another planet. Travel between the two planets is fast, safe, and easy. The way this works is that there are fixed points on earth ...
27
votes
7answers
5k views

If a person had control of every single cell of their body, would they be able to transform into another creature?

If a person had control over each and every single cell in his body, I.e: Cell growth Cell multiplication Shape and form of cells How cells bond/bind with each other Cell Function Would they be able ...