Questions tagged [science-fiction]

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

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2
votes
2answers
39 views

Novel Alien Bacteria / Fungus Causing Rapid Mutations

We've seen it throughout media before, a crazy mutation that creates zombies, rabid people, giant spiders, etc. I'm spot checking how crazy I can get with this short story I'm writing about a bacteria ...
4
votes
6answers
188 views

Technology to see an invisible being

I have a world where there are two types of beings. One type, let's call them X, exist in our "dimension," and the other, let's call them Y, exist in another "phase" or dimension. Only 10% of X ...
28
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13answers
10k 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 ...
-1
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0answers
46 views

How much energy would a particle accelerator need, to operate with a circumference the size of the solar system? [on hold]

An alien race has already built it, I’m just wondering how much energy would be needed to power it?
4
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5answers
1k views

Is it possible to create a golf ball sized star?

I have an alien race in my novel. They believe they are immortal, however, little do they know that they are machines. I had an idea that their core is made of some sort of fusion tech. I was thinking ...
2
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1answer
81 views

If my characters can control electrons could they use this as a means to attract and repel objects?

Could they use their abilities to change an objects electromagnetic fields to work in their favour. I want my magic system to be explained as the story progresses. I’m thinking this could be a way to ...
1
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1answer
200 views

If an alien race used solid nitrogen hammers as weapons, how long would they last before melting on earth?

The enemy they fight have an extremely high body temperature, I’m wondering the effects of solid nitrogen would have on them. The idea is the enemies' bodies are like molten under the skin.
2
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3answers
131 views

Would society become matriarchal, patriarchal or balanced if the military consisted mostly of women but the top leadership are men? [on hold]

The premise is that in this world, mankind has extended their territory throughout the solar system. We now have colonies on multiple moons and planets. War and combat between the different factions ...
14
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13answers
4k views

Planet Vanishes - How does this affect the orbiting starships?

In the climactic final battle Faction A engages Faction B on Faction B's planetary base, both in orbital and ground combat. Realizing they can't win, Faction A activates a device that transports and ...
2
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3answers
590 views

Warp drives without exotic matter?

Taking into account all of the developments in the alcubierre warp drive theory including the new calculations by Harold White. Are their any plausible/theoretical ways to generate a warp bubble ...
2
votes
3answers
283 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. ...
16
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11answers
1k views

What sort of rules / limitations could govern and affect a crystal resource that is both anti-gravity and energy-producing?

I apologise if this is rather vague but I'm struggling with creating a concept that would allow a Victorian (steampunk) civilisation to have antigravity ships and floating islands through the use of a ...
93
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25answers
26k views

Would intelligent life evolve any other body plan than humanoid?

Disclaimer: This question uses some liberal wording to get key ideas across. It's not meant to be academically rigorous, so please try to focus on the ideas and not the exact definitions of the terms ...
-1
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2answers
104 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
220 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 ...
13
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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 ...
3
votes
2answers
101 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 ...
11
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3answers
209 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
1answer
124 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 ...
46
votes
30answers
7k 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
3answers
163 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 ...
1
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4answers
211 views

Is using Casaba Howitzer like devices as precision-cutting implements plausible?

How well would something like a Casaba Howitzer work as a beam weapon? A Casaba Howitzer is a type of directional blast that focuses energy from an explosion into a specific shape or direction. For ...
3
votes
3answers
135 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 ...
8
votes
9answers
832 views

Can industry work on a poor import schedule?

I've been working for some time on a universe in which there is limited FTL consisting of short (up to five light years at a time) jumps between points in space. The jumps take no time at all for ...
5
votes
4answers
416 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
401 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 ...
0
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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
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5answers
358 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 ...
17
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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. ...
9
votes
6answers
329 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
124 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
139 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, ...
4
votes
10answers
517 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 ...
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
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3answers
143 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
209 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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
241 views

Help with military structuring [closed]

I'm building a military for this sci-fi book I'm writing, and I'm struggling with the hierarchy of command this military should follow. At this point, I'm just worried about the planetary forces, ...
1
vote
2answers
100 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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
201 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 ...
16
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26answers
4k views

Limit computation technology in a futuristic society

I'm wondering what kind of events or limitations would be needed in a science fiction society hundreds of years into the future in order limit computational advances to the level of the early 70's to ...
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
197 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
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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
275 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 ...
41
votes
29answers
6k 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
votes
1answer
111 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
292 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 ...
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'...
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 ...