All Questions

5
votes
7answers
323 views

First innovation for time traveler to low-tech society

A time traveler goes back in time (one-way trip, and he does not get to choose the exact destination) to a low-tech society, similar to medieval Europe. His objective is to kickstart an industrial ...
25
votes
8answers
5k views

Is it harder for an intelligent octopus to live on land, or a human to live in space?

I have a race of octopodes with the same intelligence distribution as humans. I want them to “colonise” land to a similar extent as we have “colonised” space; have regular transport between the ocean ...
5
votes
12answers
1k views

A road system with no traffic rules - what sort of vehicle is best?

In Britopia there were the Leftists who believed motorists should drive on the left and the Rightists who believed they should drive on the Right. The vote split exactly down the middle and it was ...
12
votes
12answers
717 views
+200

Would there be any major disadvantages for a species to have six legs instead of four?

I want a world in which animals roam the wilderness on four legs, yet at least some of them are able to do the kind of carrying and fine handling of objects done by humans. The planet is superficially ...
-3
votes
0answers
23 views

What could a scientist in my Star Wars fan fic be working on? [on hold]

Im trying to write a story about a scientist who is working on something in the era of the New Republic. He does not believe in the Force. I just need something for him to be researching. It really ...
6
votes
5answers
419 views

How could a plague that killed off the dinosaurs come back?

In my story, something pretty insane happens during the 3rd season. The common conception was that an asteroid strike contributed to the extinction to dinosaurs, but unbeknownst to all it was not a ...
4
votes
3answers
322 views

Designing a mega-fog

Considering some of the answers given in a previous question, I would like to ask what climatic phenomenon would be necessary to generate a mega-fog, thick enough to at least reduce the intensity of ...
0
votes
0answers
98 views

What could have prevented the decline of the Western Roman Empire, and it's fall in AD 476?

By "decline" I am referring specifically to the loss of political control over territory (shrinking empire). I'm writing a story, and I wonder what are some examples of things that the Roman Empire ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Need help with details concerning non-conventional sci fi vampires

I would like to create a sci fi human faction that resemble vampires without many of the past tropes while reimagining some for a sci fi feel. I would like to avoid any magic and fantastical abilities....
4
votes
1answer
36 views

Unprepared and Without a Homeworld

The Scenerio In the very near future a NASA probe returns to Earth with a soil sample from an asteroid containing a strange substance able to catalyzes cold fusion. The economic value of this ...
1
vote
6answers
160 views

How can society advance as a civilization if it kills off its best people?

In our world, we consider human life to be precious and valuable. It is meant to be preserved, and a deliberate act of taking a life is considered deplorable by society. This is considered normal. The ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Protections when working with a dangerous supermaterial

In my world, there is a material called amaranthine. This material is effectively energy condensed into an unstable crystalline form (via a series of processes that aren't relevant to this question). ...
0
votes
2answers
441 views

Realistic Vampire Virus

For the purpose of this question (to make the idea more plausible) a vampire is not an undead creature. Rather: A vampire is a human, infected by a symbiotic virus; The virus is present in a vampire'...
0
votes
2answers
39 views

How realistic is it for civilization to regress to a pre-industrial era?

So here's a quick setup: One or two calamities hit as once. No one is spared and every nation on earth is effected by it. Soon the population dwindles to roughly the same number as the 1800's which is ...
16
votes
7answers
3k views

In theory, could all mammals be wiped out by a single pathogen?

Pathogen Note: For the purpose of this question I define a pathogen to include viruses and/or bacteria. Edit: I don't exclude other biological agents such as fungi that might have the same effect. ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

How do I create an artificial womb with sand dunes? [on hold]

My world has a coastal sand dune system that is imbued with frost-magic qualities and I was wondering how I could have people gestated inside of them. The sediment for the dunes was created through ...
6
votes
7answers
580 views

Is a sling a viable ranged weapon option for someone with poor eyesight?

I have a character who is, for lack of a better term, a Monster Hunter. She's physically fit, has a pretty high pain tolerance/is generally pretty durable, and is skilled in various forms of hand-to-...
2
votes
2answers
111 views

Floating cities with a new superconductor

Inspired by this great answer. There is a planet with: Floatium, a superconductor that behaves as such at 0 ºC and is found in nature. A stronger magnetic field than Earth's. In really cold areas I ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Smallest possible size for a manned airship

As far as I know airships, specifically rigid-airships, do not have an upper size limit other than what is required by practicality and how willing you are to build gigantic airship sheds. But one ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Could 'robotic' prostheses be possible in the victorian era?

In my world I would like to have a cyborg-inspired veteran, but am not sure what kinds of prostheses would be possible, ideally without the use of electrics. My main concern is how the prostheses ...
0
votes
2answers
44 views

Effects of long term exposure to a non-earth like rich atmosphere

Imagine that humanity found a rocky planet with earth like gravity, atmospheric pressure, and temperature, orbiting a sun-like star. The only problem is that the planets atmosphere is that it is ...
4
votes
3answers
63 views

Could a Romanesque civilization develop chariots (carts, transportation etc) that could survive being ejected out of a magical tunnel at high speeds?

In the setting I am working on there is a sort of "subspace" torrent of energy (called Essence) that wraps around the world. Imagine magical, and definite, lines of latitude. This torrent of energy is ...
0
votes
3answers
160 views

How can I alter humans to allow them the ability to choose the sex of their child in the ancient world?

Research shows that some creatures in the animal kingdom manipulate the sex of their child in order to maximize the number of grandchildren. Parents in good condition, based on health, size, dominance ...
20
votes
12answers
5k views

Is a weekly hour-long 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
286 views

A possible solution to stealth in space

I'm sure most worldbuilders will have heard the aphorism that in space "Everyone sees Everything", or that "There Ain't No Stealth In Space". I'd like to propose a possible solution to this. The ...
2
votes
3answers
112 views

Reasonable maximum iron age/medieval population for small rural area

Question From around 400 BCE to 1000 CE, what could what would a reasonable greatest achievable population be – under the best of all circumstances – in a rural area of about $\mathrm{900 km^2}$ (In ...
-1
votes
4answers
228 views

The Galaxy has been colonised but why the big feet?

Far, far into the future, pretty much the entire Milky Way has been colonised by humans. The thing is that now the Empire has fallen, the technology of FTL travel has been lost in most places. Those ...
5
votes
3answers
453 views

How could you rapidly increase a black hole's mass?

Say you were using a black hole as a propulsion drive á la Crane and Westmoreland http://arxiv.org/pdf/0908.1803.pdf- so your black hole has a radius of around .9 attometers - super tiny - around 600,...
9
votes
3answers
692 views

Parrots for tone-deaf people where magic is performed through song (followup)

In my previous question: Magic for tone-deaf people in a world where magic is performed through song it was suggested by Ynneadwraith (many thanks by the way) that animals that produce music would ...
2
votes
9answers
622 views

Technology for a sci-fi airship

Sometimes old, discredited or impractical ideas come back to favor, because a new technology has evolved. Let us imagine a future Earth-like world (not early 20th century or steampunk) that would ...
26
votes
17answers
8k views

How can I frame human sacrifice as an honor without marketing it to the disadvantaged?

All living things possess a form of spiritual energy called reishi. This energy is used by humans to fuel their magical spells, but is also necessary for life to continue. There is a ritual that ...
9
votes
6answers
3k views

What would it be like to use a vibro-blade

Probably one of the many main-stay go to weapons for most sci-fi settings. How exactly would you go about making the blade "vibrate" or resonate at in such a way to increase its cutting power? Would ...
2
votes
3answers
770 views

Possible biological adaptations to make current humans more suited to surviving on Earth-like primitive planets? [on hold]

Premise My alternate version of the human race has progressed just to the brink of the ability to explore and possibly colonize other earth like exo-planets. the story follows an expedition crew has ...
2
votes
4answers
180 views

How could written materials be preserved after 3000 years of history? [on hold]

Premise Grandmaster Fredrietch Kalven, a researcher of lost arts, was tasked by the king to find and record all written histories of their world since the earliest writings. After many years of ...
6
votes
7answers
303 views

Magic for tone-deaf people in a world where magic is performed through song

In a world of magic, spells are songs. They aren't easy to sing and becoming truly proficient requires a similar amount of time and effort as it does to become an opera singer on Earth. Of course some ...
6
votes
7answers
658 views

Humans get knocked back into the stone age; would archeologists from 10,000 years in the future be able to tell that we existed?

I am inspired by Dr. Robert Schoc's hypothesis that the Great Pyramid and Sphinx date back to a lost civilization from 10,000 BCE. The Question: Suppose an asteroid/mega solar flare/etc. reduced ...
6
votes
3answers
551 views

One Mother + Two Fathers = Twins

In the human species, one male partner is enough for the sperm to fertilize the egg. The average cargo is just one child, half of its DNA from the mother and the other half from the father. But ...
2
votes
2answers
114 views

What 4D shape could best fit a looping world?

I have an idea for a world such that the world itself is like a large loop. The best way I can think to describe it is going step by step through the "loop". Imagine a planet-like object; a sphere ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

How would external fertilization change sexuality? [on hold]

In the current world I'm working on, my only humanoid species so far has external fertilization in bodies of water. I am wondering in which ways my species could develop a society which in-part uses ...
10
votes
3answers
353 views

Would having ZW sex-determination system have any drastic effects on humans?

I'm trying to make a world where my "humans" have ZW sex-determination system that means sex is determined in the ovum instead of the sperm. Could I just easily hand-wave everything else as being the ...
65
votes
34answers
18k views

What (modern) weapons could be used to destroy skeletal enemies as completely as possible?

As per the cliché, after getting hit by a truck, our protagonist finds herself in a 'swords and sorcery' fantasy world. Also as per the cliché, she is granted an overpowered ability to make her new ...
2
votes
3answers
166 views

How does having 3 moons change a planet?

I'm working on a story that takes place on a world that has 3 moons. At least 2 of the moons are the same size. They align extremely rarely. Otherwise, it's an earth-like planet. There is one ...
-1
votes
2answers
126 views

Would showing that your magic greatly differs from mortal prove that you're a god? [on hold]

In the book I'm writing, one of the subplots is the protagonists, that happens to be gods, claimed their divine ascendency in front of the whole world and made the supernaturals come out. Now, some ...
6
votes
3answers
880 views

What subatomic particle is best for a particle accelerator gun?

Theoretically, assuming it was possible and practical to take a particle accelerator and turn it into a gun/cannon weapon, and use it to shoot accelerated subatomic particles. What sort of subatomic ...
16
votes
7answers
5k views

What can we do to Mars to give it a survivable atmosphere?

Some science-fiction books I've read (including more than a few by Ray Bradbury) have men from Earth living on Mars, walking around outside of enclosures. I know that this is currently not realistic, ...
3
votes
3answers
186 views

A planet that cannot be orbited [duplicate]

I'm wondering if it is possible for a planet to be impossible to orbit stably over a significant length of time. The shorter the length of time the planet can be orbited for, the better. It should ...
3
votes
5answers
155 views

Best place on an humanoid body to develop biological radio?

As seen on others questions biological radio could be a thing. How to evolve biological radios? What would a species require to be able to inherently transmit and receive radio waves? I was ...
2
votes
4answers
107 views

How to make non-tradable sector unattractive for ambitious entrepreneurs?

I'm writing a story about a government of a former colony who wants to industrialize the country and build its manufacturing base. However too many entrepreneurs prefer to invest into non-tradable ...
1
vote
3answers
82 views

What could result in a colonized Mars setting up a monarchy [on hold]

In the future after a nuclear war has ravaged Earth, leaving the Martian colonies on their own and without support... Mars falls under the attacks of local militias, fragmenting. That is until some ...
14
votes
5answers
4k views

Using light as a barrier to block people without grilling them

We know that light exerts pressure upon matter. I'm imagining a hallway where an intense light source on one end shines towards the other end. The goal is to have the beam of light exert so much ...

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