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June 20, 2022 sci-fiTips0

Have you ever noticed how some of the most science fiction novels that make it out to the mainstream are typically those that seem very realistic?

These novels are commonly grounded on reliable scientific concepts that make their audience ponder the “what-ifs.” What if these events become true? Or, what if this is already happening without us knowing. Some of the key factors in a science fiction ground the story in reality, making it believable and understandable.

This is one of the many charms of science fiction. Its possible realism makes people reflect on themselves and their relationship with the world. It helps them make sense of their mistakes and explore and see fault in their behavior concerning the issues experienced by the world. For instance, in movies about eco-catastrophes, people may reflect on how their behavior and habits can affect the world and bring possible consequences. If not for its entertainment value, this is perhaps one of the reasons why realism should be highly considered in novels.

Why do people enjoy watching science fiction, even if they include catastrophic and scary themes?

The concept of realism focuses on creating an illusion of reality in your media. If a novel, for instance, is labeled as realistic, its concepts should have a clear reflection and association with the real world. If this makes sense, people want to experience the excitement or catastrophe science fiction has to offer without actually experiencing it. And realism in the media puts the audience into this world that the author (or director for movies) has created, which makes it so popular.

It’s been solidified that somehow people can be so curious about morbid events. Humans, as curious beings, like placing themselves in other people’s shoes, especially if this involves rather tragic circumstances. This instinct can be associated with people convincing themselves that they would never end up in these situations. If they do, they can protect themselves and survive. This unusual fact can explain why most people remain so invested in horror movies, despite being easily scared and even paranoid afterward.

This inclination has been programmed in them since time immemorial. This can be explained at the anatomical and psychological levels by how their brain functions. Being scared is reflected in the brain the same way as excitement is. This means that if people are faced with scary events, their brains can mistake it for excitement, which is why they mostly continue to anticipate or look for a stimulus that induces this emotion.

This implies that one of the ways to make a science fiction novel catch people’s interest is by making it realistic and with a theme that can stir people’s emotions. And as an aspiring writer, who aims to write great and gripping science fiction novels, you need to find ways to improve your writing skills. Here’s how you can do it.

Utilize existing or highly debated creatures and technology

There is a reason why most dinosaur and alien movies never fail to catch people’s attention. For instance, dinosaurs have been known to exist a long time ago, and how they behaved is something people are generally curious about. On the other hand, aliens are the center of the debate about their existence. Therefore, writing about them can create debate and discussion, which can help boost your book’s publicity.

This is what Harral’s sci-fi and mystery book offer. While Moon Luck doesn’t have aliens or highly dangerous predators in it, this novel tackles the curious case of moon travel. Whether or not humans can survive days on the moon has consistently been something that scientists and citizens alike have pondered the possibility of. This is why movies about this concept can quickly become blockbusters in today’s society. 

Study physics and science

Just because you’re writing science fiction – with capital fiction – it doesn’t mean you can write whatever your heart and mind want. You still need to bank it on some realistic components if you want your events to seem plausible. With this, learning is still required. But this doesn’t mean you need a degree and fluency in the language of science. This only entails that you should have done ample research before you write anything involving science. For your novel to be believable, it needs to have any sense of reliability and validity.

Consider building your world around existing ones

While there’s something very unsettling about the dystopian world, creating your sci-fi world on something closely similar to the current society is even more dramatic. This does for your audience only amplifies the realism, adding even more possibility to your narrative. Perhaps in making this, you’re adding more dread to your story with the heightened plausibility of whatever catastrophe you place your characters into.

When it comes to writing science fiction, the sky’s your limit. The world becomes rather liberating, and you can devise whatever mechanism to help make your world as exciting as you’d like it to be. Realism isn’t necessary, but it does impact your story. What’s great about writing science fiction is that anyone can be a master of it with a bit of planning and wit.


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April 13, 2022 Guest Article0

Science fiction has drastically changed over the decades. Much of this has to do with humankind’s technological advancements, which leads to multiple discoveries, doubts, and questions about the earth and the universe beyond it.

The genre of science fiction explores the different possibilities that center on the curiosities of the human mind. It reflects how people constantly change and challenge their perceptions of science and technology. Some of the most common themes in this genre aim to answer or make its audience ponder whether other intelligent forms exist outside the earth or if life can exist beyond it?

Science fiction thrives in debates – the divided sides people take regarding the questions of the unknown. But as the world progresses, many of these queries have begun to be proven truth or fallacy. How can science fiction grow as a genre when the curiosities it aims to satisfy are answered? Or will these advancements ultimately mean the extinction of science fiction?

The Subtle Alteration

Most of what people are curious about unknown territories in the world mostly revolve around whether life can survive on other plants or flourish on the moon. This is why most science fiction media are directed toward space travel or experiments to answer those questions. However, as this genre is generally aimed at continuous progression, perhaps it’s about time writers focus on the proceeding “what-ifs,” assuming that answers to these questions have been reached. For instance, instead of focusing on the voyage toward the moon, maybe it’s about high-time that science fiction takes people’s imaginations into how life would be like if people did stand a chance of living on the moon or other planets.

Sure, at this point, there’s still a lot of ongoing research and tests to prove if that’s possible or not, and it’s still an utterly unfeasible experience. But isn’t this also the primary goal of science fiction? To ignite people’s imagination and challenge the existing limits of modern technology? Besides, fiction is fiction. The more closely impossible it is, the more people can discuss it and the more traction it might receive.

Take, for example, Moon Luck by Harral. This book isn’t a narration of traveling toward the moon. Instead, it’s already showing its readers how life would flourish on the moon, following its author Scott Harral’s perception – what kind of machinery would help people live, what routines would they be doing there. And Harral depicts it not like how people would imagine it to be. There are no houses or malls like how it is on earth. Though the book isn’t about any normal life and is, in fact, a thriller, it still gives its readers a glimpse of how life can be on the moon.

Taking It from the Other’s Perspective

Mainstream media has ample content revolving around aliens, whether it be thrillers or actions about an alien invasion or the comedies about these creatures trying to blend in with humankind. But what writers haven’t explored much about are alien invasions from the aliens’ perspectives. People have seen and read about how humans were to react if aliens landed on the earth. But how about the aliens? How would they respond to the difference in appearance or their planets?

A Contrast to the Politics

Most of what people see in science fiction regarding the discussion of politics leans toward the negative end of its spectrum – military empires, feudalism, a government so unprincipled that it triggers a revolution amongst its people. But these are the overused type of politics in media that it’s become a familiar and expected trend – bad governance equals the need to revolt. How about taking this idea and putting it in reverse?

How will people react to highly decorous and conventional governance? Perhaps, one so good that it brings in new sets of politics and morality that it instead pushes its citizens to rebel or dissent against their goody authorities? How will people react and take advantage of it when given so much freedom and goodness?

Realistically, How will the World be Years from Now?

There’s almost always an exaggeration when it comes to the future in science fiction. When media talks about the future, there’s always the existence of flying cars or a broken-down society. But let’s face it, a couple of years from now, there might not be much of a difference nor any grandiose advancements in technology to how it is now. And perhaps it’s an exciting idea to explore that realistic side of the future. Rather than making everything excessively advanced, why not do something small and create conflict from that. This way, it will spark the most realism in the audience, giving them a sense of dread with the high possibility of it happening.

For as long as there are existing technological and scientific breakthroughs, science fiction won’t cease to exist. The only thing writers need to do isn’t think of entirely new topics to tackle. Instead, tweak existing ones. This is how science fiction can continue to be a place of discussion and debate about the world’s endless possibilities.


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