How to write a good science fiction novel.

Science fiction is by far my favourite genre, but there is an appalling lack of decent new material for me to cut my teeth on… and I’m rapidly running out of old stuff that I haven’t already read. So I thought I would draw up a few rules that I might follow if I were to write a sci-fi novel.

1)  NO ALIENS, or if you do make them totally and utterly alien. Even the aliens in the Alien films are fairly humanoid in appearance, and these get closest to my idea of something that would be totally alien. Babylon 5, Star Trek, make aliens just species which over exhibit human personality traits.

2) No dystopia, particularly of the post apocalyptic variety. Why? Because humans have a knack of surviving and thriving.

3) No zombies or vampires (its been done) also see above.

4) No time travel. Why? because watch Bill and Ted, that’s why.

5) No telepathy, because dialogue is what makes a scene.

6) Try to avoid faster than light travel. Why? because it makes stories silly, if you can just jump to a somewhere else then surely that alleviates any situation of the necessity for conflict and conflict is the mothers milk of all stories.

7) No orphans saving the day, its been done. What is it about being an orphan that makes you prime hero material? Seriously…

I’m sure there are more, feel free to add some in the comments section, I know I would, if I weren’t eagerly awaiting the NFL game starting in less than an hour and a half!


2 thoughts on “How to write a good science fiction novel.

  1. Pingback: How to write a good science fiction novel. | Todd DeanTodd Dean

  2. Well that just pretty much cuts out every genre-specific element in science fiction!! (Plus, I always thought the aliens in Start Trek are meant (a bit like Tolkien’s Elves and Dwarves and Hobbits) to represent different *human* aspects – so that is totally understandable!)

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