Thursday, July 7, 2016

50 Awesome Scifi Writing Prompts for Your Scifi Muse

Writing prompts are one of the most useful tools a writer can put in a writing arsenal. As I was thinking about what to write today, it occurred to me that I haven’t posted a list of writing prompts in a while, so here, for your scribbling pleasure are 50 of my best Sci-Fi writing prompts! 

If you have other writing prompts you think should make the list, please leave me a comment! I’ll do another writing prompts post soon, who knows, yours could end up being one of the writing prompts I choose!

First up, some Vacation themed scifi writing prompts, in honor of my upcoming departure for Mexico!

  • ·       When you made the down payment for your Air BnB, you didn’t notice the zipcode, it’s in another galaxy, far far away.
  • ·       You leave your world behind, only to find that what you are trying to escape is coming from the world you’ve traveled to.
  • ·       You wake to find yourself in a cramped, dark space. When you escape, you discover you’re a stowaway in an alien travelers luggage.
  • ·       You take a virtual reality vacation, but a killer is on the loose inside the VR resort and coming after you!
  • ·       While on a romantic getaway with your significant other, you are sucked into a portal, where you can see them, but you cannot communicate and they don’t know where you are. 

Medicine and science often intertwine, here are some scifi writing prompts about futuristic medicine

  • ·       You’ve just become the parent of the first child incubated entirely in an artificial womb, when you discover your child has some unusual abilities.
  • ·       You went in for a routine checkup, but end up in an alien vessel, being “probed”! Yikes!
  • ·       You have a new doctor, who seems very efficient and knowledgeable, you do a little digging and find out, he’s not human, he’s an android, the first one anyone you know has ever seen.
  • ·       You wake up as the first recipient of a complete body transplant, after your brain was taken out of cryogenic stasis, where you were stored for more than 50 years.
  • ·       Medical tourism takes an interesting turn, when the clinic you thought was in a remote Ukrainian village, turns out to be a little more remote, like in another star system. 

Self driving cars are in the headlines lately, here are scifi writing prompts about transportation

  • ·       You are a bus driver, on the first interplanetary school shuttle and you pick up kids of at least a half dozen alien races every day.
  • ·       In a future where automobiles are completely defunct, they are looking for an expert to help them reclaim their automotive heritage, they send someone back to ask you, but all you know is how to drive.
  • ·       Your self-driving car goes haywire, trapping you inside on a cross-country joyride.
  • ·       You’re an off-planet worker, commuting between worlds in a molecular transporter beam, when it breaks down, stranding your consciousness between worlds.
  • ·       The fabled “space elevator” between earth and the moon has been completed and you are among the first to rid as a reporter to share your experience. 

Robots, robots, robots, here are some scifi writing prompts about our AI brothers.

  • ·       Your robot gardener starts hitting on your teenage daughter. Turns out, he’s got a virus called love machine.
  • ·       As a robot sales agent, you’re used to returns, but this same woman has brought back three different personal attendant bots with the same malfunction.
  • ·       A factory bot, designed to learn its environment escapes the factory, developing a case of digital curiosity. Even after reprogramming it continues to find ways out.
  • ·       You are part of an elite force of fighters tasked with parachuting from low planetary orbit onto a hostile world to defeat a rogue army of bots that overran their masters.
  • ·       As a national champion battle bot builder, you know your stuff. You are starting to suspect that one of your competitors is incorporating alien hardware in her builds. 

Industry 4.0 is the 4th wave of Industrial revolution, meshing man and machine, here are some writing prompts about what goes wrong, and right.

  • ·       As autonomous factories become more efficient, technicians like you are no longer needed. You are forced to pick up work that used to be left for robots, like  lawn care and janitorial.
  • ·       Your clothing factory runs itself and the president is coming to visit when your factory calls to tell you it won’t make xx sized clothing, the materials are too costly, but the president is fat.
  • ·       In an abandoned back room of an automated factory, you and a team of technicians tasked with getting the plant back online, discover the machines have secretly created their own factory, to replicate themselves
  • ·       You are touring the world’s first fully automated AI driven android factory, where the machines design and build themselves.
  • ·       When all of the service bots on your planet suddenly lose interest in work, the humans have to remember how to do menial daily tasks, they’ve not done for generations. 

Deep space travel is the ultimate scifi fantasy, here are some writing prompts around that theme

  • ·       Sucked over the edge of the event horizon, you and your crew get caught in a temporal loop, living the same day over and over, Ground Hog Day x infinity.
  • ·       After achieving warp speed, your vessel travels forward in time, only to find you are returning to a life you didn’t remember.
  • ·       An alien invader has stolen the single cell that powers your entire colony and you must return it before your asteroid home slips into shadow and loses solar power to its life support.
  • ·       Your deep space travels end on earth, where you discover that the timeline has split and you have returned to find another you living your life.
  • ·       You make contact with the very first alien race on their home world and find out that humans are a pupal stage of their development. 

From the steam engine, to the space shuttle, we’ve come a long way, here are some scifi writing prompts about future inventions.

  • ·       A skin healing gel for rehabbing soldiers has a curious side effect, it makes them bulletproof.
  • ·       You are the inventor of the latest game fad, a Virtual Reality experience that allows users to glimpse their afterlife
  •      A wealthy magnate has hired you to create a device capable of stealing vitality from a human for cash, then transplant it into him, making him immortal.
  • ·       The populated earth becomes so light polluted that you invent a device that generates darkness in a limited space.
  • ·       Insect protein has replaced animal flesh as the protein of choice so restaurants begin using VR technology to give diners the experience of eating real meat, while munching bugs. 

Nature gone wrong is a big theme in scifi. Here are some writing prompts about what could happen.

  • ·       As insect protein replaces animal flesh, the remaining domestic animals are turned loose to become dangerous, roving wild beasts, unafraid of humans.
  • ·       In an attempt to engineer weather, the national weather service has activated a near endless stream of catastrophic storms and needs you to end it.
  • ·       A group, of anarchists moves out of society to start over, only to find that the animal kingdom was conspiring to keep man in cities and under government rule.
  • ·       Your city is under siege by an armada of gigantic houseflies, the size of elephants.
  • ·       You grow to enormous size, only to discover there is another, larger layer of reality that you now fit into, where your former world is a speck. 

Dystopia has made a comeback in the last decade or so here are some dystopian themed writing prompts.

  • ·       As a backlash to the childishness of millennials, their children take over and as humans age, they are turned out into giant playgrounds and barred from work and societal management roles.
  • ·       Society does not collapse, in fact, it becomes happier and happier, until everyone goes insane due to lack of challenges.
  • ·       In a near distant future, hope and wishing are outlawed, as desire is seen as the root of all discontent.
  • ·       A future world where leisure and entertainment are highly prized stages an annual contest wherein teams of comedians compete for laughs and those who fail are executed.
  • ·       In a bleak world, where all food is synthesized and no edible plants exist, you find an ancient packet of seeds, what will you do with it?

Time warps and multiple dimensions are always fun, here are some writing prompts based on that

  • ·       You find a pit in your basement that leads to multiple dimensions and someone has been coming out of it recently.
  • ·       Everyone one on earth suddenly freezes in time, except for one man.
  • ·       While at work, you realize you are shifting between parallel universes without warning and no one else around you seems to notice.
  • ·       You discover that you have an innate ability to travel in time, but only between your present and one date and place.
  • ·       Your biological child claims to be from the future and provides some very convincing evidence to support the claim.

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