How to Create a Convincing Fictional Technology
Science fiction has a huge role in shaping the future. Many of today’s technologies were inspired by science fiction novels. The helicopter, cellphone, robots, self-driving cars, and earbuds are only some of the inventions that began life in this genre. Science fiction explores the many possibilities of technologies and how they impact people. It is some laboratory to experiment intellectually with all sorts of ideas. There is no limitation as to what science fiction can create in terms of technological developments. You can freely imagine possible future and alternative presents. The believable tech-dependent stories are the reason why many bibliophiles read science fiction. Hence, if you are planning to start writing science fiction, you have to consider the fictional technology you feature in your novel.
The Russian Madhouse by Rick Badman is only one of the many books under this genre with outstanding technological development, such as levitate flying cars and micromachine systems. Badman’s fictional technology was a prime example of logical, realistic, and convincing technology. Bear in mind; science fiction is not science fiction if it does not take the improbable and make it seem convincing. We are living in a reality that the previous generations likely never imagined. Technology has become a great part of our lives that people have high expectations of the technology presented in sci-fi novels. Some still believe that fictional technologies are foolish and absurd. Despite the digital advancement, many will shake their heads and declare disdain over science fiction books. Thus, surprise readers by writing a convincing fictional technology that they will love and even believe.
Research About Emerging Technologies
The world is changing and ever-evolving. Inventors partnered by scientists are developing technologies to fill the void, need, and want of the people and Earth. It can be a simple gadget, a new material, a novel process, or a complex machine. Besides books, innovations are inspired by social and economic reasons— the desire to make life easier and comfortable. Therefore, when writing your fictional technology, you have to have the same mindset as today’s inventors. Research on emerging technologies, even progressive innovations that you may use as a model for your book. Gaining inspiration from emerging technologies makes it familiar and accessible for readers.
Put the Science in Fiction
When introducing your technology in your novel, you have to put science in fiction. You have to consider the fundamental philosophical questions about the nature of reality and the mind. A successful sci-fi author works with professionals, like scientists, engineers, and tech experts, to create a more realistic yet engaging story to satisfy discerning readers. Today’s readers have high expectations and are very observant. They consider things to make sense of what they have read. Hence, working with experts will enable you to share insights that will inform and guide you while writing your fiction technology to debunk myths, correct misconceptions, and apply the right information.
While there are numerous beady-eyed tech readers, a majority of the reading audience will not care about the technical jargon of your fictitious technology. What they care about is how realistic it can be and how it affects the characters. It is fine to go into your technology’s details, especially when it is something that might not be familiar for many. However, overloading your novel with technical jargon and details can confuse a reader. Limit your technical information to only story-critical.
Give It Your Own Twist
Now that you have a clear image of your fictional technology give it a bit of twist to separate it from the original technology. The twist can be minimal, like its features or appearance. Expand your ideas to make them fit within your story universe, still considering storytelling and realism. You can give it an original name, but the name must be easy to pronounce, remember, and relate to. A technique used by most science fiction writers is to cleverly name their technology to its purpose. One example is the “telephot” in Hugo Gernsback’s Ralph 124C 41+, which is a video-telephone device that allows video calling. Be very clever when naming your device.
Consider Its Relevance in the Story
This ties all points mentioned above. This fictitious technology you’ve developed must be relevant and efficient to your overall story. You have placed great effort to develop this, and for that, you must showcase it in your story. How will the character use this? How is it relevant to the character as the story progresses? These are the questions you must answer. Remember that this is always, always about the characters. No matter how astounding the technology is, the success of your story still depends on the character. Explore how humans interact with this machine for realism.