Secrets to Writing Good Sci Fi part 3: Tech

This post is going to be a weird one.

The last ‘Secrets’ post was put up almost a month ago and there’s been a guest post since then. I also have a guest post going up at What If It All Means Something soon, and my day job has been grueling. So I haven’t really been neglecting Silly Robots, so much as trying to get a new post up with little success until now. Which means I’m short on time, but still want to give you, the faithful reader, content.


Anyway, this post will focus on something all Science Fiction writers hold near and dear to their hearts:


Tech and Sci FI go hand in hand. One is hard pressed to find a Science Fiction medium with little to no technology. It truly is a pillar of the genre. It can do everything from drive the story to lurk quietly in the background. Here are some of the ways I use tech in my stories.


Sub genres in Sci Fi are extremely important to how you will use tech. For instance, if you are writing something in a punk genre your tech will build your world. Steampunk is built on steam tech, cyberpunk built on cyber tech. Likewise, space opera usually deals with starships and alien planets with all kinds of weird stuff. A dystopian future, n matter what sub genre, always has some weird invention that affects life as we know it (see ‘Brave New World’ or ‘The Minority Report’). What’s important to remember is that you are building a certain type of world. if you don’t get the tech right in that world, your story will be weak.


When is it ok to throw in a tech heavy chapter? Probably when there isn’t a whole lot going on. For instance, in a dialogue heavy scene. Throwing in a few paragraphs of tech doing the cool stuff it does between conversations is a great way to be tech heavy without seeming that way.

In my opinion, battles have to be kept in check as well. Writing in tech to move a scene along is kind of lame. The good guys are losing?! OH NO! But wait, they still had this unreasonably ridiculous weapon that trumps all other weapons! SWEET!

No. It really isn’t.

Remember that as a writer, you have to be creative. That means no cop outs (unless what you’re writing is a parody).

Well just a few of my thoughts on tech and how to use it. Not extensive by any means, but it’s a starting point. If you haven’t checked out Grant Barnes’ guest post yet, you really should. There will be two more guest posts coming up soon as well. So if you’re tired of me don’t worry! Other people will be writing here…

One thought on “Secrets to Writing Good Sci Fi part 3: Tech

  1. Pingback: The Zen of World Building | Silly Robots

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