Foundations of Science Fiction (Part II)

In my first article, I talked about the themes of science fiction and tried to explain them in as much detail as possible. Now, I'm going to focus on one of the "foundations," which is "questions," and I'll try to explain this one like I did the last one. So let's get started.


Let's look at the impact of the "what if" factor in science fiction. For example, we live our lives in a familiar way. We wake up early in the morning, work until late hours, come home, and the next day we're back in the same system. But at this moment, a "what if" question can change everything.

What if the system we're in changes?

You wake up in the morning and go to work, but you see everyone working underwater. They don't need to breathe because they have tiny sacs that absorb oxygen from the water around them. You dive into the water and find out that you're the same. But you weren't like this the day before. What changed? Let's say there was a huge radiation explosion the night before and it affected you in this way. You wake up in the morning as a strange creature instead of a normal human being. This is where science fiction comes in. Hello "Parallel Universe" theme, hello "Disaster Scenario" theme!

What if the system paid me in toilet paper instead of money?

At the end of the month, they hand you a roll of toilet paper and say, "Here you go! This is your salary." What would happen then? A theme should be written about why this toilet paper is valuable. It would explain why money is not being used. Many things could be done with toilet paper, and the stories of hundreds of workers in toilet paper factories could be told. The capital revolving around toilet paper would be discussed. People would start to fear going to the bathroom because using toilet paper there would deplete their savings. If a currency called "Toilet Paper" was supported by necessary hypotheses and theses, and a solid text was put behind it, then science fiction would come into play. Because changing only the currency would also change some things in the world. Technology, different races, and living conditions would also be affected."

What would happen if I joined the system I'm in as soon as I wake up?

Well, to be honest, it would be pretty cool. Personally, I'd love to wake up and be instantly at work, and then "poof!" back home as soon as I'm done. But that's not the point here.

Let's say you wake up and there's a small disk-shaped mechanism with different lights on it right next to your bed. As soon as you get out of bed, you step on it. And boom, you're at work and wearing your suit. Turns out that disk is a teleportation device and it prepared you for work.

At that moment, science fiction comes into play and the invention of the teleportation device is explained to you. Then the details of using the device are given, and the effects it has on the character are discussed.

The result of "what if":

By simply removing one element and replacing it with something scientifically proven or scientifically supported, the whole story becomes science fiction. You can take a different path while everything else remains the same. Just by asking a "what if" question, you can become the main character in a book or movie.


When you want to create a science fiction story, one of the questions you need to ask is the 'Maybe' question. Actually, 'Maybe' is not a question, but you need to use it as a question pattern. For example, you are a twenty-something guy and your life is just going back and forth to university. You are not loved around and you have never had a girlfriend. Let's see what changes when we apply the 'maybe...' pattern to the situation.

Maybe my life is just a simulation!

You continue your life as the main character of the story. But somehow, one day while walking on the street, you see glitches in the environment. And this glitching continues all the time. When your friend talks, their face suddenly glitches and changes into a different shape. Then it returns to its old state. But this glitching continues all the time. You try to figure out what's going on for months and you go to the doctor.

They look at you and say "this guy's crazy!" and send you to a mental hospital. Let's say you go into a coma and die under the influence of medication there. Finally, a song plays and congratulations can be heard. You emerge from the cocoon as the first human to discover parasitism and you realize that your life was a computer game. Everything was a simulation.

See what I mean? "Maybe" has the power to change everything.

Maybe we're aliens. Maybe other beings see us that way.

In your twenties, as a student and an unpopular character, you meet another life form. Let's say she's sitting in your room when you get home. Interestingly, this character is also in the form of a female. You try to get to know her and she becomes your alien girlfriend. You become the material of science fiction. That hopeless character in your twenties changed with the "maybe" format.

Maybe we're creatures sent to destroy the world.

Our character wakes up one morning to go to school and encounters a man who bumps into him on the street. The man hands him a badge that reads "keep attacking!" When our character touches the badge, his memories return, and he realizes that he's actually a different life form, maybe a creature produced by cockroaches, with the goal of leaving the world to them. The word "maybe" that put a normal university student into this situation caused so much trouble.

The result of the 'Maybe' format;

The outcome of the "maybe" format is that any factor in our lives can be replaced or added with something different through this format to create science fiction. As I said before, if the altered factor is supported by scientific concepts or contains a scientific topic, the results can send you to a science fictional universe.

What is the Ultimate Result?

To create a work of science fiction in literary or visual media, there are two characteristics you need to know

Firstly, what question or theme led to the creation of the work?

Secondly, can the work have a scientific basis or evidence? After this work is made public, can it truly be supported by scientific materials?

This isn't about random science. For example, a situation where your character gains the ability to control fire after getting hit by a stone while walking on the street cannot be a science fiction example. It can be fantasy, but to be science fiction, it needs to be detailed.

are essential. First, a foundation needs to be established. For example:

After mentioning things like these, the topic being explored turns into science fiction. This is because it can be said that there is scientific support. Changes in the structure of human blood, the consequences of radiation, unknown mutations, and environmental factors that science has not yet identified are all examples of this.

In light of all this, what I will say is that the questions within science fiction are of great importance. Phrases like "What if?" and "Perhaps" are just small examples of these questions. When reading or watching a science fiction work, observe carefully. Actually, what is being done is just another fraction of what you are used to.

However, as I have been saying from the beginning of the topic, I repeat that scientific support and evidence will lead you to science fiction. Otherwise, it is likely that you will slip into either fantasy or absurdity.

The song playing in the background while writing is "The Power of Epic Music - Vol. 3."

Author: Ahmet T. Mengeş

Science fiction and fantasy enthusiast. Game addict. Guardian of vampire mythology. Weird and equally arrogant. Amateur game developer. Very amateur.

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