Welcome to my guide on how to write technobabble! Every post will start with one letter of the alphabet, from A to Z, and cover tips and ideas for all you writers of sci-fi. Whether you’re writing about near-future science fiction, far-flung alien worlds, or historical steampunk adventures filled with advanced technology that never was – these posts are designed to help you write convincing and unique tech for your story!
Q is for Quirky, Quintessential, Quantum Questions
I had trouble coming up with something for “Q,” and had several words jotted down—so in the end, I’ve decided to use all of them. So here are some technobabble tips beginning with Q!
-Quirky: it can be fun to create quirky, silly tech. We do it in the real world. Let’s face it: electronic tooth brushes and clocks that project the time on the ceiling are cool, but they’re not absolutely necessary to the functioning of civilization. They’re pretty quirky.
-Quintessential: this is a type of tech that would common, typical, and basically essential or ever-present. I’m not sure if smart phones are actually “quintessential” 21st century tech, but they’re pretty close.
-Quantum: this is a nice science-y word that either can mean something related to quantity or amount, or “the smallest quantity of radiant energy, equal to Planck’s constant times the frequency of the associated radiation,” according to dictionary.com.
-Questions: this can be used in all sorts of ways in fiction. You can leave the question of how the tech works completely open and unanswered. You can have the tech itself be the question, if you’re writing a story to make the reader think about psychology, human nature, or other societal philosophies.
Now go write your quirky, quintessential, quantum, questioning technobabble!