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!
T is for Technology
Technology is a cornerstone of science fiction. In this post, I’d like to get you to think about your technology, more so than giving you tips about creating or naming a gadget.
Technology is more than computers and electronics, and it’s more than the latest “cool new advanced” gadget that comes along. Technology is science, art, invention, creation, building, engineering. Technology is a way to advance society, to make a task easier or faster, to give practical application to an idea.
Once upon a time, the wheel was new and advanced technology. Catapults were advanced technology, steam-powered ships were advanced technology. The technology of your story can be at any level, depending on what sort of sci-fi genre you’re writing.
Some things to think about regarding your world’s technology:
-How to the main characters or main societies view the technology? Do they accept it without question, do they challenge it, worship it, fear it?
-Is the technology generally used for the betterment of people, or for oppression or destruction? Why, and how does this affect the main characters? Is this the main plot, or a side element of world-building?
-What are the main technological elements? Weapons? Vehicles and transportation? Biological and genetic technology? Food production and lifestyle comforts? Something else?
-Do the characters understand how and why their technology works, or is their lack of understanding important to the story? Or are understanding and explanations irrelevant to the story?
Technology of all sorts has an important place in sci-fi, whether it’s interdimensional space ships or steam-powered mechanical computers. Technology and society go hand in hand, in both real life and in fiction. Look at your tech from all the angles when you’re building your world.
4 thoughts on “Writing Technobabble: T is for Technology”
Technology features in my ‘T’ as well, such an important part of sci-fi and dystopia. Good post.
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One thing you need to think about is what the level of technology present in the world does to The Stakes for the characters. If weapons technology is a sharpened stone on a stick, that makes the stakes very different from Death Stars. If there is no method of long-distance communication, the stakes of travel are very different from when you can hologram with your loved ones back home at any time.
Black and White: T for Tatooine
That is so true! Thanks for offering your insight into this! 🙂