Writing Technobabble: V is for Vehicles

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!

V is for Vehicles 

Vehicles and transportation are another important element in most sci-fi, whether it’s faster-than-light space ships or steampunk zeppelins. 

When inventing vehicles for your sci-fi story, what matters more than a cool name or even a cool look is how they are used and why.

The crew of the Protector, retrieving a Beryllium Sphere so that their busted ship can travel again, in the film “Galaxy Quest.”

Are vehicles essential to your story, like in Star Trek, for example? The whole premise of boldly going hinges on space-faring vehicles. Even in a story set in a smaller location than the vastness the galaxy usually requires vehicles for the characters to get around. In the steampunk novel The Difference Engine, the majority of the story is set in London. Even so, the main characters spend a lot of time traveling around the city on a variety of steam-powered contraptions, because walking everywhere in a large city would be impractical.

Vehicles can also be important to the plot, and not just in the way of space exploration star ships. Vehicles can help characters move quickly, or slowly, as the plot needs it. Vehicles can be used to hide it, escape with, or be imprisoned in. And a vehicle breaking down is always a massive inconvenience—annoying in real life, but great fodder to complicate a story plot. 

Have fun with vehicles as you “travel” through your story! 


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