Writing Technobabble: Z is for Zathras

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! 

Z is for Zathras 

So what does Zathras mean? Zathras is a character from the TV show Babylon 5. He is an alien who helps to maintain the Great Machine—an ancient and advanced piece of tech on the otherwise-desolate planet that the Babylon 5 space station orbits.

For this particular A to Z Challenge about technobabble, what Zathras represents goes along with the “X” and “Y” posts. He represents something “other” and strange, and he represents the author just plain having fun with worldbuilding. Zathras is a comical yet enigmatic character who is not very good at explaining how his tech works (or explaining anything, really); but he is wise, intelligent in his own way, and masterful at building and fixing advanced tech, even if he can’t explain how it works.

Continue reading

Writing Technobabble: Y is for You’re in Charge

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! 

Y is for You’re in Charge 

As we come to the end of this blogging challenge, and all of the tips, tricks, and advice I’ve given, this is perhaps the most important: you’re the author, so you’re in charge.

Yes, there are guidelines and expectations for the different sub-genres of science fiction. Yes, you should read some writing craft books to get good at basic storytelling techniques. Yes, you should write and re-write, get feedback from critique partners and beta readers, and get an editor for your story—not just hit “publish” on Amazon after cranking out a first draft of your first attempt at a sci-fi novel.

Continue reading

Writing Technobabble: X is for Xeno

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! 

X is for Xeno 

I mentioned the word “xeno” in my P is for Prefixes post. Xeno is originally from an ancient Greek word that means “stranger,” “alien,” or “foreign.” It’s usually used as a prefix to create compound words. For example, the word “xenolith” is used in geology and it refers to any type of rock that is different in type and composition from the surrounding igneous rock.

Continue reading

Writing Technobabble: W is for Worldbuilding

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! 

W is for Worldbuilding 

Building a fictional world—especially in a fantastical genre like sci-fi—encompasses way more than just technology. If your story is set in the present world, or a real place and time in history, then research is your friend for worldbuilding.

Continue reading

Writing Technobabble: U is for Unknown

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! 

U is for Unknown 

Unknown technology? But of course! That’s the point of technobabble in sci-fi, right? 

All sci-fi is really about the unknown. Even if your story isn’t about a five-year-mission of exploration like the starship Enterprise, delving into the unknown is what gives sci-fi its power. If nothing else, your story is making something known to everyone that was previously unknown (your story and its world—which were previously unknown to all but you.)

Continue reading

Writing Technobabble: T is for Technology

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.

Continue reading