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!
G is for Genre
What is “genre?” Dictionary.com defines it as: “a class or category of artistic endeavor having a particular form, content, technique, or the like.” Science-fiction is of course a genre of fiction, but even within sci-fi, there are numerous sub-genres: steampunk, dieselpunk, raypunk, technothriller, military sci-fi, science fantasy, and many more.
Within each genre come certain expectations. Not rules, per se, but fans of specific sub-genres tend to have certain preferences for their chosen categories of sci-fi, and expect their books and films to meet certain standards. A lot of these genre standards or expectations come in the form of storytelling style and pacing; and emphasis on themes such as political espionage or large-scale war or exploration or social commentary. The types of tech, and the importance of tech, also differ from genre to genre. Therefore, the degree of explanation given for the science behind the tech can vary greatly. You can read “E is for Explanation,” where I discuss the difference between the science-heavy technobabble of Star Trek versus the lack of explanations in the science fantasy world of Star Wars.Continue reading