The Science Fiction genre is one in which just about anything can happen. The writer’s only limit is their own imagination, and their ability to make it seem the least bit plausible and a good story. However, science fiction writers, like most other writers, are expected to create by following a certain set of rules. There are dozens of these rules out there, some written, most unspoken. Sometimes breaking these science fiction taboos is the best way to create truly engaging and fascination stories. Why stay in a box when you can fly?
So what is a Taboo anyway? Merriam-Webster.Com defines Taboo as forbidden to profane use or contact because of what are held to be dangerous supernatural powers; banned on grounds of morality or taste; banned as constituting a risk.
Read that again…. “Forbidden” because of “dangerous supernatural powers”, banned because of morality or taste, banned because it’s risky. Forgive me if I’m off-base here but doesn’t taking risks make life even more exciting? What good is morality if you can’t test it? And “supernatural” is just another word for something we can’t explain scientifically. Maybe it’s just the rebel in me, but that sounds like some seriously good story material right there.
Here is the first of 8 Science Fiction Taboos Writers Should Break
Science Fiction Is Supposed To Be Real
According to the experts, Science Fiction is supposed to be plausible, realistic, possible, and it is supposed to be convincing. A Science Fiction story is not supposed to ask a reader to consent to something that is far beyond the realms of reality and clearly impossible without a lot of convincing explanation.
Here’s why I think this science fiction taboo needs to be broken. If Science Fiction were real, it wouldn’t be fiction. Any significantly advanced science will appear as fantastical magic to an equally underdeveloped society.
Imagine an ancient Egyptian seeing an airplane. They might very well mistake it for their great god Horus, who often took the form of a great Hawk. What to us is simple science would look to them as fantastical magic only a god could command.
By limiting us to making Science Fiction “real” and “plausible” we limit the extent to which we can use our imagination. Some might say keeping it within the realm of plausibility forces us to use our imaginations even more. I say why not really test your imagination and make it so outrageously outside the realm of all plausibility, possibility and reality that it defies all explanation by our limited mortal minds.
What do you think? Is it okay to make Science Fiction so outrageously out the realm of all plausibility or do we need to limit how imaginative we get and keep it in the realm of believability?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. You can leave leave a comment here…