Science fiction encompasses a lot of different subject matter. It’s one of the most interesting genres to write about because there are so many different directions that a person can take a story.
Below are 50 different sci-fi writing prompts. Some of them are purely scientific in nature and others have something of the human element to them. Some could even be adapted as a horror film while others could be turned into a love story, if only the right twist were to be placed on the manuscript.
While some of these writing prompts will undoubtedly resonate with you better than others, there is definitely something for everyone here. If you’re ready to write, skim through the list and see which prompt (or prompts) speak to you. Who knows, you just might be on the verge of creating a magnificent story.
50. No one can have children until they can prove that they will be good parents.
How does that type of society look? Imagine being told that you can’t have children unless you can prove that you actually deserve them. What lengths would you go to in order to prove that you could be a worthy parent?
49. People and animals can now communicate directly with one another.
What would you say if you could sit down next to an animal and talk to it the same way you talk to your best friend? How would this reality change the state of the world?
48. Drugs are now being added to beverages that are designed to stop people from fighting with each other.
The idea might have been a noble one involving peace, but isn’t this just another form of mind control? Explore the moral implications of taking away the free will of other people.
47. Explore the butterfly effect of a single event in history not having actually happened.
What if the Titanic had never sunk or World War I had never happened? Imagine that you can go back in time and erase an event such as this. How would the world be different today?
46. Human beings are now being bred like animals, all for the amusement of other humans.
The technology exists to breed “designer” humans, but the only people who can afford to do it are the super rich. Is it right to breed people as in the same way one would breed a purebred animal?
45. Someone is hired to file papers in a government office. He or she quickly learns that the government is deciding the fates of others.
Write about the events that follow. As it turns out, the government has been deciding who succeeds and who fails for years, giving unfair advantages to some while keeping others pinned down in a rut. They even have the capability to decide who lives and who dies. What should the new employee do with this starling information?
44. Imagine what would happen if the entertainment industry used big data to create a show that’s so addictive, it changes the way people act all over the world.
Literally everyone becomes addicted. Soon, no one is paying attention to anything that needs to be done in order to keep the world moving forward. Eventually, everything grinds to a halt. The thing is, everyone is so addicted to this new show that they don’t even notice until it’s too late.
43. What would happen if an alien and a human being were to fall in love?
How would they navigate being in love when they are literally from two different planets? What would likely happen if they pursued their feelings for one another?
42. Every person on earth has an implant in their retina that allows them to be controlled.
The truly scary thing is that they don’t even know it. It’s all part of a government cover-up that allows them to control every person on the planet.
41. A group of astronauts go on a mission. They come back almost 100 years later and they haven’t aged at all, but they can’t remember anything.
What will happen to them now. More importantly, what happened to their loved ones.
40. People are forced to have fitness devices implanted into them which force them to get into shape as if they are nothing but robots responding to commands.
Who is controlling them and why? What other motives do they have?
39. Smartphones suddenly go rogue and start controlling the people that own them.
They can make people inexplicably sad, giddy beyond reason or completely enraged. The people themselves have no say in the matter whatsoever.
38. Computers start getting viruses that can be transmitted to people.
The viruses are running rampant and people are getting sick left and right. The truly frightening thing is that modern medicine can’t help them. What will happen to society?
37. Every thought or feeling you experience is broadcast for the whole world to see.
How are you supposed to interact with others when you can’t filter what you say and what you keep to yourself?
36. People from ancient Rome start appearing all over the place.
Then others come back from past civilizations. What would you do?
35. People can choose to become immortal with a single dose of medication.
It seems like a good idea at first, but what happens when a person lives far beyond their natural lifetime? More importantly, what happens when the person they love most decides against getting the medication?
34. Euthanasia is a real thing.
Write about the moral impacts on society as a direct result of this. Should people be able to kindly end their own life (or the life of someone else) at will? What types of guidelines should exist for something like this?
33. A human has been genetically altered to possess all the best qualities of every field.
What are the implications of this new technology? What happens when a person can become the very best at anything they choose? How do they handle having a built-in advantage over others?
32. Humans can now use simple implants to become telepathic.
Is it really a gift or more likely, a curse? What happens when those who don’t have a natural ability or inclination toward something alter themselves with technology so they can do something they’d probably be better off not doing in the first place?
31. Scientists routinely alter humans so they can fit into different alien societies in order to obtain crucial information.
What happens when the humans start to remember what happened to them?
30. People can become invisible whenever they choose.
What would you do if you had this ability? Would it be an advantage or would it hinder virtually every aspect of your life?
29. What would happen if people could travel between dimensions?
How would your own life be different if you had this ability? Would you use it for the greater good or would you choose to use it for something more personal?
28. People start cloning their deceased loved ones, only to learn about the moral cost of doing so after the fact.
What happens when the clones look the same, but have no soul?
27. A family thinks its house is haunted, but it finds it’s the technology in the home that has turned on them.
How will they escape from a home that has essentially become their prison?
26. Society discovers that their “memories” are nothing but codes programmed into them by scientists as part of a giant experiment.
What happens when they start to remember this and decide that they will no longer do the scientists’ bidding?
25. It gets dark and the sun fails to come out for months with no explanation.
What has caused this to happen? Is it something purely scientific or is it the result of tampering with nature when it should have been left alone?
24. A father discovers that he isn’t human, but rather a clone created by his wife after her human husband’s death.
How is he supposed to cope when he learns that his memories are not his own?
23. People’s dreams turn out not to be dreams at all.
Instead, they are actually portals into other dimensions where they are living out the lives they dream about.
22. The world runs out of room to build additional prisons, so society starts sending prisoners into outer space.
What happens to these prisoners after they are jettisoned off the planet?
21. People can download anything they want into their brains so they have an instant set of skills.
Instead of learning a trade and honing their skills, they can become an expert in anything in a matter of minutes. How does this change society?
20. The consciousness of a person can be downloaded into a computer, effectively giving grieving families a digital version of the person they have lost.
Is this a gift or does it just make it harder to say goodbye?
19. Virtual reality has become so seamlessly integrated into the real world that it’s impossible to tell one from the other.
What happens when people start to become confused, believing that what happens in the virtual world is actually real?
18. All diseases can be easily cured with technology that comes in the form of a routine shot.
People are now living well past 150 years of age. Is this a good thing or are their drawbacks to living that long?
17. The world economy as it is known today is no longer needed.
People have finally moved away from the idea that everything is rooted in finances and there is no longer a societal class of any kind. How does this change the way people interact with one another?
16. People can be made “perfect” with regard to physical and mental idiosyncrasies.
In doing so, the very idea of human individuality has become a thing of the past. At what point does technology go too far?
15. An entire section of the world has become disenchanted with technology.
As a result, they have returned to a way of life similar to Medieval times in hopes of preserving their preferred way of life.
14. Every single person living in a particular major city disappears in a single night
Where did they all go? It’s up to one person who remembers that they existed to find out.
13. A whole family falls asleep at the same time, only to wake and find that everything about their lives is different than it was before.
The thing is, some of the family members don’t want things to go back to the way they were.
12. Two people who desperately want to be together discover that they are never meant to be with one another.
However, that isn’t a problem in a parallel world. Do they remain in the world they were born into or jump into the parallel universe where they can finally be together?
11. All the people under 20 years of age suddenly disappear from the planet.
Why did they disappear and who caused it?
10. Every woman in town becomes pregnant at the exact same time, even those who have been told that they can never have children.
What’s causing this event and is there a deeper meaning behind it?
9. All the dogs in the world suddenly develop the ability to speak in the same way that humans do.
What would it be like if you could talk to your dog? What do you think he or she would have to say?
8. A teenager who has been shuffled around through the foster system her entire life finally makes the decision that she wants to be given an injection so she will no longer feel any emotion whatsoever.
She just wants to make the pain stop, but this also means she will never be able to feel joy.
7. All the digital technology we currently enjoy suddenly goes offline.
What happens to society in the wake of this event? How will the world operate five years from now when all of this technology no longer exists?
6. A girl has horrific dreams about world-shattering events that then come true.
She is left to figure out why she has these dreams and what she is meant to do with the information she receives.
5. Your new video game seems a bit too adaptable.
Soon, it knows everything about your personal life. What exactly is going on?
4. You are sitting in English class when you suddenly receive a text message from your mother.
The thing is, her mom died seven years ago.
3. A woman can turn on lights and other electronic items with her mind.
What else can she do? More importantly, why does she have this ability in the first place?
2. Scientists have no choice but to start controlling the weather themselves because of global warming.
How do they decide who gets what? Will it be as easy to control the weather as they think or is it just another disaster waiting to happen?
1. A teenager discovers that scientists have been putting mind control chemicals in the water supply for years, but no one will believe her.
What action should she take next to prove that she is right?
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