Category: How to…SciFi

  • A Tube Map of SF&F Genres

    As with any London Tube style map, distance on the map has no connection with distance in reality. Position is about how to make everything fit. I feel like it needs more stops on the big pink Fantasy circle line. Green stops allow you to change services to mainstream rail lines. Purple stops allow you […]


  • How to fly

    In the previous entry in this very irregular series of how to fictionally do a thing, I suggested that invisibility was one of the oldest of these fantastical ideas. It was only afterwards that it occurred to me that flight was just as old and just as fantastical. After all the myth of Icarus is […]

  • How to…make something invisible

    Of all science fiction objectives, invisibility is one of the oldest and most plausible. Plato’s fable of the Ring of Gyges in The Republic used the idea of invisibility to discuss ethics. H.G.Wells added the concept to the staples of science fiction with The Invisible Man. The plausible aspect is that many things in real […]

  • Some advice for time travellers

    I feel like I’ve watched a lot of time-travel narratives of late — in particular season 2 of the German Netflix series Dark but also the Netflix superhero drama The Umbrella Academy and even Star Trek:Discovery . So time for some handy advice if you find yourself voluntarily or involuntarily wandering the time streams. 1. […]

  • How to blow up the Death Star and/or other doomsday weapons but mainly the Death Star

    I don’t always sleep well but when I do suffer from stress induced insomnia it’s never at the initial falling asleep stage. One excellent talent I have is falling asleep. I’m very good at it but it’s not a skill much celebrated. If I do wake up in the middle of the night (and some […]

  • I don’t know how to make a phaser

    Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a decent non-projectile based energy weapon side-arm that is vaguely gun shaped. They might blast, phase, zap, pew-pew, disrupt or disintegrate but they have to give auditory and visual clues that they are operating. A silent and invisible beam of death may work quite effectively in […]

  • Magic Gun Stopping Thing

    Malka Older’s Infomocracy makes a few mentions of a device called a “lumper”. The lumper is some kind of electromagnetic device that disables metal guns. The use of the lumper is part of the underlying technology that has helped change the world in various ways. Guns still exist but are plastic and there are multiple […]

  • Not a How To Time Travel

    This post sort of follows this, this, and this. I don’t have many impractical suggestions of how to time travel. Let me explain. Time travel is either easy or impossible. It is easy because essentially time is just another dimension of space-time and travel in the other three dimensions is easy and we are already […]

  • How to Ansible

    I’ve already looked at how to teleport and how to make an FTL drive and the next step is how to make some kind of space-radio that will allow your reports to Space Command HQ get there in a reasonable time. Interestingly this takes a bit more thought than the first two. Teleporting doesn’t necessarily […]

  • How to Travel Faster Than Light!

    Space travel is easy just so long as you don’t need to get anywhere interesting outside of our solar system in a human lifetime. Time to hit warp speed! Many of these are basically similar to If it was also mentioned as a teleport technique then it has a ≅ symbol. Warp space – […]