New Writer, Big Ideas, Suggestions?


New Member
Nov 5, 2023
Hello, I'm relatively new to science fiction, (and writing fiction in general) but have an intense desire to get started on a writing short stories based in the near future which incorporate relatively advanced technology, such as antigravity, AI, robots, political and social debate around issues of national identity and educational techniques, ancient and modern esoteric philosophy, and so on. Rather than being blade-runner esque, I'm focusing on something much lighter themed, which is hopeful about our future and is broadly affirmative of the "internationalist" viewpoint, in the sense of the UN, which affirms unity in diversity, while seriously encountering and grappling with what national and social identity is, (i.e. identification with groups, any groups), the struggle to address nationalism without extinguishing national identity, and the struggle to identify what human identity might be, in relation to this. I'd like to workshop chapters here and also be in contact with more experienced authors who can point me to the kinds of world-building science fiction which might inspire what I want to write. Thanks!
-Mike N.
Near future stories have a tendency tot become quickly dated . You might be better off doing stories set in more distant times than the near future times. However , one way to get around the problem becoming dated to make it an alt history near future story. Another's a possible near future.
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Good stuff, fair play -the workshop subthread here is excellent for developing writing. There's a character creation chain, exercise for description and a whole pile of other developmental games. The 100 word anonymous challenge is about to begin too, courtesy of @elvet -it's the perfect thing for refining down ideas and there's a good chance you'll get the bones of a longer tale from it (starts next Tue).
Start by reading the classics , Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury , Theodore Sturgeon , Harlan Ellison Arthur c. Clark, Frank Herbert ,Robert A Heinlein Ect
Go for it and enjoy it. I agree about reading a selection of relevant SF. The things that interest you have been well developed as SF ideas for many decades, so an understanding of what is out there is helpful. Expect references and reading suggestions from anything you might submit.
Welcome to the Chrons and I look forward to seeing your excerpts in the Critiques section.
If you like near future sci fi, you might look at William Gibson as a model. Aside from his genre defining works like Neuromancer and Idoru, his Periphery series is near future and his Blue Ant series is similarly nearer-future.

Are there particular authors you like? What got you into scifi and focused on near future scifi in particular?

It's a really welcoming community, but also, people will give you honest feedback--if something doesn't work, they'll say that as readily as if something IS working and that is an incredible feature.
Welcome. I suggest the first step is to sit down and write something to completion. Take one of those big ideas and turn it into a story. Give it a go and when you reach the magic 30 post threshold, drop the open 1,000 or so words into Critques. And remember to have fun with it.
Thanks for all of the suggestions. I read science fiction and fantasy as a child and young adult, but dropped it for decades, until I picked it up again when rereading Tolkien and Frank Herbert. I think that my most likely influence would be Herbert in many ways, as the combination of science fiction and quasi-spiritual and fantastic themes are most like what I want to do, but... anyway, I'll take a look at all your suggested authors and choose a few that seem most likely inspirations, and enter the 100 word challenge.
>I suggest the first step is to sit down and write something to completion.
Yes, this. And by completion we mean as good as you can make it in every respect, not merely a first draft. Completion meaning, something you would submit to a publisher.

Then, submit it. To a critique group, to magazines, to beta readers. But don't just complete it and set it aside. Submit it.

Then get busy with the next one, because you will already have learned some things from the first.

In the meantime, read whatever. Anything, everything. My heroes are SFF writers, but many of my influences come from other genres.