What's your favorite or most brilliant sci-fi or fantasy concept?

As an aspiring writer I'm often fascinated by great ideas, especially those that are so brilliant that they get copied by other writers. A school for young wizards is a good idea, but a tent that's bigger on the inside than on the outside is a GREAT physics-bending concept. But that idea was copied from Dr. Who. Time travel is a fun and fascinating idea but its a bit overdone and therefore not very original. In a sea of overwrought vampire stories, The Twilight series is based on the totally original idea that the rainy (crappy, miserable) Northwest is a good place for vampires to stay out of the sun. I've seen at least two movies (an episode of Stargate and a Christmas movie for instance) based on the great Groundhog Day concept of an ever repeating day in which you get to practice or hone skills until you get them right. Shapeshifting comes up in lots of movies as does a variety superpowers like invisibility which has been around for quite a while. Self-teleportation for instance gained a lot of fame in "Heroes" and then started showing up all over. A few others: Dorian Gray stays young while the painting grows old. Instant healing allows Wolverine to survive a full skeletal metal reinforcement. In Greg Bear's "Eon" a people live inside a never ending asteroid. Various stories include super high tech implants that can tie into universal knowledge, record dreams, eliminate bad habits, thoughts and memories. In "The One" Jet Li became more powerful by eliminating his parallel selves in other dimensions. "Our world is an illusion" is a great concept with deep theological ramifications-- popularised by The Matrix, The Thirteenth Floor etc. "Our world is but a tiny speck within another MUCH larger universe"-- seen in Men in Black and many stoner stories. Aliens "seeded" humans on earth as part of a grandiose science experiment-- multiple origins. The hero can enter a TV show or movie-- Pleasantville, The Last Action Hero etc. Those are just a few I can think of-- what are yours?

Update:

Great answers so far guys, thanks! It will be hard to choose a best one. I'm glad some "thinkers" took my question seriously. The self contained black hole is awesome!!! I agree with the Star Trek/Brannon Braga reference... every time I see his name in the credits, I'm seriously humbled by how many truly unique ideas one guy can come up with! Looking forward to more answers!!

Note to "police." We writers do not simply ponder our existance through a scientific "lens." While their are certainly many silly religions, (Mormonism, Scientology, Heavens Gate etc.) the difference between seeking God through religion and seeking supreme life forms through science is simply a matter of semantics. In reality, their is no separation between faith and logic other than the words we choose to describe them.

4 Answers

Relevance
  • 9 years ago

    Star Trek has had a lot of those ideas(asteroid-planet that people lived in, universe being tied more to thought than space/time, groundhog day, universe within a universe, microscopic universes, bigger-on-the-inside ships, aliens putting life on Earth as well as most other planets that 'humanoids' are from in that show, etc.).

    Brannon Braga is a phenomenal thinker--he wrote for Star Trek, but his series, "Threshold", though only one season long, was AMAZING. An alien probe from like six dimensions away appears near a ship. The probe is sent to colonize Earth, but not by bringing in aliens, but turning humans into the aliens by means of certain soundwaves that aren't perceivable by the human ear. When the humans are turned into aliens, it either takes and the people look the same but think like the aliens and spread the soundwave virus thing, or else it doesn't take and it disfigures them in quite disgusting ways.

    Also, I've been trying to work it out(I write stories), but it's really hard--a robot on display watching people in a near-future setting where the general populace is very depressed.

    Without direction or input, it learns to force input and therefore becomes self aware. It tries desperately to understand emotions(from its store-front display, like a mannequin). The ending, though I've not gotten there yet, will be it becoming 'mentally' human and emotional(not realizing it), whereas the humans want to be unemotional and more like the robot.

    The robot wants to be human and humans want to be the robot.

    Also, another story I wrote but want to expand upon is of a person with an imaginary friend going about day-to-day life, but the story would end with the main character being told by his imaginary friend that he is actually the imaginary one, and the 'imaginary' friend is actually the real person.

  • 9 years ago

    I read a comic based on some hard sci-fi short stories, and one of the involved a novel method for traveling at near light speed.

    The way they achieved this was inside the ship, they created a small blackhole within a magnetic field. To move, they simply turned off the field on one side. As a result, the exposed side of the ship - and the rest of the ship attached to it - would start to move towards ("fall into") the black hole. As this went on, the ship would "fall" faster and faster.

    Sort of a space drive version of the carrot on a stick.

    In Scalzi's 'Old Man's War', mankind has started to move into the galaxy. Unfortunately, the galaxy isn't a friendly place, and mankind is far from the most powerful species out there... So there's a big demand for space marines. But here's the twist. You signup when you're 65 years old. Then, when you're 75, you show up for duty. A military made up of nothing but senior citizens? How do that work? Well, you'll have to read the book to find out... The sequels are equally excellent.

  • Dunkin
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    The Yahoo! Police?????? get a life dude, are you so effectuated of religion that you have to mention or think about it everywhere you go?

    For your question, I love all forms of scifi but when it comes down to it, the best will always be the concept of a realistically built ship traveling threw our solar system, its simple but opens imaginations of what could be right now.

    Thats why space Space Odyssey will always be considered the greatest. It took a ship that could realistically be built in the future... Check out Sunshine too. I never really got into Defying Gravity dont know about it.

    But when writing about this you must have everything perfect to what is being developed today to what is theorized in the future. It's rarely done because tons of research must go into it.

  • 9 years ago

    Not my own personally, but I think the best fantasy concept is religion.

    Have some of that then.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.