Science Fiction Story Ideas – Part 12: Psychic Abilities

Science Fiction Story Ideas

Psychic Abilities


  • A bachelor who can predict the future knows how his relationships will end before they even start
  • A psychic detective that can only see what DIDN’T happen
  • A psychic predicts the winning lottery numbers three times in a row. The FBI decides he must be tampering with the lottery and arrests him.
  • A psychic writes a best seller that predicts each reader’s future.
  • A children’s birthday party clown receives psychic visions. Unfortunately, they only come when he is in full clown regalia, so no one takes him seriously.
  • A woman is cursed with a kind of clairvoyance… Every time she makes a choice, she has a vision of what the future would have been like if she had chosen something different. And the grass is always greener…
  • A chef discovers she is psychic, gifted with the ability to smell the future
  • A government agency monitors private individuals investing in the stock market. Anyone who makes consistently good picks is investigated for illegal use of psychic ability.
  • A psychic musician is able to hear hit songs from the future and claim them as his own.
  • When humanity evolves the ability to see the future, television producers are faced with a serious problem: by the time a show makes it to the air, viewers have already seen it. New television shows are instant reruns.
  • A man gets a job writing an astrology column for a small town newspaper. Amazingly, he can actually see into the future. However, given that there are hundreds of people with each sign, his predictions must be general enough to apply to them all. When the local factory shuts down, dozens of people move away. The astrologer realizes that there is only one Gemini left in town. Finally, the astrologer can show just how accurate his predictions are! The next morning, the astrology column addresses the last Gemini by name.
  • A man experiments with a piece of software called a “virtual coin flipper.” Each side of the coin should come up fifty percent of the time. However, the man discovers that whenever a major event in his life is about to happen, the coin flipper produces far more heads than tails. He can use the machine to sense the future. However, he does not know if this predicted “major event” will be good or bad, or even how to prepare for it. The more he experiments, the more his paranoia grows.


  • In a world where almost everyone is telepathic, those without psychic ability are considered disabled.
  • A doctor in a traveling medicine show sells pills which temporarily give the user the ability to read minds. The pills which make the user immune to telepathy are much, much more expensive.
  • A mentally ill telepathic man can force anyone to listen to the sound of his screams.
  • Before being paroled, convicted criminals have their minds “unzipped,” allowing everyone to hear their innermost thoughts. If they even consider committing an crime, everyone around them will know.
  • A telepathic man is kidnapped by government agents and taken to a hidden laboratory. The agents order him to talk to their prisoner, a captive mermaid.
  • After a zookeeper suffers a head injury, he develops psychic powers. Unfortunately, the animals have less than fascinating thoughts.
  • A teenage jock searches for a way to keep his cheating a secret from his telepathic girlfriend.
  • A dramatically untalented musician develops telepathy and uses her newfound powers to project her music directly into people’s heads. They can’t avoid listening, no matter how hard they try.
  • A scientist is developing a machine that can project images and sounds directly into people’s minds. When Congress passes a new budget, his project is cut. The scientist turns to a new source of funding: an advertising agency.
  • A professional “human guinea pig” takes part in experiments to develop telepathy. Afterwards, he listens for the doctor’s thoughts, but nothing happens. He thinks the experiments have failed. However, when he drives home, he realizes something amazing: he can hear what his car is thinking.


  • After a stem cell procedure fails to regrow his limbs, a quadruple amputee is offered an alternative: telekinesis
  • Variation – A man has his arm amputated but, afterwards, he can still feel its presence. The doctor says it’s just “phantom limb syndrome,” but the man isn’t so sure. With some experimentation, he finds that he can move objects with the missing limb, even though it isn’t really there. [NOTE: Thanks to David Mitchell for pointing out that this has been done, in Larry Niven’s “Gil the Arm” stories.]
  • A telekinetic prostitute can service her customers from the next room
  • A magician discovers the secret to telekinesis. He decides that he could use it to catch criminals, fight terrorism or do a really, really amazing card trick…
  • A government clerk is assigned a difficult task: designing a prison to hold a telekinetic criminal.
  • A telekinetic stage performer’s powers grow until he is able to pull planets from their orbits.
  • A telekinetic gambler uses his powers to control the outcome of football games. When the players discover that he has been making them lose all season, they are desperate for revenge, and even his powers may not be enough to stop them.
  • A lazy telekinetic is warned by his doctor that he is desperately in need of exercise. He must use his physical muscles instead of his powers or he risks dying of heart disease.
  • A man with telekinesis discovers that he can use his abilities to cause heart attacks. He can kill anyone without any risk of being caught.

Astral Projection

  • Trapped in solitary confinement, a prisoner discovers that he can leave his body and explore his surroundings. Invisible, he spies on the security guards and the prison warden, and discovers some information that may be the key to his escape.
  • A lonely teenage boy reads a book on astral projection. He uses his newfound skills to spy on teachers and get the answers to exams, to watch cheerleaders in the girls’ locker room, and more. While out on one of his trips, he meets another wandering spirit and falls in love.
  • Variation – The boy decides to spy on the ladies at a Catholic girls’ school on the edge of town. The girls notice something is odd and decide that the school is haunted. Before the boy can return to his body, the girls call a priest and ask for an exorcism.
  • In a tragic car accident, a young woman is paralyzed from the neck down. While at the hospital, struggling to move her limbs, she discovers that her mind can leave her body and fly. When she returns to the hospital, she finds that she has been gone too long. Her body has died. She waits for someone else to pass away, hoping to take over their empty body and make it her own.
  • Variation – During a complicated operation, a young woman has an out-of-body experience. For a moment, she enjoys the experience, floating about the hospital and exploring. But then she begins to see other souls wandering about the hospital, the souls of patients who have recently passed away. Realizing that there is an uninhabited body nearby, the souls are soon fighting to control it.
  • An anti-social, teenage girl discovers that she can leave her body and explore the “astral world,” an alternate reality accessible only to spirits. As she spends more and more time in the astral world, her life begins to fall apart.

Mind Control

  • A preacher discovers he can make his congregation hallucinate
  • A new product for parents comes on the market, a mind control device that can force kids to behave.
  • Police who can force people to obey the law, and the criminal who outwits them
  • A scientist leaves his mind-control ray plugged in, and it is discovered by his cat
  • Variation – A pet store sells a “behavior modifier,” an electronic device that makes animals behave like the perfect pet. A young couple purchases one, hoping to make their cat stop scratching the furniture. Soon, however, they begin to wonder if the behavior modifier is affecting them more than their pet.
  • An inventor creates a mind control device, and programs it to turn the victim into his old-fashioned idea of a “perfect” wife – cooking 3 meals a day, cleaning the house in pearls and high heels, a “Donna Reed” type. But then his wife discovers his plan…
  • A small town politician discovers a way to use hypnosis to swing voters in his favor.
  • A small girl discovers a way to control her parents’ minds. Her parents’ friends wonder why they let their bratty eight-year-old make all of their decisions.
  • A highschool principal begins to suspect that the new soft drink being sold in his school is keeping the students weak-minded.
  • A man develops the ability to control minds, turning anyone into his slave. Soon, he has millions of dollars, designer clothes, and a fleet of sports cars, everything he could ever desire… except for a wife. Love isn’t real if the person has no free will.
  • After studying hypnosis for years, a man develops the ability to control anyone’s mind. However, he can only do it for thirty seconds at a time.
  • An archeologist discovers an ancient amulet that allows her to control people’s minds. However, it only works on men.
  • Putting on her makeup one morning, a talented scientist discovers her first gray hairs. She uses a mind control ray to change how she is perceived. She isn’t actually younger, but everyone sees her as if she is. At first, she is happy with the results. But when her boyfriend offers her a lollypop, she wonders if she’s losing control of her powers.
  • The new head of an advertising agency is a former Las Vegas stage hypnotist. Anyone who sees his commercials are instantly convinced that they need the product being advertised, even if they don’t. A few days later, the stores are packed with men buying cosmetics and childless couples buying diapers and formula.

Talking to the dead

  • A mortician makes two startling discoveries: 1. He has the ability to talk to the dead and 2. Being dead makes senior citizens even less interesting than when they were alive.
  • A man with the ability to communicate with the dead decides to open earth’s first nightclub for ghosts.
  • A psychic medium is still being nagged by his late wife.
  • A beautiful psychic medium is constantly hit on by the ghosts of dirty, old men. Growing tired of being sexually harassed by the dead, she decides to look for a way to lose her powers.
  • After years of being addicted to gambling and alcohol, a man dies penniless and alone. Due to a clerical error in the afterlife, he is assigned as a spirit guide to a young psychic medium. Unfortunately, he is still terrible at making decisions and even worse at giving advice.
  • A psychic medium encounters a beautiful ghost who does not realize that she is dead. The medium falls in love and, not wanting her to leave for the afterlife, tries to keep her from discovering the truth.
  • A psychic medium discovers that she can capture spirits with her mind, and trap them inside of anything made of glass. She decides that collecting ghosts is much more interesting than collecting snow globes.


  • A man with the ability to instantly learn any skill by sucking information from other people’s minds. When a famous rock star suddenly loses the ability to play the guitar, he wonders if the pizza delivery boy with the strange eyes had something to do with it.
  • The shock of losing his powers causes a psychic’s mind to snap. He remains convinced that he can read minds and predict the future, rationalizing his every failure.
  • A man discovers that a local psychic cannot actually predict future events – she makes the events happen. All of the earthquakes, wars, and deaths she predicted were actually caused by her.
  • A voyeur finds a book on “remote viewing,” the ability to see events without even being there. His neighbors’ blinds won’t hide them now.
  • Variation – When a book on remote viewing becomes a best seller, more and more people gain the strange, new ability to spy on their neighbors. Television producers begin to worry about going out of business.
  • A casino hires a man with a most unusual talent: anti-psi. He can prevent dishonest psychics from using their telepathic or telekinetic abilities to rip of the casino. Later, when the psychics find a way around his powers, the casino bosses are out for blood.
  • Variation – The government in Nevada hires psi-immune detectives to search for psychics, and to stop them before they reach the casinos. Stop them by any means necessary.
  • A portrait photographer discovers that he can project images onto a roll of film with his mind. He creates beautiful psychic photos that get his work national recognition. As he develops new photos for an art exhibition, he notices a man in the background of each shot. Somehow, a mysterious figure in black is appearing in all his photos. When the photographer finally sees the man’s face, he knows he must never take another photo again.