Science Fiction Story Ideas – Part 7: Fantastic Inventions

Science Fiction Story Ideas

Fantastic Inventions

Weapons

  • Police try out a new nonlethal weapon: the Solipsism Ray – a device that makes you think you’re the only person in the world.
  • Variation – After pepper spray is discovered to be toxic, police try out a new nonlethal weapon: Crippling Self-Doubt Spray.
  • Local politicians take away a man’s pet store so they can build a hotel on his land. The pet store owner decides to get revenge. He attacks with his new invention: the puppy bomb.
  • To cut down on the rate of homicides, all firearms have a built-in “waiting period.” Pull the trigger and the gun fires, thirty days later.
  • Variation – In the distant future, ray guns come equipped with “undo” buttons. Regret murdering your wife and best friend? No harm done. Simply hit the switch, and they’re both good as new. (Warning: Undo function only available for twenty-four hours after shooting. If the brain is damaged, the undo function may not restore full mental powers. Some restored individuals may become the walking undead.)
  • A computer hacker threatens the world. Unless the government transfers ten billion dollars into his offshore bank account, he will send an email to everyone on earth, an email containing the secret to building a cheap, simple fusion bomb.
  • Engineers develop a weapon for the ultimate sneak attack: the Drill Tank. Spy satellites can’t see you if you attack from underground!
  • The most dangerous weapon in urban warfare is the Spider Grenade. Stealthy and silent, it sneaks up on its victim, jumps on them, and pulls its own pin.
  • A college student fails his classes, while his friends become highly successful. Finally, a science project gives him a way to get revenge – He invents a new weapon, the brain leech.
  • An engineer develops robot “bees,” flying syringes that can inject anything into their victims.
  • A small, Eastern European country faces the horror of war without an air force. The king has an encounter with aliens who offer him a weapon that can stop enemy fighter jets: a cache of cloned dragon eggs.
  • A new biological weapon is stolen from a government lab and unleashed on the unsuspecting populace: a virus that reverses the aging process.
  • A ten-year-old boy is reading a comic book when he sees an unusual advertisement: “Only $9.95 for your very own incontinence-producing ray gun! Works up to fifty yards away! A barrel of laughs!”
  • Terrorists infiltrate gardening supply stores, where they sell unsuspecting customers some very dangerous seeds. These mutated seeds sprout overnight into forty-foot Venus Flytraps.

You’re speaking my language – Universal Translator

  • A man develops a universal translator, a machine that will allow people all over the world to talk to each other without the language barrier. Taking the machine out for testing, he discovers that the chatter of squirrels is actually a language. The squirrels decide that, to keep their society a secret, the man must die.
  • Variation – After working all night on a translation machine, a scientist takes his infant son to daycare. As several of the daycare workers are immigrants, he decides to bring the translation machine with him to test it. Amazingly, it works, but not on the immigrants. He discovers that baby babbling is actually a language. The infants are communicating. The babies at the daycare decide that, to keep their secrets, the scientist must die.
  • A scientist develops a universal translator, and rejoices at the thought that, with communication barriers a thing of the past, the world might finally know peace. When the CIA finds out about his invention, they decide that, if it can translate any language, it can also break any code. They decide that the technology must never see the light of day.
  • Computer programmers at a large software company invent a universal translator. Soon, expensive human interpreters are out of work. One corporation controls all the translation services in the world. The CEO realizes that, through “accidental” translation mistakes, he can put innocent people in jail, destroy businesses, and start wars. He has a small handful of programmers rewrite the software so that he can control it at a distance.
  • After aliens land on the earth for the first time, government scientists work night and day to develop a translation machine. Weeks later, the head scientist brings the prototype to the aliens. Horribly, he finds that the machine must be broken. After all, why would aliens travel millions of miles just to say “Sex! Sex! We want sex!”?
  • A researcher working on a prototype universal translator finds that his own linguistic abilities are breaking down. The more he works on the machine, the less he is able to understand spoken and written words. He can’t simply give up, as the machine is his one chance at a great scientific breakthrough but, if he doesn’t stop, he may be isolated, unable to communicate with anyone forever.

Cryonics

  • A man marries a beautiful, young woman and forces her into a cryonic chamber, only letting her out when he wants her. He gets older, but his wife is kept in pristine condition.
  • A man is told he has an incurable disease, so he elects to be frozen until a cure is discovered. While he sleeps, he is abducted by aliens. He is revived a thousand years later, on an alien world.
  • A team of archeologists discovers a cryonic prison. The world’s most dangerous criminals have been lying there, frozen, for hundreds of years. In the middle of the prison, in suspended animation, is an eight-year-old girl. The archeologists begin to debate: Was she frozen in some sort of tragic mistake, or did the government have a good reason for wanting her out of the way?
  • A woman discovers that the statues at her museum are actually alive, humans who have been frozen in an ancient form of cryonics.
  • A scientist builds a cryonic suspension chamber so his family’s dog will stay a puppy for decades. His wife begins to have strange ideas about the new baby…
  • In the distant future, archeologists revive preserved humans, gathering knowledge about the past. As the earth is overcrowded, any useless humans are killed. A gambler and con artist convinces the scientists that he is filled with useful information.
  • Too afraid to take his own life, a depressed man purchases a cryonic freezing chamber and searches for the perfect place to sleep until the end of time.
  • A teenage boy with a rare disease has to be cryonically frozen until a cure is discovered. He is awakened twelve years later and cured. Coming home from the hospital, he finds that his best friend and highschool sweetheart have grown into adults, and his brother, who he last remembers in diapers, is now the same age as him.
  • A man volunteers to take part in a new cryonic freezing process, being frozen and revived a year later. He is frozen but, horrifically, he is conscious but unable to move. Before he can be revived, the earth is hit by World War III.
  • A young man with a rare disease agrees to be frozen until the doctors can find a cure. He is placed in suspended animation but, due to a technical glitch, he remains conscious. He remains frozen for decades, with nothing to do but think. To avoid going insane, he constructs an entire world in his mind, imagining hundreds of people, their lives, families, pets, and more. Two hundred years later, he is finally thawed out and cured. He goes from being the god of an imaginary world to an ordinary human, unemployed and friendless. Needless to say, the adjustment is difficult.
  • During the Great Depression, tens of thousands of people volunteer to be cryonically preserved, hoping to be thawed out when the economy recovers.

Resurrection Machine

  • A scientist uses his new resurrection machine to bring his suicidal wife back to life again and again and again…
  • A tiny country’s only weapon is a resurrection machine. When they are invaded, they use the machine to bring back the enemy’s dead… Everyone who has ever died in the enemy nation comes back.
  • In an overcrowded future, you have to fill out an application with the government to get a friend or relative brought back from the dead. However, the government does not want the population to rise. If your application is approved, you are assigned someone to kill.
  • A man can come back from the dead, but loses his memory each time. He begins to wonder if it’s really “him” that comes back.
  • A cult leader uses his resurrection machine to perform a “miracle”
  • A machine which allows you to keep your old personality, memory after reincarnation leads to the birth of a new religion
  • A scientist uses a resurrection machine to bring his wife back from the dead. The machine is switched on, and her spirit is yanked from heaven and thrust into her sixty-year-old, arthritic body. She opens her eyes and sees her balding, sweaty, unshaven husband standing over her. She is not exactly happy to be back.
  • A dangerous medical treatment is tested on death row prisoners, with disappointing results. But years later, the graveyard is disturbed, and dozens of murderers begin rising from the grave.
  • A young doctor working in the county morgue develops a machine that can return the dead to life. Unfortunately, his machine can only transfer life from the dead to the living. Any time he brings someone back from the grave, someone else has to take their place.
  • A woman is brought back to life by a strange, ghostly pale scientist. The scientist explains that his machine relies on the “balance between the living and the dead.” He explains that, if she wants to stay alive, she must convince someone else to commit suicide within 48 hours.

Immortality and Life extension

  • A new medicine makes humans immortal, but only the rich are able to pay for the treatments. A new game show offers immortality as the grand prize
  • A corporation offers anyone immortality, as long as they will work eighteen hours a day in one of their factories
  • A medical research firm designs a treatment that slows the aging process down to one-tenth of its current speed. Unfortunately, there is a side effect: any future children will be affected, too. The “terrible twos” now last a decade.
  • A man is cursed by his enemies with immortality. He spends hundreds of years watching his friends and family grow old and die. Tired of loss, he retreats to a cave in the wilderness, not speaking to anyone for centuries. Countless millennia later, he faces the only thing worse than grief: the heat death of the universe. If he cannot find a way to die, he will face an eternity floating in formless, empty space.
  • A new medication dramatically increases a human’s lifespan by reversing the aging process. Whenever the user falls asleep, they age in reverse.
  • A new medical treatment offers immortality, but for a price. The longer they live, the faster their memories fade.
  • A scientist develops a medication that would completely stop the aging process, making humans nearly immortal. But before it can be brought into production, he discovers that the pharmaceutical company isn’t going to sell it. They have the cure for every disease known to man but they realize it would put them out of business. They want to keep the medication for themselves. He memorizes the formula and destroys all the physical copies, leaving his laboratory in flames. He is hunted by the pharmaceutical company, the government, an aging billionaire, and a religious cult that believes that modern medicine is evil.
  • A man discovers a way to move his consciousness from body to body, becoming essentially immortal – as long as he leaves a body before it dies.
  • A medical research company develops a treatment that speeds up the healing process, making it nearly impossible for the patient to die. Decades later, a small group of scientists discovers proof of the afterlife. The immortal humans are faced with the knowledge that they will never see heaven.
  • Deep in the Amazon rainforest, explorers discover a new species of flower, which they take back to America. The leaves of the plant temporarily stop the aging process, making immortality a real possibility. However, the plant is difficult to grow. It needs lots of sun, water, and human blood.
  • An astronaut discovers the secret of immortality and heads back to earth with the good news. But, on the way back, his ship is struck by an asteroid and destroyed. The astronaut is left floating in space, immoral and alone.
  • An advanced civilization develops medical technology so advanced that people become essentially immortal. A new law is passed: instead of wasting space for prisons, criminals will simply be dropped into deep space and left to float for eternity.
  • Variation – Biological and nuclear warfare kills off most of the population, and the secret of near-immortality is lost. Slowly, society begins to rebuild. Millennia later, one of the immortal criminals finds his way back to the planet. And he’s pissed…
  • A woman discovers a way to regain her lost youth: she will transfer her mind into her teenage daughter’s body. Twenty years later, she gets remarried and has another daughter, and the process repeats again. After ten generations, her latest daughter discovers her mother’s evil plan. The daughter must stop her mother before her sixteenth birthday, when the switchover takes place.
  • Medical science advances to the point where humans become nearly immortal. However, there is one problem: boredom. To avoid becoming bored with life, humans have their memories erased once every hundred years.
  • New suspended animation machines allow Earth’s laziest humans to daydream forever in coffin-like storage pods.

Nanotechnology

  • A large corporation develops the nanoassembler, a device that can manipulate atoms to build anything you desire. Nearly everyone quits their jobs. The only thing left to buy is electricity. The power companies prepare to rule the world.
  • A scientist invents the nanoassembler and programs the miniature marvels to build him an android companion, a beautiful robot girlfriend. The nanoassemblers build more and more women, and the man eventually ends up with a robotic harem. But when the scientist cuts himself shaving, the nanoassemblers get under his skin…
  • Cloth made from nanofibers allows clothing companies to sell clothing with expiration dates. After exactly one year, shirts, pants, and dresses simply disintegrate, leaving nothing but a pile of brightly-colored dust.
  • A group of pranksters steals prototype nanobots from a research company’s lab. The pranksters program the nanobots to transform factories, salvage yards and other ugly industrial eyesores into gigantic works of art.
  • Plastic surgeons develop new applications for nanotechnology, allowing anyone to take any appearance. At first, people want to look like models or celebrities, but then a growing minority begins demanding fur, tails, and even wings.
  • Variation – After new developments in nanotechnology, plastic surgeons reach new heights of artistry. A man goes on a date with a woman he thinks is twenty-three, but is actually in her early eighties.
  • A government lab develops nanobots that can invade a human body and replace the brain with a computer. After a cloud of nanobots escapes, a scientist begins to wonder who is human and who has become a machine.
  • An injured soldier is injected with nanobots that rebuild his body from the inside. As he returns home from the battlefield, he realizes the nanobots are still altering his body, making him something other than human.
  • The government secretly releases clouds of nanobots into the atmosphere. The nanobots are breathed in by pregnant women, and their unborn children are transformed into the government’s idea of the Perfect Citizen.
  • A woman has nanobots injected into her bloodstream to replace her failing immune system. The nanobots rapidly duplicate themselves, but soon run out of raw materials. The woman begins feeling an urgent need to eat plastic, wires and metal.

Teleportation

  • When a human enters a teleportation chamber, their mind and body are scanned, their body is disintegrated, and the data is sent to the new location. During a terrorist attack, the data is misrouted. Tens of thousands of people discover that their minds have been sent to the wrong bodies. How would a city deal with such a problem? Or an entire country?
  • The head of Teleportation International has to give a press conference to explain why his machines have been malfunctioning, teleporting travelers into active volcanoes.
  • The world’s greatest assassin is a teenage girl who can, with a thought, be anywhere in the world.
  • Evil aliens take control of earth’s network of teleportation chambers. Real humans go in one end, and shape-shifting aliens come out the other.
  • A woman is stalked by her ex-boyfriend, a telepath with the ability to appear anywhere he desires.
  • A madman’s computer virus takes control of a public teleportation chamber, sending unlucky travelers to the bottom of the ocean.
  • A thief with the ability to teleport anywhere in the world decides to pay a visit to the international gold depository.
  • Variation – A thief has the ability to teleport anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, he can only take something with him if it’s under his skin, or inside his body…
  • After the development of teleportation technology, brothels expand their business worldwide. Anyone can visit a brothel’s website, chose a sexual partner, and have them delivered to their home instantly.
  • A newlywed couple discovers that their toddler has escaped from the nursery and wandered into their teleportation chamber. With a shudder, they realize that their helpless child could be anywhere in the world.
  • After the invention of teleportation technology, thousands of truck drivers, cab drivers, airline pilots, and others are all out of work. Dr. Goldsmith, the inventor of teleportation, suddenly has thousands of enemies all looking to make his life miserable.
  • A man with the ability to teleport anywhere he desires kidnaps the children of the rich and powerful. The authorities realize it is almost pointless to search, as he could be anywhere on Earth, or even the colonies on Mars.
  • A company develops diapers that never need changing. Anything “deposited” in the diaper instantly vanishes. The CEO is shocked when he discovers where the waste goes…
  • Teleportation chambers work by scanning the exact arrangement of a person’s atoms, disintegrating them, and creating an exact copy of the person someplace else. But every once in a while, the machine malfunctions and doesn’t disintegrate the original. This results in two exact copies of one person at two different locations. One copy thinks the chamber worked, and the other thinks it failed.
  • Variation – A terrorist group rigs the most-used teleportation chambers in the world, the chambers at Times Square, to fail to disintegrate the original person. Thousands of tourists all over the country find that they have duplicates left over in New York. Chaos ensues.

Floating Cities

  • Pollution makes the surface of the earth uninhabitable, leading to the creation of floating cities. As the cities are spread so far apart, only the strongest of birds can make the trip from one city to another. (Natural selection favoring the largest and strongest birds.) Thousands of years later, humanity is plagued by enormous, man-eating sparrows.
  • After land becomes prohibitively expensive, a real estate firm creates the world’s first floating cities. The new homes of the rich cast permanent shadows on the lives of the poor. The floating cities begin to connect themselves with bridges and the earth’s surface gets darker and darker.
  • When terrorists decide to attack a floating city, they go after the city’s weakest point: the anchor.
  • Due to a natural disaster, the people of a floating city end up trapped, unable to travel down to the surface. Gradually, the city floats higher and higher…
  • Radiation makes the surface of the earth uninhabitable, leading to the creation of floating cities. Thousands of years later, a scientist discovers that a new breed of surface-dwelling humans has evolved.
  • In order to preserve the earth’s species from a possible apocalypse, a corporation builds a floating, city-sized zoo.
  • The earth’s most dangerous criminals are sent to the world’s first floating prison. One master criminal spends his days staring at the earth below, planning his escape.
  • The mayor of a floating city tries to hide the fact that the antigravity generators are failing.
  • The inhabitants of a floating city are blissfully unaware that their whole world is actually a single soap bubble floating through the air in the kitchen of a greasy diner.
  • A young girl is separated from her boyfriend when her parents move to a floating city. She is desperate to run away with him, if she can only find a way to get back down to the surface…
  • An astronomer in a small, rural town insists that he has discovered a city floating miles above the surface of the earth. Unfortunately, no one believes him. He is mocked endlessly, and the town doctor talks about sending him to the insane asylum. To save his reputation and career, the astronomer must find proof of the floating city before it’s too late.
  • A cult leader convinces his followers to give him everything they own. He uses the money to construct the world’s first floating city. A reporter knows that proof of the cult leader’s deceptions is in the floating city, but how can he get up there?

Underwater Cities

  • As the surface world becomes more and more crowded, people begin to build bubble cities at the bottom of the ocean. As the surface cities are destroyed in an alien attack, the water dwellers wonder how long it will be before the aliens come for them, too.
  • Generations of underwater living begin to change the direction of human evolution. People realize they have a choice: find a home on the overcrowded surface world, or see their grandchildren become a new species.
  • After the surface cities are destroyed in a nuclear war, the water dwellers realize that they will have to stay submerged for hundreds of years, until the earth heals. They search for a way to control population growth.
  • Variation – The surface cities are decimated in a nuclear war, and the water dwellers find themselves under sedge by the mutated survivors.
  • On a new planet with a hostile surface, the only place safe for humans to settle is under the water. Sadly, the safety is an illusion. The human settlements are soon under attack by giant, sentient clams.
  • The earth is contacted by aquatic aliens who purchase the right to build cities under earth’s oceans. Hundreds of years later, the alien population has grown so much that they are forced to build domed, water-filled cities on the land.
  • When two underwater cities prepare for their first war, they search for a way to protect their bubbles from breaking.
  • A chain of underwater cities begins piping in air from the surface. Days later, the surface dwellers notice they are a little short of breath…
  • Short on space, the underwater cities begin to expand. The new domes cause the sea level to rise, flooding surface cities. The surface dwellers struggle to deal with the problem. The governments of both worlds wonder how long diplomacy can last before there is all-out war.
  • After a fishing ship brings home mutated tuna, thousands of people are afflicted with a new disease. Their lungs shrink and are slowly replaced by gills. The victims must build a new world for themselves under the sea.

Jetpacks

  • A half-dozen prototype jetpacks are stolen from an inventor’s laboratory and used in a series of daring, daylight bank robberies. How can the police catch these flying crooks?
  • A parent refuses to let her immature, teenage son get his driver’s license, so he goes to work for an inventor as a jetpack test pilot
  • In a world where jetpacks are commonplace, a group of teenagers engages in a dangerous pastime – sky sex.
  • After years of jetpack use among adults, a company attempts to develop the first jetpack for children. The testing does not go as planned.
  • An obsessed scientist uses his newly-developed jetpack to follow his ex-wife wherever she goes.
  • In the Middle East, the invention of the jetpack adds a whole new level of terror to suicide bombings.
  • After the invention of the jetpack, a local superhero starts to look a lot less “super.”
  • Variation – In the early 1920′s, a scientist builds the world’s first jetpack, and becomes a superhero. After he comes down with a terminal illness, he volunteers to be cryonically frozen until science can develop a cure. When he is revived two hundred years later, his obsolete jetpack makes him seem more pathetic than super.
  • A gang of graffiti artists steals a crate filled with jetpacks, and local skyscrapers begin to look a little more colorful.
  • A teenage boy builds a jetpack in his garage and, on his first trip out, he is grabbed by government agents demanding the secret to the technology.
  • An eccentric inventor walks door-to-door, trying to sell jetpacks for dogs.
  • A solider is given a prototype jetpack and told to fly it across enemy lines to take some spy photographs. Halfway there, he discovers that the jetpack is filled with explosives, and he’s just become a human missile.
  • After stealing a jetpack, a sleazy photographer becomes the bane of celebrities everywhere. No one is safe from the flying paparazzo!

Flying cars

  • A man invents a fuel-efficient, flying car. But before he can sell it, he has to solve a little problem: what happens when there is a car accident at ten thousand feet?
  • The invention of flying cars and the jetpack sparks a new crime: airborne carjacking.
  • The new flying car makes traveling long distances easier and more convenient. It also makes you much more likely to be abducted by aliens.
  • A ten-year-old boy reading comic books finds an ad for a “build your own flying car” kit. He mows lawns and sells lemonade, trying to save up enough money for the kit, and then he discovers that his comic book was the only one containing the ad.
  • New floating cities, flying cars, and jet packs result in the wealthiest segment of the population living entirely in the air. As resources and money travel skyward, the economy on the surface starts to crumble.
  • A garage mechanic discovers that the new flying cars have been developed from reverse engineered alien technology, but no one believes him.
  • A teenager on a field trip to a museum realizes that an ancient, priceless tapestry is actually a detailed diagram illustrating how to build a flying car. He breaks away from his tour group and plans a way to steal the tapestry, so he can build his own.
  • A young boy discovers that a government agency is stealing prototype flying cars and jetpacks and keeping their existence a secret from the public.
  • An oil company executive hires a team of assassins to go after the inventor of a solar powered flying car.

10 comments on “Science Fiction Story Ideas – Part 7: Fantastic Inventions

  1. James on said:

    “A man discovers a way to move his consciousness from body to body, becoming essentially immortal – as long as he leaves a body before it dies.”

    there’s already a book about this, “The Alchemy of Forever.”

    anyway, I love all your ideas! keep up the good work!

  2. Guest on said:

    So creative! I keep coming back here! Keep up the great work, and please keep this place running forever! It’s a fun read and I’ve been recommending it to other people.

  3. Thanks so much. When I’ve got writer’s block I always find something to spark up my imagination. Thank you, really. Because of you I still have an A in writing.

  4. Thank you so much for the inspiring ideas!

  5. Anonymous on said:

    Have you written about any of the ideas on your page yourself? I feel kind of bad, stealing ideas instead of creating my own. I still do :P Thank you SO MUCH!

    • Writepop on said:

      I haven’t really used any of these. I usually add things to the list if they sound interesting but not something that I feel like writing myself. No need to feel bad! They’re here to be used! :)

  6. Alexandria on said:

    Thank you so much for these ideas! They truly are wonderful, and let my imagination wander. Some of them remind me of Hayao Miyazaki’s movies! (^.^)

  7. Marlene on said:

    Wow I love these ideas! Thank you so much, you really helped me out of writers block!

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