Science Fiction Story Ideas
Apocalypses or Worldwide Disasters
Agricultural or Environmental Disasters
- After years of being genetically altered by scientists, corn, beans, apples, and other crops evolve sentience – humans wonder “what are we supposed to eat now?”
- The world is in dire straits after the latest batch of genetically engineered potatoes is discovered to be highly explosive.
- A botanist’s experiments with Venus flytraps leads to disaster when the plants begin spreading like weeds, and growing large enough to eat a human being.
- After dozens of volcanoes erupt in a single day, the sky is blotted out by volcanic ash. With no sunlight, the earth begins to freeze.
- Scientists declare that they have solved the problem of hunger when they invent a highly nutritious, weed-like plant that can grow anywhere with no assistance from humans. The plant mutates, and grows faster and faster, covering the surface of the earth. Soon it reaches heights of fifty feet in a single night. Everyone has ample food, but getting around becomes impossible. Technology begins to deteriorate.
- A land developer buys millions of acres of useless land: Antarctica. To make the land valuable, he constructs a gigantic, parabolic mirror to focus the sun’s rays to melt the ice. As Antarctica is freed from its frozen wastes, the rest of the world experiences floods of epic proportions. The rising seas threaten to turn Florida into the next Atlantis.
- A gifted writer creates a best-selling novel called The Saddest Story. Anyone unlucky enough to read it commits suicide.
- Earth’s communications satellites begin picking up an alien television station. The new programming is so spellbinding that people never leave their living rooms. Starvation becomes epidemic.
- After the invention of robots called Perfect Mates, people begin to prefer the beautiful machines to flawed humans, and stop reproducing.
- Billions of people have been abducted by aliens and forced to compete on a bizarre alien game show (or sports event) where the losers are disintegrated. After seven billion losers, the last twenty humans are abducted. Surviving the game show now means the survival of the human race.
- A frustrated man working at a chemical weapons laboratory falls in love with a famous actress. Realizing that she would never consider him a worthy companion, he decides to take out his competition: every other male on earth.
- The world’s governments switch to cashless economies, conducting business completely with digital “cash” transfers. All physical money, including bartering, is banned. Unfortunately, just a few years down the line, a computer glitch crashes the system, and ten billion people suddenly find themselves penniless. The resulting panic leads to widespread rioting, looting, arson, murder, and war.
- A mutation in bacteria leads to a new sexually transmitted disease. As the disease progresses, the victim becomes more attractive, charming and amorous, until they finally die a horrendously painful death.
- Astronauts returning to earth bring back a strange alien disease. The only symptom is ever-increasing euphoria, eventually leaving the victim so happy and content that they no longer feel any need to go to work, bathe, eat…
- Scientists engineer a virus that dramatically increases human intelligence. Unfortunately, there is a side effect: obsessive paranoia. As people lose trust in each other, society begins to crumble.
- A man named Gary comes down with a bad cold. In his job at a nuclear power plant, he is exposed to a strong dose of radiation which mutates the virus. Instead of injecting its own DNA into human cells, the cold virus injects copies of Gary’s DNA. Anyone who catches Gary’s cold is slowly transformed into his clone. The planet soon has an epidemic of Garyitis.
- After a nuclear war, a small band of survivors lives together in a dilapidated shopping mall. After a few years, the survivors see something they thought no longer existed: a woman. The woman soon has thirty men fighting for her affections. She soon learns how easily manipulated lonely men can be.
- After an alien invasion destroys the Earth, a handful of survivors find that a former NASA scientist is still alive. The man from NASA operated the most powerful telescope in the world and must have seen the aliens coming, but he chose not to warn anyone. When asked, he refuses to say why he didn’t give a warning, telling them they “just wouldn’t understand.” The survivors decide to torture him until he gives up his secret.
- After all of humanity is killed in a nuclear war, only a handful of androids remain. They decide to recreate the human race via cloning. Unfortunately, they only have two usable samples of human DNA, one male, one female.
- After a near-apocalypse, all historical records are lost. After the survivors rebuild, they make what they think is humanity’s first trip to the moon. They are shocked to discover a strange flag on the moon’s surface. The astronauts take the flag back to earth, and scientists try to interpret the meaning of its symbols. “Maybe the fifty stars represent the fifty different alien races in some sort of Interplanetary Alliance?”
- After the destruction of nearly all life on Earth, the survivors decide to use all of their medical resources to make one of them immortal. This immortal survivor’s job will be to serve as a constant voice of warning, reminding humanity to never start another global war.
- After a near-apocalyptic war, humanity is beginning to rebuild and reproduce. A team of archeologists is on the hunt for lost historical records, desperate to discover what caused humanity’s near-destruction. All that remains of the records is a single, handwritten journal, the journal of the last President. The information contained in the journal could allow humanity to learn from its mistakes and, thus, not repeat them. Or, if it fell into the wrong hands…
- Aliens attack the earth with a bizarre weapon: the chronobomb. Entire cities are instantly transported into the past. A chronobomb strikes a college dormitory, transporting back to the Jurrasic. The coeds struggle to survive against dinosaurs, disease, and a murderous fraternity.
- After the earth’s population is decimated by asteroids, the survivors reorganize into an anarchist society. They learn to grown their own crops, have a new Industrial Revolution, and eventually reinvent technology. After years of peace and prosperity, an archeologist discovers a dangerous artifact from the earth’s past: a book, The Beginner’s Guide to Politics.
- After the earth’s population is decimated in a nuclear war, the survivors discuss how to begin again. The women decide that, as men were responsible for the war, they must never allow men to control anything ever again. The surviving men soon find themselves reduced to the level of family pets.
- A global disaster destroys earth’s technology, reducing America to a nomadic, subsistence-level society. A man explores the ruins of a city, and stumbles upon what’s left of a highschool archery range. He gathers up the weapons, making his tribe the most powerful people in the world. They wage war against the other tribes, nearly unstoppable. A rival tribe finds the ruins of a museum, where they find a full-scale replica of a medieval catapult, now the most powerful weapon in the world. The conflict rages on, as the tribes engage in an archeological arms race.
- An engineer who designs weapons for the government becomes terminally ill, and volunteers to have himself frozen until a cure can be found. He is revived thirty years later and healed. After a global war, the population of the world has gone from billions to a few hundred thousand. The engineer discovers that a team of archeologists is on their way to Washington, D.C. to search for lost historical records. He must stop the archeologists, lest they discover that he invented the weapons that destroyed the world.