30 Sci Fi Writing Prompts

I really had some fun creating my last list of writing prompts, so I decided to try some sci fi writing prompts this time around.

NaNoWriMo is coming up and these could definitely be some great inspiration—but they’d work just as well for a short story or novella or full-blown novel any time of the year. Like the last set, these are available under a Creative Commons license, so share and share alike.

  1. A young lawyer graduates into a world where, for the first time, brain scans can accurately detect lies.
  2. A group of scientists discover a cheap, renewable energy source that when put into place across the world further destabilizes the oil-dependent Middle East.
  3. An army general leads a squad of aliens that have come to earth to assist the Allies during WWII in their fight against Hitler.
  4. “I can smell dark matter.”
  5. A man wakes to find himself trapped in a Holodeck-like virtual reality simulator. The thing is, he’s not sure he wants to leave.
  6. A civilization faces its destruction as one of its moons breaks orbit and plunges toward the planet.
  7. Mass hysteria hits 1950s New York after a report of a Martian spotted atop the Empire State Building.
  8. An elderly man creates the first ever artificial life form just before he dies—and it’s a copy of his 20-year-old self.
  9. It’s 2030, and the newest trend is to have one’s eyes replaced with implants that record and upload everything you see for all the world to watch
  10. A young inventor plans to step into a matter-energy transporter he just invented, for the first time.
  11. “I have to deactivate you. I’m sorry.”
  12. The crew of Earth’s first deep space vessel discover an area of space where Earth’s laws of physics don’t apply.
  13. A Captain sets off on a mission to negotiate an interplanetary alliance, but he’s warned it could lead to Earth’s destruction.
  14. A fishing vessel near Antarctica pulls what appears to be a new, humanoid species up in its net—and it turns out to be very, very smart.
  15. “Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads.”
  16. Faced with a new ice age, Earth’s major civilizations have moved into Arcologies—massive, city-sized buildings that stretch high into the sky and hold millions of people.
  17. A test pilot returns to Earth after the first-ever faster-than-light space flight.
  18. A scientist races against time to hide his latest invention from the government: a devastating antimatter bomb that he fears will start World War III.
  19. A group of FBI agents assigned to weird cases discover a parallel universe intruding into our own.
  20. A rift in spacetime allows an alien that looks an awful lot like a dragon to escape into the sky over New York City.
  21. A woman and her boyfriend are out for a night on the town, only to discover they’re trapped in a pocket universe where everything is the opposite of what it should be.
  22. “Resistance is futile.”
  23. In the not-so-far-future, smartphones have been reduced to the size of microchips that are implanted in wrist bones, accessed through glowing displays in and holographic projections from the skin.
  24. A hacker creates a virtual currency that quickly becomes the dominant system of money on the entire planet.
  25. A corporate created computer virus disables every device with a microchip on the planet, except for those that are protected with their high-priced security software.
  26. An alien race chooses a young boy with autism for first contact with humans because the unique pathways in his brain are perfect for their preferred style of communication: telepathy.
  27. A man invents cybernetic legs to help his dog walk again after three of them are cut off in an accident.
  28. “I’m from another planet. Let’s just say we’re neighbors.”
  29. An alien race makes contact—with King Tutankhamun in ancient Egypt.
  30. The only child aboard a space station saves the day when its crew is plagued by a debilitating illness that only affects adults.

Creative Commons License
30 Sci Fi Writing Prompts by Justin McLachlan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.