|Science Fiction Story Starters:
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.
•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.
•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.
Alien Invasion – Aliens invade the earth…
•But it’s the year 3,000 and our technology is far superior to theirs.
•They land in the ocean and conquer the dolphins.
•Aliens visit the earth, and the first person they encounter is a six-year-old girl. Due to a strange quirk of their culture, they decide that the girl is the rightful ruler of the world. After a brief war with earth’s armies, the girl is put into power.
•The aliens are made of water vapor, and humans don’t know they’ve been invaded
•The aliens are actually the government scaring people into obedience by faking an invasion
•The alien ships are only an inch long. They are captured by small children like fireflies.
•The aliens are made of chocolate and eaten by children.
•The aliens take over, make people their pets, and nobody has to work again.
•The aliens look like the Statue of Liberty; they see the Statue of Liberty and assume earth is already conquered.
•Instead of killing humans, the aliens regress them mentally to infancy, re-raising them as part of their alien culture.
•The aliens’ chief weapon, deadly to their species, does not have the same affect on humans – methane gas, water, bacon bombs, etc.
•The aliens look an awful lot like the demons described in Revelation, and they say they were paid to attack earth by an entity called “God”.
•Instead of using violence, the aliens focus on psychologically torturing earthlings.
•The aliens look exactly like cell phones, and can imitate anyone’s voice
•The aliens encounter a mentally ill homeless man who informs them that he owns the earth, and he is looking to sell.
•The aliens have no weapons so, instead of outright war, they seed earth with the universe’s most deadly plant life.
•The aliens have little in the way of weapons, so instead they take control of the earth’s telecommunications network in an attempt to make humanity too bored to fight back. Every radio, TV, computer, and cell phone broadcasts Mind-Numbing Entertainment 24 hours a day. Earth is left with nothing to watch but paint drying, grass growing, and aliens debating fiscal reform legislation.
•The alien invaders easily defeat earth’s military forces. The aliens send a message to the President of the United States: “We are here for Larry Foote. Bring Larry to us, or we will destroy the earth.” The President’s response: “Who the hell is he?” Only Larry knows why an entire planet wants him dead.
•The aliens want to conquer earth for what they consider its most valuable resource: Hollywood.
•Variation – Aliens invade the earth, but are distracted from their mission when they are offered a movie deal.
•The aliens look exactly like earth’s kittens, and the military is unable to kill any of them without losing popular support for the war. The adorable invaders struggle to have their threats of violence taken seriously.
•Variation – The aliens look just like adorable five-year-olds, and their most dangerous weapon looks strangely like an earth lollypop.
•The aliens destroy earth’s defenses, and then send alien foot soldiers to kill the survivors. The aliens evolved in dark caves and, thus, are completely blind. To avoid capture, the human survivors must be perfectly quiet.
•The aliens don’t have any weapons, but they have billions and billions of lawyers.
•When the earth is attacked by alien slave traders, one man has a plan to save the world: convince the aliens that humans would be worthless as slaves. (Because they’re too lazy, too dishonest, too violent, too sexually perverse…)
•The aliens are sentient bushes, and they want to punish humanity for their cruelty to earth’s plant life: mowing lawns, pruning hedges, and plucking fruit from trees.
•The aliens defeat the earth and begin breaking the planet into pieces. Each piece is teleported aboard a gigantic spaceship and flown away. Finally, only a tiny asteroid with a few hundred survivors is left. The earth’s last scientist announces that he has a plan to save what’s left of the world.
•The aliens have little in the way of weapons, and they use their billions of soldiers as cannon fodder, attempting to defeat earth’s soldiers through sheer exhaustion.
•Aliens contact the leaders of Earth and challenge them to a race to Alpha Centauri. If humanity wins, the aliens will give Earth the cure for all diseases. If humanity loses, the planet will be destroyed. Unfortunately, it’s 1969, and the aliens won’t take “no” for an answer.
•Aliens head for Earth, intent on destroying humanity. To get there, they must travel through a long, starless section of the universe known as “blankspace.” By the time they pass through blankspace, they have completely lost their minds.
•Aliens with psychic weapons are attacking the Earth. A scientist informs the President that he can make Earth’s soldiers immune to the attacks – by dramatically lowering their IQ’s.
They’re Already Here – A human is discovered to be an alien in disguise
•He uses his alien powers to become earth’s greatest living magician.
•He’s a crooked alien politician, banished for his failures on his own planet
•Variation – he’s a failed alien messiah, hiding from his disillusioned followers
•A shape-changing alien travels to earth to compete in beauty contests (with a very unfair advantage)
•The alien left her planet because, on her world, blonde hair, large breasts and a small waist are considered hideous deformities
•A man discovers his daughter is half-alien, his wife cheating on him with a Martian
•He was forced to live on earth as part of an alien documentary TV show
•He’s capturing children, shrinking them, and feeding them to his cat
•He is actually a human disguised as an alien disguised as a human
•After letting a stranger at a bar take her to bed, a woman becomes pregnant and has a beautiful baby girl. Nine months later, she begins to suspect that her baby’s father was not of this world, and she sets off in search of the alien bar fly.
•An A-list movie star is discovered to be an alien, and his public relations team tries to “spin” the news.
•A Baptist preacher is discovered to be an alien in disguise. The following Sunday, he has a new message for his congregation…
•A woman’s car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Unable to get it repaired, she decides to buy a used car at a strange-looking car lot. Days later, she discovers that the salesman was actually an alien in disguise, and the car contains advanced, otherworldly technology.
•Males from the alien’s planet look strikingly like earth females.
•His alien physiology makes him a superior athlete, but if anyone discovers he is not human, he will be thrown off his team and arrested.
Alien Abduction – Aliens abduct a human, and…
•They take the human back to their planet for testing – they want to discover how much pleasure a human can endure before going insane
•They give him to their kids, who play with him like a doll
•The aliens attempt to torture him psychologically, but they know almost nothing about human psychology.
•They turn him into a living bomb.
•They offer him a deal: if he will help them conquer the earth, they will alter his body, making him the world’s greatest athlete.
•The human is a serial killer, and brutally murders the aliens.
•They force him to be part of their breeding program, but they think he’s a girl
•The human is a cult leader, and he converts the aliens to his bizarre “religion.”
•The man discovers that his wife sold him to the aliens, in exchange for her own spacecraft.
•Aliens abduct humans in groups of six. The six are told that they will return five of them to earth if one will volunteer to stay.
•The human introduces the aliens to an old human pastime: gambling
•The aliens switch the human’s brain with that of his dog’s.
•The human is mentally ill, and speaks only in gibberish. The aliens struggle to communicate with him.
•After the aliens abduct a human, they are immediately abducted by larger, more advanced aliens.
•The aliens disassemble the human, and place his brain and eyes in a jar. The human’s brain watches as the aliens try to put his body back the way it was.
•A disabled man is abducted by aliens. The aliens have achieved near mortality through cybernetics. Their bodies have been replaced with metal and wires. Only their brains remain flesh and blood. The aliens offer the man a choice: He can stay as he is, damaged but human, or be given a healthy, mechanical body that looks more machine than man.
•A computer programmer spends all day, every day, alone in his tiny apartment. He works from home and orders food online, almost never leaving his chair. One night, a fire forces him to leave the building. As soon as he steps outside, he is abducted by aliens. The aliens take him to their zoo, where he will be held captive in an exact duplicate of his apartment. For the first time in his life, he misses the outside world.
•Aliens abduct a woman, explaining that they are researchers looking for the cure to baldness. They perform some experiments on her and return her to earth. The woman goes home, wondering if anyone will believe her story. She goes to sleep and, the next morning, her hair has grown by twenty feet. Amazed, she realizes she can actually see her hair growing. Cutting it just makes it grow back faster and thicker.
Friendly aliens – Benevolent aliens visit the earth…
•The aliens are from a water-covered planet, and when they see a toilet, they assume it’s a weapon
•The aliens are missionaries for a bizarre alien religion, and earth’s scientists and political figures struggle to not make fun of them
•And society is baffled by the first alien / human marriage
•Aliens think something besides humans is in charge (dogs, computers, cars, parking meters, etc).
•They are hunted by the AAA (Annihilate Aliens Already), a redneck hate group
•Friendly aliens visit the earth and attempt to join a fraternity. (Or sorority.) After the aliens go through “initiation,” they have their own hazing rituals to show the humans.
•The government orders everyone to be nice to the alien visitors, or they’ll be arrested. Unfortunately, the aliens are the most stupidly annoying creatures in the universe. (Even worse than humans!)
•The aliens see how well humans treat their pets, and try to get in on the deal.
•The aliens land at a daycare center, and the frightened adults hide in the basement. The aliens have lots of questions about life on earth, but the only humans they have to ask are five years old.
•A man is visited by aliens who give him the ability to heal people with a touch. After helping hundreds of people, he is horrified to discover that his gift is actually a weapon. Every time he heals a human, one of the aliens’ enemies is drained of lifeforce and dies.
First contact – A spaceship crashes on the earth…
•The religious aliens don’t realize that they have crashed on a planet. Instead, they are convinced that they died and are in their version of heaven (which, strangely, looks a lot like Cleveland.)
•The aliens disguise their spaceship as a piece of modern art and hide it in the sculpture garden of a local museum.
•The ship is filled with frozen humans who were abducted decades ago.
•Lands in a farmer’s field; he turns it into a roadside attraction for tourists
•It’s discovered by cavemen, who use it to fight dinosaurs.
•A man working on an oil rig in Alaska discovers a spaceship that had crashed in the water months ago. Oddly, the ship is empty. He begins to wonder if one of his coworkers is really the ship’s alien pilot. The more he investigates, the more his paranoia grows.
•A child finds the spaceship in the woods behind her house. The aliens are nowhere to be seen. The child decides to turn the ship into her playhouse.
•Variation – A child discovers the spaceship in the woods behind her house. The aliens are dead, but their pet survived.
•The aliens look exactly like human infants, and they have trouble convincing humans they’re not.
•The huge, hairy aliens leave the wreckage and wander into the woods, sparking the legend of Bigfoot.
•The alien ship crashes on Capitol Hill, destroying the government. Americans wonder if they should be upset…
•The aliens crash-land on earth in the early nineteen seventies. It will take months to complete the repairs to their ship so, to avoid drawing the attention of earth’s authorities, they disguise their ship as a disco.
Alien Machines / Artifacts
• A homeless man discovers an alien vending machine, and uses it to buy a jet pack, a ray gun, and other futuristic technology. At the end of the month, the aliens come to collect the bill…
•Amateur spelunkers exploring a series of caves discover a collection of ancient, alien religious texts. At first, they laugh at the aliens’ strange beliefs. But the writings contain predictions of events on earth, beginning with them being discovered by a group of amateur spelunkers…
•Aliens visit an unlucky musician and give him an otherworldly instrument. Its haunting music can enrapture a crowd or drive them insane.
•After a woman discovers tiny “crop circles” in her shag carpeting, she begins to suspect that her home is being visited by teeny, tiny aliens.
•Aliens visiting earth accidentally leave behind an Entertainment Sphere, a device capable of projecting movies directly into the user’s brain. A teenager discovers the Sphere but, unfortunately, can’t figure out how to turn it off.
•The Air Force discovers a wrecked alien spacecraft floating adrift near the moons of Jupiter. The pilots are long dead, but the ship’s cargo hold is filled with life, what appears to be a shipment to an alien pet store.
•Aliens visit the earth to test a kind of “bug zapper.” The machine uses lights and sounds to entice humans into touching it. Anyone who does is instantly disintegrated.
•A child discovers her parents are actually androids. She is living in an alien zoo, and being raised by robot “parents” until she is old enough to be released back into the “wild” – earth.
•Archeologists investigating the history of an alien planet discover fossilized aliens. Strangely, it appears that the extinct aliens looked a lot like humanity’s idea of angels.
•As construction workers dig the foundation of a new skyscraper, they accidentally activate an alien machine: the Brain Drain, a device designed to keep any planet from having life intelligent enough to become a threat. As humans become dumber and dumber, they try to find a way to destroy it and save the world.
•A group of archeologists discovers a hidden pyramid in South America. Inside, they find a stone tablet documenting a visit from aliens thousands of years ago. The aliens collected DNA from every species on earth, just in case any went extinct. Somewhere in the pyramid is the key to restoring all of the species that had ever been lost.
•A man purchases a new satellite dish, and tinkers with it to make it more powerful. He goes inside and discovers a host of new channels. One of the channels, strangely enough, shows his own life. After some research, he finds that the signal is coming from the Crab Nebula.
•A team of astronauts traveling to Mars discover that they are being monitored. Thousands of years ago, an alien race decided that humans weren’t dangerous, as long as they couldn’t reach other planets. But, if humanity ever did, they wanted an advance warning.
•Astronauts discover blueprints for an alien machine called “The Joy Box.” According to the blueprints, the device has the ability to make anyone blissfully happy. However, the aliens have very different ideas about what “happiness” really is.
Science Fiction Story Ideas
•A pregnant couple decides that they want their little angel to look the part – a little genetic tampering gives them an infant with wings