Judith Rook's Album: Wall Photos

Photo 6 of 7 in Wall Photos

I wonder what people use for exclamations and expletives in their SciFi writing.

Bearing in mind that humans are verbal creatures, even if they may be operating elsewhere in the solar system, in distant galaxies, or even in parallel universes, what do characters say when they are shocked out of their normal equilibrium or to add emphasis?

Does one try to form words and phrases which reflect the particular speculative situation, or is it best to stick with those in
common usage in our 21st society?

Here is a list of some the words and phrases I use. Some of them are exclusive, to my work in progress and reflect the characters of that single novel. I am happy for anyone to use any of the words listed, but I would be very interested to learn what other Scifi writers do about supplying these patches of colour.

Black space!
Cosmic spirits!
What on Earth?
Meta Max!
  • Thomas Weaver
    Thomas Weaver My twin would probably say that, since what characters in (most of) his novels are saying has been translated from thirtieth-century Normarish into twenty-first-century English anyway, there's no sense in keeping their cussing in the original Normarish...  more
    June 16, 2018 - 1 likes this
  • Dawn R. Schuldenfrei
    Dawn R. Schuldenfrei As a reader, anything that flowed naturally would be fine by me. If the character is from an earth-based culture, earth-based swearing matches. And if they aren't, I usually assume it's a translation, as long as it isn't a specific earth reference (no...  more
    June 18, 2018 - 2 like this
  • Thomas Weaver
    Thomas Weaver Yeah, what Dawn said. Also, if it's not from a contemporary (or real historical) Earth-based culture, it should be something that makes sense for swearing. One of the few things Orson Scott Card says about writing that I AGREE with is that you shouldn't...  more
    June 18, 2018 - 1 likes this