Writing Excuses 9.8: When is your Handwavium Good Enough?

Eric James Stone and the Wilhelm Scream join us for a talk about “handwavium,” that stuff that you use instead of through-and-through hard science. It’s that part where you wave your hand and say “don’t pay too much attention to this bit.”

When does it fail, though? When is it good enough? Like so many other things, this hinges upon whether or not the reader is knocked out of the story by implausibility. We talk about post-trans-uranics, reversing the polarity, inertial dampeners, and internal consistency. We also talk about how we, as writers, make our decisions regarding handwavium.

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Write some technobabble that explains how turtles have hyperspace.

The Incrementalists, by Stephen Brust and Skyler White, narrated by Ray Porter and Mary Robinette Kowal