Questions tagged [plot-device]

An element introduced into a story, film, play etc. to advance the plot.

16 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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What level of control does the Alien Queen (from the “Aliens” films) hold over the eggs and other aliens around her?

The title says it all. And this is spurred by a comment posted to this post on the “Movies & TV” site here. Does the queen get to choose when the eggs open? That's not how it works with any egg ...
9
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1answer
497 views

Why not take the creature to the nearest beach?

In the Shape of Water, Eliza waits several days for the "rainy season" and for the nearby canal to fill with rain water so they can release the creature. But not only do the have a car already (the “...
8
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0answers
135 views

What is the backstory regarding the suit of armor at the top of the Munster's staircase?

Was a backstory ever revealed in any of the TV series or movies regarding who the suit of armor at the head of the stairs under which Spot lives belonged to? If so, what is the backstory? I ask ...
6
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0answers
425 views

First science-fiction/fantasy story that converts its exposition to a fictional language?

I'm pretty certain that there are works of fiction purely in a fictional language. For instance I'd be surprised if some uber-geek hasn't written some fan fiction entirely in Klingon. I also know ...
4
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0answers
108 views

Radio interference caused by Martian dust storm

In comments below this excellent answer to Are there methods of lightning detection on Mars? I lament not being able to remember where I'd read about radio noise in the receiver of a real-world ...
4
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0answers
49 views

Effect of alien shrine on Armando

In the short story "The Familiar" by author David Farland (released as part of the short story collection "Alien Artifacts"), protagonist Armando encounters an alien artifact on the surface of Europa. ...
3
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0answers
55 views

Is this a time-travel discrepancy in Gone World?

This is a question on Gone World. At one point, Shannon gets back in time without the formal channel (i.e. getting on her ship and heading back over a period of 3 months). She actually uses the time-...
3
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0answers
368 views

Who actually nuked the Karakum?

Warning: Contains spoilers to "The Expanse" Season 2. In "The Expanse" Season 2, the Martian Ship "Karakum" apparently carries out some black ops mission on Ganymede. It gets destroyed while at or ...
3
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0answers
132 views

Why did the Meks in Vance's 'Last Castle' not revolt from the inside?

In the novella The Last Castle by Vance, the Meks leave the human castles and proceed to revolt against their former masters from the outside and siege the castles. The revolt proved difficult to win ...
2
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0answers
44 views

What was the un-named French phrase in Joe Hart's Obscura?

In Joe Hart's Obscura, at two points when Dr. Gillian Ryan visits Dr. Eric Ander's office/dwelling, the narrative mentions a French phrase that is prominently visible. On the farthest wall was an ...
2
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0answers
105 views

Was a hand-held Claymore mine-based space weapon or anything similar described in fiction before it was proposed in reality? (ca. 1959)

This answer in Space SE contains the images below which come from a 1959 report on project Horizon which was found here (direct link to PDF). The images show an astronaut on the Moon using a hand-...
2
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236 views

Why did Phantom 2040 always say “Aim, Lock, Fire!”

This guy... ...would always say "Aim, Lock, Fire!" whenever he fired his gun thing. Why did he do that?
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309 views

Why did the 'Reality Dysfunction' book series end with a Deus ex Machina?

Why did the 'Reality Dysfunction' book series end with a Deus ex Machina? I mean he runs across a sentient super computer black hole with limitless power acting as a wish granting genie? I ...
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118 views

Why did the Gallowwalkers need to reskin when Wesley Snipes did not?

Wesley Snipes Why did the Gallowwalkers need to reskin when Aman (Wesley Snipes) did not?
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78 views

Why does Alys' death make Taverner exist again?

In Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said by Philip K. Dick, the protagonist (a celebrity named Jason Taverner) spends the majority of the novel in a society where there is no record of his having ever ...
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101 views

Is there any evidence that the writers of Avengers: Engame were aware of SG-1: “Moebius”?

There is significant overlap in the premise of Avengers:Endgame and the two-part season 8 finale of Stargate: SG-1, "Moebius" (2005). Specifically, the team are looking for a Zero Point ...