TSTP Theme Hierarchy Reference Sheet

science fiction and fantasy theme

alternate life

what if I faced an incredible situation what if my life were different
what if I found myself in the body of another person what if I aged backwards, what if I aged rapidly, what if I became accessory to a friend's crime, what if I could be young again, ... what if I had an extraordinary ability what if I became a simulation, what if I became extremely lucky, what if I could do anything I wanted without repercussions, what if I could edit my lover, ...
what if I found myself in a body of the opposite sex, what if I found myself in the body of a child, what if I found myself in the body of an alien what if I could change into a gaseous state, what if I could control minds, what if I could fly, what if I could hear thoughts, ...

alternate society

dystopia existential risk utopia what if society were different
ads everywhere dystopia, bureaucratic dystopia, consumerist dystopia, drugged up dystopia, ... extraterrestrial threat force majeure existential risk man-made existential risk Plato's Republic, free love utopia, genetic engineering utopia, hive mind utopia, ... alien civilization, subterranean civilization, the unforeseen consequences of supernatural powers, thoughtcrime, ...
accidental alien destruction of planetary civilization, accidental alien destruction of planetary ecosystem, alien brought pandemic, attack from outer space by a genocidal enemy, ... asteroid impact, atmospheric dissipation, botanical plague, catastrophic flood, ... annihilation by WMDs annihilation by a device that stops fusion in a star, annihilation by a planet busting device, atrophied civilization, autonomous weapons system killing everyone, ...
nuclear holocaust

novel alien concept

biologically distinguished life form culturally distinguished life form earth-life inspired life form inhospitable environment dwelling life form inorganic life form mentally distinguished life form miscellaneous life form parasitic life form space stereotype spaceborne life form superior life form
alien with the body of a toddler, bilaterally colored alien, childless reproducing alien, cyclical mating cycle alien, ... assimilating alien, culturally symbiotic aliens, powerful conquering alien race, xenophobic isolationist alien, ... amphibian-like being, avian being, canine alien, chameleon-like being, ... bedrock dwelling alien, black hole dwelling alien, gas giant dwelling alien, mole people, ... crystalline life form, cyborg, dark matter life form, electromagnetic beast, ... binary thinking alien, collectively intelligent aliens, dream walking alien, emotionless emotion craving alien, ... human-arthropod hybrid shapeshifter 2D beings, Jovian extraterrestrial, Lilliputian, Martian, ... being that feeds on emotions, brain memory virus, invisible parasites, life force draining alien, ... space Bolsheviks, space Catholics, space Egyptians, space Greeks, ... giant space amoeba, living spaceship, space cloud life form, space protozoa, ... alien overseers, covert alien observers, extra-dimensional alien, galactic master race, ...
human-arachnid hybrid, human-insect hybrid bio-mimicking life form, werewolves

novel sci-fi concept

AI technology alternate laws of nature bioengineering technology fictional apparatus human enhancement mastering space mind technology real gadget starship technology what's out there
simulated person AI assistant, AI safeguards, ancient artificial custodian, android, ... 2D space, accessible extra dimension of space, localized time distortion, non-Euclidean space, ... bioengineered human pathogen, biological machinery futuristic torture device simulated reality teleportation device aging machine, anti-gravity technology, artificial gravity technology, automatic butchering machine, ... genetically enhanced person accelerated growth rate, anti-aging technology, appearance altering technology, artificial blood, ... Dyson sphere, airliner, airship, arcology, ... brain-computer interface, duplicate of a person, human cloning, implanted memory punishment, ... submarine X-ray machine, ankle bracelet, camera doorbell, diving suit, ... spacecraft Bussard collector, ion space drive, modular starship, multi-generational starship, ... parallel universe asteroid belt, binary pulsar, binary star system, biological computer virus, ...
digital clone of a person pain belt, pain booth, pain buzzer, pain collar, ... digital afterlife, simulated hunting interstellar teleportation genetically enhanced soldier nuclear submarine biological spaceship, flying saucer, multistage rocket, sentient spaceship parallel antimatter universe

space colonization

colonization of Mars colonization of Mercury colonization of Pluto colonization of the Moon terraformed planet

speculative lands and worlds

2D space Counter-Earth accessible extra dimension of space collapsing bubble universe edge of the universe galactic barrier multiverse off-world prison colony parallel universe reverse universe simulated hunting speculative habitat universe-in-a-box
parallel antimatter universe arcology, artificial island, artificial planet, desert planet, ...


space travel time travel
teleportation device intergalactic space travel, interplanetary space travel, interstellar space travel, interstellar teleportation, ... grandfather paradox, localized time distortion, reversed time, the genius was really a time traveler, ...
interstellar teleportation


domestic social issue

contemporary social issue gender issue past and present moral controversy
activism crime and punishment pollution in society prejudice in society social inequality the Internet in society waste management MMORPGs in society, STDs in society, abuse of authority, abuse of real power, ... female stereotype male stereotype the battle of the sexes homosexuality treatment of prisoners abortion, anti-science in society, apartheid, arranged marriage, ...
anti-war activism, eco-terrorism, environmentalism, independence struggle, ... patricide, poison murder in society oil spills in society AI prejudice in society, class prejudice in society, lookism in society, prejudice against ex-convicts, ... healthcare inequality, inequality in the justice system Internet crime in society, social media in society toxic waste management blond ditziness, bridezilla, clingy girlfriend, female attraction to powerful men, ... awkward expecting father, beards, inattentive boyfriend, male banter, ... equal career opportunities for women, female independence, gender bending, girl power, ... lesbianism, male homosexuality prisoners being exploited for entertainment

intercultural relations

cross cultural understanding problem of language and meaning views and customs
conflict of moral codes, conflict of privacy preferences, cultural differences, cultural exchange, ... Flatland communication problem, ambiguity in ancient texts, communicating with deaf people, communicating with someone who speaks a different language, ... AI point of view, alien customs, alien morals, alien point of view, ...

transnational social issue

diplomacy war
appeasement policy, conflicting systems of jurisprudence, dealing with terrorists, diplomacy vs. force, ... war crimes aerial bombing of cities, arms race, arms trade, atomic warfare, ...
wartime comfort women

values and ethics in society

human rights medical ethics social dichotomy social ethical dilemma social order
exploitation of sentient beings AI rights, animal rights, children's rights, civil rights, ... The Hippocratic Oath, deciding what is best for the patient, doctor assisted suicide, doctor vs. next of kin, ... anarchy vs. pacifism, anarchy vs. rule of law, conservative vs. liberal, cooperation vs. competition, ... the ethics of interfering in the internal affairs of other powers choosing between murderous regimes, deferring to unappealing laws in a foreign society, destroying one people to save another, eye for an eye justice, ... Nazi Germany pros and cons, Nazism, addictive drugs as a control mechanism, anarchy, ...
worker exploitation the ethics of interfering in less advanced societies

the human condition

challenges in life

coping with adversity facing adversity tough decision
coping with an affliction coping with danger coping with having to do something coping with life issues coping with problematic people coping with social issues coping with stress coping with the death of someone facing general adversity self-sacrifice survival life choice personal ethical dilemma personal practical dilemma
coping with a bad hangover, coping with a bad sunburn, coping with a disability, coping with a friend who has an addiction, ... coping with a loved one being in peril coping with being at the brink of destruction, coping with being injured, coping with being lost in space, coping with being tortured coping with bad cooking, coping with opposing a friend, delivering bad news, killing an injured pet, ... coping with a life-changing event, coping with being a danger to those around you, coping with being an underachiever, coping with being imprisoned, ... coping with a bad boss, coping with a drunken fool, coping with a greedy heir, coping with a loose cannon, ... coping with having injured someone coping with a failing marriage, coping with a maniacal leader, coping with being a cuckold, coping with being a laughing stock, ... coping with being crammed up in a confined space with other people, coping with being suspected of something, coping with having been raped, coping with stress at work, ... coping with the death of a loved one coping with suicide, coping with the death of a child, coping with the death of a colleague, coping with the death of a fellow compatriot, ... facing one's own death bird in a gilded cage, charting unknown territory, coming out of the closet, convalescence, ... donating an organ to save a life, helping a stranger in need, sacrifice for a child, sacrifice for a friend, ... facing a ferocious beast, facing a fight to the death, facing a genius adversary, facing a mortal enemy, ... leaving one's old life behind accumulation of wealth vs. personal development, adopting a child, being uptight vs. loosening up, breaking with tradition vs. suicide, ... conflict of duty Sophie's choice, assisting in suicide, breaking the law for personal advantage, breaking the law to cover up another crime, ... carrot vs. stick, choosing between equally futile actions, decision making in the face of uncertainty, destroying one's own creation, ...
coping with the imprisonment of a family member coping with having injured a friend coping with the murder of a loved one facing one's own execution leaving one's old life for love duty vs. conscience duty vs. compassion, duty vs. desire, duty vs. duty, duty vs. friendship, ...
obeying the rules vs. acting for a just cause

human personality

human characteristic human disposition human emotion state of mind
agreeable characteristic disagreeable characteristic age sensitivity amicable disposition antagonistic disposition deadly sin heavenly virtue pleasant emotion unpleasant emotion pathological state of mind anxiety, culture shock, denial, desperation, ...
courage Spartan asceticism, chivalry, courtesy, creativity, ... bellicosity, childishness, closed-mindedness, complacency, ... loyalty compassion, graciousness in defeat, magnanimity in victory, mercy, ... contempt, inferiority complex, moral outrage, prejudice, ... avarice, gluttony, jealousy, lust, ... chastity, diligence, generosity, humility, ... love acceptance, admiration, amazement, anticipation, ... fear anger, annoyance, apprehension, boredom, ... drug addiction Messiah complex, Stockholm syndrome, acute anxiety, addiction to sensation, ...
courage in the face of death loyalty to a cause, loyalty to a friend, loyalty to a group, loyalty to a leader, ... familial love romantic love parental love fear of abandonment alcoholism
filial love, fraternal love, love of a pet, maternal love, ... infatuation epic love, forbidden love, human and AI love, love at first sight, ...
obsessive infatuation, young girl infatuation

purpose in life

human aspiration human need human pleasure life lesson way of life
passion for archaeology, passion for astronomy, passion for charitable volunteering, passion for collecting data, ... attachment to one's land, attachment to one's livelihood, attachment to one's people, captain and crew's attachment to their ship, ... passion for spectator sports passion for acting, passion for antique cars, passion for classic films, passion for fast vehicles, ... Sword of Damocles, actions have consequences, appearances can be deceiving, be careful what you wish for, ... Golden Rule way of life, anti-intellectualism, cannibalism, carefree way of life, ...
passion for baseball, passion for water polo

social interaction

family affairs group interaction introspection one-on-one interaction
familial relations growing up parenting dark family secret, divorce, embarrassing family member, family dispute, ... manners pecking order a danger shared can bring people together, apocalypse anarchy, belonging, brainstorming, ... a wider world, accepting reliance on others, anger management issues, beating one's self up, ... romantic relationship EQ vs. IQ, betrayal, bluffing, clash of Wills, ...
parent and child a person and their clone, aunt and nephew, brother and brother, brother and sister, ... adolescence, black sheep, childhood as an outsider, childhood aspirations, ... parental disappointment in child absentee father, adoption, bad influence on children, child rearing, ... table manners the unappreciated and unimportant at the workplace beauty and beast romance, bondage sex, boyfriend and girlfriend, controlling partner, ...
father and daughter, father and son, mother and daughter, mother and son fatherly disappointment in a son, motherly disappointment in a son

what life is like

life in academia life in college life toiling in a coal mine what electioneering is like what it is like in a low gravity environment what it is like in a medical emergency room what it is like in a zero gravity environment what it is like in showbiz what it is like on a battlefield what it is like to be a loser what it is like to be homeless what it is like to be impoverished what it is like to be in a cult what it is like to bid in an auction what it is like to live through a military occupation what it is like to work as a prostitute what it is like to work as tech support what it is like to work in hotel and restaurant what life is like in the military what life is like in the police force
parody on life in academia parody on showbiz

the pursuit of knowledge

the domain of faith

crackpot theory organized religion superstition
Atlantis, Bermuda Triangle, Counter-Earth, Hollow Earth, ... Catholicism, Christianity, Judaism, Nirvana, ... animal guide, astrology, collective dreaming, communicating with the dead, ...

the domain of reason

classical philosophy modern science the art of war the fine arts and the humanities
aesthetics ethics human nature metaphysics discredited scientific theory scientific discipline topic in science topic in technology agility vs. strength, booby trap, brains vs. brawn, brinkmanship, ... history acting, art appreciation, calligraphy, creative writing, ...
the nature of cuteness, the nature of taste, the power of art to influence society, what is beauty, ... civilization vs. savagery, the ethics of killing in self-defense, the ethics of valuing human lives, what is good and evil, ... Buridan's ass, a common enemy unites, a common interest unites, a leopard can't change its spots, ... absurdist philosophy, can machines have souls, grandfather paradox, historical determinism, ... Freudian psychoanalysis, alternative medicine, déjà vu, extrasensory perception, ... animal training, archaeology, astronomy, ecology, ... topic in medicine DNA encoded message, Fermat's Last Theorem, Fourier series, Lagrange point, ... DNA testing, Morse code, how to start a fire, the Internet, ... World War II Adolf Hitler, Adolph Hitler, Amelia Earhart, American Civil War, ...
acupuncture, aphasia the French Resistance