We've been hashing out what types of questions are on-topic and what types of questions are off-topic for a few days now, so I'd like to start preparing a draft of what will be added to SciFi.SE's FAQ.
The format is taken from the fairly successful FAQ for Programmers.SE: it is a distillation of the heavily up-voted answers (5 or greater) from What questions are on-topic, and what questions are off-topic? and the following Stack Overflow Blog posts:
- Good Subjective, Bad Subjective
- Real Questions Have Answers
- No Artificial Intelligence in Area 51
- Are Some Questions Too Simple?
Some answers have been combined to make it easier to summarize our site's purpose.
Please provide any feedback you might have, but be sure to read the posts linked above to understand the purpose of these changes.
What kind of questions can I ask here?
Science Fiction and Fantasy - Stack Exchange is for questions targeted towards science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. This includes questions about:
- Plot, character, or setting explanations
- Historical context
- Behind-the-scenes and fandom information
- Story identification
- Franchise/series reading or viewing order
What about other Science Fiction and Fantasy related questions?
Not all questions have a home on Stack Exchange. Please note the following types of questions are off-topic here:
- Questions easily answered by a Google or Wikipedia search: Who played X in Y?
- Real-world speculation and extrapolation: Is X technology from Y possible in real life?
- Reading and viewing recommendations: Can you recommend me a book that has X?
- Lists of works, characters, or settings: What are all the books that have Y in them?
- Genre classification: Is X Science Fiction?
For more information, see the question where these topics were discussed on our meta discussion site.
If your question is about...
- Writing science fiction, ask on Writers - Stack Exchange.
(At this point, the FAQ continues with the global FAQ copy starting at Please look around to see if your question has already been asked (and maybe even answered!) before you ask. It’s also perfectly fine to ask and answer your own question, as long as you pretend you’re on Jeopardy: phrase it in the form of a question.)
As of 2011-02-27, the FAQ has been updated based on the text in this answer.