9 Weird Yet Useful Sci-Fi Laws

Quite a few rules and lines that have helped shaped popular culture over the past 60 years actually came from Sci-Fi writers who were a bit more at the fringe of the authors society in comparison to where they are today.

Asimov’s Laws of Robotics

These laws for robotic behavior have been the source of much Sci-Fi drama.

  • A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  • A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  • A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

Clarke’s Three Laws

  • When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
  • The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
  • Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Hanlon’s Razor (aka Hanlon’s Law)

“ Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity, but don’t rule out malice. “

It’s not quite clear who made up this rule, but various authors have used it, including Robert A. Heinlein in 1941, but it probably first came in this exact form from Robert J. Hanlon,  as a submission for a book compilation of various jokes related toMurphy’s law published in 1980 titled Murphy’s Law Book Two, More Reasons Why Things Go Wrong.

O’Toole’s Corollary of Finagle’s Law

The perversity of the Universe tends towards a maximum. ” Pretty much the second law of thermodynamics.

Somewhat of a variation on Murphy’s Law;

Sturgeon’s Law

90% of everything is crap

Derived from quotations by Theodore Sturgeon, an American science fiction author.  An observation that while science fiction was often derided for its low quality by critics, it could be noted that the majority of examples of works in other fields could equally be seen to be of low quality and that science fiction was thus no different in that regard to other art.