Because there is no such thing as laser eyes and the ability to turn invisible or fly, writers have to manipulate the fabric of reality and invent science that doesn’t exist. And the truth is, writers aren’t rocket scientists. We probably aren’t even real sure what gamma radiation is in the real world, let alone in our fake one. So it’s nigh impossible to find some weird little loophole we can exploit to explain why Superman can fly into space without any undesirable side-effects. Like death.
So we do what I like to call Quantum Hand-Wavy Science. It’s when you take some fake science and you dress it up with a lot of real world science to make it sound pretty convincing, and voila. You’ve got the invention of the Zeta Beam. Get a science character talking about splitting particles and laser refractors and you practically sound like you’ve got a PH.D in SCIENCE. No one needs to know the difference. Not when we’ve got fancy words doing all the work for us.
Which is not entirely fair. Writers do research. In the science fiction superhero world though, you’ve got to make most of the science up. And that’s fine! Where would we be if we couldn’t make stuff up?
The important thing is knowing a) How your Quantum Hand-Wavy Science works and b) Making sure it always works this way. As long as you are consistent and thorough with the quantum pieces, then the hand-wavy part will do the rest.
Readers want to believe. Readers love the idea that vampires will fall in love with us and make us immortal, nevermind how much they want vamps to actually exist. Readers want to believe in fairy kingdoms. Readers want to know that it’s totally possible that one day they might walk into the middle of a radioactive zeta beam experiment and be accidentally gifted with the powers of super strength, speed, and invulnerability. You really don’t have to lead the horse to water. It’s already there with its bathing suit on. As long as your fake quantum rules make sense as written and that they always work the way you establish, readers will always believe.
(Please see the letter “W” for “Willing Suspension of Disbelief” for more discussion on this topic.)
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