->''Ed seems to have been stamped directly from the comic-book mad scientist mould - last week he raised an Amiga 500 to sentience (although it took us a while to notice; it thinks darned slowly).''
-->--''Sam (the character), on the protagonist of the Ed Stories''

-> ''There was a war in Heaven and the debris fell to Earth.''

->1. ''Every year, a randomly chosen person on Earth is struck by [[LightningCanDoAnything lightning]] and gains superpowers.''
->2. ''Each new superhuman is twice as powerful as the previous one.''
->3. ''This has been going on for ten years.''
-->--''The (first) ArcWords of the ''Literature/FineStructure'' series''

A website, created and maintained by sam512, or Sam Hughes. He has a particular affinity for science fiction, which has led him to write many science fiction short stories- and occasionally long series of such- and publish them on his [[http://qntm.org/ website]]. His most popular series is the ''Literature/FineStructure'' series, which has its own page, other short stories and series have tropes listed below.

Also of note is [[http://www.qntm.org/destroy How To Destroy The Earth]], an exhaustive examination of the EarthShatteringKaboom trope, and several examinations of the TimeyWimeyBall that is ''{{Futurama}}''. There's also an examination of TimeTravelTenseTrouble [[http://qntm.org/streetmentioner here]]. He is currently writing a new series called ''Literature/{{Ra}}'', which appears to expand upon the ideas in several of the stories from his 2010 [[http://qntm.org/nanowrimo NanoWrimo]] (specifically ''Thaumic'', ''Magic NASA'', ''Placebo Engineering'', ''Laura Ferno and the Bomb'', and ''The Self-Reliant Heroine'').

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!!These works provides examples of:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: General Tropes]]
* AuthorVocabularyCalendar: "fractionally"
* ContinuityNod: All of his works might as well be set in the same continuity. Well, in alternate universes.
** For example, in "Gorge", [[spoiler:a space cartographer accidentally introduces the concept of space travel to a planet consumed entirely by nanobots, which then proceed to expand throughout the universe (at least, [[InferredHolocaust it is implied]]). Another story of his deals with flying over post-nanoapocalyptic environments in freefall and photographing them. The passage goes on to state that objects above a certain technology level are not allowed near such environments, ''lest the nanobots learn of space travel''.]]
* GainaxEnding: Used quite a lot. Usually a form of a TwistEnding.
* MindScrew: Practically all of the stories involving time travel.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tropes In Short Stories]]
* AffectionateParody: Of Creator/IsaacAsimov's The Last Question.
* AGodAmI: http://qntm.org/responsibility. When the physicists who discovered infinite computing power discover they can control a replica of our universe inside their computer. [[spoiler: It turns out that they are also in a simulated universe, which is most likely also a simulated universe, ad infinitum et absurdum.]]
* {{Anticlimax}}: The whole point of "First Contact: a retrospective"
* MadScientist: Most of the scientists portrayed.
* StableTimeLoop: Many of his stories deal with something like this, most notably [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Time Loop]], although nothing interesting is done during the course of the loop.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Ed Stories]]
* AbusingTheKardashevScaleForFunAndProfit: [[spoiler: The Andromedans were at least a Class 2 before Ed destroyed them, if not a Class 3. And the tiny remnant that we seen in the stories is a Class 1 in its own right, as are both Earths by the end of the series.]]
* ApocalypseHow: Ed has averted a few of these with his mecha.
** Also, when tampering with the universe's config file (really- it has values for different universal constants, complete with comments), [[spoiler: he accidentally deletes the entire Andromeda galaxy. Needless to say, it's surviving inhabitants were not thrilled.]]
** [[spoiler:The Eridanians accidentally cause an X+ by destroying the entire universe, starting with themselves.]]
* ArtificialGravity: Declared impossible by Ed, though a number of work-arounds are used to simulate gravity.
* AuthorAvatar: Not Ed, but the narrator, who shares the same first name as Hughes, and writes in a style a lot like his blog entries.
* ClarkesThirdLaw: [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] when Ed decides to call his FTL tech "magic", and continues to cite the law itself.
* [[spoiler:DownerEnding: Ed is killed.]]
** [[spoiler:Although WordOfGod states that he was rescued at the last instant and went on to have various adventures in the Andromeda galaxy, one of which is mentioned in the epilogue.]]
* FasterThanLightTravel: See ClarkesThirdLaw above.
* HumansAreFlawed: Most alien species are far morally superior to humanity.
* HumongousMecha: Most notably in the first three stories, but they show up again later.
* MikeNelsonDestroyerOfWorlds: More like Eduardo [=McPherson=] destroyer of ''galaxies'' (see ApocalypseHow above).
* MoralityChip: The Andromedan "riders".
* MundaneUtility: [[http://qntm.org/bread the best thing since sliced bread]].
* PortalCut: Ed uses wormholes to invent the world's most ludicrously advanced bread-slicer.
* StarfishAliens: The Zeta Reticulaens.
* SufficientlyAdvancedTechnology: Asked how his FTL drive works, Ed claims "magic" and cites Clarke's Third Law.
* TimeTravel: Alternate universe model. Philosophical implications thereof are explored.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tyro]]
* AIIsACrapshoot: [[spoiler:{{Subverted}}.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Four-And-A-Halfth Planet]]
* EarthShatteringKaboom
* StableTimeLoop: With a catch that the reader has to puzzle out.
[[/folder]]
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