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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

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 website. His best known works are the novel-length Fine Structure and Ra, which have their own pages.

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Hughes is also an active contributor to the SCP Foundation under the handle "qntm", and is best known for focusing on antimemetics and developing the Antimemetics Division hub, portions of which have been consolidated and lightly edited into a novel length work, There Is No Antimemetics Division.

Other short stories and series have tropes listed below. Also of note is How To Destroy The Earth, an exhaustive examination of the Earth-Shattering Kaboom trope, and several examinations of the Timey-Wimey Ball that is Futurama. There's also an examination of Time-Travel Tense Trouble here.


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These works provides examples of:

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     General Tropes 
  • Continuity Nod: All of his works might as well be set in the same continuity. Well, in alternate universes. For example, in "Gorge", 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, 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.

     Tropes In Short Stories 
  • Affectionate Parody: "The Last-But-One Question" is one to Isaac Asimov's The Last Question, in which the question is asked to a planet-sized Magic 8-Ball.
  • A God Am I: http://qntm.org/responsibility. When the physicists who discovered infinite computing power discover they can control a replica of our universe inside their computer. 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" — after decoding an alien message, there's nothing to follow up on, and nothing has really changed.
  • Lightspeed Leapfrog: The basis of "Forgotten things in space", in which an arkship is sent out in the lead-up to The End of the World as We Know It, only for FTL to be invented and all of humanity moving to the target planet and then the same set of events playing out much later on said planet, only for them to find the original ship still travelling to the now-doomed planet.
  • Great Big Library of Everything: "I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library" has of course, the library, which is confusingly called "The Book". It chronicles every single thing that has ever occurred in the universe, from all perspectives, in every language. It's implied to be the afterlife.
     Ed Stories 
  • Apocalypse How:
    • When Ed tampering with the universe's config file (really- it has values for different universal constants, complete with comments), he accidentally deletes the entire Andromeda galaxy. Needless to say, its surviving inhabitants were not thrilled.
    • The Eridanians accidentally cause an X+ by destroying the entire universe, starting with themselves.
  • Artificial Gravity: Declared impossible by Ed, though a number of work-arounds are used to simulate gravity.
  • Author Avatar: Sam Hughes the narrator serves as an avatar for Sam Hughes the author.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Ed is killed, but the two Earths are reformed into a utopia thanks to the Andromedans. Although Word of God 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.
  • Living Ship: Hotel Infinity is an Iisius, an Andromedan species of living starship, although only around five percent of their body is organic, the other 95% is built up over time.
  • Mayan Doomsday: When the Eridanian energy virus is discovered, Ed estimates it will reach earth on exactly December 21st, 2012.
  • Portal Cut: Ed uses wormholes to invent the world's most ludicrously advanced bread-slicer.
  • Puny Earthlings: According to the Andromedans, the fact that humans don't have telephathy makes them below average, since they aren't able to coordinate or work together properly. Indeed, it was quite embarrassing when the Mantissa arrived and saw there was still poverty in the world.
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