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Overused Elements of Science-Fiction: Your Favorite/Most Hated Clichés

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posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 06:02 AM
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Characters; Environments; Technology; Themes; Plot: What's Not Yet Been Done in Sci-Fi Writing, But Should Be?

This is a thread to seek your input on what's been overused in science fiction storytelling, and what's been underdeveloped or absent which you would like to see given the sci-fi treatment.

If you had to choose a science fiction novel, and browsed a selection of a used bookstore, a big box bookstore, or online inventory, What would make you put down a book? If you read the back cover or opened it randomly, What's a turn-off, or What sparks your interest?

One example I have is Names: the names of characters & even places, sometimes, if they're too funky or garbled, will tend to cause me to lose interest. Or, judging a book by it's cover, is obviously (to me, anyways) how books get picked up for further inspection, at all. I avoid books with cheesy illustrated spacescapes, especially featuring a character & a wistful-looking comrade/romantic interest. Those are very limited, surface bits and by no means is that all that I'm looking for in responses here.

While it appears from the numbers that this forum isn't exactly hoppin; I'm hopin there are some pretty serious Science Fiction fans in the ATS community who will let loose w/rants or minor stickler points regarding the seemingly inherent devices used by Sci-Fi writers.

Thank you for reading, from a member whose husband is over 40,000 words into his science fiction novel

P.S. (Ive not read it yet... & won't until it's published, because that won't work for him (or us!).
BUT, input from fans of the genre is INVALUABLE! Especially from people in a community such as this.
I told him I'd figure out a way to ask ATS people something which would give him ideas on the minset & expectations of sci-fi readers/movie watchers. I hope you all have some strong opinions!




posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 06:04 AM
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People who call things steam punk when it isn't actually steam punk. I hate that.



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 06:12 AM
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reply to post by kkrattiger
 


The stars wars and star trek has been done to death a bit. Ray guns, teleportation, mind melds, space warps and Aliens who speak good English. Bablyon 5 never got into it. The problem I see with sci fi now is special effects. When sci fi was evolving in period of 50-70s there was technologies being developed to deliver cutting edge for the time effects. In this day any scene can be rendered in CGi so no one goes to cinema anymore expecting to be blown away with new cutting edge effects because the ceiling has been reached.

The best hope for sci fil is it becomes more focused on story telling. The new star trek movie is abysmal. Star trek is no longer story telling its action flick, with shallow story and characters.



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 06:24 AM
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reply to post by DeadSeraph
 

What little I know of steampunk is pure visual; graphic designs given "steampunk" treatment, steampunk-themed wedding dresses/invitations/decor/favors, & a vague likening to a Will Smith movie where he rides in a giant metal spider, & a villain has a monocle(?)
Thanks for a (quick) reply, D.S.! Anything you've thought "Man, they should do a movie like THIS, as you re-do a scene in your head... Or any thoughts on tech used in sci-fi?

Steampunk Convention-Portlandia



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 06:31 AM
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The most cliche thing that *man* major movies & TV shows have done, that I can think of would be:

The ol' Oxford English accent that every single person speaks in the Future, aliens alike.

Star Wars at least tried to mix it up a bit!



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 06:34 AM
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reply to post by ThinkingCap
 






Star Wars at least tried to mix it up a bit!


stars stole from everyother sci-fi movie. What looks seemly original is incredible plagerism



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 06:36 AM
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Originally posted by kkrattiger
reply to post by DeadSeraph
 

What little I know of steampunk is pure visual; graphic designs given "steampunk" treatment, steampunk-themed wedding dresses/invitations/decor/favors, & a vague likening to a Will Smith movie where he rides in a giant metal spider, & a villain has a monocle(?)
Thanks for a (quick) reply, D.S.! Anything you've thought "Man, they should do a movie like THIS, as you re-do a scene in your head... Or any thoughts on tech used in sci-fi?

Steampunk Convention-Portlandia


In regards to a steam punk themed movie, I'd love to see one done properly but it would have to be written from scratch and have some seriously talented artists behind it.

As far as general sci-fi stuff in my head and tech, I've always been a huge H.R Giger fan and while I loved what "Prometheus" did for both the Alien series and Giger's art, I want to see it taken to the next level. I think Giger's work is incredibly under utilized, and Prometheus was a good effort to sort of tie it together but it fell a bit short.

I think I would like to see some sort of crazy remix between Clive Barker and H.R Giger. Hell Raiser meets the art of Giger sort of thing.



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 06:38 AM
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There's a Fansty & Sci-Fi forum
Wow, I had no idea!

I think the most annoying thing for me in sci-fi is that everything has to be a battle, or a war, or a violent struggle. I prefer the boring, peaceful stuff that Star Trek sometimes gave us.

Just give me thought-provoking ideas instead of humans vs. aliens, or aliens vs. aliens, or humans vs. humans etc. I think all the violence and explosions is boring!!!

I like to see mind-blowing discoveries in my sci-fi. I like things that make me think. There's too much lazy sci-fi out there that's just about fighting and nothing else.

edit on 28-7-2013 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 06:38 AM
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I think the SY-FY Channel overdid it with the use of sharks.

Especially in yesterdays lineup.



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 06:43 AM
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Originally posted by AthlonSavage
reply to post by kkrattiger
 

The best hope for sci fil is it becomes more focused on story telling. The new star trek movie is abysmal. Star trek is no longer story telling its action flick, with shallow story and characters.


Thanks for response, and Yes, I see your point. I watched a Battlestar Galactica episode which had been released as a movie, as 'something for the fans' yet really to make sales & garmer hype for a new season when it came out as the 1st 2 episodes in that season, but packaged as a movie as well. And it took viewers on a backtracking, practically irrelevant but for it's in-your-face scripted lines reminding what a scene or situation has to do w/ the actual storylines. Post-story arc-manufacturing is, mho, best avoided. Although that's an issue for those who interpret (screenwriters; directors; producers) an already successful work of science fiction literature.

Do you think obvious hero quests are predictable in plot? And yet, are you still entertained? Is there any other way to write a long story? I'm under the impression that ALL fantasy/scifi involves the archetypes of a hero quest.



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 06:48 AM
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Originally posted by AthlonSavage
Ray guns, teleportation, mind melds, space warps and Aliens who speak good English.


That's what makes it sci-fi! What technologies would you prefer? Air rifles, horses, lobotomies, steam trains, and pocket dictionaries?

Are you sure you're not more of a fan of westerns or something?
edit on 28-7-2013 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 06:49 AM
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Originally posted by AthlonSavage
reply to post by ThinkingCap
 






Star Wars at least tried to mix it up a bit!


stars stole from everyother sci-fi movie. What looks seemly original is incredible plagerism



Nothing new under the sun --- same ingredients, different recipes.



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 07:17 AM
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reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha
 


NarcolepticBuddha,
I was going to message you to ask for you to visit this thread. I DO think you've been to the Science Fiction Forum before, in the future, or perhaps an alternate plain, as it was a thread about someone who wrote a children's book "Dream Detectives"; you gave a thoughtful reply.



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 07:31 AM
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One ridiculously overused cliche that comes to mind is the ending where it all just turns out to be a dream or a simulation. I hate that one. There were a couple clever uses of this twist early on, but it's been done to death.



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 07:39 AM
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reply to post by kkrattiger
 


The most annoying habit of some sci-fi writers is to over-elaborate when describing some gizmo that just flies a ship or whatever (and it's not relevant to the plot). The quantum timefield accelerator uses a Higgs magnifier to enlarge neutrinos to the point where they can be used as a fuel source and blah blah blah...

No matter the genre it's always about human emotions in human struggles.



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 07:51 AM
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reply to post by kkrattiger
 


I remember "Dream Detectives!"
It's a good one.

Very thoughtful that you remembered my comments and sought them now


My best wishes with the upcoming sci-fi publication. It's my favorite genre. Be sure to let me know when I can get a copy.



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 08:19 AM
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Why do people, and aliens, wear so much spandex, in the future. I get it. In space, no one can hear you scream, but they can see your junk.



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 08:52 AM
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Originally posted by NarcolepticBuddha

Originally posted by AthlonSavage
Ray guns, teleportation, mind melds, space warps and Aliens who speak good English.


That's what makes it sci-fi! What technologies would you prefer? Air rifles, horses, lobotomies, steam trains, and pocket dictionaries?

Are you sure you're not more of a fan of westerns or something?
edit on 28-7-2013 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)


You're being kinda limited... if you take a look at a game called Mass Effect, please how many weapons are ray based? Most of the weapons are with solid ammo, some are kinetic, some are explosive, incendiary, etc etc but yes you have 2 or 3 ray weapons (in 50 or more) but they're not even the "best weapons".

So this "classic concepts" have to change because some of the technologies we see being introduced today or starting to be studied as "future tech" werent considered or were even part of the writers wildest imagination when they came up with star trek and star wars or war of the worlds.

By the way, Mass Effect has swords too and they're not idiot laser swords. They're solid swords and it's not the civil war.

Of course there is a difference between "new science fiction" and "old science fiction". If Mass Effect was turned into a movie, it would be better than Starwars or Star Trek because it carries more science fact that both ST and SW combined. You look at the description of the planets, what they're made of, distances, orbital period, keplerian ratio etc - this is made for a modern, informed culture, not for an ignorant "ask no questions and dream awake" population that was when ST or SW came out.

The time of "lets make $hit up" is over - now you have to back it up - its not like he likes westerns - its more like "now you have to put a lot of science fact into science fiction or else it turns into science crap"



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 11:40 AM
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Originally posted by NarcolepticBuddha
There's a Fansty & Sci-Fi forum
Wow, I had no idea!

I think the most annoying thing for me in sci-fi is that everything has to be a battle, or a war, or a violent struggle. I prefer the boring, peaceful stuff that Star Trek sometimes gave us.

Just give me thought-provoking ideas instead of humans vs. aliens, or aliens vs. aliens, or humans vs. humans etc. I think all the violence and explosions is boring!!!

I like to see mind-blowing discoveries in my sci-fi. I like things that make me think. There's too much lazy sci-fi out there that's just about fighting and nothing else.

edit on 28-7-2013 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)


I have to agree with this.

One thing I can't stand is when too many characters are introduced almost all at once, or names are just too strange and you can't even pronounce them, or the characters are weak and leave a lot to be desired. I love imagination, eloquence and imagery.



posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 12:07 PM
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I'm tired of dystopian futures.







It seems like the 50's sci-fi was more optimistic.







It is the very rare scene in the modern Sci-fi that shows a bright future.




It's a tired out thesis.
Sci-fi seems to think it's job it to take one of this day's problems,
project it into the future and magnify it to some horrible proportions.

How droll.


Mike

edit on 28-7-2013 by mikegrouchy because: (no reason given)





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