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

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posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 04:39 PM
A great place to start is the TV Tropes and Idioms Website.

They've cataloged and labeled every cliche in fiction period. Everything from "you can hear explosions in space" to "glasses constitute a disguise for the hero."

oodles of fun.

posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 06:29 PM

Originally posted by mikegrouchy

I'm tired of dystopian futures.

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

Ah yes, doom and gloom and hopeless futures. We really could use some more positive and inspiring themes.

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.


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

posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 06:52 PM
i like reading hardcore sci-fi books, but i think its sounds silly to call a book hardcore.

also i think scifi books should start calling the main characters by their first name.

posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 07:53 PM
My favourite thing when reading sci-fi or fantasy is getting immersed in a world that is unlike our own. I like good descriptions of new worlds, cultures, ways of doing things.

The thing I dislike the most about sci-fi or fantasy novels, is a lot of technical jargon (like describing the inner workings of a space ship engine that would take an engineer to understand or military vocabulary that is left unexplained).

posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 08:37 PM

Originally posted by DeadSeraph
People who call things steam punk when it isn't actually steam punk. I hate that.

That's so steam punk.

Mine is a group of individuals that are together and everyone has that one skill that is needed in order to overcome the next challenge.

posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 10:03 PM
I'd personally like to see another movie like "Fantastic Planet". That cartoon was captivating to say the least.

Maybe a story where people finally realize that the final book of the bible, Revelations, is a blueprint and plan for alien invasion and realize the whole bible pits different religions, people and civilizations against each other for millennia, so the "aliens" can observe every type of human warfare possible, and how far humans would go to annihilate each other; so that the aliens may foment an unbeatable war plan against humanity.

posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 10:24 PM
reply to post by kkrattiger

it really annoys me when they throw a previous plot " into space " just because they can - an example is lifeboat [ 1944 ]> life pod [ 1993 ]

posted on Jul, 28 2013 @ 11:34 PM
"Maybe if we modulate the frequency, we can induce crystolic fusion in our fuel pods..."

"we can use the planet's gravity well as a sling-shot to accelerate us out of this solar system..."

posted on Jul, 29 2013 @ 12:23 AM

Originally posted by smilesmcgee
My favourite thing when reading sci-fi or fantasy is getting immersed in a world that is unlike our own. I like good descriptions of new worlds, cultures, ways of doing things.

That's cool, but I also like it when they contrast with similarities to us. I like that contrast between our real world (how it is) and the other, or how it could be.

Underdone things? I think space is over done and multi-verse is underdone. I like parallel universes (John Dies at the End is a comedy/horror from this genre) I like it when the super high tech is contrasted with low tech, the extent it just becomes like magic, and we can see all different aspects of life combined.

posted on Jul, 29 2013 @ 09:53 AM
reply to post by jiggerj

Human emotions & human struggles... That's a good summation, thanks. Im reading the thread to the writer in the house, im so excited there's more than 1 pg now! The "just a dream" thing seems like a way to end a fantastical story written by an adolescent.
Apparently, 'gadget fiction' is a subgenre with authors Haldeman, & Sheckler.?
I'm kinda one of those types who're like, "Nuh, Uh! No way could that be possible," when watching a movie. I know I'm supposed to suspend belief (or suspend disbelief? I don't know) so when a little explaining is done it quiets the overrealistic cynic in me.
However, i do see your point, and agree that it may well apply en masse.
Valuable input, thank you!
edit on 29-7-2013 by kkrattiger because: Gadget tech genre

edit on 29-7-2013 by kkrattiger because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 29 2013 @ 10:01 AM
reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha

Unfortunately, he has just informed me that this 1st book IS humans vs. aliens.
But has other devices in mind for other books.

posted on Jul, 29 2013 @ 03:48 PM
reply to post by kkrattiger

so when a little explaining is done it quiets the overrealistic cynic in me.

A little is good. But I'm chuckling now because I know I've read some stories where the writer felt he/she needed to explain how Faster Than Light travel is possible, but the reader must just accept that there are space-zombie-vampires hidden in the loading bay.

posted on Jul, 29 2013 @ 04:18 PM
I hate sound in space... explosions, gun-fire, etc.

I also hate broad banking/sweeping turns of "fighters" like it's an airplane in earth atmosphere.

2001 Space Odyssey got it right. Moon is also great (even brilliant), and Silent Running is really solid.

posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 02:51 AM
reply to post by FraternitasSaturni

..."its more like "now you have to put a lot of science fact into science fiction or else it turns into science crap"
Is this your line? it's great. Cant wait to share that tidbit. It is true in my opinion!

posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 06:34 AM
1.) Technology. All science fiction technology eventually becomes outdated or absurd as discoveries are made on Earth. Ray Bradbury understood this. He didn't write about how a spaceship works, he wrote about the human condition and universal themes. That's why his stuff is timeless.

2.) Conflicts that are obvious extensions/allegories of historical conflicts on Earth. Yes, we get it. Nazis were evil. So you don't need to write about racist space aliens who have a red and black flag. Using sci-fi as a soapbox to preach political correctness is tiresome. Show us something we've never seen before.

3.) Gritty reboots of classic stories from mythology (a.k.a. plagiarism.)

4.) Carbon-based, oxygen-breathing space aliens with one head and two arms and two legs in the usual places.

5.) Aerodynamic spaceships, unless they actually fly in the air.

6.) Alien cultures that are obviously based on Earth cultures.

That's just off the top of my head.

posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 11:13 AM
He's dead, Jim.

posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 11:25 AM

He's dead, Jim.

That's not a cliché, that's a catch-phrase! One of the best-ever on television.
edit on 30-7-2013 by SkepticOverlord because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 11:41 AM
Ok, how about time travel? I'm always amused at how they get around the time paradox - going back in time, killing your grandfather, so you were never born to go back in time etc.

Ray Bradbury wrote a story where they gave tours to the Jurassic to hunt dinosaurs just before they died naturally. Of course, one of them goes off the path, and steps on a butterfly. When they return, their whole world is changed.

H.G. Wells "The Time Machine" avoids the paradox by only moving forward in time.

Some writers say they actually move to a different timeline when time traveling, to a parallel universe.

Looper came out last year and deals with time travel in a unique way. It's an okay movie.

It's fun to watch the mental gymnastics.

edit on 30-7-2013 by ionwind because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 12:46 PM
A little O.T. but this is the first place I've found that seemed right to vent it:

SyFy's "Warehouse 13" - is the most BLATANT plagiarism I have EVER seen! What's more, I think they're plagiarizing themselves.

The original show was (I believe) "Friday the 13th - The Series". Originally, it was magical artifacts, and WH13 it's science artifacts. Different actors, sure. But the concept is so *exactly* the same that I can't bring myself to watch it. Not even one episode.

posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 01:31 PM
Tovenar, Thanks!
Great resource and entertaining site to browse.
Here are some character tropes, from the land of tv-writing:

"Heavily wounded and on the verge of death, the Almost Dead Guy manages to stay alive just long enough to answer a question, or give a message (or at least the first part of a message—or even an insult). Almost Dead Guys seem to have a sixth sense of their value to the plot, and if necessary will cling to life for hours, sometimes even days, only to die within minutes of being questioned."

The Spicy Latina here

Or "You're in a sticky situation; you need to get something and there doesn't seem to be a legal way of getting it. (It could be banned, rationed, from overseas or possibly just made in extremely limited quantities). If you're lucky, you'll have a Friend in the Black Market."

And there is Bob from Accounting

Will be browsing that site for awhile, after I respond to all these great posts! I just wantvto thank everyone here for the consideration. It means a lot for you 'good sports' to participate. We're getting good stuff to consider. . OK, ernough sap...

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