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Science Fiction Cliches

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  • Adventure After Being Accidentally Crygenically Frozen and/or Trapped in a Stasis Field Chamber
Examples
Robert A. Heinlein's 1938 novel For Us, The Living
Robert A. Heinlein's 1948 novel Beyond This Horizon
Sleeper 1973 film
Idiocracy 2006 film
  • Aging population burdens society:
Example
Albert Brooks's film 2030
  • Astronaut trapped in an airlock:
Examples
2001: A Space Odyssey 1968 film
  • Catastrophe Caused by Scientific Blunder:
Examples
Gerald Hatch's novel The Day the Earth Froze
  • Extraterrestrial brain slugs deprive their human hosts of free will:
Examples:
Robert A. Heinlein's 1951 novel The Puppet Masters.
  • Extraterrestrials contact humanity but only appear to be friendly:
Examples:
"To Serve Man" episode of The Twilight Zone 1962
  • Humans degenerate through speciation:
Examples:
H.G. Wells's novel Then Time Machine
Poul Anderson's "Ghetto," a short story in William F. Nolan's collection A Wilderness of Stars and "The Horn of Time the Hunter," a short story in his collection The Horn of Time
Tatyana Tolstaya's novel The Slynx
  • Humans mutate horribly after nuclear war:
Tatyana Tolstaya's novel The Slynx
  • Master Computer for an Entire Society
Lomax HG Wells' The Shape of Things to Come 1979 film
  • Monster disguised as an attractive woman:
Shambleau
Mars Attacks 1996 film
  • Nuclear experiment gone horribly wrong:
Example:
Attack of the Crab Monsters 1957 film
  • Overpopulation forces humans to live in immense towers or beneath the ground:
Examples:
Towers
Mack Reynolds' 1975 novel The Towers of Utopia
J.T. McIntosh's 1958 novel The Million Cities
  • Planet that appears a Paradise Hides Some Horror:
Examples
"The Apple" episode of Star Trek: The Original Series
  • Post-Apocalyptic Barbarism:
Examples
nuclear war
A Boy and His Dog 1975 film
The Book of Eli 2010 film
climate change
Poul Anderson's novel The Winter of the World
Tatyana Tolstaya's novel The Slynx
  • 'Robots or Remotely Controlled Bodies Cause Social Decadence;
Examples
Surrogates 2009 film
  • Scientist unleashes powers he (rarely she) cannot control
examples:
Mary Shelley's 1823 novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus
Forbidden Planet 1956 film
The Black Hole 2006 film
Surrogates 2009 film


  • Tentacle monster molests human female
  • Starships exiting hyperspace arrive horizontal to the ecliptic of the star system


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