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Overusing Science Fiction Story Lines

Posted on the 02 November 2012 by April Whaley @aprilcwhaley

Overusing Science Fiction Story Lines                                      Retrieved from Giant Freakin Robot     
An article I read recently, by JoshTyler, discussed the opinion that science fiction is slowly destroying itself by overusing the same few plots.  The author believed that because they had succeeded with a premise like time travel once, that every other science fiction writer around was trying to cash in on the idea as well.  He thought that this had lead to time travel becoming an excuse rather than an interesting idea for a story.  Now, I enjoy a good time travel story, but I do have to admit that it’s frequently used as a crutch or convenient ending to a plot.   

It’s unfair to believe, however, that this is a practice solely reserved for genre entertainment.  There are always trends that come and go in movies and television.  Disaster movies are popular one year, while the next, the market is saturated with found-footage films.  Science fiction just seems to be particularly susceptible to these pop culture trends.  Unfortunately, this does lead to a lot of the same types of stories.  Most recently, it began with the influx of vampire fiction with the success of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Twilight, and True Blood.  Massive amounts of vampire films and television series began being produced at the height of the popularity.  Then, when The Walking Dead premiered, the trend started to shift towards zombies and other post-apocalyptic story lines.  Now that the year is 2012, the idea of the post-apocalyptic doomed future has especially taken root in society.  Fear that the world will end next month has lead to a lot of fiction about survival after a catastrophic event.

Overusing Science Fiction Story Lines                                      Retrieved from Giant Freakin Robot
I don’t think it helps this feeling of over-saturation that so many science fiction franchises continue producing sequels, and rebooting them every decade.  As much as I loved the new Star Trek, the sheer amount of Star Trek movies and television shows over the years is staggering.  It’s the same with Star Wars.  Even now, Lucasfilm has been sold to Disney and new movies will be produced in the coming years.  It can feel, at times, that there are no more new ideas in science fiction or entertainment.    

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