Those of us who have read or seen a lot of {{science fiction}} have seen certain story elements pop up over and over and over. Some of these elements were [[TropesAreNotBad actually pretty good ideas]], and [[UnbuiltTrope when handled well make for a pretty entertaining story]], but have become hackneyed from overuse by the unimaginative. Others came into being through the deliberate effort to avoid another cliché. Still other ideas were [[DeadHorseTrope lame from the get-go]], and should have been dismissed from the author's thinking.

[[TropesAreNotBad Clichés are not in themselves necessarily bad]], but their overuse shows that the writer has forgotten what separates the strong tale from the hollow: "the human heart in conflict with itself," as Faulkner said. Where there is this conflict, the tale stands; where the conflict is absent, the tale falls flat, and in neither case does it matter [[RuleOfCool how many ships get blown up]].

The sophisticated reader will note that some of these clichés are [[OmnipresentTropes not found solely in SF]], but in other genres as well, and of course the [[PlayingWithATrope lampooning of clichés]] is a time-honored part of [[RuleOfFunny good comedy]].

An updated version of the original list can be read [[http://www.cthreepo.com/writing/cliche/ here]].
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[[index]]
* OverusedSciFiStorylines (Section I)
* OverusedSciFiSettings (Section II)
* OverusedSciFiPlotDevices (Section III)
* OverusedSciFiSillyScience (Section IV)
[[/index]]
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