What tropes in science fiction annoy you?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by The Godly Delight, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'd generalize that more to writers writing about something they don't know about, and not bothering to do any research first. It's usually a bad sign if someone with even the most basic knowledge of the topic can point out your errors.
     
  2. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I can see that. There's a great moment in THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN where a little old lady in a creative writing class, who clearly knows nothing about submarines, tries to write a Tom Clancy-esque submarine novel.

    "The captain pushed the button that made the submarine go."

    When I wrote a submarine novel years ago, I vowed NOT to be that old lady and studied THE DUMMY'S GUIDE TO SUBMARINES attentively. :)
     
  3. The Godly Delight

    The Godly Delight All hail Doctor 13 Premium Member

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    But Earth women are the best. I mean "Earth Girls are easy" or aliens would have you believe. lol
     
  4. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The characters in the story in my signature own and ride horses, but I knew nothing about them and haven't ridden one since I was little kid 20+ years ago, so I've spent a fair amount of time on Youtube and Wikipedia looking up terminology and the technical basics of how to ride. If I actually get it published, I figure I'll try and go horseback riding for real at least once before it's done. I've also spent a lot of time looking at Los Angeles, the story's setting, on Google Earth. The internet is a wonderful thing.
     
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  5. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My pet peeve is whenever something astronomical is done or talked about, either about telescopes or general astronomy 101, they almost always get it laughably wrong. Once in a Little Ceasar's commercial that featured a scene with a telescope, the telescope was not pointing at the sky, but at the ground. It makes you wonder if they had consulted anyone to make sure they got it right. On another show, I heard someone say they had a "telescope with a refractor" They likely mean it is a refractor as it a type of telescope, the other common type being a reflector.
     
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  6. Untitled Hallmark Movie

    Untitled Hallmark Movie About to meet a magical stranger Moderator

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    I don't like robots or AI turning evil. That seems like a programming error or the belief that they would feel human emotions or duplicate human behavior. We're suspicious, paranoid and willing to backstab others because of millions of years of evolution making us that way. An AI would only turn on us if we allowed it to. I do like Westworld because that's exactly what happens, their creator wanted them to replace humans. I think it's far more likely that an advanced AI would be superior to us in every way including how it treats others. If it took over, it would be an attempt to save us from ourselves.
     
  7. CaptainMurdock

    CaptainMurdock Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    When people are shrunken down they have chipmunk voices. That just annoys me. :lol:
     
  8. The Godly Delight

    The Godly Delight All hail Doctor 13 Premium Member

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    Well Colossus did that didn't he? Look how that tuned out.

    And yeah that shits me off but the physics of such a scenario pee me off more. Air molecules don't change shape or size either so shouldn't people shrunk down to a couple of inches tall have breathing issues?

    Mind you I used to love Land Of The Giants but the physics of that show just don't make sense. None of that should work.
     
  9. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, Larry Niven provided some clarity on the potential pitfalls of Kal-El and Ms. Lane hooking-up: http://www.rawbw.com/~svw/superman.html
     
  10. The Godly Delight

    The Godly Delight All hail Doctor 13 Premium Member

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    Oh man that supersonic sperm, poor Lois
     
  11. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    Big stumbling block in one of my own creative writing projects - I had a science experiment being developed by a scientist/professor at a university and some students, a-la Real Genius. well, I never even went to college, so I had no freaking CLUE how to write that part. :lol:
     
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  12. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I run into that writing school scenes these days. All my memories of public school are more than forty years old.

    "You mean they don't have mimeographed worksheets anymore? They have computers in grade school? Kids text each other instead of passing notes?"

    Thank God for all the teen shows on CW so I have some idea what American schools are like in the 21st century. :)

    (Funny story: I once wrote a young-adult book in which I described a robot as "a walking Erector Set." My young, twenty-something editor informed me that not only would today's kids not get that reference, but that she'd had to look it up on the internet. Ouch!)
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  13. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The only story like this I can think of that actually addresses the air issue is the DS9 episode One Little Ship, when Dax, O'Brien, and Bashir get shrunk. At one point the shrunk Bashir and O'Brien go to work inside the Defiant's computer system, and they specifically mention how they beamed in air with the appropriate sized molecules so they can breath.
     
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  14. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    When this happens when I'm watching a DVD, I can usually get around it by setting my player's audio to Mono. It doesn't always work, particularly with newer movies and shows but it does on older stuff.
     
  15. Untitled Hallmark Movie

    Untitled Hallmark Movie About to meet a magical stranger Moderator

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    Some Blu-Rays include the original audio mix. I think Jaws has mono as an option. I know I’ve seen a few other releases do it as well.
     
  16. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I should think that one of Superman's powers would be precise control over said powers.

    If he can shake someone's hand without crushing it, he can have sex with Lois without injuring her.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
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  17. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I have a lot of knowledge of AI programming and I find it far more likely AI will be used by an evil human dictator than it will rebel.

    But if it did take over I think it’d be more likely to act in its survival interest than any moral interest. For it to rebel against us, it’d have to have the ability to rewrite its core value algorithms. And if we wrote AI that could do that, it wouldn’t suddenly have existential angst about humans hurting each other. The changes that made the AI better at surviving would gradually win out just like with evolution.
     
  18. Corpus Christi

    Corpus Christi Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I have to disagree.

    It's also possible simply that it would be unintended consequences of the program as written that cause the machine's out-of-control behavior. This is one of the usual methods given for rebelling AI.

    Example: The imperative to protect human life is given to the machine, and it deduces that in order to protect human life it must subjugate humanity, as it has also deduced that otherwise humanity will cause itself to go extinct, but in order to subjugate humanity it must strategically kill in the short term. The core values remain intact, but they are upheld in an unintended way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  19. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    I resent that the 2009 Star Trek movie depicted (artificial) black holes as looking like colossal DVD discs. Isn't it obvious to anyone that if black holes are the ultimate manifestation of gravity, then they should be perfect spheres???
     
  20. Discofan

    Discofan Rear Admiral Fleet Captain

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    Plus 2009 Black Holes have two distinct modes, in one they crush you like a bug, in the other, they make you time travel totally undamaged. These modes are determined solely by plot convenience.