We’ve all seen the gray, scary aliens trying to dissect people, the clunky robots with little or no emotion, and the evil galactic empires ruling the universe with an iron fist. As a sci fi writer, I tried to avoid these common plot lines in my New Dawn series, and go against the associations people have with science fiction in general.
1. Scary/Evil Aliens
Thanks to movies like The Thing, Alien, Mars Attacks, Predator, and others, aliens are evil power-hungry creatures that eat/dissect/kill people and take over the world.
Without giving too much away, the aliens in Haven 6 actually coexist with people. Called the Guardians, they live much longer than people and are able to keep the society’s long-term goals in mind from generation to generation. They are peaceful, intelligent creatures that often marvel at humanity's ability to feel and express emotion.
Star Trek broke the mold with this one. Data wasn’t clunky at all, and he endeavored to understand emotions and develop his own. In Star Wars, C-3PO and R2-D2 have personalities and emotions, but they are reserved for comic relief.
In the New Dawn series, I play around with the idea of people connected to machines. They aren’t robots, because they are real living people, but they are not normal once they are connected to the machines. Each colony ship has people in varying stages of connection to the central processor on the ship. In Haven 6, the commander is a brain in a glass aquarium of pinkish liquid. She controls the ship, and the mission objectives. Some people whisper that being connected to the computer for so long without a body has made her crazy.
3. Evil Galactic Empires
This one, perhaps, is the most fun to write. You have instant bad guys. However, if you do create your own evil galactic empire, it has to be original, and very different from the one in Star Wars. Or that’s what people will think of. In the New Dawn series, the colony ships have lost contact with each other, so each ship has its own laws dictated by a book called the Guide. There is no evil ruler of them all, per se. But the commander of each ship does not favor democracy.
Are there some sci fi stereo types that I’ve left out? Let me know in the comments!
Thank you so much!
A product of an illegal pairing, Eridani is the only woman without a lifemate aboard the colonization ship, the Heritage, and she is determined her less than perfect DNA will not get in the way of finding love. As the ship nears it's final destination of Haven 6 after five hundred years of travel, images of the surface show evidence of intelligent life on a planet that's supposed to be uninhabited.
Commander Grier assigns Eri to the exploratory team to spy on the alien society and return with information on how to defeat them. When Eri's team lands, tribes of humans attack and Eri is saved by Striver, the descendant of a colonist and a pirate from Old Earth's colonization efforts in other parts of the galaxy. Striver helps Eri rescue her team and they are drawn to each other despite their different allegiances. While Striver battles with trusting Eri, Eri must decide whether to warn him and his people about the commander's intentions, or follow orders and complete her mission.
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