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Author Topic: Does it seem cliche?  (Read 1923 times)

Offline Blackthorn

Does it seem cliche?
« on: March 05, 2016, 12:09:48 AM »
The main antagonists in a near future SF book I want to write are aliens, but space travel isnt an option for humans and I don't really want to do the whole space invaders thing.
     I think I want a sort of ancient ruin or excavation site that happens to be alien spacecraft, hidden and long dormant from a time before humans inhabited the planet. The ruins will have been explored and accidentaly awaken fast evolving,  blood thirsty aliens.
       The humans will use some of the alien technology to develop weapons against the aliens.

The question is this: does this seem like its done a lot or too cliche? Or does it sound like it would even be interesting?

« Last Edit: March 05, 2016, 02:38:21 PM by xiagan »

Offline JMack

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Re: Does it seam cliche?
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2016, 01:12:11 AM »
Similar things have been done. Without the ruins, I think about Predator.

But even ideas done before can be ideas done right. I wouldn't let it stop you.
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Offline Blackthorn

Re: Does it seam cliche?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2016, 01:42:51 AM »
Similar things have been done. Without the ruins, I think about Predator.

But even ideas done before can be ideas done right. I wouldn't let it stop you.
Yeah even as I was posting it I couldn't help but think predator.  But I think ive got a good idea on how to twist it some.
   I may post a bit of my first chapter at some point to see what everyone thinks.

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Offline ArhiX

Re: Does it seam cliche?
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2016, 04:42:28 AM »
It was used, at least in some work. Alien vs Predator movie, with alien-infested temple. Maybe Gears of War (game) where aliens just crawled out from underground (thus the name: 'Locust').

I always say: It does not matter what is served. It's the way it is served the most important. Unless something is not a 100% overused crap (but rven then it works from time to time), then it will work.
"The world is full of stories, and from time to time, they permit themselves to be told."

Offline Yora

Re: Does it seam cliche?
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2016, 10:39:19 AM »
I actually never heard of a story like this befoe. To me it seems pretty novel.

Offline Raptori

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Re: Does it seam cliche?
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2016, 11:01:22 AM »
Sounds like Alien vs Predator combined with Evolution. Both of those films were pretty awful, but the idea is a good one imo!
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Offline Nora

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Re: Does it seam cliche?
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2016, 11:08:49 AM »
I think the most cliched part is 'using the alien technology for weapons to use against them."
Watch the trailer for Independance day 2.
Also could find you half a dozen manga which use such a trope. I think it's be more interesting and challenging to have humans fight on their own means.
But again if it's well made why not?

Check out online the comic book Trees. Very interesting in the passive alien invasion style. Great novel use of the trope
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Offline Blackthorn

Re: Does it seam cliche?
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2016, 02:30:50 PM »
I think the most cliched part is 'using the alien technology for weapons to use against them."
Watch the trailer for Independance day 2.
Also could find you half a dozen manga which use such a trope. I think it's be more interesting and challenging to have humans fight on their own means.
But again if it's well made why not?

Check out online the comic book Trees. Very interesting in the passive alien invasion style. Great novel use of the trope
The weapons they use against the aliens is actually something I haven't decided enough about yet.
At the moment the weapon theyve developed with alien technology is kind of like a parasite harvesred from the aliens body,  it is controlled by an injection, and when it enters the blood stream it enhances natural physical abilities a small amount, and one key ability a large amount.
       So in essence what it gives me is elite superhuman soldiers....that I know has been done quite a lot.

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Offline ArhiX

Re: Does it seem cliche?
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2016, 04:00:55 PM »
God Eater (anime and game). In near future, aliens took over the world. They devour everything they can. The only things that can stop them, are weapons crafted from their bodies, and super-soldiers wielding them. Anime is standard slasher if you are interested. You can check out how it was done there.
"The world is full of stories, and from time to time, they permit themselves to be told."

Offline Blackthorn

Does it seem cliche?
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2016, 05:15:56 PM »
Im thinking I still really love the basic idea, but that theres are several things I need to tweak a bit to make it stand out from the crowd. Now im thinking the weapons shouldn't have anything to do with aliens and just be advanced military tech

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Offline Nora

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Re: Does it seam cliche?
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2016, 11:20:56 PM »
I think the most cliched part is 'using the alien technology for weapons to use against them."
Watch the trailer for Independance day 2.
Also could find you half a dozen manga which use such a trope. I think it's be more interesting and challenging to have humans fight on their own means.
But again if it's well made why not?

Check out online the comic book Trees. Very interesting in the passive alien invasion style. Great novel use of the trope
The weapons they use against the aliens is actually something I haven't decided enough about yet.
At the moment the weapon theyve developed with alien technology is kind of like a parasite harvesred from the aliens body,  it is controlled by an injection, and when it enters the blood stream it enhances natural physical abilities a small amount, and one key ability a large amount.
       So in essence what it gives me is elite superhuman soldiers....that I know has been done quite a lot.

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Such an idea would require some massive knowledge of alien bodies and physiology. If they're truly alien, it would take ages to recognizes a bacteria/virus effective against them coming from their own bodies. It'd be much easier to have 100 petridishes with alien tissue and try what poison/bacteria we already have and know about.

The best use of turning an alien body against itself I've seen is in Edge of tomorrow. It comes from a manga, but hollywood made it with Tom Cruise and it's an actually awesome movie, check it out.
In it, Cruise tries to blackmail his way out of going to war, and ends up sent as a deserter on the front lines. Aliens crashed like meteorites years ago and have been thoroughly taking over ever since.
Humans use basic exosuits to help kill the aliens, but each time it's a butchery, up until the battle of Verdun, which is won thanks to a lady.
In his first battle, Tom Cruise kills a specific alien and dies, covered in its acidic blood: then he wakes up in the morning before, and relives the day before the battle, and the catastrophic battle again and again.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Turns out this is how the aliens win each time. Whenever a high ranking alien (alpha) dies, the alien (which is like a hive organism, not individuals) resets the day and already knows what is going to happen. Tom Cruise, like the lady of verdun battle, hitched that power, and will try to use it to win the war.

Also otherwise you'd have the manga and anime World Trigger
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

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Offline Blackthorn

Re: Does it seam cliche?
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2016, 01:08:10 AM »
Quote
Such an idea would require some massive knowledge of alien bodies and physiology. If they're truly alien, it would take ages to recognizes a bacteria/virus effective against them coming from their own bodies. It'd be much easier to have 100 petridishes with alien tissue and try what poison/bacteria we already have and know about.

it wouldn't exactly be that the virus/bacteria would be harmful to the aliens. in fact that was really the wrong word for me to use in the first place. What is happening is something present in the aliens body has an enhancing effect on humans, allowing them to more effectively kill these creatures that are much quicker, stronger and larger than humans.
     Now I'm thinking about dropping that and just making any weapons or abilities used against aliens a product of military technology. Completely unrelated to the aliens at all and just developed to combat them.

     Now that I'm thinking about it, these wont even be aliens in the conventional idea of the word. They are really just creatures genetically superior to humans, but more animal like. They actually aren't any more intelligent than a common lion, and don't really have any technology.

    I'm going to rehash this a little bit and post a bit of the introduction up here to see what you guys think.

   One of the things I love about this forum, I can get loads of incredible feedback here because so many of you write as well. I learn about a lot of similar ideas that exist that I may be unaware of but someone here knows about.

Most importantly, anyone can find holes in a plot, but you guys know where those holes are and what's wrong with them. Sometimes even how to fix them. That has already become a tremendous help already  ;D ;D ;D

Offline magisensei

Re: Does it seem cliche?
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2016, 08:44:10 PM »
While not cliche there have been similar versions of this as others have said - I will add Macross (anime) as a version of this type of plot; and even stargate sg-1 (tv series) as something similar. 

A few questions - why is space travel not viable? What are the governments like in this near future? How near is near? Who discovers this spacecraft? What is found? Why weapons and not engine technology to travel space? How do humans even reverse engineer alien tech? More interesting I think is -- what is the outcome of finding the alien ship to humanity? Doesn't this space craft reveal finally to humans that we are not alone in this universe - isn't that a more important concept than building weapons - (unless the humans believe that for some reason the aliens will come back and prepare for this but why -- since it really is ten of thousands of years old).  Would a war (on earth) break out because of this find to see who would possess it? ie non-believers or religious fanatics vs science community / governments? Would this find be told to the mass of people and what would the consequences be if alien were real? Would humanity be able to really understand that they are not the only sentient beings in the universe? etc

I guess the real question is what type of book are you wanting to writing - sci-fi adventure; alien vs humans; alien discovery and its consequences? military sci-fi?

Offline night_wrtr

Re: Does it seem cliche?
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2016, 04:52:35 PM »

The weapons they use against the aliens is actually something I haven't decided enough about yet.
At the moment the weapon theyve developed with alien technology is kind of like a parasite harvesred from the aliens body,  it is controlled by an injection, and when it enters the blood stream it enhances natural physical abilities a small amount, and one key ability a large amount.
       So in essence what it gives me is elite superhuman soldiers....that I know has been done quite a lot.


I like the idea, I would read it.

That last part reminds me of Universal Soldier, though I am having a hard time trying to remember how they made their soldiers.

Offline Blackthorn

Re: Does it seem cliche?
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2016, 08:42:28 AM »
So I thought id post a short introduction to the story just for fun if anyone wanted to see what I'm thinking. Ive made some important changes, first and foremost is the humans in the story don't actually know where these creatures came from or what they are. also the weapons they use are simply military developed technology and not at all based on anything to do with the creatures.

I should note most of it will not be in first person.

Its just a little under 1000 words
Spoiler for Hiden:
Excerpt from the journal of Lieutenant Commander Erickson, Taskforce two of the Recombinant program.

   I remember watching the news broadcast when I was young, they played it every year on the anniversary of the discovery. The remains of some ancient structure had been uncovered in the desert, the ruins were so old that even the professionals couldn’t accurately date the work. I remember watching as the ruin was explored and the archeologists found a network of caverns running under the ground.   When the caverns were breached no one really understood the situation. No one was prepared for what was found hundreds of miles below the surface. In fact, nothing could have prepared us for what was down there; in what we came to call the Crypt.

The first look at the inner chambers revealed thousands, maybe millions, of small caverns dug into the walls. Each depression was filled with a yellow-green sludge; fifty years later and scientists still don’t know what made it glow. Whatever that goo was made of there was something inside it, the ruins weren’t just some ancient building. The building was the entrance to some sort of sacred structure, the caverns were incubators.

None of the initial team that went in to those caverns came back out again. What did come out were creatures no one had ever seen; and they were angry. Of course, there were several groups claiming various ridiculous possibilities. Some said the creatures in that hole were ancient dinosaurs somehow preserved over millions of years, others claimed they preceded the dinosaurs. Aliens were also a popular theory for a time, but as the things weren’t any more intelligent than your common wild animal that idea seemed far-fetched. Some said they were demons straight from hell itself.

What they were soon became of little importance. The more pressing issue was what to do about them. They had been woken from an ageless sleep, they were fast, strong, and violent. Attempts were made to seal the caverns shut, to poison the creatures, even going so far as to bomb the place. Nothing worked, the caverns ran too deep for any of our attempts to be effective.

Thankfully, after the initial slaughter the creatures went back to their hole. No one knows why they retreated to back into the crypt, but after that they became less of an imminent death and more a thorn in the side of humanity. Frequently a few of these creatures would surface in a rampage, killing indiscriminately, then head back down to their home. Eventually the creatures, driven by hunger, began expanding their tunnels moving ever closer to large cities. Finally it fell to the military to defend against the creatures, and for the next forty years they spent millions on technological development.

I joined the military when I was sixteen, it wasn’t that I had any real grudge against the things, after all when they had entered their hibernation humans didn’t exist. No one would have expected back then that there would someday be a species that thought they alone ruled the earth. The creatures, to my mind, were doing nothing but what was in their nature. But right or wrong humans are known for fighting back, even when they started the fight. I didn’t have any reason to hate the creatures, but I wasn’t about to lay down and die.

Several years after entering the military I was given the opportunity to participate in a new program specially designed to defend against the creatures. The first day of my new placement was a testament to the effectiveness of the money spent on weapons development. There were new kinds of guns, ammo, and vehicles. The most interesting however was the Recombinant project.

I was given various physical and mental tests, the entire time I was hooked up to so many wires and machines that I couldn’t even move properly. I spent hours inside imaging machines and x-rays. There was an army of scientists poking and prodding over me day after day, studying my structure, my physiology, and my DNA. The next step was for the scientists to analyze my information and design a special formula of neural and genetic enhancers delivered through mechanical devices attached to various pin points on my body.

There were others in the program with me, many had volunteered after being promised a cure to some infirmity. That’s why echo volunteered, in a last ditch hope to retain her rapidly declining eyesight. Beyond fixing some medical problems, the program enhanced our abilities based on our abilities. We all became marginally stronger, faster, and more dexterous; and our physical endurance and ability to ignore pain became near super human. Some strengths were heightened beyond what we even thought possible. Echo for instance gained her eyesight again, except it was more defined, more accurate.

We trained tirelessly with our new abilities, becoming more efficient as soldiers and as a team. We became elite hunters, we were a special task force. Our sole purpose, to defend against the creatures and kill all that we could.Many volunteered in hopes of getting revenge on the creatures that had ruined their childhood through the death of beloved family members. Others volunteered for glory, or simply to be the best of the best. Some, like me, saw it as their duty to their country to give their all against any enemy.

We hunt these creatures now, when they emerge we are the first and only soldiers on the scene. We don’t ask why, we just kill as many creatures as possible. Whatever these monsters are they must be exterminated, not because we want to like the activists say, but simply because it is our job and our duty.

« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 08:48:38 AM by Blackthorn »