Si-fi aliens and the lack of creativity.

Nah, never said you have to like the daleks, or that they were the pinnacle of creativity. Thanks for putting words in my though. Also, I’m curious as to how you became the moral and intellectual arbiter of what is and isn’t creative.

Then go ahead and tell me what you think is the pinnacle and I might be interested, you could’ve changed the topic from daleks a while back seeing that I clearly don’t think they’re interesting.

I didn’t claim myself one,

But I prefer to look in the future rather that in the past and see potential in ideas that are rarely touched.

I don’t have one because I’m not pretentious.

Could’ve fooled me with all of that deciding what is or isn’t creative you’ve been doing.

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Does deciding wether or not Daleks are a

Also makes you pretentious then?

Not sure how it’s pretentious to say that they have a massive pile of lore going back over fifty years, but go off I guess.

Again, same can be said about Orks in wh 40k, who also have piles of lore (40k consists entirely of lore) going off about them, does that means they are also a fleshed out alien race that rivals Daleks? If they even share similarities in behavior.

Honestly, you have fairly low standards if you decide how interesting aliens are just by the amount of lore.

So I’m not being pretentious for saying that they’re a fleshed out race then?

Of course not

Not pretentious at all.

Honestly, that was meant to be funny

Sounds like you should stop watching Star Wars and marvel content. Watch or read any sci fi work that’s not that and you’ll find aliens are not all the same

Wrong assumption, I never cared much for popular mainstream franchises, I never watched force awakens and with marvel I stopped watching somewhere after the first civil war movie. But there are a lot of influence that star wars and comics had on the genre, even if it’s not obvious. For example space ship designs, I never see any fiction introducing a ship that was functionally different from classic fiction ships and I really don’t think these classic designs are practical.
With aliens what I seen so far is either reskinned humans, clicheic, or they are overshadowed by humans. That said, I do hope recommendations from folks here will change that.

Sometimes the point of a story isn’t to do something “new” or “different” but to just entertain.

No, just playing the devils advocate by acknowledging that more doesn’t necessarily equal better.

The only fundamental difference is the number of people directly involved.

And 20th century writers were dependent on tropes which were popularized in the 19th century and so on and so forth.

Not at all, stuff like that can be good. Provided that it fits well within the confines of the story the author wants to tell and their abilities as a writer are up to the task in incorporating such worldbuilding in a way that doesn’t feel clunky or runs the risk of derailing the main plot.


What is exactly “entertaining”? What’s the criteria of movie, or story that entertains? To me entertainment=creativity and I can prove it by the fact that the more times you see the same thing the less you are entertained by it. Imagine if a same movie was shown to you every day for a 1-2 months, would you not be sick of that movie even if it was your favourite?

But I didn’t say more is better, I said more creative and complex is better. Beacause it can rise the bar for media as a whole and inspire other artists to try harder.

I already explained that fundamental difference is the goal. In theory you could force a large company to make purely art and creative products, but such company will not last long and go bankrupt.

So you also think those tropes have been around for far too long.

True, delivery can be difficult when the goal is ambitious, but I think an attempt is worth a praise even if result has rough edges.
Easy route of following trends and tropes of a genre doesn’t guarantee a polished product either, but going for originality will at least give it some degree of creative value.

I ran into this issue when I was writing a short story I am attempting to get published. It was truly difficult trying to come up with a truly unique species but I think I succeeded. I created a race of serpentine humanoids with silver scales that have zero facial features but get their nourishment from photosynthesis and “see” and communicate via freakishly advanced telepathy.


sounds interesting

Sounds intriguing, I’m curious to read it. Very glad to hear from someone who wants to write creatively.
I felt motivated to start this thread because I’m also In a process of cooking up a si-fi story, wanna do it with a good friend of mine who’s an artist. I could write the plot, he’d draw a few arts to go with it.
I wanna make it work with several alien races who all have very different formats of communication and drastically different biology. It’s definitely not a first contacts story, but rather… Advanced contact, I guess. Aside from that there are also some political and technological themes that I want to explore, such as each species’s perception of democracy and interspecies collaboration as well as evolution of spaceship design. We agreed for a short story, but my vision for the ending is still vague so it might extend.

I hope you love the new Doctor Who remake, it looks amazing. Such an incredibly diverse cast of talented actors, it’s gonna be objectively the best version of Doctor Who. Ah, I’m kinda jelous not being a fan myself, they really do try hard to please you guys.

Honestly, reading through this thread really makes me appreciate the work Anne McCaffery did with her aliens/animals.

As an example, in the pern series there are various species of animals with either Sapience or high level sentience, and she puts a lot of work into making them distinct.

As an example, the Dolphins. The Dolphins on Pern were genetically modified Dolphins, allowing them to speak with those who could understand them, and they had very different society from the humans, one created by a species with no hands and underwater, always able to think but never speak until the humans gave them that ability. Their primary work with humans was to help sailors, and they did so even after humanity on Pern forgot everything about where they came from. It was like if you took dolphin behavior (as it was understood in the 80s) and extrapolated it out into it’s own sapient society. It was really cool.

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kinda out of nowhere but aight, glad you were able to get that off your chest.