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Not Yet Overused in Urban Fantasy - Dan Goodman's journal
September 28th, 2013
03:08 pm

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Not Yet Overused in Urban Fantasy
These have been used (and perhaps overused) in other kinds of spec-fic. However, if they've been used in urban fantasy, they haven't reached the "Oh no -- not another ___ story!" level.

1. Once there was an evil race which terrorized the universe/multiverse. They were defeated, but:

a. A few survived on a planet they call Earth (Michael Shaara, "All the Way Back.")
b. They were imprisoned in a space with only three spatial dimensions (Colin Kapp, Transfinite Man.)

2. Organizations which can accurately predict the future compete with each other to shape it.

3. All the technology we think is science-based is really magical.

4. Devils are actually the Good Guys. William Blake seems to have believed this, at least part of the time. (Note: If you want believable characters, don't write William Blake into your story.)

5. After a catastrophe, the only people left alive are a man called Adam and a woman called Eve. This one was overused in science fiction by 1950, if not before; I suspect it's not very salable in any related genre.

6. Men and women belong to different species.

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From:seawasp
Date:September 28th, 2013 09:22 pm (UTC)
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2) is the foundation for the game "Feng Shui".

5) definitely is only salable if you have some brilliant, brilliant way to twist it. And if the editor sees the setup coming they'll bounce that sucker so hard it'll ricochet off the moon.

6) Is so old as to be comparable with the "ether" theory of electromagnetic wave transmission.
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From:dreamshark
Date:September 28th, 2013 09:45 pm (UTC)
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5) definitely is only salable if you have some brilliant, brilliant way to twist it. And if the editor sees the setup coming they'll bounce that sucker so hard it'll ricochet off the moon.

But apparently mainstream lit isn't tired of it yet.

I read this one, and I can testify that it was sorta fun, but by no means brilliant.

Edited at 2013-09-28 09:46 pm (UTC)
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From:seawasp
Date:September 28th, 2013 11:35 pm (UTC)
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That doesn't appear to be that trope (i.e., the only two left alive are Adam and Eve); it just looks like a (not terribly good) technothriller that uses the Adam-Eve dynamic as part of its setup.

Battlestar Galactica apparently used something close to that as its ending.
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