42 sci-fi rules to live (and die) by

HI – remember me? I used to write a sci-fi blog a while back.

Of course, with me having had a summer break of a massive four weeks, the term blog probably means nothing now and a load of cool online sorts are shaking their heads at grandad and his quaint ideas.

Anyway, as a way of getting back into it, I thought I’d try and discover the sci-fi rules that we all live by, so I asked a few people to help out, on Twitter and the SFX Forums.

So thanks to Unkle Rupert, Ammonyte, Java Waitress, Justin Pierpoint, Crazy Sphinx, Scryppy, MTPT and Uncle Wilco, as well as everyone else, and here they are … (and if any more spring to mind, which I’m sure they will, that’s what comments are for dude)

1) Never answer a distress signal

2) Give the old boy who looks like a strange hermit a wide berth at the bar

3) Never accompany a detachment of space marines, no matter how heavily armed they may appear to be.

4) Don’t buy property on Alderaan

5) It is never a small moon

6) Apart from you, the only other survivor will turn out to be an android

7) Take the cloak with you, even though you think it’s too hot

Never buy a 2nd hand droid (unless you have a lifetime to spare mopping up after it spills it’s holographic guts)

Every interface for your sentient AI must have a master power switch; a hardwired, mechanical one.

10) Highly trained galactic stormtroopers can never shoot straight

11) The more heavily armed you are, the more likely and ironic your demise

12) Never be sarcastic with a Terminator, and carry spare clothes in case he asks.

13) Convicts being transported to exile on a desolate planet should be spaced shortly after departure.

14) The 1st plan never works

15) When escaping from an alien infestation, don’t get sentimental – leave the pets, they are replaceable!

Try not to get your face VERY close to something you have never seen before and smells funny.

17) Do not follow an immortal into extreme danger situation, unless you are immortal or suicidal.

18) Take a course in conflict resolution BEFORE you take off to avoid the inevitable in fighting that will split the team.

19) Never have Sting in any of your films.

20) Check your Telepods for flies before you give them a go.

21) Never let escape pods go, even if there aren’t any life forms on board

22) If a crew member has indigestion at the dining table, stand well back and get your gun

23) Always carry around your towel. You’ll never know when it might come in handy.

24) Always keep an eye on the hot daughter of the dictator/mad evil genius

25) If you’re an alien princess, never accept a drink from Buck Rogers

26) Don’t stuck your hand in a big log if you’re an ex BBC Childrens TV presenter.

27) Ladies, tight satin only please (think Ming’s daughter and Wilma)

Never give top-secret security system access to the scientist with a British accent – especially if he dates tall blondes!

29) Make sure your planet-zapping motherships’ central computer has a decent firewall and restrict wifi access to your ships network

30) Shoot First and don’t re-write history (George Lucas, please note)

31) Make sure the master switch for the main computer is easily accessible

32) Inner cities with have extensive use of neon and it will rain a lot.

33) Making fun of an ancient religion is probably not a good idea.

34) All aliens will speak and understand English

35) At some point Milla Jovovich will lose her clothes.

36) If a big fella with an Austrian accent confronts you while holding an Uzi-9mm and asks you if you are called John Connor, the answer you give is most defiantely NO!

All alien races have at some point contacted an ancient Earth culture (eg the Egyptians, the Aztecs).

38) Make sure you’re not Bill Paxton.

39) Choose the blue pill.

40) If you do find yourself to be Bill Paxton then don’t go out like a punk and make sure you have a memorable death scene.

41) When fighting an Alien killing machine, the world’s most lethal weapons won’t work, but mud and a tree stump will

42) And suggested by just about everyone who answered, NEVER WEAR A RED SHIRT!!

3 thoughts on “42 sci-fi rules to live (and die) by

  • Robin Brown


    Never listen to the Doctor is he promises to keep you safe if you accompany him.

  • Craig Grobler


    Hey Neil, good to have you back. You forgot a couple of golden rules:

    1. When going back in time do not squash any insects and avoid meeting any blood relatives

    2. Always fight the biggest/toughest/fiercest looking dude/creature first, thereby avoiding a predictable and potentially dangerous climax.

    3. If you hear/see a strange noise/light do not go investigate.

    4. Don't stray off the road and whatever you do keep clear of the moors.

    5. If you are from Maine give up & go for a drink. You are going to die before the end of the film/story

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