So existing within a worldwide genre as popular as Science Fiction one must constantly frogger past trope-laden vehicles that all seem to be travelling in a common direction. We see film after film besmirch our universal cousins; degradate the spirit of Life upon an entertainment/adrenaline addicted consumer. Stories being told as stories. Because scenes with bad guys make a story work.
It's not too say nobody ever wrote a book with friendly aliens or made a film that didn't show a helping hand from the stars. But surely to assume the worst is more about our emotion-based sadomasochistic tendencies than it is about the more probable.
It's not like there's a lack of space out there?
It is worth considering that to escape one's planet and achieve any meaningful foray into the cosmos civilisations must attain a level of social community, inclusion and harmony--a moral fibre as it were that would internally prohibit tyrannical and tribal/species-biased territorial advancement to the detriment of lesser culture. As in: the alien civilisations that are already out there, if stumbled across, would be far more likely to be benign in militaristic propensity than have an innate lust or drive to enslave us or steal our infinitesimally insignificant supply of energy or atoms.
We need to badly get over this kind of derivative humanoid-based Star Trek-esque model that sucks away the imagination of our brightest hopes, our children, book by book.
Now please don't get me wrong. No writer can operate in a vacuum. Indeed publishers operate on safe deals and derivative content that delivers pulp fiction to these masses. And there is pleasure to be derived from the consumption of clever writing that operates within these chains. I am so looking forward to seeing Abrams' s Star Wars. But the point I proffer here, about shunning convention.... breaking down traditional form. Well I stoically believe a good writer will always seek to operate as close to the frontier of what is acceptable as possible. To stretch the reader and the genre to its limits.
One need not write a whole book that is so alien to what's come before as to be an impossible read. But a short story can, and must, as far as I'm concerned, operate within the realms of cloud cuckoo land (if I can use a cliched idiom to explain an innovation).
Every story is a combo of trope and the undreamed of as yet future. And the best Science Fiction novels will include sections that will challenge one and all to the very core.
What I suppose I am trying to say with this stream of consciouness exhalation is do not tread meekly through the Earth--rip galaxies apart through the mind.