This is a slightly revised update of a post I originally submitted back in 2014.
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The term tropes has a number of definitions, but for the purposes of this post, it refers to those themes, conventions and plot devices that readers have come to expect in works of fiction. In this context, tropes are very much like clichés, and any literary genre you can think of has its well known tropes. Many works of fantasy utilise the trope of the young orphan who (according to prophecy) is destined to save the day, for example. And, in science fiction, how many times have we read tales of scientists whose creations turn on their creators, and wreak havoc upon the world?