Science fiction has its own history, its own legacy of what's been done, what's been superseded, what's so much part of the furniture it's practically part of the fabric now, what's become no more than a joke . . . and so on. It's just plain foolish, as well as comically arrogant, to ignore all this, to fail to do the most basic research.
It's probably safe to say most who follow this blog write science fiction/fantasy. If not... Why aren't you?!
On topic, this is probably an issue that slush readers/editors will encounter most: submissions that use ideas and tropes which have been done to death. And although we sometimes say "tropes" like it's a bad thing, they really aren't--except when the writer fails to bring something new to the story.
In order to move forward, you have to reach into the past and learn from those authors, both their successes and their follies. Absorb it and come up with something better or different than what they wrote. By not reading the classics (Herbert, Asimov, LeGuin – just to name a few authors), you’re doing yourself a disservice, having to build up from ground zero when you could have easily used some well-known tropes. And no, it doesn’t make you a “cookie-cutter” to use old tropes; the key is to be aware that you’re using them, thus giving you an edge on how to subvert them and make them your own.
So get reading! You'll make a lot of editors happy if you do.