What science fiction franchises do you enjoy, in whole or in part?
I am a proud Browncoat, and a fan of both Star Wars and Star Trek. I also recently discovered Battlestar Galactica. I grew up in a strict household that didn’t approve of science fiction or fantasy, so I’m a little late to the game, but I’m enough of a nerd to have some strong opinions on the offerings from each franchise.
I love “Firefly” and “Serenity,” and I’m almost thankful they only went as far as they did, after seeing how things have turned out for Star Wars and Star Trek. I have misgivings about Battlestar Galactica’s reimagined series, but on the whole I’m enjoying it; I’m up to just past the boxing ring “dance” episode in season three.
I must preface by saying I prefer novels to film or television. I still very much enjoy Star Trek on occasion, if only for the novelty the ideas and the halfway decent storytelling. I also enjoyed Battlestar Galactica, but have not heard of Browncoat. Firefly is one of my favorites, as well. I am also happy they did not drag my favorite characters through too much narrative mud.
I know plenty of novels. Philip K Dick is an author who comes to mind as the most creative, then Robert A Heinlein comes to mind as the most famous. Frank Herbert created Dune, which would go on to inspire Star Wars and countless others in the sci-fi genre at large. His other works are thousands of times better than Dune, his most famous work. Then we have Isaac Asimov as a runner-up for most famous sci-fi authors, if only for reaching a wider youth audience.
Many of my favorite books became films, such as Minority Report, but were not always done with the same storytelling genius as the novels. Some more Philip K Dick movies would be A Scanner Darkly and Blade Runner, the latter of which was inspired by the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.
In every case, I must recommend reading sci-fi as opposed to watching it. If you love the genre, then you must know it is quite infinite. Do not let Hollywood limit your experience or temper your expectations!
“Browncoat” is a term for fans of the Firefly franchise, similar to “Trekkie.”
I do enjoy a great many of what I call the “Cold War era” science fiction authors. Ray Bradbury is one of my favorites, with Heinlein coming in second, mostly for their ability to tell stories and simultaneously make a point without slapping their readers in the face with it.
Dick and Asimov are a harder sell for me, personally. On one hand, they had some creative ideas, but I don’t consider them to be great storytellers. I can’t deny their influence on the genre of science fiction as a whole, and I often appreciate their stories, but just as often I find myself critiquing their storytelling, even in the context of how stories were written “back then.”
Asimov, for example, does well to describe technical aspects of his worlds, and does decently well to develop his characters, but could have done better with dialog.
Crichton, I think, is one of my newer-to-me favorites, though I lack a lot of the technical knowledge to keep up with what I read as “technobabble.” Of course, that’s par for the course with his genre; I suspect one who has the technical knowledge to follow along likely enjoys his work in a different way than I do.
Good subject. Like ‘Ricky Tock’ , I do prefer book over visual media, but gotta say, that until Whedon totally ruined them for me that I enjoyed the heck out of both ‘Firefly’ and the movie … not going to forgive him for that. I liked Weber’s ‘…Harrington’ series until they started getting strained and redundant somewhere around the point she ends up at a prison planet…
Richard Meredith’s “We all died at Breakaway Station” is great if you can find it, well worth the hunt. ‘Vacuum Flowers’ by Michael Swanwick also managed to zip beneath everybody’s radar, and is his best book I think. Also David Gerrold’s first book in the war against the chtorr series, “A Day for Damnation” really stands out in memory. Heinlein was mentioned and his “Tunnel in the Sky” (1955) I always thought would make a good movie, especially for teens, with the right screen-writer (big hint here to David Peoples who did the screenplays for Blade Runner, 12 Monkeys, Soldier, and The Unforgiven … nobody else could have done those). Finally, Walter Jon Williams ‘Days of Atonement’; the book is a good but the character depiction is where it really stands out; he can tell you everything about a character in a sentence while the rest of the writing crop takes a page.
That’s intriguing, since one of the trademarks of Asimov’s style was to use dialogues to drive the story: instead of describing whatever happens, character A tells character B what the reader needs to know what’s going on and advance the plot.
I get what you mean about Asimov, the dialog so often comes off as a flat monologue regardless of what’s going on, it’s like reading a good (for a change) Rob Parker ‘Jesse Stone’ novel. That worked fine for him in his ‘Caves of Steel’, as an example where one of the two main characters actually was a robot, but no so hot in his 'The Ugly Little Boy." But I read him for his ‘hard-science’ vs fantasy, and depth of story, so no complaints.
Science-Fiction is my favorite genre, always has been.
I liked the Battlestar Galactica and Flash Gordon on TV back in 70’s but really got hooked when I watched The Terminator in 1984, much more so with Aliens in 1986.
Since then: Star Wars, Star Trek, Serenity… Anything Sci-fi, even books: Greg Bear, Isaac Asimov, Simon Green…
I use to love the Science-Fiction game EVE but CCP forced me out of the game and destroyed my hpbby for greed. Now my Favorite Science-Fiction game is Star Citizen. CCP DEVS can’t handle anything more than ship skins and clothing you will never see in game.