what is your favorite piece of science fiction
Star wars
15.9% (33)
15.9% (33)
Star Trek
5.8% (12)
5.8% (12)
Firefly
13% (27)
13% (27)
other
34.6% (72)
34.6% (72)
hitchhikers guide to the galaxy
14.9% (31)
14.9% (31)
ender game series
1.9% (4)
1.9% (4)
isaac asimov
5.8% (12)
5.8% (12)
battle star galactica
3.8% (8)
3.8% (8)
farscape
2.9% (6)
2.9% (6)
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Poll: what is your favorite piece of science fiction

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What, no Futurama?

I did really enjoy BSG in its heyday, as well as Babylon 5 (there's a special spot in my heart for Zapp Braniga--I mean, Commander Sinclair). But my favorite entry into the sci-fi genre has to be The Abyss. The acting is awesome, the science is sound, and the "candle in the dark" scene? Simply beautiful. Sometimes I think the sci-fi genre tends toward weapon-porn or aliens and spaceships for the sake of aliens and spaceships, but not The Abyss. The entire movie remains about the characters, and their humanity, and not the aliens. Love it.

Babylon 5 is my favourite TV Sci-fi (apart from the 5th season. When you use all your good material in the 4th thinking you'll not get a 5th... just refuse the 5th).

Dune is my favourite sci-fi book. It doesn't feel impossible like a lot of it can.

The new BSG is great, too. Really awesome in that episode where they play the old "bsg fanfare" during part of it. Nostalgia is the best.

sathie:
Babylon 5 is my favourite TV Sci-fi (apart from the 5th season. When you use all your good material in the 4th thinking you'll not get a 5th... just refuse the 5th)..

Season 5 still had some good stuff in, but due to the Earth Civil War getting compressed into the 4th season (Season 4 was supposed to end at Intersections in Real Time), the first half of Season 5 was dragged out too long, and that meant too much of that smug twat Byron.

I would have to say 2001 a space Odyssey, or does that not count because its set in the past?

Personally I think the options in the poll are extremely limited. For as soon as one starts to read science fiction you find that even the most original TV shows or movies are but pale imitations of what a good author can conjure up. At the moment I am reading the latest book from the Honor Harrington series by David Weber. A beautifully written series that really makes you notice the lazy thought processes behind a good 99% of all video based science fiction.

I tend to agree with this, but I can also find some decent enjoyment in the less plausible SF as well.

Doctor Who is my favourite of television SF, even though it lacks the grittyness that I traditionally look for in SF. TOS of Star Trek, despite the obvious logical errors, which realistically do occur in a lot of popular science-fiction, such as the "Aliens speak perfect English" cliché, is also something that I'd watch. Strangely, despite my favour for grittier SF (I write some terrible SF, some of which presents gritty military ideas, "inspired" by other SF series), I haven't watched Firefly or Babylon 5.

In terms of movies, I haven't yet watched numbers 5 or 6 in the proper Star Wars trilogy, but I think I'll enjoy them, Jedi mythology nonsense withstanding. Blade Runner and the first two installments of the Alien series strike me as examples of SF which satisfy my urge for relative grittiness, as well as being very enjoyable movies.

Again, surprisingly, despite my self-professed like of gritty SF, I haven't read very many SF books. The Foundation series by Isaac Asimov (of which I've read Foundation and Foundation and Empire) is brilliant, and one of those few examples of SF that I'd recommend to those who would not usually read or watch science-fiction. I very much enjoyed Ender's Game, although I haven't been in a rush to read the others in the series.

I've only read Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke, although I've watched 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is excellent, as long as you're not somebody who needs instant gratification. I want to read Rendezvous with Rama, A Fall of Moondust and The Fountains of Paradise.

I think I would have enjoyed Starship Troopers more if Heinlein hadn't written so much on politics, his social politics being ones that I only agree with if I'm feeling particularly angry about some of the more undesirable customers (these people being suspected shoplifters and cretins) that I have to serve, and his economic politics being ones that I don't necessarily agree with. Where Starship Troopers is valid - that is, the training and combat stages - it's very good, but where it isn't, it's frustrating. That said, I'll still be reading The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Stranger in a Strange Land. Actually, I'm very surprised that nobody's based a computer game on Starship Troopers - it would seem to have the perfect elements, including a potential introduction point that could be one of the most spectacular ever. Imagine the wait of anticipation as your launch tube jolts into position, the sensors going crazy as your tube descends through the atmosphere of a planet held by the Bugs, the gradual disintegration of the tube as you get further and further down and chaos on the ground as you finally plant your boots on the ground. And that's not to mention the rocket tubes on your back blasting out rounds, the sheer power of a set of handheld nuclear weapons and the jump jetting over buildings, blasting out rockets as you fly. The only problem would be following up on that brilliance - what can you do after that which would be fresh and new?

One of the predominant characteristics of the work of the "Big Three" that I enjoy is the validity of their inventions. Asimov and Clarke were both non-fictional science writers as well as fictional writers, so many of their ideas came from valid scientific concepts, even the things such as the Visi-Sonor and the space elevator (in fact, I still think that the space elevator is a relevant concept, and it competes with the electromagnetic catapult in my mind as the most plausible way of getting spacecraft off surface without using inefficient rockets, with nuclear pulse projection being my favoured plausible way of traversing interplanetary and interstellar space). Heinlein also presented the world with valid concepts, particularly the idea of powered infantry armour, which is now a staple of military science fiction. However, I don't think that the "rockets on back" idea is the way forward - in fact, I'd replace them with high-calibre armour-piercing machine guns or 20/25mm explosive cannon and have a lot more rounds to spare. As well as that, I don't think that handheld nuclear devices are a good idea, even though they are plausible and have been invented in the form of the "Davy Crockett" recoilless rifle.

Star Wars: Revolutionary, now Stagnant.
Star Trek: Amazing and addicting, now somewhat as such, but a lil' annoying.
Hitchhikers: Imaginative, Random and other [positive/what the?] kind of compliments.
Issac Asimov: Father, Grandfather and basically inventor of modern Science Fiction. You forgot H.G. Wells and Ray Bradbury.

I think nowandays we're forgetting the essence of the genre, the words itself.

Science Fiction implies impossible, or fantastic implication of science that is unachiveable.
(generalization)---> We think that Sci-Fi means some new technology or the near or far future or all three at the same time.

Science Fiction should only be fiction regarding science, like what if the world didn't have viscosity (Read up on it, it'd pretty awesome) or how the world would've ended up if gasoline was discoevered in the 1600s.

I picked other but if I had to choose one from the list it would be Firefly, I love westerns but westerns in space just kicks ass. But my favorite SciFi usually comes in novel form, the Dune Series(not the crap his son wrote), John Scalzi novels I just discovered also and of course the Forever War by Joe W Haldeman.

For written Sci-Fi, my list goes:

1) Asimov's Robot/Empire/Foundation series
2) Herbert's Dune series
3) Bradbury's Martian Chronicles
4) Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide series
5) Niven and Pournelle's The Mote in God's Eye

For screen (big or small):

1) Firefly/Serenity
2) Blade Runner
3) Babylon 5
4) Equilibrium
5) Spaceballs: The Movie

I can't believe that no one has put Spaceballs up there yet.

Firefly wins for having great characters and realistic-but-surprising human drama, as well as all the sci-fi goodies.

I don't mean to be too judgemental, but the popularity of Stargate, Farscape, Star Trek et al really baffles me. All those shows suffer (to different extents) from wooden acting, cheesy dialogue, cliched plots, wooden acting, delusions of great philosophical insight, lack of character depth or development, and wooden acting. Yet they all last for years upon years, while Firefly didn't make it through a single season.

If you've seen those shows and you don't agree, think of it this way: Firefly was enhanced by the sci-fi aspects, but it didn't rely on them; if Firefly had been set on a sailing ship instead of a space ship, it would have been almost as good a show. Stargate, on the other hand, would be like Gilligan's Island without the jokes.

Anarchemitis:

Science Fiction should only be fiction regarding science, like what if the world didn't have viscosity (Read up on it, it'd pretty awesome) or how the world would've ended up if gasoline was discoevered in the 1600s.

You're forgetting that the people in on the ground floor wanted to call it "speculative fiction" but were defeated by the public liking things that rhyme. Thus proving for the umpteenth time that the human race in general is utterly retarded. :P

I liked Ringworld and Dune, but somehow I prefer Heinlein to anything else I've encountered from Herbert or Niven since. (And to those saying Halo = Ringworld, I humbly submit that the part-actualized Dyson sphere with filament supported day/night screens is something quite different from the 1/1000th size weapon with an atmosphere and life in orbit around a planet. Ring shape, built by ancients and life supporting is about as far as that goes.)

O.O

No Doctor Who?!
That's my favourite live-action Sci-Fi programme.
My favourite animated Sci-Fi programme is Matt Groening's "Futurama".

For Sci-Fi I had to go with Firefly. Love it. It really falls short of other series because it's so clearly unfinished, but that's not the fault of the show. There's a sci-fi book called Santiago by Michael Resnick which I love. I've read several of his other books and they don't hold up nearly as well. The first three Foundation books by Asimov are also amazing, and I would recommend them to anyone. If you like cyberpunk, the Diamond Age by Bruce Sterling (I think) is one of the most thought provoking works of fiction I've read.

TV: Firefly
Movie: Blade Runner
Book: Too many to choose.

GyroCaptain:

I liked Ringworld and Dune, but somehow I prefer Heinlein to anything else I've encountered from Herbert or Niven since. (And to those saying Halo = Ringworld, I humbly submit that the part-actualized Dyson sphere with filament supported day/night screens is something quite different from the 1/1000th size weapon with an atmosphere and life in orbit around a planet. Ring shape, built by ancients and life supporting is about as far as that goes.)

Halo owes more to the Culture's Orbitals, which themselves are scaled down ringworlds in orbit around a star. (Iain M. Banks' novels about the Culture are one of the strongest influences on the Halo series, from things like promo art resembling book covers to the personalities of the Monitors fitting in with Culture drones, and the names of ships being somewhat offbeat).

Iain M. Banks' sci-fi novels are my favourite SF, especially The Player of Games.

yay Firefly. i love Firefly. but that aside other is going to win.

[Rant]
I absolutely loved Firefly, was convinced it was going to beat Farscape as my favorite sci-fi series for a while, but River got to me more and more as it went on, leaving me fearing for Buffy in Space more and more. But I got it on DVD all the same and I watched it two times through with great interest. Then Serenity happened. Serenity finally killed the series for me. Wash was my favorite character and he entirely failed to impress me in the movie (I'm almost tempted to use the words wooden acting here) and Ms. Slayer girl then left me utterly numb with disbelief... I haven't touched the Firefly DVD's since.
[/Rant]

I'm going back and forth between the Foundation and Bladerunner.
But in the interest of shameless promotion of one of the greatest shows a lot of people dismiss out of hand I'm voting Farscape. Despite its flaws it managed to have me watch the entire series at least five times now, something Firefly, Deep Space Nine, Babylon 5 and Stargate have yet to tempt me to. Its also the first series to have spawned an extra series based on the fans' determination, leaving one with a heartwarming feeling. I can't wait to see what the webisodes have in store for us.

Everybody should see Revenging Angel at least once, simply for the sheer insanity of it, just as one should have watched at least one episode of Monty Python, irrespective of whether its your taste or not. John Quichotte and Kansas are also bits of tv history, though if we're talking the single best episodes in sci-fi serials Red Dwarf beats all others with Gunmen of the Apocalypse and the Polymorph (among others). Every sci-fi fan should watch Red Dwarf btw, how many sci-fi sitcoms exist anyhow? One?

The Transmetropolitan comic is also great stuff and something I'd love to see transferred onto a screen, if not literally: then in spirit.

edit: awwww, the majority of Farscape votes are cast under other...

The Foundation Trilogy is my favorite book series ever.

As a man who never got into firefly due to the horrendous acting abilities by such great D list actors/actresses, i have to say reluctantly that i enjoy the Star wars movies, with the exception of episode 1 and 2, because the D list actors in those just seem to do a better job

The movie screamers is my favourite, then I'd say stargate, babylon 5, aliens, predator.

super_smash_jesus:
As a man who never got into firefly due to the horrendous acting abilities by such great D list actors/actresses, i have to say reluctantly that i enjoy the Star wars movies, with the exception of episode 1 and 2, because the D list actors in those just seem to do a better job

Mark Hamill is a better actor than somebody? Alert the press! :P

I don't even consider Star Wars to be science fiction. The Fiction is there, but the science is nowhere to be found... that is, it's irrelevant to the story. You could set Star Wars in a medieval fantasy world and the story would be identical.

I have a huge hard-on for Mass Effect right now, and never got around to reading Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, so until that state of affairs changes, I don't feel I can comfortably answer the poll, here.

I'd have to say Dune as well - that is before his son decided to err extend his works, okay so Frank Herbert died before finishing off the series but I find it hard to adjust to how Brian Herbert read his father's notes and left his little stamp on the world. Pre Brian Herbert Dune is a masterpiece of writing with well fleshed out characters, numerous story arcs and plot lines post Brian Herbert it is as if it's he has decided that it's science fiction so belief can easily be suspended. Bah I say! It could have ended at Chapter House: Dune and still been 'complete' in my view but ah well a dollar had to be made I suppose.

Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land is also one of the better books I've read in recent years I wouldn't classify it as the utter love fest I have for Dune but a nice warm crush on his writings has developed because of that book.

As for TV Firefly is good for a giggle as is the new Dr Who even though I grew up on the old Doctors I just find myself liking David Tennant's interpretation of him. I've never been big on the lore of the series (and realised a few things have been adjusted) but it's an enjoyable watch none the less.

I'm a big fan of Richard K. Morgan. I highly recommmend Altered Carbon, Broken Angels and Woken Furies. Very gritty and violent stories about a killer, his business and the people who hire him.

There is movie in production entitled Altered Carbon:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altered_Carbon

If Watchmen or V for Vendetta could be considered Sci-Fi [Who says sci-fi is in the future?] then I'd say they were excellent. I also can't wait for the Watchmen movie coming out next year.

William Gibson's Neuromancer Trilogy.

Too many to list in full, though a lot of my favourites have been mentioned.

I'll add the Vorkosigan novels by Lois McMaster Bujold to the pile though. I've never seen charimsa put on the page so well, and the science-y stuff really affects the cultures in the series too.

-- Steve

Would have been Farscape,

but at the moment I'm suffering interest bordering obsession with Warhammer 40K, does that even count as sci-fi?

almost forgot:

Red Dwarf.

anything that makes you laugh wins by default.

Too hard to choose.

Battletech (Pre-DarkAges) > Shadowrun (Pre-WizKids) > Firefly > Babylon 5 > Battlestar Galactica (ReImagined) > Star Trek > Earth Final Conflict > Farscape > Space Above & Beyond > Stargate SG1.

Thats pretty much my to-10 lineup...
More specific to Star Trek, Enterprise and DS9 tie for best, TNG in second place, and Voyager takes home the bronze... ToS doesn't rate at all (except the six movies), but still comes before that godsawful animated series.

As for TV series; I'd have to go with Lost. How is that not sci-fi!?

Books? Quite easily the curious I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream. At least it hasn't been made into a million, billion movies and other media adaptations, unlike everything else seemingly mentioned in this thread, heh.

Star Wars is great but there are 2 shows that are better. The Stargate shows and the best is Doctor Who. That shows is good that you must try watching it is great. (it is on SCI-FI and BBC America)

TV: Doctor Who
Movies: Blade Runner
Books: Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy

With the Doctor as the winner. Heck, I've got a replica Sonic Screwdriver lying on my desk as I type this. And in my bathroom is a multi functional towel with the number 42 on it.

I really love the Matrix.

Action + Good Philosophy = Win

Unlike smart people, I don't usually like movies that "teach" me things because it's usually content we should have remembered in elementary school. The Matrix truly made me think and question things I never would have bothered to ask myself before. The action always delivers, and visual effects impressed me. I also read all the comics and seen the Animatrix. I enjoyed them both!

I still don't like Revolutions or Keanu Reeves.

Farscape how we loved thee.
I also have a thing for Lord of Light. Hindu mythology, a fantasy setting that becomes sci-fi as the setting is explained, demigods. If you do not like this book your soul will not be reincarnated.

bloody hell you will all think i am a nerd for saying this but warhammer 40k it has some of the richest back story that puts all of the above to shame (voting options i mean)
also torchwood is a million times better than doctor who

I'll just quote from an email exchange I had with a friend recently, trying to convince her to watch my televised drug of choice, BSG.

I can't help but enjoy the fact that they continue to go balls to the wall where other shows would have chickened out (Models 8 thru 11--are fucking kidding me?!? Jesus Baltar?! Divine visions?! OMGWTFJIMI??????") and it just makes me bounce. Also, unlike X-Files/Lost/Twin Peaks/Millennium/etc, I don't get the feeling that the show's creator is patting all his pockets trying to locate either The Point or his own ass.

Firefly is a close second, and I would have liked to have seen what they could have done if they had been able to develope it, but Battlestar Galactica just keep cruising deeper and deeper into plot space that would have utterly destroyed most other shows in just the initial attempt.

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