Tag Archives: Science Fiction

Favorite Science Fiction Authors

A little over a week three months ago I was asked “Who are your favorite sci-fi authors?”

I’ve been thinking about how to answer this question… I could list all the sci-fi authors that I like, a la my favorite songs, but that would be an extremely long list… or I could pick just one, but to be honest I have no idea who I’d chose…. in the end I decided to list the top nine and my favorite book by those authors.

-note- As I compiled this list I found a startling fact, only the top two are still living… what does that say about my opinion of modern sci-fi?

    • 9. Arthur C. Clark


      Actually, I’m not a huge fan of Arthur C Clarke. He’s at times overly opinionated and Rendezvous With Ramma is misspelled. And too long. And Boring as hell.
      But, 2001: A Space Odyssey, 2010: Odyssey Two, 2061: Odyssey Three and 3001: The Final Odyssey are a hell of a book series, with 2010 being a personal favorite of the group. I even like the movie, which I’ll admit I saw before reading the book.

    • 8. Philip K. Dick

      This is another odd one for me as I guess I’d have to say that Philip K. Dick is not a very strong author. He had amazing ideas, but was weak in execution.
      Of course that all means that some of the best Science Fiction movies have been based on his works. Total Recall, Bladerunner and Minority Reports are some of my favorite movies all based on We can Remember It For You Wholesale, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and The Minority Report respectively.
    • 7. Lucian

      Probably the world’s first admitted Stand-up Philosopher.
      He wrote A True Story, a simple tale of a man being whisked off to exotic and alien worlds, 1800 years ago
    • 6. Kurt Vonnegut

      If you haven’t read Slaughterhouse 5 or Mother Night, go do so now, but Breakfast of Champions (my personal favorite) is even better. All three have been made into movies, with varying results.
      Slaughterhouse 5 is probably the best known, but Breakfast of Champions is more likely to get played on my stream…
    • 5. Douglas Adams

      Admittedly this is an easy inclusion, Adams practically cemented humorous scifi to the world with the absurdist Hitchhiker’s Guide, but personally Long Dark Teatime of the Soul is his magnum opus.
      A strange tale of what happens to gods when people start believing in Pop Music and Ticket Counters more and also about why you can’t get a pizza delivered in London.
    • 4. H.P. Lovecraft

      There are enough people out there to extol the virtues of Lovecraft, so I’ll just say the Mountains of Madness is a classic of descriptive horror.
    • 3. Jules Verne

      Voyage Dans La Lune is now and will ever be the best space travel book ever written and may have really made it possible for humans to have the imagination to go to the moon. Verne was a treasure and is rightly deified in France, and should be on the bookshelf of even non-scifi readers.
    • 2. Peter David

      Remarkably the first living author on my list, as of Dec. 31 2011, and my second favorite. Peter David has worked on just about everything from Live TV to Cartoons to Comic books and Novels, and his Star Trek work is unmatched so far.
      New Frontier was the first time I had read a Star Trek book where the characters changed and the plot moved from one story to the next. It was amazing to see that the ST universe actually moved along when the cameras were turned off.
      The New Frontier series is still going, and hopefully will for a while to come.
    • 1. Howard Waldrop

      Also a living author, though his output has never been as high as Peter David, but his quality is higher.
      Though he has written novels, The Texas-Isreali War: 1999 is one, hid short stories are far superior.
      Night of the Cooters is my favorite and describes an Alien attack on a small Texas backwater town. I would recommend buying his books, though almost all are out of print now, but a good library should have them… and with as obscure as he is you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding one of his works…

Well that only took three month, next question?
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Nine on the Ninth – Deep Space Nine

I have a confession to make: I love Deep Space Nine.

I don’t know what I was doing when I first saw Man Trap or Encounter at Farpoint or Wrath of Khan, but I can tell you exactly what I was doing when I saw Emissary. I was 12 years old sitting in my room huddled with my sisters and my Dad around a 13″ B&W tv, the only one we had that had an antenna.

Why did we need an antenna? Because the only station that was broadcasting Deep Space Nine on that January night was in Dallas, and it was a hell of a chore to line up those rabbit ears. Luckily the local CBS affiliate picked it up the next week so I got to see the Wormhole open up in all it’s glory.

From that point on, for seven years, every Saturday night at 10:35 I was hooked.

More than TOS, more than Next Generations, DS9 is Star Trek in my eyes. If has everything that I love about Science Fiction: Aliens, Social Allegory, Space Battles, Random Technobable (admittedly less so than in TNG)… and eventually I will go into great detail about Deep Space Nine, but today I’ll just go into the Nine best story arcs, in my oppinion, of the whole seven season run:

The Ferengi The Bajoran Civil War The Changelings
The Pah Wraith Martok Nog
The Emissary Section 31 The Mirror Universe

Continue reading Nine on the Ninth – Deep Space Nine

What for August 2011

What is Science Fiction?

A science fiction story is a story built around human beings, with a human problem, and a human solution, which would not have happened at all without its scientific content.

-Theodore Sturgeon

Science fiction is anything published as science fiction.

-Norman Spinrad

The truth is somewhere between these two positions. The first is probably the view held by most writers and all fans of Science Fiction. Everyone likes to place what they do, or what the love, above that of the works of others. This is not necessarily hubris, but human nature. Science Fiction can and often does bring out the best in its readers by showing them what humans, or aliens, are capable of under extraordinary circumstances.

Continue reading What for August 2011

When update for August 2011

Updated tentative schedule for next month:

Aug. 05 the new planet of the apes opens, hope to have a quick review up shortly after…
Aug. 06 what – what is science fiction, which came first and why it is important…
Aug. 13 Mahabharata – the indian epic that could be the oldest example of science fiction…
Aug. 19 fright night, conan the barbarian, double remake double feature, 0% originality 50% worst doctor 50% worst chekov, hopes are not high…
Aug. 20 The Birds – aristophanes comedic play could also be a strong contender for the beginning of science fiction
Aug. 26 don’t be afraid of the dark, this actually looks like a cool sorta movie, a bit like the others, which was surprisingly good, could redeem the whole month for movies…
Aug. 27 Ramayana – a return to india to finish out the month and mark the winner
Aug. 29 when – another schedule update…
Sep. 03 Metamorphoses – ovid’s history (sort of) of the world part one…

…this is, mostly, wishful thinking on my part, but as schedules go the hardest part is getting through Mahabharata (it’s really long…) the rest should be easy.

The Point, maybe

What is the point?

My inner rationalist asks as I try to type out this first post of what should be a very straight forward blog.

The premise is simple if not entirely easy to explain: Science Fiction was bad, then good, is bad again (kinda), and will be great again (probably).

See, simple. But, how do you explain why someone would want to spend time reading that, much less writing about it? Hell, I’m not even posting the first real entry.

What is the point? Well, whatever your opinion of the current state of science fiction on tv, in movies or in print, science fiction was dreadful in the past and got better. It is, by and large, dreadful now, and it will get better.

We can get through this, we will get through this, but it won’t be easy.

As with everything, you start from the beginning…