Nasa / Space

Which is your favorite Science Fiction/Fantasy franchise?


Are you a Jedi, a Timelord, a Starfleet Officer, or a Browncoat? This blogger needs to know. For reasons that escape the TechRepublic management, I pump the Geekend full of sci-fi/fantasy references, often from one of the major SFF franchises out there. The stuff usually plays well, but I'm curious where my audience's loyalties lie. Take this arbitrary and exclusionary poll and let me know which breed of geek you most self-identify with (if any) and I'll promise that little scrap of knowledge will lie waiting in my subconscious the next time I decide which pirated YouTube clip to share with the class. Explanatory comments are encouraged.

 

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Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger -- amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

83 comments
rhmassenberg
rhmassenberg

Enterprise Dr. Who Star Trek - TNG Voyager What's a brown shirt?

tekless
tekless

...Battlestar is my current favorite. And I like Dr. Who. I'll watch Star Wars if it's on. Firefly was great fun. Oh, so many choices, so few uncut reruns, and even less time to watch them.

jmbiii
jmbiii

like one of the above comments, Heinlen's books from the school library were what got me started in SF. I remember having Nortons "Star Guard" with me one day when one of the "jocks" asked me if it was about basketball!

jbb1
jbb1

This list is pretty heavy on TV series and movies. How about David Weber's terrific series of military SF books -- the Honor Harrington canon. Now that's something you can dig into. The series is up to about 17 or 18 books and they are all good. Meanwhile, movies and TV series are being discussed. If this series makes it to either screen it will blow the doors off Trek. This is "hard" science fiction.

noqlk3v02
noqlk3v02

Why no mention of print SF/fantasy "franchises"? Surely there must be some literate geeks left in the world. When I was in school, reading for pleasure was considered one of the defining characteristics of a geek or nerd, although we were referred to back then as "schoolies" or "eggheads". The cool kids were extremely amused the day they saw me carrying a copy of Heinlein's "Space Cadet".

Grimshiire
Grimshiire

Bablyon 5 was by far the best series & I have seen them all. Trek & Wars are outstanding, but B5 had a realism to it. Plus, Gariboldi & Ivonova were just to freakn hilarious. I didn't think I would like Sheraton, but he turned out ok. Hell, he did the tube snake boogie with an alien. Only Kirk was the other badass that did an alien. Shame Crusade never caught on. Galen was my fav,

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Blake's Seven would be my pick. American ones would be a pick between Farscape and Space Above and beyond for TV. Movie wise Alien without a doubt. Blasts from the past, would be The Tommorow People, and Invaders. I find both Star Trek and Dr Who extremely juvenile. B% was alright in places, but not even I can suspend my disbelief long enough to accept time travel. (To the past)

dschuder
dschuder

I've seen most of the episodes from this whole list (except Buffy) and enjoyed almost all of it, including the old Twilight Zone and Outer Limits. Farscape is also entertaining. As a fan of escapist material my favorite is always the one I haven't seen yet. I'm hoping Eragon is well done (3 times). PS. I voted for Star Wars - Nothing has blown me away like episode IV in 1977 when I was 14!

wrlang
wrlang

For those of us old enough to remember, there was the Outer Limits and the Twilight Zone in black and white. While they weren't as technically accurate as some of the more recent franchises like Star Trek, they were quite imaginative.

ganyssa
ganyssa

It was a tough call. If Firefly had more episodes (or more books), it might have won.

tct
tct

I think you mean Browncoat, as mentioned in the original post. A Browncoat is a fan of the Firefly tv show and the follow-up Serenity movie. The term browncoat originated in Firefly as a slang term for a person who was a rebel in the war against the Alliance. Part of the rebel uniform was a long brown coat, which the main character, Mal (Malcolm), the captain of the Firefly class ship, Serenity, always wore. He had been a sargent in the war, on the rebel side.

jbb1
jbb1

Much better for me. Books can have a richness and detail that film just can't approach. And there are those aspects of the story that you get to fill in for yourself. It says something about us (or about the guy that floated the question originally) that no books, per se, were mentioned. Does everything *have* to move, flash, and go boom to get our attention?

Rndmacts
Rndmacts

In the science field Isaac Asimov's robot books introduced whole generations to both science fiction and real science. And to date they are still the number one series of all time, especially the Foundation series. In the fantasy field, while there are many great series, there are two that make me automatically want to buy the book and these are the Dragonriders of Pern books by Anne McAffery and Piers Anthonies (X)anth books. Given watching a TV series or movie or reading a book by a great author, I will always choose the book, my imagination is much richer than what they call sci-fi on the boob tube.

Jaqui
Jaqui

EE "Doc" Smith's Lensman series or Hubble's Dumarest of Terra series. both were well done, with at least 30 titles in them. 200 page paperbacks with cover prices of 10 cents. the Lensman series used a copper fusion drive for the space ships, and he included the real physics of orbital calculations in the stories, including the negative acceleration required to slow down or you would go forever. [ written in the late 1950's I think, so really an impressive bit of work ] Dumarest was taken from earth as a very young child and is wandering around as an adult trying to find his way back, but no one thinks terra exists. cryo chambers used for affordable space travel, since the journey between stars is months long, being frozen saves on consumables. aaaakkk!! ~banging myself on the side of my head~ I have to do something about my memory, it holds onto way to much information :(

jbb1
jbb1

Heinlein was practically a one man franchise. Writing in the golden age of SF, he helped shape nearly everything that came afterward. Nearly every hard SF writer today credits him as a major influence. Aside from one or two stinkers, a very, very good writer.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Books, film, music, toys, conventions.... Hmm you've given me a thought for another thread

blarman
blarman

My only gripe with Star Trek is that even in "The Wrath of Khan" where Spock points out Khan's 2-D maneuvers, there isn't a single space battle that takes place in 3-D that's as good as the battles in Babylon 5. Fighters spinning around cruisers, battleships, and space stations, true 3-D tactics like stop-and-spin (not just airplane flying), and vessels that aren't always oriented "up". Now that's true space warfare. The other thing that was cool was the breadth of dependent storyline. The Star Trek series is much too once-and-done.

jbb1
jbb1

The writing and special effects were great too. They still hold up well today. I think the effects were all done on Ataris, if you can believe it. Hot graphics machine for the time. Really good story telling. My brother and I bought all five seasons worth of DVDs.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

then it seemed like the story wasn't moving along anymore. Or maybe they were trying to drag it out by adding too much? Eventually I lost interest. I think the last episode I saw was the one where John and Aeryn were disintegrated in a rowboat while the others watched.

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

I've heard of Blake's Seven, but unfortunate reside on the wrong side of the Atlantic. The Invaders, what a blast from the past! There was a lame attempt to bring back the Invaders about a decade ago as a made for TV movie. How about season 1 of Dark Angel? As for villians either Alien of the Borg. Although I think that the Borg could be defeated by 20 kilos of marbles on the deck of the Enterprise. There are some real disadvantages to being stiff. ;)

Jaqui
Jaqui

was the best sci-fi horror series I have seen ever. closely followed by both the old and new versions of Outer Limits.

StephenBerry777
StephenBerry777

I was a fan of Dr. Who when it first came out when I was 3 years old. When we moved to the States Star Trek was a natural. I have continued to enjoy both the Star Trek stories and Dr. Who's Stuff. But the other Fun series by Gary Anderson was UFO and then his Space 1999. UFO was more realistic, while Space 1999 became bizarre. UFO theme song has stuck in my head for years, but the best part were the uniforms the women wore (One of my first crushes was the girl who commanded the moon base with purple hair. Red Dwarf, great satire on all the other Sci-Fi. Their best episode was the Earth Like Planet where time went backwards. The Crew went to visit NodnoL (That's London spelt backwards) and had to un-eat a pie, un-drink a beer. (Guess what happens when you use the restroom[The Cat answered that question]). Best two Alien villians, Alien & Preditor. ==== All of this inspired me to create my own Sci-Fi World. I am published some of it in the past, but now I am in the process of re-writing ALL of it. For those of you who like Star Trek, Dr. Who, and the rest, I hope that when I finish re-compiling my stuff you will enjoy the worlds in my head as well.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

I never did understand what happened to that series. They didn't advertise it well. Just happened to catch it one day. Then a few weeks later, it's gone!

StephenBerry777
StephenBerry777

I used to read the book of a story before I went to see the movie. The problem was I would end up critizing the movie for all the good stuff that they left out. I finally resolved to just keep the books and the movie adaptations as separate entities. Movies are designed by nature to be visual and capture the impact and the story with images. Books, on the other hand, are the art of the author creating images with words that no camera can capture that the reader can project into one's own minds eye. A writer can decribe ways of touching our 5 senses with our mind, while the movies only touch our eyes and ears. What of James Joyce, Arthur C. Clark, Ray Bradberry, John Steinbeck, Dr. Steven Hawkins, Johnathan Swift, Robert Louis Stevenson, Tolken, C.S.Lewis, etc.

jbb1
jbb1

If you buy the hardback edition of any of the recent novels in the Honor Harrington series by David Weber, there is a bound in CD-ROM containing (in the most recent case) 38 novels in five different formats for various kinds of readers--almost everything Weber's written to date. If you like SF and Ebooks this may be the biggest bargain ever.

LisaSweet
LisaSweet

Marion Zimmer Bradley's books about the world under the red sun explored a lot of socially significant issues, but not so much TECH stuff. :)

Jaqui
Jaqui

Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books. it's about 24 now, each book being part of a trilogy. each trilogy but the last two, being set years apart [ over 2000 years from the trilogy that tells the begining of everything to the two that wrap it up. ] Queen's Herald trilogy were the first written, though in the timeline they are just a couple of hundred years before the end of the series. She actually has [b]THE[/b] main character for the trilogy as a gay 16 y/o boy, years before it was an accepted literary device. [ Vanyel Askrevon is the characers name ] He's the main character for the first two trilogies written, yet he dies in the second trilogy, and play a huge rol in the remainer of the timeline, specially the last trilogy. black, white and silver Gryphon are the trilogy that starts the entire timeline. oh, and there is one trilogy that is part of it, yet each book is stand alone, about a couple of female mercenaries that play roles important later, and one's sword that becomes critically important in the last trilogy. [ gotta love living artifacts ]

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

I used to enjoy Anne McCaffrey's dragons and Dragon's Dawn is a particular favourite. Foundation, I could never see what anyone saw in it. Xanth, I got bored. Still I bet there's apile of books, I would describe as great, that you wouldn't care for at all :D A great author, is one who sucessfully communicates to you, or me of course.

jbb1
jbb1

It's a pity that Asimov's great robot books are mostly forgotten today. There was that pitiful movie a couple of years ago, but the books are vastly better.

jbb1
jbb1

...both series. I cut my teeth on Doc Smith's Lensman series. My brother (who works for Boeing) and I have an inside joke that what NASA's VSE needs is Niels Bergenholm. Think I am going to re-read both.

jbb1
jbb1

Two series, B5 and Firefly, set the standard in realism. I was very impressed with (for example) B5's spacecraft simply rotating around their centers of gravity as would actually happen in space. And in Firefly, spacecraft exploding in silence, as would actually be the case. In space, not only can nobody hear you scream (or explode), but there's no air for airfoils to use.

tct
tct

They used Amigas in the beginning, then eventually switched to PC's. Not certain which season the switchover occurred.

jbb1
jbb1

Then you saw the very last episode.

BruceShining
BruceShining

I just posted a reply to your Firefly post. Seems we like same kind of stuff!

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

the bad girl out of Blake's Seven. Definitely with an imagine or two for those with slightly non main stream tastes. Never watched Dark Angel, may be I'll pick it up. The impact of that sort of science does interest me. The most enduring bad guy of all, has to be the Master. Roger Delgado, quality.

JamesRL
JamesRL

I bought the DVDs and its been a great investment - on a rainy, blustery Saturday, my son and I will watch a few episodes. James

BruceShining
BruceShining

I think only 1 or 2 (or a few more) episodes were ever shown on "TV". But the DVD series is awesome! Great stories and great characters -- that's what I'm talkin' about.

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

I caught one episode and when I looked again it was gone. It's on my list of box sets to collect and watch.

Technocrat
Technocrat

I voted for Firefly because it was hands down one that most matched my feelings about how things are going here and now. A desperate struggle of individuals to survive against the corporate, suppressive totalitarian conglomerates (government). It had only a total of 15 episodes and I've acquired all of them and the movie Serenity. Another very good series that did manage at least to last some time was Babylon 5 and then it's short 13 episode successor/intermission, Crusade. It's just sad to see such creative talents not be recognized and promoted. But it's never anything based on merits. See how long the Star Trek/DS9/NG series ran after it's creative talent 'died.' I'm not saying it had no merit but it was getting pretty predictable.

jbb1
jbb1

For folks in our profession, I'd suggest anything by Neal Stephenson (except Zodiac which obviously still had the training wheels on). Cryptonomicon would be a great book to start on -- a terrific and fun mix of cryptography, unix, Silicon Valley entrepreneurmanship, WW II treasure, etc. The biggest, funnest book you'll ever read -- and you will get all the inside jokes.

melfinatheblue
melfinatheblue

I used to constantly read novels. Then I hit high school and college. Honestly I've gotten away from reading, since I seem to have this curse. I pick up a book, I read it, and it's total dreck. But hmm, best books/authors imho... Sci-Fi->Asimov's Foundation Trilogy, William Gibson, and the book Beggars in Spain. Fantasy->Terry Pratchett's the Last Hero (and many wonderful others), and Tolkein's the Hobbit Series->Firefly and ST:Voyager (first ST I saw and probably had a lot to do with me gettting into science and IT.)

Jaqui
Jaqui

didn't she do the darksword series in the Forgotten Realms? Yes, I've read several of her works. I actually prefer books that don't require you to read them all, in order, just to get the entertainment out of the stories. Try reading Bujold's Adventures of Miles Vorkosigan books, just freaking hilarious, all can be read alone, yet if you read them in chronological order there is an entire framework that is completely consistent. the last two books I saw in the series are the only two that do not stand alone, the need the one prior and read them in order, or they don't really make a good read.

scifantasy1017
scifantasy1017

Mercedes Lackey is one of my favorite authors as well as Anne McCaffery. Have you read any Elizabeth Moon? She is fantastic. She has Sci-Fi which are all separate stories so you don't have to read the first one to get into the next, which I totally hate! She also writes fantasy similar to D&D, her best is her character Paksenarrion. Oh too many books to read, not enough time....

jbb1
jbb1

I stand corrected. Still some of the best CGI for TV extant, regardless of platform.

neilb
neilb

Do you not think that having the hots for the Supreme Commander of the Terran Federation was probably not healthy for a lad of the age you must have been? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Servalan.jpg "An enemy does not cease to be an enemy simply because he has surrendered." :D

Jaqui
Jaqui

even if the writing wasn't great for Dark Angel, a series with Jessica Alba running around in skin tight clothing is worth watching ]:)

D-howie
D-howie

"Firefly: The Complete Series" is currently "on sale" at amazon for $25.97 and will be on sale at Target next week (starting Sunday, December 10th) for $18.98. It's the best "blind buy" I ever made...

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

I know what I'm getting myself for Xmas

ramjet
ramjet

Because they arent smart enough to see the theme behind the action. Killed Star Trek the first time, Killed Firefly, Killed lots of others in between. Will keep killing the best shows because they'll never understand that you can't measure a shows vallue by the product it sells unless you make the commercials appeal to the same demographic. And NO commercial has ever been more than mildly humerous to geeks. Most of them make us wander away looking for a snack immediately. It's the reason we all use TIVO, or the local cable equivalent and NEVER watch live anymore. Kill the Commercials and we might come back to TV. then again... Maybe not... Ramjet

Jaqui
Jaqui

the second season. there areactually 19 episodes according to comments made in interveiws by the actors from the series. Serenity kind of picked up where the series was when dropped and finished the story off. give the production company credit for getting the series cast for the characters in the movie, it gave closure to the series properly.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

For some reason I never got into Crusade. I acquired the Firefly episodes too.