What is the best Sci-Fi ever: TV, Movie, and Book

Ivan Seeking

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Also, what if any had the most impact on you?


I think the new Outer Limits is [was?] the best Sci-Fi ever on TV. The writing is fresh and often quite excellent. The entire series then comes together as a single theme. IMO, absolutely the best!

Childhood's End by A. Clark changed my life. This was the first exposure that I ever had to non-linear thinking. Ring World by Niven convinced me that women are another species.

Best movie: I have to go with 2001. I have many favorites but to me, this still stands as the classic. I just wish Kubrick would had included the analysis upon which the movie was based. According to Kaku, Kubrick cut this at the last minute. Though I must admit, the absence of this resulted in a perceived mystical quality that inspired imaginations; as much as interest in science and in the new age mysticism.
 

selfAdjoint

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Wow, this is a tough one. I have been a sf fan all my life and I have those fond memories from my youth ("What is the greatest age of sf?" "Fourteen"). That would be the Foundation books, the original three by Asimov.

Then I have books that have given me pleasure in the last couple of years. Anything by Vernor Vinge, his latest is "A Deepness in the Sky". Anything by Ian Mcleod, especially his post trotsyist scottish series ("Cassini Division" is getting a lot of references in blogistan). Anything by Harry Turtledove, especially his three ongoing series "Contact" (sf), "American Empire" (alternate history), and "Darkness"(fantasy analogy to WWII).

And a book that hits me right where I live, even if most people don't grok it: "Schild's Ladder" by Greg Egan.

On movies, all I can say is that the original Star Wars, in its first release, blew me away, and I didn't get that from 2001. The bar scene was Kelley Freas brought to life.
 
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in the feild of sci-fi, i like star wars books, along with books by Orson Scott Card and Frank Herbert. (<<especially the Ender series)
 
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I'm not an avid SF reader, but I did like the book and the movie of HG Wells' "First Men in the Moon." I also liked the book and the movie of Michael Crichton's "Jurrasic Park."
 
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Stargate...
and Frank Herbert's "Dune"...
 

steppenwolf

yeah i loved the book and film Dune, mmmm... sting
well for other reasons too obviously...can't think of them right now but i'm sure they exist
 

BoulderHead

Not that I'd actually call them "the best", but...

I enjoyed the movie: The Day The Earth Stood Still,
The TV show: Star Trek,
and I remember (vaugely) that I enjoyed the Martian books of Edgar Rice Burroughs when they first came out (Synthetic Men of Mars).
 

drag

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Greetings !

I used to read lots of sci-fi. I like Wells, Hall Kelement,
Asimov, Klark, Verne, Harrison, William Shatner and more.
I have to say that despite the fact that they are not the most original, technical, wild or in many other ways extraordinary
books when compared to some of the others that I read, however William Shatner's books - The Ashes of Eden, The Return, Avenger
and the other ones after them describing the (still :wink: ) continuing voyages of James T. Kirk, Spock, Picard, the TNG crew
and more are the ones I enjoyed most in the past several years.

As for movies (and I know this is not the "most" technical
choice - but hell ! movies are just supposed to entertain)
nothing beats Star Wars. I mean you just see those Star Destroyers
and the fighters and Luke watching the sunset before he leaves
with the music by John Williams in the background and its
just great, nothing beats that ! (I first watched the Star
Wars movies when I was about 8 or 9 so I suppose I'm kin'na totally brainwashed by them since then... I still remember
that amazing feeling of awe more than I remember what I actualy
saw then... )

Next, of course :wink:, is Star Trek (I still remember the
first time the giant saucer of the Enterprise D NCC 1701 filled
the screen followed by the glowing necceles, I only saw the
original series later but I also liked it a lot despite
the understandable weak special effects).

BTW, when it comes to dramatic adventure and sci-fi nothing
beats John Williams ! Whether it's Spielberg, Lucas or any other
great director/producer (including all the many related and
unrelated to the movies PC games) without his music their movies wouldn't even have half the impact they do !

BTW (2), I kin'na hated the Odyssey... What can I say ?
It just sucks...

BTW (3 - hey ! it's sci-fi ! ) Planet of the apes
(the original !) was a good movie and Space Balls was
hillarious. Of the Alien movies I liked the first and
second ones because the first is just great and the second
one has lots of action. I didn't quite like Dune but the
action makes up for the bad impression and stupid plot.
Terminator 2 is number one ! (I'll see T3 soon !)
And Predator was great (or was it Shwartzeneger who was
great.... ). I liked Contact. Independence Day and MIB
are great too, but of course not very intellegent...:wink:

Please remind me the few stuff I left out...:wink:

Live long and prosper.
 
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Has anybody seen Terminator 3 yet, has it even been released (anywhere) ?
 
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Originally posted by username
Has anybody seen Terminator 3 yet, has it even been released (anywhere) ?
From everyone I know who has seen it, I've heard it was really lame. Really, I have yet to hear a single person (who has seen it) say that it was worth seeing.


Now, to answer Ivan's question...

I've read way too many great SF books to choose a favorite, but a few that I love are: The Beggars Trilogy (by Nancy Kress), the Ender's series (by O.S.C.), Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children (by Greg Bear), the Pegasus Trilogy (by Anne McCaffrey), etc...

Anyway, the book that changed me the most was probably Wells' "The Time Machine", since it's what started me reading Science Fiction (and really started me interested in Science altogether, as I was only 4 when I first read it, and have been interested in Science since).

My favorite SF movie is either X2 or The Matrix: Reloaded. Seriously, I'd like to pick one of the classics that I've seen, but these two really take the cake (IMO).

I don't have a favorite SF T.V. show, because I don't watch T.V.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Originally posted by Mentat
I don't have a favorite SF T.V. show, because I don't watch T.V.


I wish I could say that. But then I do have about 10 science channels and I watch science show and documentaries almost exclusively...with the exception of a few regular shows; mostly Sci-Fi

But as a kid I was terrible. There's the biggest difference between you and me Mentat. At 10 your were probably reading philosophy books and I was watching Gilligan's Island.
 

drag

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Originally posted by Ivan Seeking
At 10 your were probably reading philosophy books and I was
watching Gilligan's Island.
At 10 I was watching action/adventure/sci-fi movies and
reading action/adventure/sci-fi books. Now I'm much older
and I read science books but I still watch action/adventure/
sci-fi 'cause movies are for FUN ! :smile:
 

eNtRopY

Originally posted by Ivan Seeking
At 10 your were probably reading philosophy books and I was watching Gilligan's Island.
But Gilligan's Island was quite philosophical. The six castaways represented individuals from all walks of life and how these individuals interacted with each other reflected the social structure of American society. Did you ever notice how Gilligan wore red, the Professor wore white, and the Skipper wore blue?

Gilligan's Island: A Darker View

© Dale Franks, 1997

Though long regarded as a simple, harmless television sitcom, Gilligan’s Island is anything but. Beyond the vapid gaiety and the simpleness of the laugh track is a harsh reality. Gilligan’s Island is a dark, nihilistic vision of American Culture. The America of Gilligan’s Island is a culture in decline, hopelessly lost in a philosophical morass of conflicting ethics, ideology, and social order. A society doomed to pass without rescue. A society with no way out.

In a real sense, the vision of Gilligan’s Island is a vision of the New Left. It is a construct specifically designed to evoke the neo-liberal themes of the decade of the sixties, itself an era of pessimism and rebelliousness. It is a series that reflects the dominant leftist thinking of the radical counterculture of the time. In Gilligan’s Island, every portion of American society is held up to ridicule. Hiding behind the laughter is a sinister view of America that is insidious, and terrifying in its ability to instill a loss of respect for traditional culture.

The characters of this series are archetypes of the broad divisions to be generally found in American society. Each of those archetypes is given an invidious portrayal.

The Skipper is an authority figure. Though putatively endowed with years of experience at sea, he lacks the foresight to obtain a simple weather report that results in the crew being marooned. In this we see the portrayal of the ruling class of America. Though ostensibly in charge, they lack direction. Their efforts are shown as ultimately counterproductive, leading us to destruction.

Gilligan is a lovable fool, the Skipper's “little buddy”. He is also the point of humor, his lack of clear thinking the foil for many of the crew's misfortunes. This is representative of those who support the ruling class in our society. They are depicted as blind followers, essentially fools unable to discern the emptiness of our public policy.

The professor represents the class of technology and culture. He provides the crew with small conveniences, but they, too, are essentially pointless. He can make chemical batteries to run the transistor radio, but the radio itself serves to do little more than show the crew how isolated they are. It intensifies their longing to return to a place from which they are forever cut off. In this way, science and technology are shown to be morally empty and pointless. The science of Gilligan’s Island is a science which can do little more than provide baubles, helpless to show society a way out.

The Howells are rich and influential. Even in the stark barrenness of their isolation, they are comforted by material possessions far superior than those around them. They are depicted as cruel, heedless to the misery of their fellow castaways, concerned only with their own comforts, speaking out only when those comforts are threatened. What more needs to be said about this depiction of America's wealthy?

Ginger is the movie star. She stands for the emptiness of popular culture. Though talented, she is not smart. Though presumably rich, she obviously does not deserve to be. Her existence satisfies the ancient Roman formulation of the longing for “Bread and Circuses”, but little else. She is vacuous and empty, like the popular entertainment culture she represents.

Mary Anne is the lovable everyman, or everywoman. She is mainly silent, living her life in thrall to a situation created by others. In this she is depicted as what Richard Nixon termed the “vast, silent majority” of Americans. She does nothing, essentially playing her part as a sheep, or in this case, a lamb led to slaughter by others. The fact that her situation is not her fault does not excuse her. Because she does not attempt to participate in the governance of the group, she is as morally culpable as the rest. Unspoken, yet clarion clear, is the idea that we are all as guilty as she is.

The negative depiction of the characters is equaled by the negative depiction of their situation. They are a lonely band held together by hope for a rescue that we know will never come. In each episode, an outside force comes in, bringing a situation that offers some prospect of return to the lives they once led, a clear reference to the “Golden Age” of America that many fantasize about today.

Their rescue never occurs, of course. As the guest star leaves, the castaways remain behind, doomed to molder on an uncharted desert isle. In the same way America is shown as doomed. No matter what new situation or event transpires that promises a return to a better life, in the end we are left with only brief periods of hope; periods of hope which only serve as punctuation to a sentence of a dismal eternity.

This then, is Gilligan’s Island and the vision it represents. Perhaps no other episodic television series has done more to undermine our vision of America, and the ideals that vision evokes. In Gilligan’s world, that vision is an illusion, the ideals the empty ideology of a doomed band of misfits.
REF.: http://www.dalefranks.com/gilligan.asp [Broken]

eNtRopY
 
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Definitely the best sci-fi flick is Total Recall. The great final scenes of Mars achieving an athmosphere are unpayable
But I am also quite fond of Blade Runner
For series, I pick X-files and V
 
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eNtRopY

I loved Blade Runner and the book that inspired the movie Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? I can't say that any sci-fi book has ever changed my perspective of life... at least not that I am aware of.

The movie the Road Warrior was perhaps the greatest film of all time. It represented the eternal struggle between man and i]greater forces[/i]. When I first saw the movie, at age eight, I was very moved. Naturally, I was led by the plot to believe that the Humungus had won the final battle, but as it turned out...

The juice, the precious juice, was hidden in the vehicles.

Sometimes, seeing the triumph of good over evil can bring tears of happiness to your eyes.

eNtRopY
 
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Originally posted by Ivan Seeking


I wish I could say that. But then I do have about 10 science channels and I watch science show and documentaries almost exclusively...with the exception of a few regular shows; mostly Sci-Fi
Well, I'd really love to get Discovery Channel or Animal Planet or the History Channel, but alas all I get is ABC, and - while I watched a couple of sitcoms for a while - there's nothing really worth wasting my time on there.

But as a kid I was terrible. There's the biggest difference between you and me Mentat. At 10 your were probably reading philosophy books and I was watching Gilligan's Island.
Yeah, but I never got to see Gilligan's Island. Never. Not a single episode. So, now, which one of us is missing out (btw, I read science and math books when I was younger, I've only recently become interested in Philosophy :smile:).
 

Ivan Seeking

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Originally posted by eNtRopY
But Gilligan's Island was quite philosophical.
eNtRopY, you definitely get the prize for the most surprising response to date. I am sending your comments to my mother to assure her that all of that TV was of great philosophical value. You get the Golden Wienie Award from Ivan this month!
 
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Ivan Seeking

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Originally posted by Mentat
Well, I'd really love to get Discovery Channel or Animal Planet or the History Channel, but alas all I get is ABC, and - while I watched a couple of sitcoms for a while - there's nothing really worth wasting my time on there.
Direct TV baby! And Directway for 600K internet connections from the middle of nowhere.



Yeah, but I never got to see Gilligan's Island. Never. Not a single episode. So, now, which one of us is missing out (btw, I read science and math books when I was younger, I've only recently become interested in Philosophy :smile:).
Many people will know what I mean when I say that Ginger and Mary Ann alone are worth the watch.
 
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