Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Graham's best science fiction of 2009

Hi all,

I wasn't going to do a best of list for 2009 because I felt like a bit of a fraud with my lack of reading last year, but I did watch a few science-fiction movies and a lot of television so, in the hope of creating some sort of tradition, here is my belated list.

I read a whole four novels last year, pathetic really, but eye problems severely restricted my reading. I am envious of facebook friends like Patty Jansen who read 39 novels and Satima Flavell who read too many to count. Three of the novels I read where science-fiction, and Time Machines Repaired While U Wait by KA Bedford would have been the best of them. It would probably have ended up near the top of a list during a normal year's reading as I have always loved a good time-travel story. I reviewed it here.

I saw at least half a dozen science fiction movies this year and two stood out: District 9 and Star Trek. District 9 had an original story of aliens being refugees rather than invaders, told in an original documentary style, with a message about racism, and filmed in the unfamiliar environment of South Africa. It was unpredictable, at least for me, and had wonderfully realistic special effects. The makers of Avatar should go and watch it, as I found Avatar to be totally predictable, unoriginal, boring in places, it had unrealistic special effects and big plot holes. I thought Star Trek was a great rebooting of what had become a very tired, at least in movies, format.

Most of my science fiction TV viewing was of Austar (Foxtel) as I am fed up with disappearing and the erratic scheduling of commercial television. I watched three stand out series last year, Battlestar Galactica (series 3 and I am up to episode 15 of series 4), The Chronicles of Sarah Connor (series 2) and Torchwood: Children of Earth. I have thought Battlestar Galactica up with the X-files and Doctor Who as the best science fiction ever, it is a more adult, emotional, character driven drama with a twisting story. I still have no idea how it will finish. The Chronicles of Sarah Connor has a plot that grows in complexity as more and more characters with their own agendas are introduced from the future. It also helps that the lead actress is easy to watch. And Torchwood, in the absence of a series of Doctor Who, is the fun show to watch.

So there you have it, hopefully this year I will do more reading and less television watching.



graywave said...

Thanks for the recommendation (Time Machines Repaired etc.) I also love a good time travel story. It's on my 'one day...' list.

graywave said...

By the way, do you write time travel stories as well as reading them?

Satima Flavell said...

I think my list just looked long, Graham:-). I reckon Patti actually read more than I did.

Happy reading for the coming year, now you have new eyes!

Graham Clements said...

I haven't written any time travel stories yet, but if I thought of an original idea, I probably would.