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What's your favorite medium for Sci-Fi?

Displaying poll results.
Movies
  4588 votes / 22%
Radio
  221 votes / 1%
Television
  3492 votes / 17%
Books
  7853 votes / 39%
Games
  1146 votes / 5%
Magazines
43 votes / 0%
Comics
  209 votes / 1%
Holodeck
  2398 votes / 12%
19950 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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What's your favorite medium for Sci-Fi?

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  • I absolutely loved Firefly tv series along with the Serenity movie, but Dune was definitely my favorite book I have ever read, with Enders Game a close second.
    • Re:I am torn (Score:5, Interesting)

      by agm (467017) on Wednesday September 04, 2013 @03:41AM (#44754101)

      I saw that Serenity had high reviews so I watched it. It was without doubt one of the worst sci-fi movies I have seen. Perhaps that's because I've never seen Firefly so had no connection with the characters. My favourite book series is the Commonwealth Saga by Peter F Hamilton, in which I including the Dreaming Void trilogy. Absolutely fantastic science fiction.

      • Serenity was definitely a continuation of the series, so you probably did miss out on some of the "texture" by not seeing the episodes first. If you ever do, make sure to watch them in order, either on DVD or Netflix.

      • by microTodd (240390)

        If you like the live action visual mediums (TV, movies) I would strongly urge you to watch the Firefly series. Its on Netflix streaming. My wife, who is not a scifi fan at all, still highly enjoyed the series. Its only 13 episodes so its not like you're committing to an entire season of Glee or something.

        I haven't read the commonwealth saga. Most modern scifi writing hasn't caught my attention. I tried reading Hyperion, Scalzi, Virge, Snow Crash, didn't really enjoy any of them....I guess I prefer the

        • Hamilton writes good, clear creative stories (fast reads, pure escapism), but horrible cop-out endings (deus ex machina).

          Simmons, Scalzi, Virge, Stephenson, (Pohl, Bear, etc) are deep writers. "Proper literature" :)

          But there's plenty of bubble gum and space opera out there which still plays with big ideas. Joe Haldeman, CJ Cherryh, Stephen Baxter, Ben Bova, Jack McDevitt, David Brin (although pick well, Brin's "big books" (Earth/Existence) have a similar feel Kim Stanley Robinson's books. They are an acquir

      • Funny you mention that, I actually watched Serenity before watching Firefly and like you I hated it and thought it was awful, however, I later than did watch Firefly, and rewatched Serenity, and enjoyed it since it made a lot more sense.
    • by c_jonescc (528041)
      I prefer the depth of books to movies by far, and in hindsight prefer them, but nothing gets my anticipation up as fully and joyfully as a great movie trailer that I can't wait to see the film.

      I'd really love to see Richard K. Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs series brought to the screen. Those are by far my favorite space noir books right now.
  • by Frequency Domain (601421) on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @11:36PM (#44753237)
    Most authors try to avoid gaping plot holes, while Hollywood seems to consider them mandatory.
    • by bossk538 (1682744)

      The porn film industry in particular.

    • by Nimey (114278)

      Most authors can count on the reader's attention for longer than two hours, in part because a book can be consumed in dribs and drabs. You can't do that with a movie in a theater.

    • by westlake (615356)

      Most authors try to avoid gaping plot holes, while Hollywood seems to consider them mandatory.

      You have ninety minutes to tell your story.

      Explaining things in a way that sounds natural to the audience and doesn't bring action and suspense to a grinding halt is hard.

      Forbidden Planet manages this well. Demonstrating the safeguards built into Robby The Robot exposes the flaw in the design of the Krell machines --- but it is hard to believe and to accept that so advanced as race as the Krell could have made so simple a mistake.

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was first done as a radio show. Though I love the books, and the original TV show, they still didn't best my fond memories of the radio broadcast. It's probably just nostalgia, but it sure feels like it was the best way to bring Douglas Adam's vision to life. The movie sucked, not DA's fault. There's a reason they didn't release it until after his death. Do you know where your towel is?
    • by Macgrrl (762836)

      The radio 'adaptions' [1] of the 4th and 5th book were also awesome. No matter how I try, I still haven't managed to finish either the book or the audiobook of the Eoin Coffler 6th book.

      [1] In the tradition of the radio vs. book vs. TV vs. movie, while the stories may contain the same general themes and over arching plot, there will often be significant differences in the details, DNA always did this deliberately as he felt different mediums deserved different delivery.

      • Just my opinion, but as I have read the 6th book, right to the bitter end, my advice would be "don't bother".

        Spend that time on something more worthy and rewarding.

    • by Jahta (1141213)

      The thing with HHTHG is that, although the major parts of the plot are pretty much consistent, there are differences in the detail between the book, TV, and radio versions. So they are all worth checking out.

      My personal favourites are the books. I've read the first three several times and still enjoy them. Once was enough for #5 though! And I've no plans to read the Eoin Colfer one.

    • I love the radio show too, and it was a real treat when I got to see Simon Jones in a play in Minneapolis a few years back.

  • Books (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jake Dodgie (53046) <tim@nodalpoint.COUGARcom.au minus cat> on Tuesday September 03, 2013 @11:57PM (#44753327) Homepage

    I have been collecting scifi/fantasy books for over 40 years, whereas my VCR collection is now collecting dust and my DVD/bluray collection is only 15 years old.

  • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Wednesday September 04, 2013 @12:34AM (#44753503)

    This poll was released around 3:00 UTC, long after the stereotypical septuagenarian has gone to bed in the US or Europe. So almost zero votes for magazines or radio right now. Let's see how that changes in a few hours . . .

    BTW, Darth Vader from planet Vulcan thinks it'll be magazines FTW. I was too scared to disagree.

    • FYI old people often sleep much less than younger people.

    • by mooingyak (720677)

      This poll was released around 3:00 UTC, long after the stereotypical septuagenarian has gone to bed in the US or Europe. So almost zero votes for magazines or radio right now. Let's see how that changes in a few hours . . .

      BTW, Darth Vader from planet Vulcan thinks it'll be magazines FTW. I was too scared to disagree.

      Fun observation about /. polls: if you check the results in the first half hour to an hour or so, it tends to be representative of how they'll look 12 hours or a week later. Seems as though there's enough of a variety of geeks (age, nationality, whatever) awake at pretty much any time to get a fair sample.

      Unless it involves Halloween. Because the Aussies really don't like Halloween.

  • by Kenshin (43036) <kenshin AT lunarworks DOT ca> on Wednesday September 04, 2013 @12:37AM (#44753525) Homepage

    Gotta say TV. Nothing beats memories of tuning in week to week to see the latest instalment...

    • by Macgrrl (762836)

      I remember listening to the Hitchhikers Guide on radio back in the late 70's. My sister and I would sit in front of the radio with rapt attention. The books came out several years later, the TV series some more years after that. I was given CDs of the radio series for my 21st birthday.

  • Holodeck was an option, but not short story? I'm offended.
    • It seems like books or magazines would cover short stories (depending on if you prefer to see things as they come out or read anthologies of stories).
    • I prefer my sci-fi in the form of a blipvert.

      • I prefer my sci-fi in the form of a blipvert.

        Be careful Bryce, those things can be dangerous. Besides, remember that Edison [wikipedia.org] almost died trying to investigate their use...

  • Humans are visual animals, we process pictures better than anything else. So well-directed cinematic arts are the most effective storytelling media.

    But cinema is just outdated, a relic of the time before television. A film needs to tell the entire story in one go, so the duration always ends up in a shallow band which is long enough to be worth going out for, but not so long that you get tired. It also leaves no opportunities to process bits of what you've seen before you get to the next bits. The serialise

    • by rastos1 (601318)
      How I visualized Dune in my head while reading the book was infinitely better then any other adaptation I came across.
    • by arth1 (260657)

      Humans are visual animals, we process pictures better than anything else. So well-directed cinematic arts are the most effective storytelling media.

      We are imaginative animals; we produce pictures, sounds, smells, tastes and the sense of touch in our minds. When you read a book, you live it without the limits and limitations imposed by cinematic arts.

      • by LainTouko (926420)

        We are imaginative animals; we produce pictures, sounds, smells, tastes and the sense of touch in our minds. When you read a book, you live it without the limits and limitations imposed by cinematic arts.

        Imagining sensory input is pretty much irrelevant to the goals of storytelling. It's a means to an end. The end of storytelling is to convey feelings, and ideas which are linked to feelings. (If plain ideas are what you want to convey, you're better off with non-fiction, so as not to risk being misunderstoo

  • Some scifi films are great. Radio can be too - I remember listening to the original HHG2G [wikipedia.org] series in University dorms! In the end I went with books though
  • by Bigbutt (65939)

    I like how folks seem to equate 'Games' with 'Video Games' (based on the comments I've read so far). With Traveller (and bolt on Judge Dredd) and Shadowrun 5th Edition, you have sci-fi/cyberpunk gaming that doesn't involve the same cut scenes or branches you can't step over (to pull a couple of comments from above). There are quite a few role playing games out that are sci-fi and certainly fantasy starting with D&D. And you're limited only by your imagination.

    [John]

  • Politics...
  • I recall being eight years old, half a century ago. I'd read everything in the classroom, and been bored by it. I went to the library, and picked up, almost at random, Heinleins "Between Planets". It changed my life. I enjoy a good science fiction film, too - though they are few, far between, and lately seem to contain mostly explosions. Book have better special effects.

    • I just found at a garage sale a stack of old Heinlein books. 10c each, I grabbed all of them. Mostly his early stuff from the 1950s. They are quick reads, and pretty simplistic stories, but I am enjoying them immensely. Most of them I read many years ago, during my first experience with science fiction. It's great reading them. I find I mostly don't remember the story, but it refreshes in my mind as I read.
      A bit like seeing an old friend.
  • Babylon Five.

    ...'Nuff said.
    • I agree. But only if I skip the first season. In my opinion the first season was terrible.
      • I agree even more. Really what you want is from half way through series 3 to the end of series 4. Around 30 episodes.

        The earlier stuff is largely episodic star-trek style nonsense, and the later stuff is damaged because they tried to setup large stories and then the series finished prematurely so they didn't get to work them through properly.

      • We are in agreement. When I recommend the show to people, I tell them to start with season 2 after reading a summary of season 1. Season 1 should only actually be watched by die-hard fans of the show, much like the last season of Highlander or the entirety of Star Trek: The Animated Series.
      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        I'm going to have to respectfully disagree.

        The first season is mostly about setup for the payoff years later, but there are also some interesting questions explored in a SF context, like:
        - Christian Science and similar belief systems
        - Labor rights or lack thereof
        - Racism and hate groups
        - Alcoholism and its effects on, well, everything
        - War crimes and what to do about them
        - The death penalty
        - Justifiable homicide in self defense

        They weren't epic fights, but they were stories worth telling and thinking about

  • The basic problem with other media is that they can't get anywhere close to in-depth the way a book can. And you can tell a story in a book that just can't be expressed in other ways: For instance, Harlan Ellison's short stories pack way more punch than his TV scripts ever did, because he can create horrific stuff that can't really be seen, only imagined. There's a reason there is no film version of The Dispossessed or Foundation.

    A big part of this is that books can stop the action and explain a point much

  • by Tom (822)

    SciFi is, ultimately, about telling a story (about the future). So it depends on the story you want to tell.

    Movies and TV (visual media) are great at painting a big-picture impression of a world in full colour, making it come alive. But books are better at going into depth or exploring things not easily put into pictures, such as culture or society. Games are great if you want to explore a personal story and highlight the consequences of decisions. And so on.

    • by petes_PoV (912422)

      SciFi is, ultimately, about telling a story (about the future).

      Proper SF is about asking a question: "What if this happened ... " and exploring one or more possble outcomes. It can use the medium of story-telling to make the asnwer easier to understand, on a human level, but for real SF the story is just the medium, not the end in itself

      • SciFi is, ultimately, about telling a story (about the future).

        Proper SF is about asking a question: "What if this happened ... " and exploring one or more possble outcomes. It can use the medium of story-telling to make the asnwer easier to understand, on a human level, but for real SF the story is just the medium, not the end in itself

        Almost any statement of the form "Proper X is..." is likely to be falling victim to the No True Scotsman fallacy [wikipedia.org].

        Science fiction is, indeed, about telling a story—about the future, or an alternate present or past where the technology level is, at least in some ways, more advanced than it is here and now.

        It's true that one type of science fiction is about exploring the consequences of a particular advance in technology, or change to the timeline, or similar "what if this happened." However, that's far

        • by petes_PoV (912422)

          Almost any statement of the form "Proper X is..." is likely to be falling victim to the No True Scotsman fallacy

          That would be true, except there's no proper One true Scotsman fallacy.

  • We use Netflix, torrents, mp4 etc for our viewing experiences. These are not only Computer but via any modern DvdPlayer app into our TVs. Either way it's just a big monitor but they keyword for this would be "Streaming" and should really be a major voting option at this juncture.
  • I like SF in films, TV, books, games, comics. Probably holodecks once they exist.

    I never heard SF on radio but probably would have been a fan; and never bought the mags, although I read short story collections (and still enjoy new ones online) so in a way I grew up reading Astounding even though I've never seen a copy in my life.

    (I also hate SF in films, TV, books, games and comics. But that's part of being a fan too.)

  • Like reading great stories printed on dead trees.

    screw flying cars, why don't we have plastic books?

  • ...then you really don't know what SF is. All you want is entertainment... and sf is a *lot* more, in some cases, than merely that. I've read thousands of times more worlds and futures than you've ever thought of.

                      mark "and written some"

  • by dicobalt (1536225) on Wednesday September 04, 2013 @01:07PM (#44758021)
    The problem is that every time I start up nuclear power supply these assholes with machine guns show up and take it away.
  • I still prefer books, but movies have improved dramatically over the last 10 years. Books still provide the best bang for the buck, though. There's no artificial limit based upon CGI, investors, or available actors. While there certainly are some very poor sf books, with a simple Google search, you can find a list of hundreds of books that are all very, very good.
  • There is a handful of great sci-fi movies, several tv shows, and really a lot of great books. And a good portion of those movies/tv shows were book adaptations, sometimes very bad adaptations or adaptations that change the book message (the last mismy is one of the worst offenders, but world war z is a more recent example).

    They are different kind of media, is different what you can tell (or how well) in books, movies, comics or games. There are good examples of great science fiction in all, but in numbers

  • While I love good Sci-Fi movies, I prefer reading and letting my imagination create the environments.

    My first love has always been mystery books. I later got into westerns. I didn't get exposed to good Sci-Fi until I was in university. I worked at the library part-time to pay for college and they happened to have a Librarian who was building a high quality SciFi and Fantasy collection. To this day, it's one of the biggest collections in North America.

    http://blogs.unb.ca/iss/2012/03/06/science-fiction-an [blogs.unb.ca]

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday September 04, 2013 @04:26PM (#44760259)

    Radio For me.
    TV, Movies, Game, Comics, (Some) Magazines. Want to give you the visuals on what is happening. And they tend to give you a vision that shortly gets dated. Or just looks bad.

    Books, other then the fact I have a condition that makes it hard for me to read in a straight line (making reading books difficult, without a ruler) , will often go into details that bogs the story down. Sure it is great for fan boys who wants to hear all about the though process of the person but sometimes goes a bit too far.

    Radio tends to give a good balance. You get some sound effects and the actors and express the emotion, and no visuals allows for a lot more of the story telling. Those sound effects don't get so dated. Think of the Hitting a Slinky Lasers, still used today. Or Dr. Who's Tardis noise. It gives you a fuller picture without jamming it down your gullet.

  • Options (Score:3, Funny)

    by gnomff (2740801) on Wednesday September 04, 2013 @04:33PM (#44760341)
    Missing options:
    - Direct neural interface
    - Cowboyneal's flipbook
    - I just use my tasp
  • Some 7,000 of them [lawrenceperson.com], actually, the vast majority hardback first editions. And I'm an SF writer myself.

    So I'm a little off the standard deviation.

  • I literally cannot answer this one.

    Books are good for sci-fi because they can easily focus on the "science" aspect of it. Asimov, Clarke... books are brilliant for the speculative subgenre of science fiction. But they're also not easy to get into, and I don't find them as immediately enjoyable as other forms.

    Movies work well because they can show, not tell. Detailed descriptions don't work well in books, but in movies, you can do a lot of world-building in the background. TV could work well for this, but it

    • by ouija147 (467204)

      I have to agree with gman003. I can't answer this either

      I know "Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks"

      Instead of the throw away choice of "Holodeck", how about "All of the above"

  • I prefer the one where Cowboy Neal reads the book to me, with accompanying finger puppet theater.

  • The most imaginative, innovative science I have found with the biggest mindfucks have been in short story magazines like the old "Analog"

The economy depends about as much on economists as the weather does on weather forecasters. -- Jean-Paul Kauffmann

 



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