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Firefly & Serenity Tops New Scientist Space Best Science Fiction Works

Chris Beaumont

Sunday 30 October 2005, by Webmaster

The website dedicated to space technology and exploration conducted a poll to determine just what everyone thinks the best science fiction work is. The poll encompassed all of the various media, books, television, film, everything.

They released two lists, one for the worldwide vote and a second for just the US. Surprisingly, the two lists were rather similar. Let’s take a look at them, shall we?

The lists are theirs, the comments are mine.


Firefly (TV): Not bad for a series canceled after half a season. This was a potentially great series that was not given the time to flourish. I wonder what heights it could have scaled?

Serenity (film): I’m not surprised to this so high, but I also don’t think it is the greatest science fiction work either. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved the film and Firefly, but it is also the most recent entry. Therefore, the freshest in the minds of the voters.

Farscape (TV): This is one of my all time favorite television shows. The great combination of drama, romance, action, science fiction, and comedy in a wholly unique setting, what’s not to like? I would call this my number 1. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (book): It has been so long since I read this, but it is definitely among the greats in printed science fiction. It is wildly original and has stood the test of time.

Babylon 5 (TV): Another great, which I discovered too late to see in it’s first run. A cohesive five year tale. It expects a great amount of time be invested in it. It is hard to jump aboard mid flight, but it is definitely worth the effort.

Battlestar Galactica (TV): Now, I am assuming this is for the current series. I think it may be a bit early to call it one of the greats, but it is definitely on its way!

Dune (book): Again, have not read it for a long time, but the combination of the fantastic setting and the political intrigue is a great mix. Enders Game (book): I am completely unfamiliar with this book. Comments anyone?

Empire Strikes Back (movie): Absolute classic. Surpasses the original and fills the tragic middle chapter of a three act play. Great performances, music, it all is just about perfect.

Dr. Who (TV): What a long and storied history the good Doctor has. I cannot claim to know a lot about the various series, but I remember enjoying the shows I came across. Although, as a child I was confused by the different faces I saw.


Firefly (TV): Not only popular around the world, but here in the US as well. You hear that Fox?

Serenity (film): For as popular as this seems to be, the box office has been a disappointment.

Farscape (TV): Still my number one, among TV shows anyway.

Enders Game (book): Still haven’t read it.

Battlestar Galactica (TV): I cannot wait for new episodes to return in January. This was must see TV this summer.

Dune (book): I should go back and read this. Or maybe just watch the excellent miniseries from a few years back.

Empire Strikes Back (movie): The end to this is one of the best of all cinema.

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (book): So long and thanks for all the fish.

Babylon 5 (TV): I wonder what direction this would have gone in, had it gone beyond it’s five year run? And I don’t mean Crusade.

A New Hope (movie): This is where it all started for me. The granddaddy of the space opera epic.

I am not sure how scientific this poll was, but it gave some interesting results. For one thing, no Star Trek of any flavor on either list. You would have thought that would have been a must. Plus the ranking of Firefly and Serenity atop both lists. For that matter, the similarities between the two lists to begin with, they are near mirrors of each other.

I had never heard of NewScientist.com prior to this announcement, but they have been around for 10 years and seem to have a high user base. NewScientistSpace.com, where this poll was, is a new addition to the family, specializing in outer space and astronomy. I will have to check the site out further in the future.

So, what do you think of the poll results?