Michael Flynn Detailed and thoughtful exploration of first contact with aliens in the midst of the Black Death.
John Scalzi Not sure it's better, but it is more enjoyable than the original, with better characterization and less deus-ex-machina. Same overall story of colonization, corporate greed, enviromnental exploitation and who counts as people, but different enough to enjoy both.
H. Beam Piper An enjoyable tale of first contact, colonialism, environmental stewardship, corporate greed vs. ethics, and most importantly, who counts as "people" on an alien world that turns out not to be uninhabited after all.
Catherynne Valente Fun sci-fi social satire from Catherynne Valente: The world is a mess, but we can find the sublime in chaos.
The Lathe of Heaven★★★★★
Ursula K. Le Guin A surreal tale of dreams changing reality, global stakes anchored by the three people involved. Be careful what you wish for.