Michael Flynn Detailed and thoughtful exploration of first contact with aliens in the midst of the Black Death.
Flash Forward (TV Pilot)★★★★★The first episode of Flash Forward is one of the best-constructed pilot episodes I've seen in a long time, especially of an arc-driven series.
Robert J. Sawyer A fascinating exploration of time, destiny and free will after everyone on Earth gets a glimpse of the same moment 20 years in the future.
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.
John Scalzi The sequel to Lock In is a fast read with intriguing concepts, fun characters and an interesting mystery. This time locked-in FBI agent Chris Shane investigates the death of a locked-in athlete in a sport too extreme for human bodies, played with remotely-controlled robots.
Key Out Of Time★★★★☆
Andre Norton Lost in time, lost in space, out of their depth, a handful of humans are caught in the middle of a four-way power struggle on the high seas of an alien world.
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.
Mysterious Galaxy★★★★★Bookstore specializing in sci-fi and mysteries, involved in local community and conventions.
Outer Wilds★★★★★A fascinating game of discovery in a finely-crafted, tiny solar system trapped in a time loop. In a ship made of plywood, sheet metal and duct tape. Where you can roast marshmallows on every planet.
Robert J. Sawyer Intriguing premise, well explored: Quantum entanglement, psychopaths, and mob behavior. Can we reboot humanity amid a rising tide of xenophobia?
Ready Player One★★★☆☆
Ernest Cline Back when I read it, the nostalgia and scavenger hunt were enough for me. Now, not so much.
Ursula K. Le Guin A serviceable quest story that melds fantasy and sci-fi. Engaging enough, but I'd only recommend it to someone who's read her later work.
Sue Burke A fascinating take on space colonization, intelligence, and language, following multiple generations of humans on a world dominated by sapient plants.
Catherynne Valente Fun sci-fi social satire from Catherynne Valente: The world is a mess, but we can find the sublime in chaos.
Stan Lee’s Starborn #1
Stan Lee, Chris Roberson, Khary Randolph An unpublished writer discovers that the science fiction saga he's been building since childhood is actually very, very real. And it wants him dead.
Andre Norton An adventure woven through the post-war struggles of an alien world, with humans caught on both sides, exploring identity, colonialism and prejudice. Definitely worth the read.
Andre Norton A standard survival adventure with mismatched partners and ruthless rivals, only with weird stuff going on and in space.
Star Trek: Discovery - Season 1★★★★☆Star Trek with the pace of Farscape, weaving through existing lore and focused on one crew member's quest for redemption.
Star Trek: Discovery - Season 2★★★☆☆The stand-alone episodes are good, and the Burnham/Spock family dynamics, but the main arc gets really frustrating in the second half.
Star Trek: Discovery - Season 3★★★★☆I liked Season 3 a lot better than season 2. It finally got to be its own Trek. And they did some really interesting things with the future of the 'verse and how the Discovery crew adapted to it.
Star Trek: Lower Decks★★★★☆Hilarious self-parody of TNG-era Star Trek. Funny on its own, but even better if you know the shows it's riffing on.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi★★★★☆The performances are way better than most of the prequel trilogy, and the story is the first theatrical Star Wars to break new ground in ages.
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace★★★★☆Better than I remember. It’s well constructed, and there are incredible subtleties and thematic elements hidden among the flashy (and cheesy) A-plot.
The Defiant Agents
Andre Norton An enjoyable space western with Apaches as the good guys, wrapped up in the cold war and tossing in the Golden Horde, a lost alien city and Russians with a mind-control ray.
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.
The Outer Worlds (so far)★★★★★Immersive space RPG that at once satirizes corporate control while asking you to make hard choices within it.
The Time Machine★★★★☆
H.G. Wells A bit dry, but it draws you in, and if the plot is simple, it's enough to wrap around some thought-provoking speculation about the future of humanity - and a critique of industrial society.
The Time Traders★★★★☆
Andre Norton A fun time-travel spy thriller through the bronze age that's very rooted in the cold war.
Transformers (Movie)★★★☆☆Better constructed than I expected, with impressive effects, plausible story logic, but a lot of the humor is forced and it feels like they missedthe big picture in trying to get the details right.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen★☆☆☆☆In some ways it wasn't as awful as I'd heard, and in some ways it was worse. I'm glad I waited for the second-run showing and only spent $1.75.
Robert J. Sawyer It's an interesting take on memory and identity, but not one of Sawyer's best.