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.
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.
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.
Planet of Exile★★★★☆
Ursula K. Le Guin A tighter story than Rocannon’s World, with better-drawn characters, and more ambitious in its worldbuilding and themes.
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.
Stan Lee’s Starborn #1
Stan Lee, Chris Roberson and Khary Randolph An unpublished writer discovers that the science fiction saga he’s been building since childhood is actually very, very real.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 Trek: Picard - Season 1★★★☆☆I have mixed feelings about the first season of Picard. But later seasons have given me a new appreciation for it.
Star Trek: Picard - Season 2★★★☆☆Hard to pin down, with a weird start, then a few good time travel episodes, before throwing in not just the kitchen sink but everything in the sink.
Star Trek: Picard - Season 3★★☆☆☆If season one was like The Last Jedi, this is The Rise of Skywalker, complete with gratuitously resurrected villains, young characters freaking out about their genetics, a family/found family theme that only sort of makes sense, and a galactic-level threat that can only be defeated by taking out that one resurrected villain.
Star Wars: Andor - Season One★★★★☆A more serious take on Star Wars, with a bit more personal scope showing how oppression grinds people down, and what sacrifices rebellion can require.
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 End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking)★★★★★
Katie Mack An engaging read for the general audience about what we currently know about the history and structure of the universe and what that knowledge – and the pieces we don’t know – might mean for its future and eventual end.
The Outer Worlds (so far)★★★★★Immersive space RPG that at once satirizes corporate control while asking you to make hard choices within it.
Under Alien Skies★★★★★
Philip Plait A fun look at what it would be like to visit other planets or star systems, weaving together sci-fi scenarios, the science behind them, and the history of how those discoveries were made.
Worlds of Exile and Illusion★★★★☆
Ursula K. Le Guin Interesting to see Le Guin as she’s developing her craft. Not the best place to start with her work, but absolutely worth reading.