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Top 5: Sci-Fi Faves from the Authors of Glorious!

We’re not sure we agree with Picasso on anything, but he had a little something going when he said ‘all art is theft.’ Because we know that all storytellers are shaped by their favorite stories and the moments they love.

We took a moment to chat with one of our favorite author duos, Gregory Benford and Larry Niven (Glorious) about their favorite works of sci-fi media. Check out their rankings here!


Gregory Benford, physicist, educator, and co-author of the Bowl of Heaven series, loves a lot of the classics. What do you think of his Top 5?

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968 film)
    The grandest of all. Cosmic, visionary, with the sense to just let you watch.”
  2. Blade Runner (1982 film)
    “Second best sf film ever. Phil Dick told me after seeing rushes that it was better than the future he had envisioned; prettier, too.”
  3. The Martian by Andy Weir
    “Some tech errors in a tech-heavy Mars (such as: winds can’t blow over a rocket) but tech-savvy and sarcastic, too.”
  4. Forbidden Planet (1956 film)
    “Wonders of the 1950s, an alien menace you can believe in, but can’t see!”
  5. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951 film)
    Terrific content, though omits the ending of the story it’s based on, ‘Farewell to the Master”: the robot turns and says, “You have not understood. I am the master here.’ That would’ve shaken up the ten year old me!”

Larry Niven, award-winning author of the Ringworld series and co-author the Bowl of Heaven series, mixed some oldies and goodies with one notable modern exception with his sci-fi favorite picks:

  1. Destination Moon (1950 film)
    “[It] hit me hard when I was ten years old. This was to be the future.”
  2. Forbidden Planet (1956 film)
    Forbidden Planet [was] superb science fiction when there wasn’t any.”
  3. Star Trek, The Original Series (specifically the first season)
    “They used actual science fiction writers for the scripts. [It] hit me when my career was just taking off.”
  4. Star Wars, Episodes IV – VI
    “I just love it. And it uses all the older clichés and makes them work.”
  5. The Martian by Andy Weir
    “Hard science fiction throughout. Have you never noticed how often a space tale starts out hard, then diverges into soft fantasy? Like 2001. They almost have to do that, because there’s no upper end to the conquest of the universe. But The Martian stayed tight.”

GREGORY BENFORD is a recipient of the United Nations Medal for Literature, and the author of more than twenty novels, including the Nebula Award-winning Timescape. He teaches physics at the University of California.

LARRY NIVEN is the award-winning author of the Ringworld series, along with many other SFF masterpieces. He has received the Nebula Award, five Hugos, four Locus Awards, two Ditmars, the Prometheus, and the Robert A. Heinlein Award, among other honors.

Order Glorious Here!

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