I finished my first (completed) novel a few weeks ago, and I'm brainstorming for the next one. The last one was urban fantasy. For the second novel I'm going to get back to my roots and write a science fiction story.
In addition to brainstorming, I'm doing market research and just getting a feel for what's out there. I'm trying to expose myself to as much good science fiction as possible.
If any of you have some good sci fi you'd be willing to recommend to me, please do so by leaving a comment. I'm looking for books, movies, television shows, etc. Please tell me why you like what you're recommending. Good story? Great characters? Cool ideas? Also, please tell me what sub-genre it is (if you know). Ie, space opera, hard sci-fi, military sci-fi, dystopian sci-fi, mundane sci-fi, etc.
I'm looking for not only books that are well-written, but also cool ideas--innovations you especially liked. For instance, I love the book Lady of Mazes by Karl Schroeder for his look at the future of the internet and virtual reality.
Also, if there are any nonfiction books, etc. that you would recommend as a resource, lay it on me. For instance books by Stephen Hawking or Michio Kaku or Discovery Channel's How the Universe Works.
Thanks in advance. I know you guys have great taste!