For fans of Joss Whedon – creator of Firefly (a brilliant, though short-lived Sci-Fi series) comes “Dr Horrible”. This is a three act musical comedy that he made during the writer’s strike (ie. no studio involvement). Definitely worth watching! [Joss also did Buffy the Vampire Slayer (but I forgive him) hence he has a cult following that melted the servers they originally posted this to. An additional 2.2 million downloads in its first week on iTunes too.]
I also get surprised by the number of people that haven’t read Iain M Banks book – my favourite sci-fi author (though he does contemporary fiction too). There’s a great intro on the Culture civilization that spans many of his books here.
I guess while I’m at it, if you’re doing fantasy fiction is there really anyone better that Guy Gavriel Kay?