The Best Year in Science Fiction: 1982

No question: 1982 must be the best year in science fiction history. These 365 days gave birth to Blade Runner, Star Trek II, ET, Tron and The Thing, to name just a few.

Face it, 1982 changed the face of film forever. Steven Spielberg's E.T. is still at the top of the list of all time blockbuster films. Which not only encouraged the public's interest in the great beyond, but it pushed the "friendly alien" motif out of the skies, and right into the public's bedroom closets. E.T. was the new Mickey Mouse.

Then there was Blade Runner, whose filthy neon cityscapes forever changed the way we would envision a metropolitan tomorrow. In fact, just about every other gritty future-world has a Blade Runner nod splayed across a skyscraper somewhere. It is, without a doubt, the most arresting visualization of the future ever created. And on the flip side from the dirty underbelly of cyberpunk in Blade Runner, was the crisp and cold visualizations of Tron, also released this year. When you think about it just about every iconic visualization of the future came out of 1982.

The Best Year in Science Fiction: 1982

Other important films in 1982: The Thing, Dark Crystal, The Secret of NIMH, Poltergeist, Swamp Thing... and oh yeah, a little film called Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, easily the best Star Trek film ever created, turning many casual Trek fans into full-blown Trekkers.

But what about television? There was a lot of important TV happening this year besides the season finale of Dallas. Knight Rider premiered, as did Danger Mouse (which kicked Mighty Mouse's rodent behind). And let's not forget, Raymond Briggs' book The Snowman was animated, and to this very day is still re-aired every Christmas, terrifying children all around the globe.

And in the world of books, Stephen King's launched his Dark Tower series, which started with The Gunslinger in '82. As well as L. Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth - which we really should be thankful for, just for giving us the monstrosity that was John Travolta's alien hairdo.

As a whole 82 felt like an all-encompassing collaboration of the many previous year's hard work, resulting in the cream of the crop.