My first submission is a Space Western, done in the style of Elmore Leonard
I've gotta come clean; I'm a Joss Whedon fanboy. Everything the guy has ever done, and I don't just mean The Avengers, Buffy and Cabin In The Woods (which were all brilliantly executed). I mean everything.
Dollhouse, Angel, Dr Horrible, I even absolutely adored his modern remake of 'Much Ado About Nothing', and I've always found Shakespeare to be a bit inaccessible. Everytime he's gotten a free rein to make a story his, ESPECIALLY when he can make a world around the story, I think it's a [dang] masterpiece.
But maybe the most beloved universe of his for me is the one that was the most short lived, Firefly (and the movie Serenity).
I loved Firefly. If you've never seen it or heard about it (in which case you are most likely a teenager who is woefully under educated in the wonders of quality entertainment, or you're an elderly person who was looking for the number to the diner near your nephew's house or something and just got lost in the interwebs), Firefly follows a cast of misfit characters in their travels across the 'verse' after the Earth's resources have all been used up and humanity has had to scatter into settlements across the stars.
But while it was set in space, the real heart of the show and the whole concept was deeply rooted in classic American Westerns. Not necessarily your 'Magnificent Seven' kind of Westerns (the elderly who stuck around after the 'lost in the interwebs know what I'm talking about), which weren't really Westerns at all but blatant ripoffs of other plots thrown into horses and pistols, but Elmore Leonard Westerns.
Elmore Leonard loved the work-a-day lawmen, and bad guys who aren't really bad, but more are just trying to get along. He's the guy who invented Raylan Givens from Justified, but he's also the guy who wrote '3:10 To Yuma' as well Chili Palmer from the Oscar Winning 'Get Shorty'.
But he's got so many other characters, and Mal from Firefly could easily have been one of them. Mal isn't some super fighter, or even preternaturally gifted gunslinger. He's really got more in common with a former Confederate scout or Captain who is just trying to find his place in the world after the war he fought was over.
And the show had your other typical Western staples; a doctor trying to run from a dirty secret, a hired gun, a skilled but quirkly pilot (or in a Western, he's he a state coach driver, or he's own a boat on the Mississippi or something), a preacher who is actually at odds with significant parts of his faith, as well as a dirty past of his own, a prostitute with a heart of gold (kinda).
What I'd like to see is a Space Western following a bounty Hunter, but not like a Boba Fett kind of deal, and not like a Cowboy Bebop kind of deal (and yes, I'm aware of that show, and well yes.), but a bounty Hunter part Han Solo and part Jimmy McNulty, a flawed but not necessarily anti-hero who travels around collecting bounties on criminals who aren't really much different than himself a lot of the time, who has a crew of loveble and quasi-badass outcasts in an unknown unforgiving Space that's full of people just trying to work a solid-day's job and carve out some kind of sustainable living in whatever desolate planet they end up on.
I'm not sure Id even want aliens. Just space. And some cool technology, but not the kind of 'big brother' tech from dystopian movies where the ruling body is absolutely in control all the time.