I received the following news link from about two dozen sources today: Syfy network shifts away from broad dramas and B-movies to its genre roots as it attempts to find the next “The Walking Dead” or “Game of Thrones.”

Apparently, SyFy is looking to produce a space opera, the SF equivalent of The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones.  Presumably, a serialized show with intriguing characters and relationships, twists and turns, surprises galore.  Maybe, oh, off the top of my head, something like…

THIS?
THIS?

Excerpt from the March 13th, 2014 article: “The network shifts away from broad dramas and B-moves to its genre roots as it attempts to find the next “The Walking Dead” or “Game of Thrones”.

Excerpt from the Dark Matter series overview: “What Game of Thrones did for the fantasy genre and The Walking Dead did for the horror genre, we want to do for the scifi genre…”

How perfect!  I’ll have my people call your people (phone calls or names, depending on how things pan out).

2In other SF t.v.-related developments, it looks like Frederik Pohl’s Gateway  maybe be headed to a t.v. (or, knowing many of you, laptop/computer) near you: EOne & De Laurentiis Co. To Adapt Frederik Pohl’s Sci-Fi Classic …  A great book with plenty of t.v. potential – so much so, in fact, that it’s been on my radar for years now.  As recently as December, I was pitching a production company that it would make a great television series.

“A great idea for a series. An asteroid is discovered near Venus that contains thousands of ancient alien ships. Each ship is good for one return trip to a pre-programmed destination, and the crews don’t know where they are going or for how long until they get there. Sometimes they return with amazing stories and new technology, sometimes they return as lumps of molten metal, or don’t return at all.” (http://momentumbooks.com.au/blog/ten-science-fiction-books-that-would-make-great-tv-series/).

1This follows the news that, back in February, FreemantleMedia acquired the film & television rights to Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.  This one would be much trickier to adapt but, like Gateway, has enormous potential in the right hands – and with the right creative vision.

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 4.26.06 PMAlso this morning, I received this link: http://www.gateworld.net/news/2014/03/stargates-legacy-a-video-introduction/ to an article and first instalment of a Gateworld column by longtime Stargate fan Adam Barnard.  In it, he discusses what the franchise has meant to him and his plans to spotlight three personally meaningful episodes from each of the Stargate shows: SG-1, Atlantis, and Universe.  According to Adam: “ I will examine three episodes from each of the three Stargate series — SG-1Atlantis, and Universe — that I found to be specifically noteworthy. Not because they were the most entertaining or flashiest, but because they were unique, thought provoking, inspiring, or communicative of a theme or idea that resonated with me.” Interesting, no?  So, which three episodes of each series left a lasting impression on you?  How has Stargate influenced your lives?  Head on over to Gateworld and weigh in with your thoughts…

1

Speaking of Gateworld, I’ve received oodles of emails (I do like the sound of that. Say it.  “Oodles of emails”!) directing me to this story on Gateworld: BOOM! Unfilmed Stargate: Extinction Movie Script May Be A Comic Series

Alas, nothing much for me to say here outside of: 1. Sounds like a terrific idea, 2. BOOM! Studios produces awesome titles, 3. Ultimately, the decision or whether Stargate continues to live on as the television franchise we all love, or is rebooted for the big screen, is MGM’s to make.

Finally, recent releases, and upcoming releases, from some of the authors who have kindly taken the time to come chat with us in the past:

1

The Compleat Crow by Brian Lumley 

To many thousands of readers world-wide Titus Crow is the psychic sleuth–the cosmic voyager and investigator–of Brian Lumley’s Cthulhu Mythos novels, from The Burrowers Beneath to Elysia.  But before The Burrowers and Crow’s Transition, his exploits were chronicled in a series of short stories and novellas uncollected in the USA except in limited editions. Now these stories can be told again. From Inception which tells of Crow’s origins, to The Black Recalled, a tale of vengeance from beyond the grave, here in one volume, from the best-selling author of the epic Necroscope series, is The Complete Crow.

The author visited us to discuss his novel, NecroscopeNovember 16, 2008: Author Brian Lumley Answers Your Questions

1The End is Nigh edited by John Joseph Adams

Edited by acclaimed anthologist John Joseph Adams and bestselling author Hugh Howey, THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH is a series of three anthologies of apocalyptic fiction. THE END IS NIGH focuses on life before the apocalypse. THE END IS NOW turns its attention to life during the apocalypse. And THE END HAS COME focuses on life after the apocalypse. 

Visited us to discuss The Living Dead zombie anthology: February 5, 2009: Editor J.J. Adams Answers Your Questions

1The Time Traveler’s Almanac edited by Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer – Available March 18th

The Time Traveler’s Almanac is the largest and most definitive collection of time travel stories ever assembled. Gathered into one volume by intrepid chrononauts and world-renowned anthologists Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, this book compiles more than a century’s worth of literary travels into the past and the future that will serve to reacquaint readers with beloved classics of the time travel genre and introduce them to thrilling contemporary innovations.

Author Jeff VanderMeer visited with us to discuss his novel City of Saints and MadmenJanuary 29, 2009: Author Jeff Vandermeer Sweeps In – Like A Mini-Hurricane!

He also has this novel out:

1Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.

This is the twelfth expedition.  Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them, and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another, that change everything.

Which happens to be our April Book of the Month Club pick (as if you didn’t know!).

1Working God’s Mischief (Instrumentalities of the Night) By Glen Cook

Arnhand, Castauriga, and Navaya lost their kings. The Grail Empire lost its empress. The Church lost its Patriarch, though he lives on as a fugitive. The Night lost Kharoulke the Windwalker, an emperor amongst the most primal and terrible gods. The Night goes on, in dread.  The world goes on, in dread.  The ice builds and slides southward. 

New kings come. A new empress will rule. Another rump polishes the Patriarchal Throne.   But there is something new under the sun. The oldest and fiercest of the Instrumentalities has been destroyed–by a mortal. There is no new Windwalker, nor will there ever be.

The world, battered by savage change, limps toward its destiny. And the ice is coming. 

Author Glen Cook visited with us to discuss his novel The Black CompanyOctober 7, 2008: Author Glen Cook Answers Your Questions

 1Labyrinth of Stars (A Hunter Kiss novel) by Marjorie M. Liu

After the Aetar nearly kill Maxine’s unborn child, and a betrayal within her own ranks leaves Maxine’s husband, Grant, poisoned and dying, Maxine is forced to attack a race of beings that possesses almost unlimited power. Doing so will require she make a deal with the devil—the devil that lives inside her—risking both her sanity and her soul as she slowly transforms into something more than human.
 
But even that might not be enough to save Grant, because the very thing that Maxine is becoming is destined to destroy the world.

Author Marjorie M. Liu visited with us to discuss her novel The Iron HuntJanuary 17, 2011: The Iron Hunt, by Marjorie M. Liu

1Her Husband’s Hands and Other Stories by Adam-Troy Castro

A utopia where the most privileged get to do whatever they want to do with their lives, indulging their slightest whims via the bodies whose wombs they occupy; a soldier’s wife tries to love a husband who is little more than backup memory; a society in which the citizens all make merry for nine remarkable days, and on the tenth get a taste of hell; the last ragged survivors of an expedition to a savage backwater world hunt down an infamous war criminal; a divorcing couple confront their myriad troubles to gain resolution, reason, respect – but not without sacrifice. Introducing these stories (and more) from Adam-Troy Castro, whose short fiction has been nominated for two Hugos, three Stokers, and eight Nebulas.

Author Adam Troy-Castro visited with us to discuss his novel Emissaries from the DeadNovember 15, 2009: Author Adam-Troy Castro Answers Your Questions!

1Like a Mighty Army by David Weber

For centuries, the world of Safehold, last redoubt of the human race, lay under the unchallenged rule of the Church of God Awaiting. The Church permitted nothing new—no new inventions, no new understandings of the world.  What no one knew was that the Church was an elaborate fraud—a high-tech system established by a rebel faction of Safehold’s founders, meant to keep humanity hidden from the powerful alien race that had destroyed old Earth.

Then awoke Merlyn Athrawes, cybernetic avatar of a warrior a thousand years dead, felled in the war in which Earth was lost. Monk, warrior, counselor to princes and kings, Merlyn has one purpose: to restart the history of the too-long-hidden human race.

And now the fight is thoroughly underway. The island empire of Charis has declared its independence from the Church, and with Merlyn’s help has vaulted forward into a new age of steam-powered efficiency. Fending off the wounded Church, Charis has drawn more and more of the countries of Safehold to the cause of independence and self-determination. But at a heavy cost in bloodshed and loss—a cost felt by nobody more keenly that Merlyn Athrawes.

The wounded Church is regrouping. Its armies and resources are vast. The fight for humanity’s future isn’t over, and won’t be over soon…

Author David Weber visited with us to discuss his novel On Basilisk StationJanuary 17, 2009: Author David Weber Answers Yours Questions

If there’s anyone I’ve missed, let me know!

30 thoughts on “March 13, 2014: Genre News! SF, Fantasy, television, and literature!

  1. I refuse to get my hopes up for a Syfy, big-budget no-holds-barred version of “Dark Matter”! Well, maybåe a little. That would be SO cool! But, we’ll see.

    I’d have to put a lot of thought into how and which SG episodes affected me – there were so many that were so darn good.

    Some interesting sounding books there – I’m well into Annihilation already.

    Weren’t we supposed to be writing MGM about turning “Extinction” into a graphic novel?

  2. Re: Adapting scifi books for film
    Finally picked up READY PLAYER ONE and am more than halfway through it. Who else has read it?

    I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that the book is either a product-placement manager’s dream…or nightmare. IMDb says the planned film is in development; could licensing issues be one of the reasons it’s stuck there?

    1. Deni, I think Major Davis died heroically in the invasion, but his long-lost bastard brother, John Pope, is kicking alien ass–just not on Syfy.
      *heeheehee*

  3. Syfail = meh… If you are able to bring a series to it or if MGM wakes up and continues or reboots Stargate maybe I’ll watch it again. As soon as Warehouse 13 ends this summer I am done with SyFy.

    I do hope one of your projects gets picked up. 🙂

  4. nice list. got to download a few for the road trip. And it would be terrific to see Dark Matter picked up by a network able and willing to do it justice. Fingers crossed.

  5. My thoughts on Stargate…

    Sadly (I suppose), I’ve kinda moved on. I’m not much of a sentimentalist, or whatever you want to call it, but once I’ve experienced something I just like to move on and not dwell too much the past. For me, Atlantis was special, the Wraith were special, but I have that whole ‘been there, done that’ feel about it and I’m just not interested in stirring up old feelings. It’s like when you look at old pictures of yourself when you were young and healthy and pretty and realize that now you’re old and fat and ugly, and suddenly you start hating those old pictures for reminding you of what you’ve lost.

    (I have a different feeling towards things that I’ve watched/read for sheer enjoyment, without any emotional involvement – those things I can experience over and over…like Agatha Christie books or episodes of Columbo.)

    das

  6. @gforce:

    I’m in the same “not getting my hopes up” boat about SyFy; there’s been too many good shows cancelled, too many lost opportunities, too many low-budget reality shows, and maybe a little too much wrestling to believe they’re ready to change their ways just yet. Picking up Dark Matter or maybe a made for SyFy Stargate Extinction Movie would go a long way towards making me believe they’ve changed their ways. Here’s hoping though!

    And I’m ready to write that email or snail mail letter to MGM pushing for an SGA Extinction graphic novel…when do we get started?

    @Joe:

    The Heechee Saga would be a great series for TV (are you all listening, SyFy?)…almost akin to Stargate in the premise of “where does this combination of addresses/ships take us this week?” I loved reading the various Heechee books many years ago and Beyond the Blue Event Horizon was my favorite, mostly due to the concept of being able to peek inside black holes. I may re-buy them for my Kindle for my up coming plane flights; in addition to Annihilation of course ;-).

  7. Oodles of emails is almost as fun as saying oodles of poodles.

    I would absolutely be ecstatic if the next Game of Thrones or Walking Dead could be a Syfy show about sci-fi. We’ll see what we will see. (See what I did there?)

    What three episodes impacted me the most from the franchise I love the most? Uuugh!

    Well.. I actually think about The Nox a great deal. There’s a line from it that’ll pop into my head over and over. “The very young do not always do as they are told.” That episode makes me feel young.. inexperienced… human. We humans truly do have much to learn. For SGA.. I don’t know if I can pick just one. Mainly because Rodney distracts me. Sunday hit me the hardest. That episode is one I can’t rewatch. It’s like watching a real friend die. For SGU it’s probably Time. How many versions of the team had to sacrifice themselves for a later version to survive? It was unsettling.

    It’s wonderful how many authors stop by here to chat with everyone. It’s fantastic how you make that happen.

    In news at home, Foxy became extremely playful. She was pouncing at me and trying to get me to play with her. It was adorable! She’s such a thief. She has stolen all of our hearts. No barking still. I guess she just doesn’t bark.

    ~~Trish

  8. i’d love to see the stargate tv franchise brought back again!! (yes, i know, duh :p)

    but it’ll take: 1- the fans coming together to let mgm know they still want more. 2- someones in the tv industry coming forward and fighting for bringing the tv franchise back. and/or 3- mgm taking a real deep and knowledgeable look at the tv franchise (vrs the movie franchise) and deciding it’s worth($) bringing back.

    but #1 is too apathetic to do anything. #2 is too apathetic or uninterested to do anything. #3 is too ignorant to realize to do anything.

    it’s really mgm that needs to get the ball rolling. they are the linchpin to all of this.

  9. I don’t have much faith in Syfy either. Ever since they canceled SGA I feel like they’ve been floundering around, trying to find a new direction by following everyone elses old direction. Day late and a dollar short every time. Good luck to you in getting Dark Matter made, but I hope you can get it done by a better network.
    I’d love to see Extinction in any form just to see what would have happened to our guys and gals, but I really am disappointed it won’t ever be live action with the old actors, because to tell you the truth, the actors who played the roles were a major part of my attraction to the story. It would kind of be like fanfic to me in a way, although I’d love it if the Extinction comic Josses those ridiculous Legacy novels.

  10. Joe given your history with syfy i would have to say you should have a strong chance at getting dark matter into production and i hepe
    Syfy will change back to the sci fi channel and maybe there is hope for a future for stargate coming back as well very excited to see the network finally seeing that it screwed up major and is now preparing to fix there mistakes.

  11. The only Syfy show I watch now is Lost Girl. I used to be on the Syfy website playing the Battlestar poker and earning points to pimp out my Raptor all day, and I’d be watching Syfy most nights, back in the day.

    I’m getting over a hell of a cold; I’ve had no sense of smell for days which makes my daily bus rides more pleasant. Just watched Out of the Furnace which got too thrilling at one point, had to pause for a couple hours and build up the nerve to make it through the last quarter of the film; Woody Harrelson is a terrific villain.

  12. P.S. I’ve read one…or was it two?…of the Safehold series by Weber. Those books are a good but slow read–much like James Michener’s novels and non-fiction.

  13. Are you talking about sci-fi actually being shown on Syfy? I’ll believe it when I see it!

    I have The Time Traveller’s Almanac sitting on my “to read” shelf. It’s massive!

    I finished Annihilation a couple of days ago. I’m interested to see what other people think of it.

    @baterista9: I read Ready Player One about a year ago. I loved it! It is a brand licensing minefield but I don’t think it’s insurmountable.

  14. My faith in Syfy is in low minimum.
    What matters for us here is that you may bring up Dark Matter or any other SF fiction that is yours. 😆

  15. Syfy is the sad, sad channel now. I enjoy Faceoff, but every other reality show is just pathetic. I will watch Warehouse 13, hubby likes Lost Girl and Bitten, and Continuum, but those don’t interest me at all. I did go on a Ghost Mine binge, rolled my eyes a lot and was completely freaked out by the last episode. Creepy. If they faked it, someone did a fine job. BBC has better scifi with the STNG reruns.

  16. Missing in action here, got a cold,flu or something, it sucks, so hope it gets better soon,sleeping alot.. thanks for the books information Joe, will have to ck the books out.

  17. It would be wonderful to see Dark Matter come to life on the small screen as a series. I haven’t watched Syfy since Universe ended – except for the occasional movie.

    Thanks for the book update! I’ll have to look for some of those titles. Once I finish my reading homework. 😉

  18. Fingers crossed that SyFy will have some interest in Dark Matter. That might give me a singular reason to watch the network again.

    The article is interesting. McGoldrick almost sounds apologetic. Without actually apologizing for the complete lack of sci-fi on SyFy. A good first step might be to can the wrestling.

  19. Hey Joe. Been a while since I left a comment on your blog but I found this really awesome video on youtube. A game called space engineers has recently been released in alpha and someone designed a large-scale model of the Destiny. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCR9bNleoTE

    I think it looks pretty cool.

  20. Was that Major Davis? Waves!!!

    Yay on the Gateway series!!!!!! It’s hard to believe that Syfy is not continuing in the direction of becoming “the paranormal channel” .

    Thanks for information about new books. You’ve brought me a few new favorite authors.

    Just got back from our Chattanooga trip. It was fun but I’m glad to be back home. Oh and we saw Mr. Peabody. It was fun for nostalgic reasons but it didn’t hold much adult appeal (like the Incredibles). We saw Nonstop and it was ok. I voted to see The Monuments Men but was outvoted. I believe MM would have been better than Nonstop but Liam Neesom is always watchable.

    My iPad worked great until this morning. When I turned it on, it had a little nervous breakdown and we just watched it open/close (rinse/repeat) until I turned it off. Instead of re-installing apps, we are trying the easy solution of removing the cover to see if that helps. It’s an Otterbox cover and the iPad IS working fine after we removed it. The iPad feels so fragile without the big rubber protective box. I’m a klutz, this could be bad news. 🙁

    Can you believe the news of flight 370? Everyday they come out with more “news of the weird” with it.

    Did I miss anything big and important?

    1. Tam, did you try a hard boot? Hold the round button on front down, then also hold down power switch at top of the iPad.

  21. @Ponytail: I figure that doesn’t necessarily mean there will be actual singing. Although, if there’s anyone that could pull that off it would be Joe. I mean writing it, not the actual singing. But then, I’ve never have actually *heard* him sing, so…

  22. Just reading my issue of Entertainment Weekly and under books, wouldn’t you know it, there was a story about Annihilation, They gave it a B+.

  23. baterista9: Thanks, I’ll try the hard boot if it has another breakdown. I’m hoping it’s just the case. Then I’ll do a little surgery on the Otterbox cover. 😉

  24. Hi Joe!

    Just wanted to again thank you for re-posting it. Really miss all of you guys. Now that I’m gearing up to re-watch episodes and write about them I’m getting hammered with nostalgia. Those were good times. 🙂

    – Adam B.

  25. Funny how the wheel turns, just as the crew of Destiny (3 years) are due to come out of stasis. If only it could happen! 🙂

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