Robert Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment options Pohl’s Gateway for TV
by Doc on Oct.03, 2017, under Books, Television
The Walking Dead‘s Robert Kirkman and his Skybound Entertainment has optioned the rights to Frederik Pohl’s 1977 novel [asin=0345475836]Gateway[/asin] for development as a television series.
Gateway is about humanity’s discovery of a space station (dubbed Gateway by the humans) in a hollowed out asteroid, left behind a mysterious long-vanished alien civilization called the Heechee, and food miner Robinette Stetley Broadhead, who leaves Earth after winning the lottery to seek out a better life. It is the first novel in the Heechee saga, comprised of 6 books, and it won the 1977 Nebula and 1978 Hugo and Locus awards, as well as the 1978 John W. Campbell Memorial Award.
Gateway has passed through several hands recently. In 2014, Entertainment One Television and De Laurentiis Co. had optioned the novel for television, and then a year later Syfy announced that it had placed the novel on its own development slate, with Entertainment One Television and Universal Cable Productions teaming up, and David Eick (Battlestar Galactica) and Josh Pate (Falling Skies) executive producing.
Dr. Jerry E. Pournelle 1933-2017
by Doc on Sep.08, 2017, under Books, Obituaries
Author and technology pundit Dr. Jerry E. Pournelle passed away earlier today, according to messages from his son Alex and daughter Jennifer.
I cam across him in so many ways over the years, although we never had the chance to meet in person. I remember his columns in Byte magazine, one of my favorite parts of the magazine, where he discussed using the various things he was sent to review. And like Larry Niven he provided world building in his fiction stories. I was particularly enthralled by the CoDomunium setting, which I discovered through his collaboration with Niven in [asin=0671741926]The Mote In God’s Eye[/asin] and the sequel [asin=B005KSL45M]The Gripping Hand[/asin], where each author played off each other’s strengths.
I’d later encounter Pournelle again in the tech world through the This Week In Tech podcasts, where he was an occasional panel member.
We will certainly miss him.
Eric Balfour teams with Warren Littlefield for These Broken Stars
by Doc on May.03, 2016, under Books
Haven‘s Eric Balfour and Fargo series executive producer Warren Littlefield are teaming up to develop a series based on the 2013 novel [asin=1423171217]These Broken Stars[/asin] from Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (the first book of the Spellbound trilogy). And it’s already received interest from Freeform (formerly ABC Family) and Sky TV. Continuum creator Simon Barry will pen the adaptation, being set up at MGM TV.
Also joining the production are Stephanie Varella (Inland Empire), Ann Johnson and Martin Berneman.
These Broken Stars follows what happens to the luxury starliner Icarus when it is abruptly ripped from hyperspace and crash lands on a planet, with two survivors: Lilac LaRoux, the daughter of the richest man in the universe, and Tarver Merendsen, who came from nothing but became a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.
Robinson’s Red Mars heads straight to series at Spike
by Doc on Dec.08, 2015, under Books, Television
Spike has given a straight-to-series 10 episode order for Red Mars, with plans for it to debut in January 2017, and production starting next summer.
Red Mars is based on the trilogy of novels by Kim Stanley Robinson – [asin=B000QCS914]Red Mars[/asin], [asin=B000QCS91E]Green Mars[/asin] and [asin=B00165EXI8]Blue Mars[/asin] – which details the colonization and terraforming of Mars with very hard science behind it, with a story spanning a couple centuries. The series (at least to start) will follow the first colonists as they deal with the harsh conditions and isolation from Earth.
J. Michael Straczynski (Sense8, Babylon 5), who was tapped to pen the pilot earlier this year, will write, executive produce and be showrunner. Game of Thrones‘s Vince Gerardis will also executive produce, along with David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross for Skydance Productions. JMS’s Studio JMS will also produce with Skydance TV. Robinson will consult for the series.
Author Sir Terry Pratchett passes away at 66
by Doc on Mar.12, 2015, under Books, Obituaries
I sadly found out just a few minutes ago that author Sir Terry Pratchett, best known for his Discworld series of fantasy novels, passed away today at the age of 66 after suffering from Alzheimers since 2007.
Pratchett’s [asin=038553826X]Discworld[/asin], in which many of his over 70 books are set, was a flat world which was sitting on the backs of four enormous elephants, who themselves stood on the back of a giant turtle traveling through space.
He received an OBE for his services to literature in 1998, and was knighted in 2009. In 2001 he was Britain’s second most read author, only behind J.K. Rowling.
He took his illness in stride, and kept writing with his last bpok, an [asin=0544466594]anthology of children’s stories[/asin], released last summer.
His death was announced on his own Twitter account with a sense of Pratchett’s humor and writing style. The first tweet was written in all upper case as he typically represented his character of Death in his books:
AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER.
Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.
Paramount seeks rights to Bester’s The Stars My Destination
by Doc on Mar.02, 2015, under Books, Movies
Paramount is seeking rights to produce a movie based on Alfred Bester’s novel [asin=1876963468]The Stars My Destination[/asin], for Mary Parent (Pacific Rim) to produce.
Widely considered one of the best novels in science fiction (in the U.K. it is better known as Tiger! Tiger!), it tells the story of Gulliver Foyle, a man who is marooned is space for six months as the sole survivor of a merchant spaceship and becomes consumed with rage when a passing ship ignores his signals. He repairs the ship but is then captured and tatooed with a tiger mask on his face. He later escapes and has the tatoos removed – but it is only partially successful, with the scars appearing when he becomes enraged. He then embarks on a quest for revenge for those who left him to die.
Like many of the top novels in the genre, it may be a longshot for it to ever get to the screen (and like them there have been many failed attempts), but we can dream…
SF author Larry Niven becomes SFWA Grand Master
by Doc on Mar.02, 2015, under Awards, Books
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA) today announced that the 2015 recipient of the 31st Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award is none other than one of our favorite authors, Larry Niven!
The multiple Hugo and Nebula winning author is best known for his [asin=0345333926]Ringworld[/asin] novels that helped define the megastructure genre, but he was also a prolific writer of short stories set within multiple universes, and teamed up well with other authors, notably Jerry Pournelle, with whom he shared several Hugo and Nebula nominated novels.
SFWA President Steven Gould said, “One of the great honors of being SFWA president is the announcing the latest Grandmaster recipient. One of the drawbacks is only getting to name one at a time when we have several worthy candidates. I take great pleasure in naming Larry Niven as this year’s Damon Knight Memorial Grandmaster. As Lev Grossman said in Time Magazine about Niven’s work, “It’s a bravura demonstration of technology and psychology both playing off and feeding back into each other. This feedback loop — so fundamental to great science fiction’s power — is at the heart of Niven’s work: we create tools, and our tools shape the world, but they also shape us, in unintended and unexpected ways.”
“I’ve always wanted one of these. It does definitely mean I’ve gotten old,” said Niven. “I’ve been publishing fiction for more than fifty years now. I’m convinced I picked the right career.”
Niven joins 30 other Grand Masters, with names as prestigious as Bradbury, Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov and more.
The Wheel of Time TV series pilot that no one knew about
by Doc on Feb.11, 2015, under Books, Television
Did you know FXX aired a pilot for a series based on the late Robert Jordan’s hugely-popular Wheel of Time book series? And that it aired in the wee hours Monday morning? Nope, no one else did either.
How could such a momentous occasion pass by so unnoticed by so many? Well, first let’s just say that “momentous” is most certainly not the correct word to use. Second, it was less about producing a true pilot as much as it was to meet a contractual requirement to retain the rights.
As we’ve learned from the Dungeons & Dragons rights suit, as well as Fox reportedly rebooting Fantastic Four just to retain the rights, most rights contracts for adaptations have clauses that say some minimum level of production is required to retain the rights, or they revert back to the owner of the original work. It doesn’t necessarily have to meet quality goals, unfortunately.
In this case, Jordan sold the rights back in 2004 to Red Eagle Entertainment to produce some films (although there were likely other options – reportedly some games were tried as well), with those rights apparently set to expire on February 11th, 2015 – today – if some goal wasn’t met. And getting a pilot on TV is ( or is at least believed to be) a goal.
Spike TV developing Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy for TV series
by Doc on Sep.24, 2014, under Books, Television
It’s been nearly six years since we reported that AMC was working on a TV series based on Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy of novels, with then-Sci Fi Channel passing on it before that. Alas, instead of reporting that it is finally coming to the screen, it’s back at square one…Spike TV is now working on the adaptation, focusing on [asin=B000QCS914]Red Mars[/asin] to start, with Vince Gerardis (Game of Thrones) producing.
It may remain in Development Hell still, but at least it hasn’t disappeared…
Warner Bros creates “Harry Potter Global Franchise Development” team
by Doc on Jul.30, 2014, under Books, Movies
Three years removed from the last film and five from the last book, but hot on the heals of a theme park expansion, Warner Bros is hoping to keep Harry Potter fresh and in the minds of people who spend money. They just created the “Harry Potter Global Franchise Development” (HPGFD) which will oversee the relationship with author and HP creator J.K. Rowling, with Josh Berger, currently a Managing Director and the President of Warner UK, Ireland and Spain, at the helm.
What does it mean? For the most part, the group will manage the strategic vision for the brand across all the ancillary business units, including merchandise, online (web sites like Pottermore), theme parks, etc. And who’s to say they won’t also be asking for some more material to work with from J.K.? A new film is already on the way (Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them) along with two more theme park lands (Universal Studios Hollywood and Japan), and a stage play opening in London next year. And the fans want more Harry (perhaps to Daniel Radcliffe’s chagrin), so I think we’ll someday see at least more words written about the Boy Who Lived.