Sci-Fi Storm


Pohl’s Gateway novel to get TV series adaptation

by on Mar.10, 2014, under Books, Movies

Deadline reports today that Fredrick Pohl’s classic SF novel [asin=0345475836]Gateway[/asin] is being adapted as a drama series for TV by Entertainment One Television and De Laurentiis Co.

De Laurentiis has been watching the rights for Gateway for a while, and pursued it aggressively when it became available, always with the idea of it being a TV series as opposed to a feature film. “Television gives us the opportunity of exploring the rich world of the novel and the complexity of its characters,” executive producer Martha De Laurentiis said. De Laurentiis has a long history with novel adaptations, with the 1984 massive Dune the best known.

Gateway revolves around a space station discovered inside an asteroid built by an alien race called the Heechee, who have long since disappeared. Humans struggle to learn the technology left behind, with little success. Among the abandoned equipment are approximately one thousand small starships, capable of taking one, three, or five crewmembers on a potentially highly profitable journey – but incredibly dangerous, as while they have figured out how to select a destination, they have no idea how long it will take to get there, in which case starvation is entirely possible, or what other dangers they may face along the way or when they arrive. Many never return, but for the chance of untold riches many volunteer. Robinette Broadhead is one of them, having one a lottery to make enough money for a one-way trip to Gateway, and the chance for more. He returns very rich – and very haunted…

Gateway won the 1977 Nebula Award and 1978 Hugo, Locus and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards for Science Fiction Best Novel.

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Author Richard Matheson, 1926-2013

by on Jun.25, 2013, under Books, Obituaries

Richard Matheson, well known science fiction and fantasy author, passed away on Sunday from natural causes.

Matheson is perhaps best known for having written numerous episodes of The Twilight Zone, including the famous Will Shatner episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”, as well as the novel [asin=0765357151]I Am Legend[/asin], which has spawned three official feature film adaptations, the most recent starring Will Smith. He also wrote several other novels that were adapted into films, including [asin=0765308703]What Dreams May Come[/asin],[asin=0899683525]The Shrinking Man[/asin], [asin=0312868855]Hell House[/asin], [asin=0765361396]Somewhere in Time[/asin], and [asin=0765308711]A Stir of Echoes[/asin]. He also wrote the episode “The Enemy Within” for Star Trek.

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Summer Falls, the book from the Doctor Who episode, available as an e-book tomorrow (UPDATED – available Thursday)

by on Apr.01, 2013, under Books, Television

Summer Falls coverDid you notice the book featured in the recent Doctor Who episode, “The Bells of St. John”, called “Summer Falls”? The one that Clara asked Artie about?

Clara: What chapter you on?

Artie: Ten.

Clara: Eleven’s the best. You’ll cry your eyes out… The good kind of crying…

“When summer falls, the Lord of Winter will arise…”

Sharp-eyed viewers will have noted the author’s name: Amelia Williams. We didn’t hear that name much, but it was in fact Amy Pond’s proper married name. And I’m sure the references to Ten and Eleven were wry references to current (and eleventh) Doctor Matt Smith and his predecessor. But what’s more interesting is that this book exists – or rather, will exist, starting tomorrow when BBC Books releases “Summer Falls” worldwide as an e-book.

Here is a description of the story: “In the seaside village of Watchcombe, young Kate is determined to make the most of her last week of summer holiday. But when she discovers a mysterious painting entitled ‘The Lord of Winter’ in a charity shop, it leads her on an adventure she never could have planned. Kate soon realises the old seacape, painted long ago by an eccentric local artist, is actually a puzzle. And with the help of some bizarre new acquaintances – including a museum curator’s magical cat, a miserable neighbour, and a lonely boy – she plans on solving it.

“And then, one morning Kate wakes up to a world changed forever. For the Lord of Winter is coming – and Kate has a very important decision to make.”

This isn’t the first time a fictional fiction book jumped from Doctor Who episode to reality. “[asin=B009KJ6DTO]The Angel’s Kiss: A Melody Malone Mystery[/asin]” was released after “The Angels Take Manhattan”, in which it was an important plot device.

Update 4/2: The e-book is [asin=B00BGC6GG8]available for pre-order on Amazon[/asin] now, but due to some confusion it won’t release until Thursday.

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Divergent film adds Jai Courtney

by on Mar.14, 2013, under Books, Movies

Jai Courtney (A Good Day To Die Hard) will join Shailene Woodley (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) in Divergent, based on the [asin=0062024035]dystopian Veronica Roth novel[/asin] often being compared to The Hunger Games in young adult circles (and not just because of the similar-looking symbol on the cover of the book…).

Divergent is about a future in which everyone is divided into factions based on their personality. Those who don’t fit exactly into one of 5 factions are labeled as Divergents. Beatrice “Tris” Prior (Woodley) is a Divergent, showing traits of 3 factions. After undergoing a trial to join the brave Dauntless faction, she discovers what it really means to be Divergent – and why it can be dangerous.

Courtney’s role has not been identified yet. Evan Daugherty (Snow White and the Huntsman ) wrote the script and it will be directed by Neil Burger (The Illusionist ).

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Could we see “Director’s Cut” type enhancements to Harry Potter novels, plus a side story?

by on Sep.26, 2012, under Books

It seems that J.K. Rowling wishes she spent more time on a couple of her Harry Potter novels – and she may do something about it.

Currently doing publicity for her first adult-aimed novel [asin=0316228532]The Casual Vacancy[/asin] (released tomorrow), she spoke with BBC arts editor Will Gompertz, and mentioned the desire to re-work a couple of the books, saying she didn’t spend enough time on them.

“There were a couple of the Potters and I definitely knew that they needed another year,” she said. “I had to write on the run and there were times when it was really tough. And I read them, and I think ‘Oh God, maybe I’ll go back and do a director’s cut’, I don’t know. But you know what, I’m proud I was writing under the conditions under which I was writing, no one will ever know how tough it was at times.”
(continue reading…)

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Terry Brooks Shannara fantasy series to be adapted for TV

by on Sep.11, 2012, under Books, Television

Variety reports that Sonar Entertainment has acquired the rights to Terry Brooks long-running bestseller Shannara fantasy series and plans to adapt it for television in partnership with Farah Films.

Plans are to start the first season based on [asin=0345285549]The Elfstones of Shannara[/asin], the second book of the [asin=0345453751]original trilogy[/asin] (with The Sword of Shannara and The Wishsong of Shannara).

No distribution outlet has been signed yet.

Warner Bros had previously owned the rights and planned to adapt a movie directed by Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), but the rights reverted in 2010.

The Shannara stories are based hundreds of years in the future in a post-apocalyptic Earth that has reverted to medieval times and in which magic has re-emerged. The 20th book, [asin=0345523474]Wards of Faerie[/asin], was just released and is the first of a new trilogy, The Dark Legacy of Shannara.

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2012 Hugo Award winners announced

by on Sep.03, 2012, under Awards, Books, Conventions, Movies, Television

The winners of the 2012 Hugo Awards were announced last night at Chicon 7, the 70th World Science Fiction Convention. Neil Gaiman, with several Hugos already, picked up another – but instead of getting Best Novel, he won the Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form award for the Doctor Who episode, “The Doctor’s Wife”.

Here is a list of the winners:
(continue reading…)

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Harry Harrison, Stainless Steel Rat author and creator of Soylent Green, 1925-2012

by on Aug.15, 2012, under Books, Obituaries

Harry Harrison, the author who created the popular Stainless Steel Rat series comic space opera novels as well as the novel Make Room! Make Room! which was adapted into the classic movie Soylent Green, passed away this morning at the age of 87.

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EMP announces 2012 Science Fiction Hall of Fame inductees

by on May.03, 2012, under Books, General News, Movies

The EMP Museum in Seattle has announced the list of the 2012 inductees into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.

Those being honored this year are filmmaker James Cameron; artist Virgil Finlay; author Joe Haldeman; and author James Tiptree, Jr. The new Science Fiction Hall of Fame display will be unveiled at EMP’s Icons of Science Fiction exhibition opening celebration on Friday, June 8, 2012. To purchase tickets, visit

The Science Fiction Hall of Fame honors the lives, work, and ongoing legacies of science fiction’s greatest creators. Founded in 1996, the Hall of Fame was relocated from the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas to its permanent home at EMP in 2004. Hall of Fame nominations are submitted by EMP members. The final inductees are chosen by a panel of award-winning science fiction authors, artists, editors, publishers, and film professionals.


James Cameron, American filmmaker (1954 – ). Cameron continually redefines the cutting edge of science fiction filmmaking. In particular, The Terminator (1984), which captured the collision of our fears of nuclear terror and computer technology; Aliens (1986), a sequel that magnified and amplified the classic original; The Abyss (1989), which looked downward to the oceans as a realm of the alien; and Avatar (2009) which employed a variety of innovative filmmaking techniques to further enhance the movie-viewing experience.

Virgil Finlay, American artist (1914 – 1971). Finlay produced thousands of illustrations, flourishing in the pulp magazine era from the ’30s through the ’50s. He is especially known for his exacting and detailed scratchboard and pen-and-ink work. The stark and shadowy effects he created were well-suited to the horror and fantasy magazines, where his works frequently appeared. He also contributed more than 800 illustrations to the Sunday newspaper supplement The American Weekly, and created 19 covers for Weird Tales.

Joe Haldeman, American author (1943 – ). Haldeman burst onto the science fiction scene in 1974 with The Forever War, a novel that blended imaginative hard science fiction with a heartfelt examination of the impact of war and homecoming on the combatants. The novel won the Hugo and Nebula Awards. In the following four decades, he has built a library of quality work, notably the Worlds series, The Hemingway Hoax (1990), and Forever Peace (1997). He teaches writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 2010 he received the Grand Master award from the Science Fiction Writers of America.

James Tiptree, Jr., American author (1915 – 1987). Tiptree was the pen name of Alice Sheldon, who kept her identity a secret for the majority of her career. She is best known for stories that explore sex, gender identity, male/female relations, and death. “The Last Flight of Doctor Ain” and “The Women Men Don’t See” are two notable works among many. In 1991 the James Tiptree, Jr. Award for science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender was created in her honor.

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J.K. Rowling’s next novel will be targeted to adults

by on Feb.23, 2012, under Books

J.K. Rowling will finally write another book – but not only will it not be part of her massively successful Harry Potter franchise – it won’t even be a kids book.

It was announced today that the writer as signed a new deal with publisher Little, Brown, who will publish her next book, for an adult audience, in both the U.S. and U.K. The Harry Potter books were published by Bloomsbury in the U.K. and Scholastic in the U.S.

Details about the book are being kept secret, but Rowling’s statement only mentions that it “will be very different to the Harry Potter series.” We don’t know if she’ll still draw on the fantasy genre, or if it will be something more mainstream, but it will be interesting if she can at least recapture the “magic” of her previous efforts in a whole new direction.

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