Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day, creators (and stars of) “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” are developing a sci-fi comedy called “Boldly Going Nowhere.” It focuses on the mundane day to day life of normal people who happen to live on a spaceship. They’ve already shot a version of the pilot but are going back to rewrite the script and reshoot it to have a bit more of a science fiction flavor to it. It’s a neat idea, with echoes of “Red Dwarf” and the meta-idea that good science fiction is about people who don’t know they’re in science fiction, they’re just living their normal lives. One of the reasons Star Wars was so successful was that it made space dirty, grimy and infested with selfish people instead of the shiny hypoallergenic pseudo-utopia of 2001 and the like. Of course, I’d watch this even if they just froze the characters from “Always Sunny” and woke them up in a thousand years. Green Man … in space. The Nightman Cometh … in space. Everything is better if you add “… in space” to the end.
Of course, they’re talking to Fox, so the new pilot will probably end up shot over a weekend and have absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the series, which will air at times decided by a random number generator, but only out of order on a Turkish game show channel. Eventually we’ll get to see all thirteen episodes on DVD at which point some other studio will make a feature film for us.
Random tidbit of the day: Steven Spielberg is producing an untitled show for TNT dealing with an alien invasion, starring Noah Wylie. Noah Wylie, TNT’s answer to Kevin Sorbo.
The best news though, in order to wash those horrid Teen Choda Awards from your palate was that the Hugo awards were presented yesterday. Basically the Hugos are like the Teen Choice Awards except instead of “Teen” you have “Sci-Fi Notables.” Sort of like the difference between “feces” and “chocolate.”
Joss Whedon won, with Doctor Horrible beating out a couple of “Doctor Who” episodes. Neil Gaiman’s latest novel won that category. WALL-E? Eh. Seems a little mainstream, but the movie category really doesn’t matter much. The awards and nominations are a great way to find a handful of really good science fiction novels or short stories to read next, and the television nominees generally give a good idea of which sci-fi television shows are real quality as opposed to pulp (entertaining though that may be). Here’s the full list of winners, and you can check out the full list of nominees, and breakdowns of vote counts if that’s your thing on the Hugo website.
• Best Novel: The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins; Bloomsbury UK)
• Best Novella: “The Erdmann Nexus”, Nancy Kress (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008)
• Best Novelette: “Shoggoths in Bloom”, Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s Mar 2008)
• Best Short Story: “Exhalation”, Ted Chiang (Eclipse Two)
• Best Related Book: Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded: A Decade of Whatever, 1998-2008, John Scalzi (Subterranean Press)
• Best Graphic Story: Girl Genius, Volume 8: Agatha Heterodyne and the Chapel of Bones, Written by Kaja & Phil Foglio, art by Phil Foglio, colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
• Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: WALL-E Andrew Stanton & Pete Docter, story; Andrew Stanton & Jim Reardon, screenplay; Andrew Stanton, director (Pixar/Walt Disney)
• Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Joss Whedon, & Zack Whedon, & Jed Whedon, & Maurissa Tancharoen, writers; Joss Whedon, director (Mutant Enemy)
• Best Editor Short Form: Ellen Datlow
• Best Editor Long Form: David G. Hartwell
• Best Professional Artist: Donato Giancola
• Best Semiprozine: Weird Tales, edited by Ann VanderMeer & Stephen H. Segal
• Best Fan Writer: Cheryl Morgan
• Best Fanzine: Electric Velocipede edited by John Klima
• Best Fan Artist: Frank Wu