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It's Not All Wrestling: Upcoming SyFy Shows that are SciFi

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | April 11, 2013 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | April 11, 2013 |

Even though most of what SyFy has cooking is usually a bunch of reality show pilots that should just be dropped into the deepest abyss of the ocean, occasionally a whole pile of honest to god science fiction television seems to work its way towards production all at once.

Now, I’ll say up front that I don’t expect half of this to ever see the light of day, but we’re on the Internet, where we can dream of whatever we want in happy contented bubbles. If we were in this for reality, we might as well go outside and interact with actual people and things, and no one wants that.

So we’ve got the upcoming “Defyance”, which looks fantastic so far, but we’ve also got a few other projects from creative people based on actual science fiction novels that look to be credible threats for awesome bombs.

First up, SyFy has greenlit a miniseries based on Larry Niven’s “Ringworld”, the novel in which scientists discover a massive alien artifact, a ring orbiting a star in the Goldilocks zone, creating a flat world that is millions of times bigger than the earth. There are ancient lost civilizations, mystery, and all sorts of intelligent hard science fiction. Sort of like “Riverworld” which the SyFy channel totally didn’t screw up in every conceivable way.

Second, they’ve also greenlit a miniseries based on Arthur C. Clarke’s “Childhood’s End”, equally fantastic hard science fiction. Go read the book, it’s definitely worth it.

Third, Stephen King’s “Eyes of the Dragon” is moving forward with them as well, based on a lesser read fantasy novel of his that intersects with the Dark Tower and The Stand. It’s a shorter and simpler story that would adapt well to television.

Fourth, Philip K. Dick’s “Man in the High Castle” is also being adapted for SyFy. It’s an alternate history in which the Axis won the war and carved up the world, but you know, weird and intelligent the way that Dick always wrote. It’s technically being adapted as a mini-series for the BBC and independently for SyFy. Ridley Scott is executive director of the American version, which I assume means he’s a normal director but with cybernetic attachments.

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.