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September 10, 2018 7:04 PM   Subscribe

Game of Thrones is coming to an end, and soon the real struggle for succession begins... amongst the 46 new nerd-shit shows that would seek to claim its place.
posted by Artw (130 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
32. The Vampire Chronicles

Look. I know. I know this is going to suck pun totally intended. But 13/14 year old me is totally on-board OK

34. The Witcher

As long as it's better than the Polish TV show was it wont be half bad so...
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:10 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]




> nerd-shit

Art do you have an opinion on the franchising and monetization of sf/properties :)

——

There was an amazing flame war in /r/fantasy about the fact that a female coasting call in Witcher is explicitly looking for Anything But A Whitey. Apparently it is all very terribly Polish and a total offense to the heritage of all Poles to do this. I wish I’d known there was a Polish tv adaptation to go along with the gameadaptetion, it would have made the arguments so much more amusing to say “dude there is a tv version that is infinitely more Polish than this will ever be, let Hollywood turn it into something for all of America”.
posted by egypturnash at 7:17 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


C’mon, you all like the nerd shit.
posted by Artw at 7:18 PM on September 10 [8 favorites]


Ctrl+ F Newhon 0/0

I'm almost relieved
posted by thelonius at 7:19 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


I really want them to shoot The Continental in an Office esque fashion.
posted by mrzarquon at 7:21 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


Alternate title for Ringworld: Rishathra!
posted by egypturnash at 7:22 PM on September 10 [8 favorites]


On the one hand: Ringworld! On the other hand: Niven. I'd love to see something attempt to deal with the scale of the ringworld though, but even the book is full of "so we crossed deserts for the next couple of weeks at subsonic speeds" and ugh.

On the other hand, adventure stories through crumbling and poorly remembered Engineer cities could be fun for a while. GoT big? I dunno.
posted by Kyol at 7:24 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


C’mon, you all like the nerd shit.

I admit many of the things I like are nerd shit. However most of nerd shit is not stuff I like. C.f. Sturgeon's Law.
posted by traveler_ at 7:27 PM on September 10 [5 favorites]


43 shows, just jammed into your eyes... roll around in it.
posted by Artw at 7:27 PM on September 10 [6 favorites]


GoT big? I dunno.

Sex? Yes (but not in a good way)
Dragons? Well we get spaceships, lasers and the Hindmost, so eh, sure.


Isaac Asimov’s Foundation is one of the cornerstone texts of modern science fiction, a sprawling story of psychic powers, historical forces, and the ways civilizations adapt (or fail to adapt) to change. It’s also a supremely weird choice for a TV series, with no consistent setting or characters to speak of, aside from long-dead, future-predicting “psychohistorian” Hari Seldon, who occasionally pops up in hologram form to let his descendants know how well they’re sticking to his grand plan to avert total galactic collapse.

I think they'd be better off with an R. Daneel Olivaw series as it gets pretty sexy and there's more stuff going on besides people in non-descript spaceships discussing politics.
posted by GuyZero at 7:28 PM on September 10 [6 favorites]


CTRL + F: The Dark Tower Series.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:28 PM on September 10


May I suggest The Laundry Files as a possibility?
posted by SPrintF at 7:29 PM on September 10 [11 favorites]


What's sad is that 20 years ago this would have seemed like undreamt of TV ruches but now it just all leaves me cold. All these shows boil down to tedious soap operas fairly quickly and there's just no there there. There ends up being very little science fictiony about most modern SF shows past the set dressing.
posted by GuyZero at 7:31 PM on September 10 [31 favorites]


May I suggest The Laundry Files as a possibility?

this deserves more like a MCU-esque series of movies. You need some big effects to do the climaxes of these books.
posted by GuyZero at 7:32 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


Kinda hoping the Lord of the Rings prequel or whatever it is Amazon is threatening us with is not a characterless replica of the Peter Jackson movie style and is actually The Similarilon in the style of the Metamashina podcast about it.
posted by Artw at 7:32 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


I don’t want Ringworld or Foundation, I want The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, but in this, as in much else, I don’t expect to be obliged
posted by Countess Elena at 7:32 PM on September 10 [23 favorites]


And I dunno how well something like Consider Phlebas will translate. I mean, most of my appreciation for / interest in the Culture novels is pretty metatextual, so how much comes across on the screen as something other than Star Fleet vs Three-Legged Klingons? And a lead character who looks different every couple of episodes? Ech.

Plus, again, interminable hours of time spent in the rail network before it all comes to like a half hour finale. I'm sure it can be done, but Phlebas?

And yeah, I haven't read all of Foundation (two books? maybe three?), so while on the one hand it comes across as a tidy episodic TV show format: look! A crisis! waily wail! Aaaaand resolution, 3 minutes of Seldon going "ha ha hah, I predicted this, you betcha", next episode/season. On the other hand, right, unless if they're planning _big_, there isn't a hell of a lot of episodic overlap. It's kind of fun in the books going "oh hey the dudes that were farmers are now bankers", but in a TV show?
posted by Kyol at 7:34 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


Frances McDormand even plays God

Wait what?

Okay more excited.
posted by The Whelk at 7:34 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


The ongoing saga of Elon Musk, Iain Banks fan, means that I have very reduced expectations for The Culture, TV Series as Prodyced by Very Rich People.
posted by Artw at 7:36 PM on September 10 [20 favorites]


I still want my goddamn Logan's Run remake that follows the novel
posted by thelonius at 7:36 PM on September 10 [2 favorites]


Lovecraft Country sounds like it could be good. Everything else I'll look at the reviews for if I remember they exist when they come out.
posted by No One Ever Does at 7:37 PM on September 10 [8 favorites]


(my preferred Culture TV show would be The Life of Diziet Sma, and would roughly follow the books except every culture agent that is basically Diziet Sma would just be her.)
posted by Artw at 7:38 PM on September 10 [9 favorites]


On the other hand I am 100% on board for a well done Law & Order: Ankh-Morpork edition. A fantasy police procedural. Probably need to be multi episode arcs so it has a chance to breathe, and none of the previous video translations have had half the necessary soul, but I believe, Tink, I believe!
posted by Kyol at 7:38 PM on September 10 [36 favorites]


It didn't make the list, but I'm still hoping Atwood's MaddAdam trilogy happens.
posted by gladly at 7:39 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


Rothfuss’ work is meandering...

So is his attention. If this gets made, we’ll be in the same sitch as GoT. Who knows when the next book will come?
posted by greermahoney at 7:45 PM on September 10


thelonius: "Ctrl+ F Newhon 0/0

I'm almost relieved
"

I still want a Fafhrd and Grey Mouser animated series done by Mike Mignola.
posted by octothorpe at 7:46 PM on September 10 [23 favorites]


I am so glad to see The Broken Earth on this list and Okorafor, too. Sarah Maas is my guiltiest pleasure and I would watch the heck out of a show based on her books, but where's my Octavia Butler? Kate Elliot's Jaran? Some Tamora Pierce? I would pay so much for Tanya Huff's Confederation/Peacekeeper to be on tv. How about some Dragonriders of Pern? Bujold's Vorkosigan series?

I felt like this list was REALLY light on the women writers and there are so many amazing SciFi and fantasy series by women. And i feel like many of them actually work better for tv than some of the classic sff in this list because they're so character driven.
posted by congen at 7:48 PM on September 10 [14 favorites]


Three words: Grimdark Bewitched Reboot. The main thing is, Darrin dies every time, but nobody ever comments on how he's replaced by an obviously different person at the start of the each episode. Everyone lives in a faux 50s/60s style, but with anachronistic items like computers and mobile phones. And Samantha and her family are racking up one hell of a body count among the mortals. You won't believe the series 1 twist/cliffhanger!
posted by the antecedent of that pronoun at 7:51 PM on September 10 [27 favorites]


Lazarus was one of three sci-fi adaptations Amazon ordered to series last October, with [Greg] Rucka on board to write.

Yee-fucking-haw! Ripped-from-the-headlines oligarchiness with your GoT major houses translated into family corporations set in the rapidly-approaching near-future Crapsack World, with a protagonist who's basically grown-up Laura Kinney without the claws. And I love Rucka's stuff; he's basically the one who created the new Batwoman.

Snow Crash has some potential, as long as it's suitably updated and they don't whitewash Hiro. Lord of Light and Lovecraft Country look like they have great potential, particularly if the former is suitably Kirbyesque. (They could do worse than whoever did design work on Thor: Ragnarok.) The rest I either am not really familiar with the source material, they're based on familiar properties, or I don't particularly see the need to adapt them.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:51 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


And yeah, I haven't read all of Foundation (two books? maybe three?)

So the three original books and then a bunch of addons, several of which overlap with the Robots books by Asimov The Caves of Steel series? I dunno what people call it). There are sequels and prequels. Both are slightly better than the originals but not much really.

Foundations's Edge and Foundation and Earth are meh. I think Robots and Empire has the most potential (IMO) but it's kinda getting off the main path of Foundation.
posted by GuyZero at 7:55 PM on September 10


Foundation

I remember them having a bunch of cool shit though possibly less cool now it is not the 50s anymore, and pretty much zero women or characters with recognizable character traits beyond being wise Future dudes you can imagine smoking a pipe.

Pretty much a blank slate for a sexed up bonkfest soap opera version is what I’m saying.
posted by Artw at 8:00 PM on September 10 [4 favorites]


More seriously, an adaptation of Yoon Ha Lee's trilogy that began with Ninefox Gambit is a unique take on space opera that felt very visual to me as I read it, dunno whether it would really make good TV series material, though.
posted by the antecedent of that pronoun at 8:00 PM on September 10 [5 favorites]


That one I really want to see a comic of.
posted by Artw at 8:02 PM on September 10


I don't know. I don't think I'm alone in enjoying written sci-fi/fantasy but cringing at visual/filmed sci-fi/fantasy.

It's sort of how Anime is generally better subtitled than dubbed. That extra layer of disconnection does a very fine job of suspending disbelief. It's sort of the same as why most comic book costumes just don't translate onto the screen.

Generally headcanon does so much of the heavy lifting in filling in the small details. I'm never really satisfied with other peoples' interpretations of these worlds. Also, certain kinds of exposition/world building just work better in print. There's too much that can't be nimbly conveyed in TV shows or movies.

Also, let's be honest, GoT hasn't been good for at least 2 seasons. The writers stopped trying to present consistent characters with their own motives. Any illusion of individual agency is just imploding under plot gravity to somehow squish everything together at the end.

Books are constrained by the ideas of one person's imagination. TV productions are constrained by time, money, focus groups, the complexity of available actors, technical talents etc. It's rare that the the TV version of a property is actually better. Or as said above, regardless of the initial material, everything seems to devolve into a crappy soap opera with swords/lasers.
posted by Telf at 8:12 PM on September 10 [13 favorites]


Episodic epic SILMARILLION? No, Strider fucking around in the wilderness doing penny-ante Ranger shit Tolkien didn't even bother to write about.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 8:16 PM on September 10 [9 favorites]


Also, let's be honest, GoT hasn't been good for at least 2 seasons.

Good news! Shows 21-25 are basically more made up non-Martin GoT by the guys who ploted those seasons!
posted by Artw at 8:16 PM on September 10 [5 favorites]


So the three original books and then a bunch of addons, several of which overlap with the Robots books by Asimov The Caves of Steel series? I dunno what people call it). There are sequels and prequels. Both are slightly better than the originals but not much really.

Yeah, probably. I always sorta wanted to dig up a guide to reading Asimov's shared universe avoiding all the obvious/unnecessary cash cows towards the end so I could avoid hitting it the same way I ran into Heinlein's shared universe by way of The Cat Who Walks Through Walls / Number of the Beast, say. But then it's a further 20 years removed and 50's era Great Scientist Man SciFi is feeling less and less compelling.

(Which I mean don't get me wrong I ate up Heinlein's late shared universe when I first read it. I was also like 16.)
posted by Kyol at 8:17 PM on September 10


pretty much zero women

Asimov had one woman character who was quite important in the plot iirc
posted by thelonius at 8:20 PM on September 10


Did she smoke a pipe? I bet her name was Professor Mrs Neutronium.
posted by Artw at 8:21 PM on September 10 [4 favorites]


You know what would make a good GoT successor? The Chung Kuo novels.

Great worldbuilding, political drama, freaky (sometimes violent) sex (and incest if I remember correctly), white people as mercenary minority, a bajillion characters, plenty of fighting. That would work as well as GoT.
posted by GuyZero at 8:21 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


If we're having Niven for supper, I'd like Integral Trees or Smoke Ring please and thanks.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:28 PM on September 10 [4 favorites]


The premise that the pop-culture successor to Game of Thrones is going to be more nerd shit is a little flawed: GoT itself was the pop culture successor to a show about a family man gangster. Odds are, the 'next' GoT is going to be something completely different and all these shows chasing the sex-n-violence and soap opera shenanigans are going to be anything from minor successes to criminally unwatched to sinking without a trace to cautionary tales.

I hope one of the Pratchett series is good, at least. And I'll root for Lovecraft Country even though I expect it to be a third-stringer.
posted by Merus at 8:35 PM on September 10 [13 favorites]


> C’mon, you all like the nerd shit.

I beg your pardon. I do not like "nerd shit."

I like fansub anime.
posted by glonous keming at 8:39 PM on September 10 [4 favorites]


The Young Aragorn Chronicles is the least interesting angle possible for a Lord of the Rings series and I am 100% unsurprised that Amazon has taken that route. If they were set on a prequel, why not set it in the 2nd Age during the original War of the Rings?
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:39 PM on September 10 [6 favorites]


Three words: Grimdark Bewitched Reboot

I would watch this, but...

Grimdark Buck Rogers Reboot.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:45 PM on September 10 [7 favorites]


bedebedebede fuck you, Buck *pew!*
posted by Kyol at 8:47 PM on September 10 [19 favorites]


If you want grimdark I think the Gotrek and Felix series for Warhammer Fantasy would make a great TV series. Hell a lot, though in no way all, of the Warhammer Fantasy novels would make good TV. Especially the early stuff.

But would should just get an Elric series. Especially if it is based visually on the Blondell and Poli adaptation.
posted by Ignorantsavage at 8:55 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


I would pay money to never watch an Asimov adaptation; I tried reading his books a couple of times but always got that creepy-uncle vibe from them.

Some of the others sound like they might be ok, given some decent writing and acting, but overall my hopes are not high.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:57 PM on September 10 [4 favorites]


Also, let's be honest, GoT hasn't been good for at least 2 seasons.

That’s a hard “nuh-uh” from me. The last season was the best one so far, because all the tedious bullshit from all the previous seasons finally came to a head. Plots that actually go somewhere: What a concept!
posted by Sys Rq at 9:01 PM on September 10 [2 favorites]


I want one (1) hard sci-fi series. Not pseudo-hard. Actual hard. As in, you have a board of stern scientists vetting the damn thing and nixing every single one of the writer's dumb, unrealistic ideas. Like they go through each script with a big red sharpie and just cover it with big Xs and sarcastic notes. And then they bring the writers in and publicly lambast them. "Shame on you, sir! Have you no respect for the laws of physics? Don’t come back here until you can demonstrate some rudimentary understanding of the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation!"

Actually, screw the show, I just want to be one of the angry scientists.
posted by dephlogisticated at 9:03 PM on September 10 [23 favorites]


I expect it will just be more GoT spin offs until people tire of them.
Would love to see who Fears Death or really anything by Okorafor on my TV screen.
posted by Gotanda at 9:04 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


I just read the synopsis of Hyperion on Wikipedia, as I read them years and years ago. I forgot how completely bonkers those books are.
posted by hototogisu at 9:04 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


Actual hard. As in, you have a board of stern scientists vetting the damn thing and nixing every single one of the writer's dumb, unrealistic ideas.

Episode 3245 of "yes, the hypergolic hydrazine explodes again"
posted by GuyZero at 9:07 PM on September 10 [6 favorites]


The Expanse has so far been the closest to that. There’s space magic involved as the series progresses and fate that keeps folks alive it seems, but humans are subject to physical force on the ships. Speed of light is obeyed mostly. No gravity machines, no teleporters, space battles are calculations more than glorified WW2 airial footage. Then shit gets weird and you watch folks try to figure that out.
posted by mrzarquon at 9:12 PM on September 10 [11 favorites]


42. Lord Of Light

But why no Amber series?
posted by sammyo at 9:45 PM on September 10 [7 favorites]


octothorpe: I still want a Fafhrd and Grey Mouser animated series

Yes!

done by Mike Mignola.

No.
posted by doubtfulpalace at 10:27 PM on September 10


On preview this sounds angry but that wasn't the tone I was going for. Just writing under time constraint on my phone.

Point 1:There will be no next anything.

GoT was pretty much the last monoculture show. Peak TV or post peak TV has prevented another occurrence. (Does TV fit on a Hubbert curve? Not really.)

I know Jaron Lanier points to peak TV as a generally good thing, but it's another example of post truth idio-casting. We're too fractured now to have another Sopranos, Breaking Bad or GoT. Those shows started early enough that the concept of TV still held water. The chance of finding a group of people watching the same show gets slimmer and slimmer. People recommend shows to me like they used to recommend albums. Something to be consumed in its entirety, mostly alone.

The closest I've experienced to old style concurrent TV watching is Better Call Saul, but none of my social group are at the exact same spot. Also the quality of experience of the show is too intertwined with one's memories of Breaking Bad.

Our limited collective attention is too fractured.


Point 2: Peak TV killed the Nerd Shit Star.

Nerd culture won. Maybe it wasn't even a thing. You want nerd culture? Look at the Ready Player One movie. That's what it boils down to. That movie was repugnant for many reasons, but it wasn't innaccurate. Maybe in 20 years it will be celebrated as meta-aware satire like Starship Troopers. Everything you loved was already predigested and we were never unique for liking it. There's no purity in enjoying nerd things. Everybody does. The internet killed the normies.

We didn't know that when Jackson's Lord of the Ring movies came out. We rejoiced when GoT was announced, but I don't feel the need to see my favorite worlds brought to the screens. Or maybe it's just not exciting anymore.

I'm not bemoaning this trend. It's great. We're very lucky to have so much diverse TV. This is especially true for groups not previously presented in mass media. It's just strange to me that people talk about nerd culture in the under 40 demographic as if it were a thing. We're not limited to 3 major networks and a single screen theater.

Nerd culture is culture.
posted by Telf at 10:34 PM on September 10 [6 favorites]


GoT was pretty much the last monoculture show.

People started bemoaning/celebrating the end of the monoculture long before GoT.

MASH maximum viewership -> 106 million
GoT maximum viewership -> 16 million

How could 16 million viewers in a nation of 325 million possibly be considered monocultural, even if they were all unique and USian, which they most definitely are not?
posted by doubtfulpalace at 10:48 PM on September 10 [6 favorites]


Me: These all look stupid.
Also me: Remaking The Sweeney and setting it in Ankh-Morpork is the most brilliant idea in the history of thinking.
posted by um at 10:49 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


(note that that is the *real-time* viewership for that M*A*S*H ep)
posted by doubtfulpalace at 10:50 PM on September 10


I assume by "monoculture" you mean "a bunch of people talking at me like I have watched a show I am definitely not going to watch" and that is not in any danger of disappearing.
posted by ckape at 11:18 PM on September 10 [6 favorites]


How about some Dragonriders of Pern?

The world of Pern is interesting. The actual stories of the novels have aged incredibly, incredibly poorly. I will be shocked if a TV show makes it to air at this point. It seemed possible that there would be a TV show or a movie at some point, but the video game was not actually good, and it's not like... edgy kind of sexism and homophobia, it's just plain regular sexism and homophobia, and a ton of huge plot holes, and yeah.

I think Naomi Novik's Temeraire books would be a way better prospect if people want dragons.
posted by Sequence at 11:31 PM on September 10 [10 favorites]


I wonder how well Jack Vance's work would translate.
posted by boilermonster at 11:32 PM on September 10


Whenever I'm feeling down lately, I think of the promotional photos I have seen of David Tennant as Crowley and I feel okay again.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 11:32 PM on September 10 [7 favorites]


There's... a lot of potential badness in this list.

I just today read that they are putting out casting calls for BAME actresses to play Ciri in the Witcher adaptation. This is provoking the utterly predictable howls of outrage among the usual suspects... their tears sustain me. I hope this adaptation is good. It won't be. And I wish Eva Green hadn't already been cast in 75% of genre shows because she would have made a perfect Yennefer.

Hyperion? How? Why? No, really. Why? It's perfect as it is.

The real successor to GoT is obviously "The Outpost" on CW. Which I haven't actually seen but assume from the episode descriptions is GoT done with 0.2% of the budget and casting out of work community theater extras.
posted by Justinian at 12:55 AM on September 11 [3 favorites]


Out of the box idea: Alastair Reynold's Revelation Space. Netflix, call me.
posted by Justinian at 12:59 AM on September 11 [3 favorites]


I haven't read all of Foundation (two books? maybe three?)

You have read judiciously.
posted by Segundus at 2:27 AM on September 11


Scrolled all the way to the end expecting Red Mars/Green Mars/Blue Mars news and... nothing. Zip. Bupkis. Seems to be DOA.

Damn.
posted by Molesome at 2:36 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


There is only one correct answer to what SFF property should be made with a GoT level budget and that answer is DUNE.

Sword fights!
Political Intrigue!
Sex witches!
Killing off the head of a great house at the end of season one through devious betrayal!
Irulan can be Margaery Tyrelling around doing all the politics behind the scenes.
Count Fenring being more or less Little Finger but more deadly.

It's perfect.

First three books over ten seasons.
God emperor and beyond as a less popular wacky spin off.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:49 AM on September 11 [15 favorites]


And I didn't even mention the forgotten heir seizing power by riding in on the back of an enormous all powerful megabeast.

“Paul of the House Atreides, Muad'Dib, The Voice from the outer world, Mahdi of the Fremen, Duke of Arrakis, Master of the Weirding Way, Commander of the Fedaykin, the Lisan al-Gaib, Rider of Worms and the Kwisatz Haderach”.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:03 AM on September 11 [4 favorites]


That's a lot of the nerd shit...

And it's doesn't even mention Judge Dredd: Mega-City One
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:36 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Just this guy, y'know, most of your bullet list is pretty much covered by The Witcher as well.
posted by Harald74 at 3:49 AM on September 11


Rather than chasing Game of Thrones, it feels like many of these shows are chasing Supernatural - low budget, dedicated viewership, soapy storylines. My hopes are pinned on The Raven Cycle, but there are just so many ways that can go wrong.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:51 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


There is only one correct answer to what SFF property should be made with a GoT level budget and that answer is DUNE.

We're getting at least two Dune movies from Villeneuve.
posted by octothorpe at 4:24 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Whilst that is awesome, I always thought Dune would work better as a longer slower show because so much is driven by the politics of it that usually gets elided out in a movie, because there's less time for machinations to unfold.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:47 AM on September 11 [5 favorites]


There is only one correct answer to what SFF property should be made with a GoT level budget and that answer is DUNE.

Villeneuve also bought the TV serialization rights to Dune. "For he is the Kwisatz Haderach!"
posted by moonbird at 4:54 AM on September 11 [4 favorites]


Well there was a Dune TV series (as much as we try to forget).
posted by octothorpe at 5:09 AM on September 11 [3 favorites]


(Which I mean don't get me wrong I ate up Heinlein's late shared universe when I first read it. I was also like 16.)

I hear ya. At least you didn't also do something dumb like, say, join MetaFilter at that age and in that phase and name your account after a Heinlein character. That would just be totally silly and something you can't ever change and have to live with day in and day out forever.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:41 AM on September 11 [22 favorites]


The Dune TV series wasn't bad.. Worse... It was mediocre....
posted by Pendragon at 5:44 AM on September 11 [4 favorites]


I always thought Dune would work better as a longer slower show because so much is driven by the politics of it that usually gets elided out in a movie, because there's less time for machinations to unfold.

The ~2000 miniseries on *sigh* SyFy is worth checking out.

It's very weird looking. They had a low budget and they sort of embraced that and shot most of it against big, pretty obvious backdrops, so it looks really theatrical/operatic, and they used a bunch of live-theater lighting techniques to really give that a bear hug.

If you can get past that, it really works.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:53 AM on September 11 [5 favorites]


something you can't ever change

Freedom is $5 away, tovarisch. No huhu.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:54 AM on September 11 [6 favorites]


What happened to the US-based adaptation of Simon Stålenhag's Tales From The Loop?
posted by acb at 6:07 AM on September 11


Castle Rock would have made the absolute best soft lead-in to a Dark Tower series. I want Amazon to stay away from...everything. They really suck at doing...pretty much anything.
posted by Bwentman at 6:21 AM on September 11


(Which I mean don't get me wrong I ate up Heinlein's late shared universe when I first read it. I was also like 16.)

I did that too, in chronological order. Also all of Niven's Known Space books. That was forty years ago and I haven't much from either of them since after getting that out of my system.
posted by octothorpe at 6:42 AM on September 11


I want Amazon to stay away from...everything. They really suck at doing...pretty much anything.

Epic Fantasy Mrs. Maisel
posted by Artw at 8:04 AM on September 11 [4 favorites]


Syfy has been doing pretty much the only genre tv I've been interested in recently, so I am disappointed to see they only have two entries on this list and both of them sound like Expanse retreads or something equally snoozy.

Bryan Fuller just can't keep a job anymore, can he? What's up with that guy?

The Nightwatch adaptation could be fun, but I'm pretty much over the terrible production values of the past Pratchett adaptations, so I hope the BBC puts some money and some actual people who know how to make TV look good on that. Oh and maybe some good actors?

I think Naomi Novik's Temeraire books would be a way better prospect if people want dragons.

I read the first book twice (I forgot I had ever read it, and read it again) and it is sooo smurfy. There's really nothing there, in terms of depth or interest, to put into a TV show.
posted by Squeak Attack at 8:08 AM on September 11


Am I alone in wishing that these adaptations were animated? Does live-action make it seem more real to people somehow? For these genres in particular it seems to me you can get more visual bang for your buck by animating the stories. I recall reading about GoT blowing their budget doing CGI of a dragon laying its head on Daenerys's lap, for instance. Poor Ian McKellen had to talk to a tennis-ball or something while shooting most of the LOTR films, and entirely in front of greenscreens, because all the effects magic was done after.

Sure, animation comes with its own baggage ("it's for kids!") and different styles can turn people off: just look at initial reactions to the Star Wars series The Clone Wars and Rebels, as well as Resistance and The Dragon Prince upcoming. Yet it seems to me that animation can more effectively and economically portray the environments and stories we love from these works. "But animation can't do complex subjects," one might say. To which I would reply, Have you seen BoJack Horseman?

I hear "Star Wars live-action series" and frankly my reaction is "meh". But an animated Discworld series? Why has this not been done already?
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 8:29 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Personally, I don't watch anything animated but I probably won't watch most of these adaptations anyway (Wheel of Time? no thanks!) so that wouldn't make a difference for me.
posted by Squeak Attack at 8:45 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


But why no Amber series?

I'm just finishing up a reread of The Chronicles of Amber and I couldn't stop thinking about a TV version with gender-blind casting for all the siblings. (TBH I think the series only sort of holds up, but it still has some really incredible setpieces which have stuck with me for decades.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:41 AM on September 11 [3 favorites]


But an animated Discworld series? Why has this not been done already?

There are two mini-series. A seven episode adaptation of Soul Music , and a six episode adaptation of Wyrd Sisters.

I'd certainly be on board for something more long-running though.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 10:31 AM on September 11


I mean, most of my appreciation for / interest in the Culture novels is pretty metatextual, so how much comes across on the screen as something other than Star Fleet vs Three-Legged Klingons?

I've only read the first 2 Culture stories so I'm not necessarily connected with all the details of the Universe that it exists in but I can't see Phlebas being filmed as anything other than a War Thriller (maybe like the Dirty Dozen) or maybe a "adventurous but pessimistic romp in space".

There's a lot that happens in the story that isn't dependent on knowing the intricacies of the universe in order to understand the narrative so I think a general audience could wrap their heads around it even if they are unfamiliar with the source material. I also suspect that some things will be completely excised from the show like the bit about the island cult as it would seem a bit random in a TV series. The differences in the species will likely be smoothed over depending on budget concerns.

I'd wager a lot of the metatexuality or the more nuanced world-building in the book will likely be simplified or left out entirely. It takes pretty strong writers and directors to convey metatexual information in a way that isn't a complete infodump every 5 seconds so it makes sense to me that some of that stuff will be jettisoned for time and comprehension. Hopefully not too much though. The linked article seems to be indicating that the hope is that the show will be ongoing? I was under the impression that Consider Phlebas was going to just be a one off. I have no idea how you'd make Player of Games into something that was comprehensible to a general audience.
posted by Ashwagandha at 11:36 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


They don’t really have an order as such, and HOT TAKE Consider Phlebas is the least good good of them and has a viewpoint and ficus that makes it a bad starting point for anything focused on the Culture so I’d probably skip it or at least skip most of it and break the rest up for parts.

I think primarily a Culture series would be a series of interventions in the Star Trek mood with perhaps more of a espionage/heist mold, maybe following a particular special circumstances group and associated ships/drones. - Player of Games seems good for this but it would be less focused on the one guy and more focused on his handlers.
posted by Artw at 12:41 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Basically Space Mission Impossible.
posted by Artw at 12:42 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


pretty much zero women or characters with recognizable character traits beyond being wise Future dudes you can imagine smoking a pipe.
I haven't read it in a decade, but Bayta and Arkady Darrell (ok, I admit, I had to look up their last name), Dors Venabili (likewise...), Bliss-anobiarella (why does my memory top out at 3 syllables or less?) were all unique and memorable to me to this day (as were roughly as many well-characterized men).

On the other hand, not a one of them was from the first book, so if by "Foundation" you just meant that rather than the whole series, then you're right on the mark. IIRC Asimov basically just had a thinly-veiled "Edward Gibbon In Space" in mind when he was starting the series out. Which actually wouldn't be bad to translate to television: you could invent as many supporting characters as you wanted without ticking off any geek purists, since anybody who made it past book 1 had what we might politely call a relative indifference to the importance of character over plot.
posted by roystgnr at 12:57 PM on September 11


Basically in my version of the show it’s all dudes and ladies in lab coats smoking pipes and staring into oscilloscopes and then some premium drama stuff happens and they get to the REAL foundation, which is basically the bone zone.

A couple of generations later there’s some guy called “the mule”.
posted by Artw at 1:00 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


I want one (1) hard sci-fi series. Not pseudo-hard. Actual hard.

The Expanse has so far been the closest to that.

That's the series that had the magical nanotech in the first episode. Not to mention stealth in space and magical high thrust fusion drives that don't need fuel or radiators.

We have had truly hard SF TV stores though: Planetes and Rocket Girls. No playing fast and loose with physics in those stories. Rocket Girls especially, though it's a teen comedy, is diamond hard SF. As in, we have similar rockets now, and the idea of servicing satellites in orbit has been seriously proposed.

Not that I'm recommending a live-action version of those series, but it could be done. It won't be, but it could.
posted by happyroach at 1:18 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


They don’t really have an order as such, and HOT TAKE Consider Phlebas is the least good good of them and has a viewpoint and ficus that makes it a bad starting point for anything focused on the Culture

I will fight you!

Being introduced to the Culture by an outsider and enemy is perfect. As is the gradual realization that Horza is on the wrong side. Though obviously that's difficult to achieve these days since most people who pick up Consider Phlebas will have some idea what they're getting into.
posted by Justinian at 1:35 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]


Interesting that what is being presented as a new take on Conan is pretty fundamental to Howard's original stories. The first time we are introduced to Conan, in The Phoenix on the Sword, he is a somewhat aged king, struggling to see a purpose for a reaver who has killed his way to the top. And, of course, this runs to the heart of so much of what Howard wrote, that sense that we no longer live in a world that has a place for the animal vitality and (sometimes) amorality (or perhaps "idiomorality" which I doubt is a word) of so many of his heroes. Howard's Westerns, successful in their day, are all but forgotten now (like so much of his non-Conan work, and sadly in my opinion, despite all Howard's problems and flaws) but his stories were fixated upon the key Western trope of the conflict between the life of the wild and the encroaching death grip of civilisation.

I'd be happy to watch a Conan show that tackles this stuff seriously, both respecting the perspective of the source material and vigorously challenging its flaws, in particular the way that the fantasy of the self-sufficient man (and it is a man) elides and reproduces the politics of privilege in the society it emerges from.
posted by howfar at 1:37 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


Being introduced to the Culture by an outsider and enemy is perfect. As is the gradual realization that Horza is on the wrong side.

God, but do you know how many tedious bores there are out there who don’t get that?
posted by Artw at 1:50 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


I wonder how well Jack Vance's work would translate.

Planet of Adventure series: "HI! I am Adam Reith, the mighty white explorer, here to demonstrate repeatedly the inferiority of your native cultures! Why, I'll even kidnap a girl from her native culture and turn her into my girfriend, and that's OK, because my culture is SO much better, and my penis is SO huge!"

Yeah. It'll go great. Just great.
posted by happyroach at 2:06 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Servants of the Wankh indeed.
posted by howfar at 2:20 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


God, but do you know how many tedious bores there are out there who don’t get that?

There were good people on both sides.
posted by Justinian at 2:34 PM on September 11


Not that I'm recommending a live-action version of those series, but it could be done. It won't be, but it could.

Genre-wise it'd basically be turning Gravity into a TV show. That'd cost a lotta credits.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:37 PM on September 11


(sits quietly in corner of bar wearing a red shirt with a yellow star on it, and bearing a card that reads "Ask me about Steven Universe")
posted by JHarris at 7:24 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


man, can you imagine how terrible a live-action Steven Universe would be

I don’t even know where you’d start with a dark scowly reboot of that one
posted by Countess Elena at 7:48 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


I just want to see a giant woman.
posted by Artw at 11:00 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


I basically always want everything to be 'The Wire in space'... a group of put upon cops and crooks in some awful backwater just trying to survive and get shit done. That's what I want a Star Trek show to be, and that's what I want Star Wars show to be - except this time the cops are 'baddy' imperial types and the crooks goody rebels (well plus a few Hutts are well to liven things up)

You could do the same with The Culture... Special Circumstances agents doing the crappy jobs at the unfashionably end of the The Culture's territory, with some crappy grumpy wise-cracking drones... you even have The Wire's bosses - the unfeeling 'Greek gods' - being played by The Minds.

Or, if you wanna go low-ish budget, do a follow up to the Earth-set 'The State of the Art'

I'm right here Hollywood! Right here!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:47 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


A show where a robot is a private eye
A show where a robot is a drunk private eye
A show where a robot is a sad private eye
A show where a robot is an incompetent private eye
A show where a robot is a corrupt private eye
A show where a robot is a glamorous private eye
A show where a robot is a victorian private eye
A show where a robot is a pirate's robot eye
posted by dng at 6:43 AM on September 12 [3 favorites]


I just want to be one of the angry scientists.

Grimdark, live-action reboot of Sheep in the Big City.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:09 AM on September 12 [3 favorites]


We're too fractured now to have another Sopranos, Breaking Bad or GoT.

Counterpoint: The Handmaid's Tale. And as to the original article, if the criterion is "dominat[ing] the pop culture conversation," I would argue you don't need to look to the future, because The Handmaid's Tale has already achieved that.

True, it's neither fantasy nor SF, but rather alternate history, which tends to sit uneasily around the edges of SF/F, but the list includes at least one alternate history (Confederate) so I'm considering the genre fair game.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:14 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Still no Elric of Melniboné. Not sure if I should be sad or relieved, to be honest. On the one hand, epic battles, intrigue, romance (well, at least sex), betrayal, a flawed anti-villain as protagonist, and an entire fantasy world to explore, fight, and eventually destroy. On the other hand, Hollywood casting, dumbing-down, and of course ignoring the source material. Moorcock is still alive, and I've read he's enthusiastic about optioning the tv serial and/or movie rights, so it may still happen.

Of this list, I'm not seeing anything that really enthuses me, but I'm more of a book fan than of AV media. I've read maybe 80% of the properties listed, and while I'm well aware that just about anything can be made enjoyable if produced properly, it just strikes me that this is more of a gold-rush to throw as little money as possible at as many properties as possible and see what, if anything, strikes a chord with a general audience and advertisers.

In truth, I suspect none will succeed, if only due to a surplus of available media. Most people only follow what, 3-4 shows at a given time, some more, many less? When there's one really good fantasy/sci-fi/comic book show on at a time, it gets the viewers. When there's 4, some on at conflicting times, something has to give, and when we get a dozen or more, plus movies and online shows, the market gets saturated, the general audience gets bored and moves on to something else, advertisers stop buying ads, budgets get cut and time slots get reallocated, resulting the death of that genre until its turn comes up again.
posted by Blackanvil at 1:36 PM on September 12


I hope some of the Terry Pratchett and Gaiman stuff gets picked up. The Watch is a great Pratchett series and almost tailor-made to be adapted of his Discworld novels. Vimes is a great audience surrogate.

A lot of these sound somewhat interesting, the worst one of the bunch to me is the Star Wars series. I can't believe I've gone so hard from desperately hoping for a new Star Wars movie a few decades ago to now just dreading every new goddamn star war they come up with. I think at this point I just don't like Star Wars. I liked 2-3 of the movies and that's about as far as I can go without turning into a meganerd complainer.

I wish some of the other novel series well, I'd love to see them adapted satisfactorily. Wheel of Time and Golden Compass series especially.
posted by GoblinHoney at 3:32 PM on September 12


Still no Elric of Melniboné.

Do we really need another fucking show where the woman gets Fridged so the cishet hero guy can have the angsty feels?

Honestly? I'd rather have Order of the Stick the series, if we have to go for epic fantasy. Or one of the Tamora Pierce series.
posted by happyroach at 3:37 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


I hear you. But it is the MOST angsty feels. None more angst.
posted by Artw at 3:50 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


In honestly, it's not "the woman," it's more like every woman he meets either gets Fridged or eaten by his phallic symbol. I think he's up to what, 4 women in the books he's offed to feed his sword after having a relationship with them?

I'm also not entirely sure "cishet" is appropriate. Consider that his "companions" are all almost all male: Moonglum, who his phallic symbol also eats, Smiorgan Baldhead, Rackhir the Red Archer, Ernest Wheldrake, Alnac Kreb, and Jermays the Crooked. His interactions with his male patron god Arioch are definitely presented in a semi-erotic fashion. Given Moorcock's other works, the author may well even be in favor of a bisexual interpretation. Certainly, more of the men survive their time with Elric than the women.
posted by Blackanvil at 4:14 PM on September 12


ANIMORPHS. Cool sci-fi world-building, diverse characters, got the nostalgia, no changes needed to make it grim-dark, Animorphs is grim-dark out of the box.
posted by hapaxes.legomenon at 4:36 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Car 2054 Where Are You

In the post-apocalyptic ruins of New York City, two robot cops still patrol the streets in a talking squad car, waiting for the end of shift signal that will never come. Their programming has gone somewhat wonky, giving them personality but no perspective on how absurd their attempts to "police" the city are.
posted by the antecedent of that pronoun at 6:02 PM on September 12 [5 favorites]


A show where a robot is a glamorous private eye

A show where a robot eye has glamorous privates
posted by dephlogisticated at 6:45 PM on September 12


Am I wrong for seeing Westworld as the heir apparent?
posted by Selena777 at 12:47 PM on September 13


A show where a robot is a glamorous private eye

You want Made To Kill and Killing Is My Business by Adam Christopher. Pure noir.
posted by GuyZero at 3:14 PM on September 13


Murderbot series that is all Murderbot watching a series.
posted by Artw at 3:16 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


Murderbot series that is all Murderbot watching a series.

All Systems Red Westworld
posted by GuyZero at 3:56 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Everyone loves Murderbot, the self aware robot that just wants to be left alone to watch the show about self aware robots.
posted by Artw at 4:52 PM on September 13 [4 favorites]


That has also been known to Murder
posted by GuyZero at 4:56 PM on September 13


Look, just... adequate personal boundaries and television, okay? Murderbot will be chill.
posted by Artw at 5:02 PM on September 13


OMG you guys, how come there's no Chuck Tingle on this list?
posted by the antecedent of that pronoun at 7:01 PM on September 13


An animated October Daye show would be fantastic.
posted by Pendragon at 2:11 AM on September 14


Am I wrong for seeing Westworld as the heir apparent?

HBO did, but this season kinda went True Detective season 2

Grimdark, live-action reboot of Sheep in the Big City.

The original promo did give that impression.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:13 PM on September 17 [1 favorite]


True Detective season 2

Now that’s excessive.
posted by Artw at 5:49 AM on September 18


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