It’s an extremely good time to be a fan of classic science fiction. Asimov’s Foundation, Haldeman’s Forever War, Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Clarke’s Childhood’s End and 3001: The Final Odyssey – all being adapted for the big or small screen. The latter author has found a home on Syfy, the channel which of late is pushing hard to regain its former sci-fi glory – and succeeding.
Syfy have just announced (courtesy of Variety) that they’re bringing another one of the science fiction masters under their banner in the form of Frederik Pohl’s ‘Gateway’ – the first novel in his acclaimed Heechee saga. What’s more, writer/producers David Eick (Battlestar Galactica) and Josh Pate (Legends) will head the adaption. The pair have previously collaborated on Falling Skies – but I won’t hold that against them just yet.
For those of you not familiar with the novel, Gateway is the name given to a space station discovered by humans in a hollowed-out asteroid that was built by a long since vanished alien race known as the Heechee. At the station are hundreds of abandoned space ships that humans are slowly learning to operate, and all the ships have preprogrammed destinations – however no one knows what they are. Subsequently, explorers activating these ships and heading into the unknown have no idea where they will end up, for how long they’ll be travelling, or what they’ll find – making it a very dangerous, yet potentially lucrative, undertaking. It’s basic premise is tailor-made for television.
The story was first published in Galaxy magazine in serialised form, but was later released in 1977 as a complete novel. It went on to win Hugo, Locus and Nebula Awards for Best Novel, as well as the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.
With classic science fiction experiencing such a resurgence of late are there any you’d still like to see make it to the big or small screen? Personally I think it’s time for Frank Herbet’s ‘Dune’ to make a comeback because variety is the spice of life. The spice extends life. The spice expands consciousness. The spice is vital to space travel – especially with NASA being underfunded.
Last Updated: August 13, 2015