George R.R. Martin, the man behind the biggest show on TV, Game of Thrones, may soon have another hit on his hands, as the author has just announced that his science-fiction/horror series Nightflyers is headed to Syfy with a 10-episode first season.
Martin wrote on his blog on November 27 that the series will have a “substantial budget, one that should allow them to create a show that looks as good as modern audiences expect.” He also claimed that filming would take place in Ireland, with the premiere scheduled for next July on Syfy in the U.S., and on Netflix in most other countries. He also stated that there is exciting casting news for the show, but that he’ll withhold that information for another post — though he did hint that some former GoT stars could join the series. The series is created by Jeff Buhler (Pet Sematary), who wrote the pilot, and Daniel Cerone (Charmed, Dexter) is acting as showrunner.
As for the source material, Nightflyers is a novella by Martin that was first published in 1980 in the science-fiction magazine Analog. It won the Locus award for Best Novella, and Martin later expanded the story for inclusion in Dell’s Binary Star sci-fi book series. The story is set in the same “Thousand Worlds” universe as a number of Martin’s other works from the time period, and takes place on a ship — The Nightflyer — that’s taking its crew of scientists to meet up with a legendary and all-powerful alien race. Along the way, some members of the crew who possess psychic powers begin to break down, with paranoia setting in that an alien force may be coming for them. The story was previously adapted as a 1987 film of the same name that was pretty poorly received, so here’s hoping the new series does the tale better justice.
Now, for anyone concerned that this project will keep Martin from continuing his work writing the A Song of Ice and Fire book series, you needn’t be. It sounds like he’s not involved at all in the series, and didn’t even negotiate Syfy’s deal — they picked up the rights from the old movie deal and Martin found out about it after the fact. So it looks like we can all enjoy this when it comes out and not feel guilty about it taking up too much of Martin’s precious time.