Monday, May 29, 2017

Expanding The Expanse

     I've enjoyed the first two seasons of the TV series, so I decided to try the books, or at least the first one of the series.

     It's pretty good -- competent space opera, no breaks to explain the functioning of ray guns -- heck, no ray guns as such! -- and the same general story.

     What I didn't expect was that the book would be a little less complex than the TV series.  In part, this is because of inherent differences in storytelling; a novel can put you in a character's head or dash off a little exposition on the fly but dramas on screen or stage have to show you.  The scriptwriters have done a masterful job of just that, combining a few "background" characters to create a kind of prototypical hardscrabble Belter and the TV series is the better for it.  As a specific recurring character rather than a few bit players, he would have been a distraction in the book.

     Watching and reading The Expanse makes me want to see TV-series adaptations of hard SF from bigger (or older, anyway) names -- C. J. Cherryh's "Alliance-Union" universe and much of Robert A. Heinlein's output are now well within the capabilities of teleproduction and the (re?)emergence of long-form "serials" provides the right scale for a novel. Maybe a little Larry Niven?  Many of his short stories might make fine movies.

11 comments:

Jerry said...

Asimov's robots would be a rich vein of stories as well.

Blackwing1 said...

I'm in the middle of going through all of Heinlein's (slightly mis-named) "juveniles", starting with the immediate post-war (1948) "Rocket Ship Galileo" and following chronologically in order of copyright. I was thinking that several of those would be great serials, with updated technology and visuals. Keep them at the same level at which he wrote them for children and you'll hit a large majority of the TV-watching demographic.

Heck, take almost any one of Heinlein's short stories and you've got a pretty good 2-hour made-for-little-screen movie. Cherryh's "Pride of Chanur" series would be great fun to see on a screen too.

My only worry would be that someone would butcher the stories (and the moral tales therein) like they did with "Starship Troopers".

Anonymous said...

"Maybe a little Larry Niven?"

Yeah, 'Inconstant Moon' would be ideal, the one about the guy suddenly noticing the full moon at midnight was many times brighter than normal, and then realizing it meant the sun had flared, and it would be an extinction event in a few hours.

What (or, more importantly,*who*) would you do (*wink*)if you knew the world was about to end?

Heinlein's 'Friday' would be another excellent choice...

Ed Skinner said...

Dune.

Or has the world become too Islamaphobic for the borrowed/suggestive terminology?

Or did the two sucky movies soil the idea too severely?

[Sigh.] One can only hope.

Ed Skinner said...

Asimov's Foundation series would be a natural.

Monty James said...

Is there any chance the social justice warriors would leave much of a Heinlein story's carcass that would be recognizable, after they got through with it? Paul Verhoeven should have been horsewhipped for "Starship Troopers".

There's an Eric Frank Russell story, "The Space Willies", which would make a fun movie. The Keith Laumer novel "Worlds Of The Imperium" and the sequels, also the Poul Anderson Dominic Landry stories would make decent series.

Ryan Bowers said...

I'm thinking classic space opera like the Lensman series by E. E. "Doc" Smith.

Lergnom said...

"Methuselah's Children" would make a great mini-series, IMO. Also the Retief stories.

Roberta X said...

Of the stories mentioned, "Inconstant Moon" has been made as an hour-long TV show, an episode of "The Outer Limits" revival. It has recently been under development as a feature film, which doesn't mean it will ever actually be one but is a hopeful sign.

Heinlein's "'--All You Zombies--'" was shot as the SF film "Predestination" with some added RAH-ish bits in the form of the "fizzle bomber," a kind of scaled-down version of his future history "Wet Firecracker War." The core story was untouched; perhaps the filmmakers were loathe to repeat the "Starship Troopers" fiasco.

Comrade Misfit said...

The show took elements from the second book, Caliban's War, and brought them into the storyline.

Robin said...

Moon is a Harsh Mistress would make a good mini-series and is easily within a modest special effects budget these days.

Maybe with a Richard Dean Anderson cameo as an Air Force general trapped in Cheyenne Mountain as its pounded from the moon ...