Cibola Burn: The Latest Expanse Novel Lands On The Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf

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As much as we love science fiction on TV, on the big screen, on the comics page, and in video game form, there’s just something irreplaceable about digging into a good book. There’s no shortage of new sci-fi adventures hitting shelves on a regular basis, but GFR is your one-stop shop to keep up with what’s hitting shelves in a given week. Here’s what’s new on the Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf!

Cibola“Cibola Burn” by James S.A. Corey


‘An empty apartment, a missing family, that’s creepy. But this is like finding a military base with no one on it. Fighters and tanks idling on the runway with no drivers. This is bad juju. Something wrong happened here. What you should do is tell everyone to leave.’

The gates have opened the way to a thousand new worlds and the rush to colonize has begun. Settlers looking for a new life stream out from humanity’s home planets. Ilus, the first human colony on this vast new frontier, is being born in blood and fire.

Independent settlers stand against the overwhelming power of a corporate colony ship with only their determination, courage, and the skills learned in the long wars of home. Innocent scientists are slaughtered as they try to survey a new and alien world. The struggle on Ilus threatens to spread all the way back to Earth.

James Holden and the crew of his one small ship are sent to make peace in the midst of war and sense in the midst of chaos. But the more he looks at it, the more Holden thinks the mission was meant to fail.

And the whispers of a dead man remind him that the great galactic civilization that once stood on this land is gone. And that something killed it.


Syfy’s About-Face: Nine Shows That Might Help The Network Redeem Itself

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Earlier this year, Bill McGoldrick, Syfy’s executive vice president of original programming, made the bold claim that the network was headed in a new direction, and that they wanted top notch scripted programming that could compete with well-respected cable entities such as AMC and HBO. Ascension was one of the first projects announced that suggested Syfy might really be trying to reform after years of cheesy TV movies, paranormal “reality” shows, and inexplicable wrestling.

A six-hour space opera “event series,” Ascension imagines an alternate history where, in the heat of the 1960s space race, the U.S. launched the titular starship on a top secret mission of colonization. Fifty years later, the vessel is still en route to its distant destination, loaded with hundreds of men, women, and children hoping to make a new home on another world. But when a young woman is murdered, the inhabitants begin to wonder about the true nature of their mission.

The first trailer, which you can see below, is a moody and effective teaser, imagining how a small, contained society might have developed over five decades, with traces of 1960s culture mixed with more futuristic trappings (check out that flag!). Mysteries often make a good mix with science fiction (see: Leviathan Wakes), helping ground the fantastic elements with the uglier elements of human nature. Whether Ascension will blend those disparate parts into a satisfying treat remains to be seen, but hiring Battlestar Galactica‘s Tricia Helfer is a nice start. Ascension was created and written by Philip Levens, who previously wrote for Smallville and the 2008 Knight Rider reboot. Those credits suggest this could go either way, but we’re cautiously optimistic. – David

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James S.A. Corey Sounds Off On Syfy’s Expanse TV Series

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LeviathanThe announcement that Syfy was working on a TV adaptation of James S.A. Corey’s acclaimed The Expanse books was one of the most exciting stories we’ve repeated on in a long time. Leviathan Wakes is one of the best science fiction books I’ve read, period, and it made an instant fan out of me. The series, which began with Leviathan in 2011, has carried on through Caliban’s War in 2012, Abaddon’s Gate in 2013, and the upcoming Cibola Burn, due out on June 17. Now the book’s author — or rather, authors — has made an official statement about the Syfy Expanse series.

The Expanse books were written by “James S.A. Corey”…which is actually a pseudonym for writers Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. The series is set in a future where mankind has spread out through the solar system, but not yet managed insterstellar travel. An ice miner named James Holden makes a discovery that sets him on a path toward secrets that powerful people are willing to kill for, and which may fundamentally reshape the future of our species. Syfy has ordered a 10-episode first season of The Expanse, with Children of Men writers Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby penning the pilot and serving as executive producers.


The Expanse Expands With A New Novella — Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf

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As much as we love science fiction on TV, on the big screen, on the comics page, and in video game form, there’s just something irreplaceable about digging into a good book. There’s no shortage of new sci-fi adventures hitting shelves on a regular basis, but GFR is your one-stop shop to keep up with what’s hitting shelves in a given week.

This week’s new book releases include a new installment of James S.A. Corey’s critically acclaimed space opera series The Expanse! No, they didn’t move up the release of this summer’s fourth Expanse novel, Cibola Burn. Instead we’ve got The Churn, a new novella set in the universe of The Expanse. Here’s what’s new on the Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf!

ChurnPick of the Week: “The Churn” by James S.A. Corey

From New York Times bestselling author James S.A. Corey…

Before his trip to the stars, before the Rocinante, Amos Burton was confined to a Baltimore where crime paid you or killed you. Unless the authorities got to you first.

Set in the hard-scrabble solar system of Leviathan Wakes, Caliban’s War, Abaddon’s Gate and the upcoming Cibola Burn, The Churn deepens James S. A. Corey’s acclaimed Expanse series.


The Expanse, Gateway & More: Four Sci-Fi Series We Can’t Wait To See

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AbbadonWhile both shows have had their problems, Defiance and Helix gave the first signs that Syfy might be trying to take chances and recapture some of those many fans who had come to regard the former Sci-Fi Channel as a bad joke. Both shows are returning for second seasons, and earlier this year Syfy’s executive vice president of original programming Bill McGoldrick was talking a big game about wanting Syfy to be competitive in a world where HBO and AMC have found huge hits in Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, respectively. And believe it or not, Syfy has definitely been putting its money where its mouth is, greenlighting a ton of projects in recent weeks, including straight-to-series orders for their adaptation of Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys and a zombie show called Z Nation.

Even more exciting, Syfy is taking viewers someplace they’ve been clamoring for in the years since Farscape, Battlestar Galactica, and Stargate Universe closed up shop — actually into freaking space. Syfy’s recent announcements include not one, but two exciting new spacebound projects that, if handled right, could be amazing. One is a series adaptation of James S.A. Corey’s critically acclaimed — and rightly so — Expanse series, and the other is Ascension, an original six-hour “event series” about a century-long journey to colonize a new world. Is it guaranteed that either or both of those will be good? Not at all, but Syfy is clearly trying again, and that’s awesome.

They aren’t the only network headed into the final frontier, either. I can’t remember a time when there were this many space-based TV projects in development — all the more impressive since none of them have “Trek” anywhere in their titles. It’s enough to let a little light of hope into our cold, cynical hearts here at GFR, so we decided to shine that light on eight upcoming science fiction projects that have us majorly excited, four now and four more next week. Let’s see what’s out there…

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Syfy Orders Space Opera The Expanse Straight To Series

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The ExpanseDespite the fact that the network has become known in recent times as a repository of schlock-filled B-grade creature features like Sharknado and Sharktopus, Syfy has been making a serious push back into the original content game. Their latest endeavor is a sweeping space-opera called The Expanse.

Based on a series of novels by James S.A. Corey (the collective pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, who will both serve as executive producers), The Expanse is set more than two centuries in the future. The action “follows the case of a missing young woman who brings a hardened detective and a rogue ship’s captain together in a race across the solar system to expose the greatest conspiracy in human history.” Syfy gave the series a straight to series order, and will team with Alcon Television Group to produce a first series of ten hour-long episodes.

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