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

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CibolaThe Expanse (Syfy)

What is it?
An adaptation of the Expanse novels by Daniel Abraham and Ty Frank (writing collectively under the pen name of James S.A. Corey), which launched with 2011’s Hugo-winner Leviathan Wakes and was then followed by Caliban’s War, Abaddon’s Gate, and the upcoming Cibola Burn. In Leviathan Wakes, an ice miner named Jim Holden makes a bleak discovery aboard a derelict ship, one which eventually dovetails into a missing-persons investigation by a gruff detective named Miller. Soon the solar system is poised on the edge of all-out war between the planets, but even bigger revelations come to light that could change…everything.

Why should we care?
Leviathan Wakes is hands down one of the best science fiction books I’ve ever read, spinning a classic space opera around an addictive mystery, all set within a well-realized vision of a future where man has spread out through our solar system, but not yet reached the stars. Of all the projects on this list, this is the one that will break my heart the most if they fumble the ball. A series is exactly the right place to tell this story, however, as opposed to a film, because the universe of The Expanse is rich and full of potential. If they get this one right, don’t be surprised if the TV series nabs a few Hugos of its own.

Should we get our hopes up?
A few months ago, I would have said “no” as soon as I saw the word “Syfy” attached. As I said in my intro, however, that seems to be changing. Syfy still has a lot to prove, but they definitely seem to have their sights set on becoming a home for ambitious, top-tier science fiction programming, and The Expanse could be a perfect flagship for that renewed vision. The pilot is being adapted by Children of Men writers Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, and they will stay on as writers and executive producers for the series. Syfy is clearly confident in this one, as they recently gave it a straight-to-series order, meaning they’ll produce a full first season of 10 episodes right out the gate, rather than making a pilot and then giving the series a yea or nay.

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