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Arthur C. Clarke, Larry Niven Earn Syfy Miniseries

Cable channel turns back to genre master artists for great stories


If winter time feels a little bit like science-fiction utopia for fans, then you’ll have to thank Syfy.

The cable channel said it’s working on two separate miniseries that will showcase two of the genre’s biggest names in literature: Arthur C. Clarke and Larry Niven.

Clarke, of course, is the late author who penned novels such as “2001: A Space Odyssey” among other famous works. This time around, however, Syfy is interested in his 1953 novel “Childhood’s End.” That story, according to Syfy, follows a peaceful invasion of Earth by the mysterious Overlords, whose arrival ends all war and turns the planet into a near utopia.

Although director Stanley Kubrick was originally interested in producing “Childhood’s End” into a film in the 1960s, he would opt instead to go with “2001.” Since then, the closest “Childhood’s End” ever evolved from book form were in occasional radio adaptations.

The novel sold more than 210,000 copies in its first run, and received positive reviews from both critics and readers. The production team of the miniseries will include Michael DeLuca as executive producer, the man behind such popular films as “The Social Network” and “Moneyball,” and some forgettable outings like “Ghost Rider,” “Priest” and “Fright Night.”

For Niven’s “Ringworld” project, this has been a longtime coming. The first novel was published in 1970 to critical acclaim, and despite its popularity, has never made it to the screen. There have been a few attempts in the past to get it up on the movie screen, and even Syfy itself — then known as the SciFi Channel — announced a “Ringworld” project in 2004, only to never see it come to fruition.

This time, Syfy has Michael Perry on-board for the television adaptation, and is ready to turn this into a four-hour miniseries production. Perry is best known for his work on in “American Gothic,” “Millennium,” “The Dead Zone” and the screenplay for “Paranormal Activity 2.”

“We’re proud to bring to life these science-fiction masterpieces, ‘Ringworld’ and ‘Childhood’s End,'” said Mark Stern, president of original content at Syfy, in a release. “With their brilliant scope of imagination, the astonishing visions of these two novels created riveting possibilities into the future of humanity, which remain timely and provocative.”

According to Syfy, “Ringworld” focuses on a team of hastily assembled explorers who have to travel to the farthest reaches of space to investigate an artificial habitat known as Ringworld — which is the size of one million Earths. There, they find ancient civilizations as well as technology beyond their wildest dreams.

Syfy has yet to set a timetable for these productions, but they are expected to be part of the cable channel’s 2014 schedule, if not 2015.

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