When you think of George R.R. Martin it’s more than likely that your mind immediately conjures up the thoughts of Lannister bannermen, Dothraki soldiers, dragons, knights, and white walkers, characters found in his A Song of Ice and Fire novel series that has since been adapted into a wildly popular HBO television series, Game of Thrones. The fantasy epic and almost all of its elements is a far cry from outer space, but that is where our beloved author is taking us next! Martin’s intergalactic story Nightflyers is getting the small screen treatment and the recently released teaser trailer and first look at the project is a testament to it being exactly what we expect from Martin: epic.
Nightflyers was originally a 23,000-word novella Martin penned that premiered in Analog Science Fiction and Fact magazine in 1980. The editor liked it so much that he requested Martin bump it to 30,000-words, which he did by adding background details and secondary characters. The extended edition was later published as a short story along with True Names by Verner Vinge. A film adaptation directed by Robert Collector (aka T.C. Blake) was released in 1987. The special effects and style is a little dated, however the poster artwork is extremely chilling (below). Unfortunately, ratings proved that the story was better left on the page at the time. Until now.
Syfy and Netflix have partnered to revive Martin’s self proclaimed “haunted house story on a starship” that sees a space team at the mercy of a very modern, immortal enemy that has become jealous of some inner-crew relations. Thanks to a handy little exclusivity clause set within his contract with HBO (thanks a lot, guys), Martin is unable to write for the show, but will executive produce. Instead, he has left the pen in the very capable hands of Jeff Buhler (Pet Sematary (2019), Midnight Meat Train) for the series starring Jodie Turner-Smith (The Neon Demon), Gretchen Mol (Manchester By The Sea), and Eoin Macken (Resident Evil: The Final Chapter).
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The network dropped the trailer and now the teaser taking a first look at Nightflyers that has given us the Alien–Event Horizon–The Cloverfield Paradox science fiction mashup of our horror-loving dreams. In it Martin defines the story as “Psycho in space”. Check it out, above.
The idea for the story apparently came from someone telling Martin he wouldn’t be able to successfully combine sci-fi and horror together within a story. If there is anything Martin is happy to do it’s to tell someone hold his beer and prove a nay-sayer wrong. This little bit pleased me especially as the only reason I personally began reading A Song of Ice and Fire was because someone told me I wouldn’t be able to finish it and I am now a lifelong fan of the books and the show. Sometimes being steadfast gives way to great things.
Nightflyers is a well-crafted, smart, and horrifying sci-fi tale and when it comes to the work Martin puts out, when he feels like it, it is never anything less than fantastic. Judging by the quality shown in the teaser trailer and the fact that we won’t have to wait a lightyear for a release, goes to show it should not disappoint. Nightflyers will crash here on earth in the Fall of 2019.