Masters of SciFi: TV Show: Heinlein & Ellison stories among them.

A friend forwarded this to me and it looks exciting.

Masters of Science Fiction: Saturday, August 4 at 8/7c

(My Bolding in quotes)

I am especially intrigued by the 3rd and 4th installments.

I love the story “Jerry was a Man”. It is a classic and some say the inspiration for Planet of the Apes*. I have hopes that someone will finally do a good treatment of a Heinlein story.

I of course look forward to seeing any of Ellison’s works. I always enjoy his stuff. I have to set up my DVR for these.

My TV watching this summer has consisted of the New “Dr. Who” and Yankee baseball. This will be a welcome addition.


  • Is that a good thing or bad thing, I am not sure?

Earlier thread on this show.

Here’s the Masters of SF website.

I know it doesn’t mean as much to you guys, but the first episode is based on a story by my old friend John Kessel so I’m even more excited by it.

I never heard of Kessel, what can you tell us about him? What stories or books do you recommend?

(I can’t imagine how I missed the earlier thread :wink: )


Good to see they’re adapting Robert Sheckley. He’s one of the first SF authors I’ve read, and over the years his stuff has been badly adapted (Freejack, the 10th Victim, Condorman) or simply ripped off (Total Recall, I maintain, owes an awful lot more to Sheckley’s “The Status Civilization” than it does to the Philip K. Dick story that is its nominal source. I can give plenty of other examples). Maybe, for once, they’ll do a good job with his stuff.

Of course, I keep hoping that someone will do justice to a Heinlein story, too. Maybe we’ll luck out for once.

He’s from the literary end of the sf spectrum, so even though he’s been writing for 30 years and has won the Nebula, Sturgeon, and Tiptree Awards, he’s effectively invisible to the sf audience.

Anyway, the novel to start with is Corrupting Dr. Nice, which starts with one of the best-realized time travel tales in the field and then goes into a screwball comedy. With dinosaurs. The apocalyptic satire Good News from Outer Space is next.

But like most sf literary writers, I think his best work is in short fiction, another reason why literary sf isn’t as well known. So his longer short story collection, The Pure Product, is the place to start there. It includes “A Clean Escape,” the story that will be dramatized on Masters of SF. It doesn’t include his Nebula Award-winning novella, “Another Orphan,” but that can be found for a penny on Amazon in the Ace Double edition.

Sheckley will not be dramatized. His was one of the two stories filmed but dropped for this shortened run. Maybe if there’s a DVD…

That’s all good information up there, but can you make it to his house in less than 12 parsecs?

I can’t run at all these days. :slight_smile:


Actually, judging from the pictures on the site, he’s apparently already been dramatized. But he might not be broadcast. THAT’s a pity.

Well, all joking aside, I am glad for this thread. I love pretty much all RAH’s work, and look forward to watching this.

I hope I get this channel. Hehehe…

Please fight my ignorance, but how is Hawking going to narrate?

I think it is in terms of introducing the works. He will say a bit at the beginning and maybe the end. Think Rod Sterling, but of course in Hawking’s very distinct and mechanical voice.


(looking at the list) But there are no light sabers or unicorns and they are all based on something called “short stories” instead of trilogies or longer series. How could they be science fiction? :confused:

Once upon a time, Science Fiction asked its writers and readers to think and have some knowledge of or at least a keen interest in science. Despite decades of Hollywood and TV disabusing the common person of this knowledge, Science Fiction can be one of the best formats for story telling and can be kept believable at the same time. Strangely enough, instead of a Unicorn, we will probably see a Pegasus. Of course, this Pegasus will be a creature of advance science not fantasy. Therefore, I think the show will still be able to meet your expectations.

I hope that cleared up your confusion,

I know you were joking, I just felt like playing on your joke. Plus I thought you might have forgot about the Pegasus.

Well, we all know what the fate of this series shall be now, don’t we? You aren’t going to attract favorable demographics with such a staid old title. Yet Another High Quality Yet Short-Lived SF Series, at best…

It’s being broadcast on Saturdays at 10 pm. That’s the lowest-rated slot in all of television. You could have Ron, Hermione, and Chewbacca in a nude three-way and it wouldn’t get ratings.

I’m not even sure I’d watch. :smiley:

That is why the DVR and VCR exist.

However, I agree, these shows will get no ratings and then with any luck will be rediscovered in 2 years on the Sci-Fi channel like “Dead like Me”.


They’ll get William Shatner to guest star, and maybe George Lucas as an executive producer. Will that make it “science-y” enough for you?




I’d like to have higher hopes for this but I’ve seen too many previous adaptations of science fiction literature into movies.

Yeah, the website starts by saying that it is 8/7c, but then later on says:

TV Guide concurs with the later time.

Speaking of Sturgeon and Masters of Science Fiction (okay, yeah, it’s a hijack), anyone else buying the Sturgeon collected short stories? The Nail and the Oracle just arrived yesterday. I swear, every new volume costs more and contains less.