If you ever have impostor syndrome over your creative work—which is practically a given if you make creative work—sometimes it’s reassuring to know that even your idol can’t always be perfect. Even George R.R. Martin can’t always make winners. That’s bad news if you’re a fan of Syfy’s Nightflyers… but it turns out, few people were.
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The TV show, based on George R.R. Martin’s futuristic novella of the same name, was one of the network’s riskiest undertakings. As the most expensive series Syfy has ever produced, even this best-seller wasn’t a sure thing. As a result, the show needed to nab higher earnings than the GDP of most of the nations of Westeros. Ultimately, it only recieved 420,000 viewers for its finale, a drastic drop from its initial 630,000 views for the premier. Given that Game of Thrones premiers and finales can get double-digit millions of views, the network’s gamble didn’t exactly pay off. Syfy attempted to boost the show by releasing the entire series across all platforms. Sadly, Nightflyers didn’t make it too far off the ground.
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Even though the show is leaving Syfy after one season, the novella is still available for our enjoyment. Though we primarily know George R.R. Martin for his fantasy writing (or maybe his massive wizard beard), he’s also an award-winning author of horror and science fiction. Nightflyers combines elements of both genres while also ditching the length of his fantasy works—this may not be a book big enough to use as a blunt-force weapon, but the storytelling will still knock fans flat. Take a look:
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Nine misfit academics on an expedition to find the volcryn, a mythic race of intersteller nomads, and the only ship available for this strange quest is the Nightflyer, a cybernetic wonder with a never-seen captain…
Nine innocents are about to find themselves in deep space, trapped with an insane murderer who can go anywhere, do anything, and intends to kill them all.
Despite the limited success of the adaptation, the novella itself is an acclaimed work of fiction. Shortly after its release, it was nominated for a prestigious Hugo Award and adapted into a feature film. So, what went wrong? Apparently, George R.R. Martin had little involvement in the show’s development. Turns out you can’t just sell a big name. The show may have been set in 2093, but it didn’t have a future.
Featured Image Via Kill 2 Birds TV