What kind of sci fi show would appeal to mainstream TV audiences who loved Game of Thrones?

CmdrShepN7

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It was long thought that fantasy was a genre once thought reserved for geeks but Game of Thrones has garnered a huge audience.

What kind of sci fi story and universe would get the attention of the mainstream?

Would it have to have no aliens and futuristic tech until later seasons? Would the interstellar civilizations have to be allegories for modern and/or ancient human civilizations? Would there have to be a space battle in each episode?

What kind of sci fi universe, characters, and story would the mainstream want?

A combination of Iain M. Banks Culture and Mass Effect?
 

BAYLOR

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It was long thought that fantasy was a genre once thought reserved for geeks but Game of Thrones has garnered a huge audience.

What kind of sci fi story and universe would get the attention of the mainstream?

Would it have to have no aliens and futuristic tech until later seasons? Would the interstellar civilizations have to be allegories for modern and/or ancient human civilizations? Would there have to be a space battle in each episode?

What kind of sci fi universe, characters, and story would the mainstream want?

A combination of Iain M. Banks Culture and Mass Effect?

Any one of those , if done well.
 

Brian G Turner

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Mass Effect

I appreciate that Mass Effect had a really big influence on you, but it wasn't a novel or a TV show, it was a computer game. If you're looking to write novels you are really going to have to start focusing your attention on reading novels - lots of them - and letting the way that these stories are told begin to inspire you.

I say this because it's one of the first pitfalls of writing that it's "all about the ideas", and that connecting these up with words should be easy because, you know, if you can write English you can write anything.

But writing fiction is a craft, and art and a science, and one that takes many years, even decades, of development to reach a competent standard. So if you're serious about writing, that's what you need to focus on.

Video games and TV shows are they are not going to show you how to write, and stories are not simply about the universe, character, and story - but in the telling of it all using words. You need the written word for that, and be able to begin to learn how storytelling works in the unique medium of the novel.

By all means, let what you've already experienced inspire you, but don't be led into a false sense of security that all you need is ideas - for writing you need writing skills. You need to learn the deeper meaning and use of words themselves.

Have I hammered the point home enough yet? :)
 

BAYLOR

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I appreciate that Mass Effect had a really big influence on you, but it wasn't a novel or a TV show, it was a computer game. If you're looking to write novels you are really going to have to start focusing your attention on reading novels - lots of them - and letting the way that these stories are told begin to inspire you.

I say this because it's one of the first pitfalls of writing that it's "all about the ideas", and that connecting these up with words should be easy because, you know, if you can write English you can write anything.

But writing fiction is a craft, and art and a science, and one that takes many years, even decades, of development to reach a competent standard. So if you're serious about writing, that's what you need to focus on.

Video games and TV shows are they are not going to show you how to write, and stories are not simply about the universe, character, and story - but in the telling of it all using words. You need the written word for that, and be able to begin to learn how storytelling works in the unique medium of the novel.

By all means, let what you've already experienced inspire you, but don't be led into a false sense of security that all you need is ideas - for writing you need writing skills. You need to learn the deeper meaning and use of words themselves.

Have I hammered the point home enough yet? :)

I would love to see them do a Warhammer 40k tv series . There is so much potential with something like this.
 

Astro Pen

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My feeling is that, although bundled here, SF and Fantasy are opposites and have different audiences. Fantasy is currently completely dominant. What SF there is tends to be space opera. You could write it with galleons instead of starships and the scripts/ plots would barely change.
I think the last sci fi that really captured the public imagination was X-Files, decades ago. and even that had strong supernatural influences in the alternate 'non alien' episodes.
 

.matthew.

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I would love to see them do a Warhammer 40k tv series . There is so much potential with something like this.

I've always thought they should go animation for that (and the fantasy warhammer).
 

Rodders

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I will always recommend Babylon 5. It is complete, it has multiple storylines and strong character arcs and it is extraordinarily well done TV.

Sure, it’s not without it’s down side. the acting can be a little ropey and people often complain about the effects, (although I always found them to be okay). It’s well worth sticking with. The haircuts will probably date it the most. :)

I’m hankering for a rewatch, but I leant my DVD set to a guys I work with. That guy (and my best friend), who haven’t seen it before are in the process of watching it now. I am really looking forward to discussing it with them.

Although it was started in 1995, it remains my favourite science fiction experience.
 

paranoid marvin

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Something originally created by by Douglas Adams. Genius writer of books, tv, radio. Basically a genius.
 

BAYLOR

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I will always recommend Babylon 5. It is complete, it has multiple storylines and strong character arcs and it is extraordinarily well done TV.

Sure, it’s not without it’s down side. the acting can be a little ropey and people often complain about the effects, (although I always found them to be okay). It’s well worth sticking with. The haircuts will probably date it the most. :)

I’m hankering for a rewatch, but I leant my DVD set to a guys I work with. That guy (and my best friend), who haven’t seen it before are in the process of watching it now. I am really looking forward to discussing it with them.

Although it was started in 1995, it remains my favourite science fiction experience.

Babylon 5 winner and still Champ. The best science fiction show of all time. It upped the bar not only on science fiction shows but every other genre television show as well.
 

JoanDrake

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The first thing that springs to my mind is Asimov's FOUNDATION series. The story is unusual in hard SF in that the story hinges on a social science, being mainly about competing theories of analytic historiography so that would get the politics/intrigue junkies and the big canvas people all together. The story is also written in a manner similar to Martin's, but using actually separate short stories/novelettes widely separated in space and time. The hard part would be somehow writing in all the sex, since SF in Asimov's day was fairly sanitized but I don't think that would be a real problem for modern writers. (Naughty Isaac liked to throw in references which you have to be watchful to catch, but they were there)
 

JoanDrake

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And springing right up several hours after that is Roger Zelazny's LORD OF LIGHT but maybe not, as it's really Science Fantasy
 

Danny McG

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Something along these lines would be kinda shiny....

Set 500 years in the future after a universal civil war, the crew of a small transport spaceship takes any job so long as it puts food on the table. The disparate men and women just want to survive and maybe have better lives, but they face constant challenges on the new frontier, such as the Reavers -- flesh-eating mongrels who live on the fringes of the universe
 

BAYLOR

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Decades ago .author Michael Shaara did wonderful science fiction short story titled All the Way Back. as far as I know , he never did follow up to it. I Would love to see a tv show does based off od that short story.
 

Vladd67

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Not a sci-fi book but I believe an XCOM and XCOM 2 series would be interesting, as well as the military side it could cover the shady politics of 'The Council' with the double-dealing and collaboration with the aliens. Early seasons could cover the actual invasion, XCOM, and then later seasons could cover the resistance, XCOM 2. A spin-off could then cover the integration of the alien foot soldiers into earth society, which would then bring in XCOM Chimera Squad.
 

Guttersnipe

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Some planetary romance or sword and planet story. A better serial version of the Barsoom books, perhaps.
 

Murderfloof

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I really have no idea how to categorize Outlander, so I apologize if I'm going off-topic by mentioning it. It seems mainstream to me in that people who don't usually like any sort of SFF seem to like it. I've read others call it "sort of" sci-fi because of the time-travel involved but I don't necessarily agree with that. More like fantasy with time travel. I have read the first book and watched the show so far. Not my favorite thing ever, but it helped fill the GoT void for me.

I think Star Wars is the closest to mainstream that actual sci-fi gets. So something like that with enough big-name actors to attract mainstream, maybe?
 

.matthew.

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I really have no idea how to categorize Outlander, so I apologize if I'm going off-topic by mentioning it. It seems mainstream to me in that people who don't usually like any sort of SFF seem to like it. I've read others call it "sort of" sci-fi because of the time-travel involved but I don't necessarily agree with that. More like fantasy with time travel. I have read the first book and watched the show so far. Not my favorite thing ever, but it helped fill the GoT void for me.

I think Star Wars is the closest to mainstream that actual sci-fi gets. So something like that with enough big-name actors to attract mainstream, maybe?

I haven't watched Outlander but I always thought it was just a period drama with the premise being woman stuck in the past?

Also please no more Star Wars, the first trilogy was good (ish) but the rampant fanboyism surrounding it makes no sense. They haven't done a good thing since (excepting the clone wars animation and possibly though not seen it yet Mandalorian)
 

Murderfloof

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I haven't watched Outlander but I always thought it was just a period drama with the premise being woman stuck in the past?

Also please no more Star Wars, the first trilogy was good (ish) but the rampant fanboyism surrounding it makes no sense. They haven't done a good thing since (excepting the clone wars animation and possibly though not seen it yet Mandalorian)

As for Outlander, I did see one other post on here calling it a "historical fantasy" which does seem fitting. I have read/watched maybe 80% of the existing material so far, so I don't know everything about it.
But I do see that rather than simply being stuck in the past for a historical adventure, the woman (and other people) travel back and forth in time. Someone's conceived in the past, born and grows up in the future then travels to the past as an adult. People meeting ancestors/descendents, etc. and it seems that the time travel is more magical/supernatural than science, but I don't know for sure. She hasn't yet published all the books.

Like GoT, plenty of sex, violence, political intrigue and good (or at least decent) acting all contribute to it being mainstream. A space opera (for example) would need to really focus on these things and use them to get people hooked and invested in characters, before introducing any space battles or aliens. And then, not get cancelled after 1 season.

As for Star Wars, well we are talking about mainstream! :D I only watched the movies and didn't get especially engrossed in it, other than the first trilogy being a special fixture of childhood for many people my age. I was always more of a Trekkie.
 

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