Story by legendary sci-fi author Robert Silverberg being made into film

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Apr 13, 2017

One of sci-fi's greatest living legends is finally getting some love from Hollywood.

According to Deadline, John Ridley is set to write and direct a film for Miramax called Needle in a Timestack, based on a short story by Robert Silverberg. The story focuses on a man who sets out to save his marriage after it is destroyed by a rival using time travel to alter the course of history.

The involvement of Ridley, whose credits include writing and directing the Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave, as well as creating the acclaimed TV series American Crime and a new Showtime project called Guerrilla (he's also still attached to write a mystery Marvel TV project), means it's more likely to move forward than get stuck in development hell.

Which is good news for sci-fi fans and Silverberg readers. The 82-year-old author (who retired from writing in 2015) is considered one of the giants of the genre, with four Hugo Awards and six Nebula Awards to his name. He was also inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 1999 and named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 2005.

He is perhaps best known for the Majipoor series, a collection of novels and stories set on a giant planet named Majipoor, home to seven different races, including humans and various aliens. His other novels include the Nebula-winning A Time of Changes, Nightwings, Across a Billion Years, The World Inside, The Masks of Time, The Book of Skulls, Tower of Glass, Dying Inside and many others.

Yet with the exception of a 1986 Twilight Zone episode, two TV movies (one of them French) and the 1999 movie Bicentennial Man (based on Isaac Asimov's story of the same name and Silverberg's expansion of it to novel length, The Positronic Man), Silverberg's work has not been adapted for either film or TV. David Fincher wanted to adapt his short story "Passengers" (no relation to the recent Chris Pratt/Jennifer Lawrence movie) for a long time, but it never got off the ground, and we don't know of any other planned adaptations at the moment.

But with Hollywood interested in serious sci-fi these days, authors like Silverberg have plenty of material that could be mined and hopefully Needle in a Timestack will be the first of many to come. We'll keep an eye on this one.

Would you like to see the work of more classic sci-fi authors adapted for the screen? Whose would you like to see?