Amazon is backing sci-fi in a big way. The e-tailer-cum-streaming service is producing adaptations of three sci-fi shows: Larry Niven's 'Ringworld', Neal Stephenson's 'Snow Crash' and Greg Rucka's 'Lazarus'.
'Ringworld' is based on the 1970 novel of the same name. It's about Louis Gridley Wu, who's enlisted by an alien species to take part in an expedition to locate a mysterious object in space. But his craft crash lands, and he and his crew have to escape somehow.
'Snow Crash' is based on a cyberpunk novel. The aptly-named Hiro Protagonist delivers pizzas by night but is also a warrior in the virtual reality Metaverse. When a computer virus starts to infect players in the virtual world, Protagonist has to track down the people behind it.
'Lazarus', meanwhile, is based on a comic book from Greg Rucka (who created the TV series 'Supergirl', 'Arrow' and 'Jessica Jones'). It's about an alternate future world which is divided into 16 rival families who employ a specialised assassin called Lazarus to maintain the status quo.
Amazon is reportedly putting "significant production investment" into each of these series. Which would square with CEO Jeff Bezos' recent order to employees to produce "high-end drama series with a global appeal".
While Amazon has won critical acclaim for some of its TV output, it's still lagging behind Netflix in terms of plaudits. With its latest push into sci-fi, maybe it can make up some ground on its arch rival.