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Amazon developing cyberpunk anthem Snow Crash, Ringworld and more

Bringing you the cyberpunk capitalist nightmare you were always promised — not the one we’re in right now

Sean Lam/Tor/Seven Seas
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Amazon is developing three new original science fiction adaptations from some titans of the genre, according to a new report from Variety.

Neal Stephenson’s seminal cyberpunk novel Snow Crash has a shot at becoming an hourlong drama series. Among other prescient hallmarks of online culture, the book popularized the modern usage of the term “avatar.” Set in a near-future-capitalist-nightmare-America, complete with full virtual reality internet, pizza delivery guy and washed-up programmer Hiro Protagonist uncovers a computer virus that attacks the language centers of the human brain.

Larry Niven’s Ringworld is being co-produced by Amazon and MGM, based on the 1970s scifi series that influenced not only other authors in the genre but also the Halo franchise. And finally, Amazon is developing an adaptation of Lazarus, Image Comics’ near-future sci-fi drama from writer Greg Rucka and artist Michael Lark. Like Snow Crash, Lazarus takes place in a near-future-capitalist-nightmare-America, where society is run by 16 rival families in a modern feudal state. The series’ lead is Forever Carlyle, her family’s “Lazarus,” an assassin/bodyguard enhanced by science and psychologically manipulated to have superhuman abilities and complete loyalty.

Snow Crash, Ringworld and Lazarus would join 67 TV series and 20 movies that Amazon currently has in some state of production or preproduction. Polygon has reached out to Amazon for comment and confirmation.