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Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams
“Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams” will come to Amazon Video in January. (Amazon Video via YouTube)

The dust has barely settled on the premiere of “Star Wars, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.” Or is that a thin layer of salt? In any case, it’s already time to look forward to the science-fiction screen offerings in the months ahead, leading up to the next Star Wars story on Memorial Day weekend.

This personal top-10 list should get things started, with a couple of caveats. I’m not including the long list of next year’s Marvel and DC comic-book spinoffs, which adds “Game of Thrones” veteran Maisie Williams (Arya) to the marquee for “The New Mutants.” For that list, check’s roundup.

I’m also not including a couple of favorites that are still lacking release dates for their 2018 seasons, such as “The Handmaid’s Tale” (on Hulu) and “The Expanse” (on Syfy).

With those preliminaries out of the way, here are 10 shows to put on your radar screen for the next five months:

The Magicians

Quentin Coldwater and the gang try to bring magic back to their world, which is a mash-up of “Harry Potter” and “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” but with the adults-behaving-badly sensibility of “Game of Thrones.” Season 3 of the Syfy TV series, loosely based on Lev Grossman’s “Magicians” trilogy, premieres Jan. 10.

Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams

Top-drawer actors including Steve Buscemi, Anna Paquin, Terrence Howard and Greg Kinnear appear in this anthology series inspired by the short stories of the late sci-fi master Philip K. Dick (already well-known to fans of “Blade Runner” and “The Man in the High Castle”). Ten-episode series premieres on Amazon Video Jan. 12.


Natalie Portman’s latest sci-fi turn comes in “Annihilation,” a movie that’s based on Jeff VanderMeer’s novel. Portman plays a biologist who ventures into a murky disaster zone in search of her injured husband. Oscar Isaac (a key character in the latest “Star Wars” movies) plays opposite Portman (who starred in Episodes I, II and III). Opens in theaters Feb. 23.

A Wrinkle in Time

The classic Madeleine L’Engle novel comes to the big screen, in 3-D even, with a cast that includes Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling. The story features a scientist who gets lost in his time-bending experiment, his questing kids, and celestial beings who seek to save the day. Opens in theaters March 9.

Pacific Rim Uprising

Those ocean-dwelling monsters just won’t stay down, despite the shellacking they got at the hands of us puny humans in the Battle of the Breach. Expect eye-filling special effects in this sequel to “Pacific Rim,” with Star Wars good guy John Boyega joining the crew. Opens in theaters March 23.

Ready Player One

A virtual-reality world that’s more vibrant and alluring than grim reality, and offers the prospect of not-so-virtual riches? Are you sure this is science fiction? The prescient Ernest Cline novel is being made into an eagerly awaited movie, directed by none other than Steven Spielberg. Opens in theaters March 30.

A Quiet Place

And now for something completely different: John Krasinski and Emily Blunt head up an isolated family that has to stay totally silent to keep a mysterious evil force from coming after them. They’re not totally successful. Krasinski, perhaps best known for his long-running TV role on “The Office,” directs the film. Opens in theaters April 6.

God Particle

Little is known about this mystery sci-fi movie, which was reworked to fit into J.J. Abrams’ “Cloverfield” alien-horror universe. The plot is said to focus on astronauts who find themselves alone on a space station after a scientific experiment makes Earth disappear. Sounds like it’s inspired by the Large Hadron Collider mini-black-hole scare. Opens in theaters April 20.

Lost in Space

Danger, Will Robinson! The 1960s sci-fi TV reimagining of “Swiss Family Robinson” is getting reimagined once again. Like the original and the 1998 movie remake, the Netflix version focuses on a spacefaring family (and their trusty robot) who find themselves stranded light-years from their destination. This time around, Parker Posey plays Dr. Smith, the show’s sneaky antagonist. Ten-episode Netflix series premieres in May.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Ron Howard and 'Solo'
Director Ron Howard works with a temperamental mechanical actor during filming for “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” (Ron Howard via Twitter)

This Star Wars story follows the model set last year by “Rogue One.” The plot focuses on the young Han Solo (played by Alden Ehrenreich), his meetup with Chewbacca and their initial exploits on the Millennium Falcon. Director Ron Howard is upbeat about how the movie is turning out, but some folks at Disney reportedly have a bad feeling about this. Opens in theaters May 25.

Update for 4:18 p.m. Jan. 2, 2018: This lineup has been updated with the opening for “God Particle,” also known as “Untitled Cloverfield Movie,” postponed from February to April 20.

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