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10 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books That Should Be Movies

With HBO’s Game of Thrones hitting screens this weekend, we started to think what other big fantasy and science fiction books should also be translated to the screen. And it wasn’t hard to come up with at least ten different series for this list. From space epics, hard science, to Lord of the Rings-style fantasy; there’s something on here for almost everyone.

Ender’s Game

Despite your personal feelings towards Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game is an undeniable sci-fi masterpiece that deserves to be seen on the big screen. The movie has been in and out of development hell for years, but it’s one that definitely needs to be made. Even those who have read the book and know they “twist” would still love to see Ender’s story turned into a movie; as long as it’s handled well.

Kim Stanely Robinson’s Mars Trilogy

A few years ago the SciFi Channel announced that it was working on a miniseries of Red Mars. It never materialized. The book is the first part of a trilogy, consisting also of Green Mars and Blue Mars, that tells the story of the terraforming of Mars over many generations of families. The books are “hard sci-fi”, which means they’re written from the scientific point of view and grounded more in realism, but it’s an epic story and one that would translate well to the screen.

The Wheel of Time

We have Lord of the Rings, and we’re now going to see A Song of Ice and Fire on HBO; it’s time for Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time to be adapted. Due to its length, a miniseries would probably work out better; so maybe Showtime will step to the plate to compete against HBO?

Foundation

Issac Asimov’s Foundation has also been in development hell for years. At one point, Will Smith was going to star in it to complete his trifecta of classic sci-fi novels. As the Foundation books are mostly made up of smaller stories, it would fit a movie well; if someone could just get it off the ground once and for all.

Ringworld

The only risk with brining Larry Niven’s Ringworld to the screen now is that there is a generation of kids who grew up on Halo and would probably see it as a rip off, despite it actually being the other way around. It’s an epic science fiction adventure, and its scope is perfect for a big screen adaptation.

Temeraire

The good news is that Peter Jackson has the rights to do this series and wants to make it into a miniseries. The bad news is that Peter Jackson has the rights to the series and is kind of tied up for the next few years in Middle-Earth. The Temeraire series is an alternate history fantasy set during the Napoleonic Wars where each nation has an air force – of dragons. It’s as awesome as it sounds.

The Legend of Drizzt

We had two really bad Dungeons & Dragons movies, one in theaters and a direct-to-video sequel that actually wasn’t as bad as the original. It’s time someone makes a good one and RA Salvatore’s The Legend of Drizzt is the perfect series to pull from. Drizzt is a hugely popular character, and his adventures would appeal to the Lord of the Rings audience. Do it.

Dragonlance

Dragonlance is another series that deserves a good screen representation. Every bit as good as, and in some ways better than, the Drizzt books; the series saw a crappy animated version a few years ago and should be given the chance as live action.

The Death Gate Cycle

The Death Gate Cycle is a seven-book series from the authors and creators of Dragonlance. The first four books each take place on unique worlds with a central character meeting new people in each one. In the last three books, characters from the first four worlds start to interact. It’s a great series that would probably work best as a mini-series.

The Man-Kzin Wars

The Wing Commander movie was crap. Time to try again, only this time Larry Niven’s The Man-Kzin Wars should be adapted. It has a much more epic scale than Wing Commander, but the basic premise of mankind fighting a war in space against a race of cats is similar.

30 Comments
  • Purplepenquin
    April 15, 2011
    Reply


    #1

    Either “Moon is a Harsh Mistress” or “Friday” woud be a couple great movies. Robert Heinlein is long over-due to be treated fairly by Hollywood….

  • zeke
    April 15, 2011
    Reply


    #2

    They should make the Thrawn trilogy, but only if they don’t allow George Lucas any where near it

  • c rey
    April 15, 2011
    Reply


    #3

    enders gm is freaken awesome and needs to be done immediately

  • Jason
    April 15, 2011
    Reply


    #4

    Mad props from mention Drizzt, Dragonlance, Foundation and Enders. Been waiting a long long long time for any of these movies. Even then they green light them, then its hoping they dont screw them up.

  • Darth Shmarth
    April 15, 2011
    Reply


    #5

    Hyperion. I’d love to see the Shrike on the small or big screen screen…as long as Will Smith is in no way involved.

  • Jason
    April 15, 2011
    Reply


    #6

    The Coldifire trilogy would be good too. Gerald Tarrant is bad mofo.

  • aaron
    April 15, 2011
    Reply


    #7

    how was Nine Princes in Amber not mentioned? And props to the poster mentioning Hyperion, The first Uplift Trilogy by Brin would also be fantastic.

    • Paul
      April 18, 2011
      Reply


      #8

      A great suggestion. I preferred the second, or continuation series featuring Merlin, starting with “Trumps of Doom”. One of the best things I’ve ever read.

  • Chris
    April 15, 2011
    Reply


    #9

    The Mars Trilogy needs to be a series…five years tops, going from beginning to end. Same thing with Foundation.

  • ryan
    April 15, 2011
    Reply


    #10

    not that many people have ever heard of it but the absurdist/surreal sci-fi/fantasy/detective/epic series “Armageddon: The Musical” would make for a wonderful mini-series.

  • Brian
    April 15, 2011
    Reply


    #11

    I have one word for you…….Rama!

  • HarryHeller
    April 15, 2011
    Reply


    #12

    The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant and the Malazan Book of the Fallen Series are probably the only two that would be a better choice than Songs of Ice and Fire.

    • matt
      April 15, 2011
      Reply


      #13

      agreed, the only problem is that malazan would take a ridiculous amount of time to translate into a complete series. the same is true for thomas covenant, i personally think tad williams’ memory sorrow and thorn should be made into film preferably in movie form.

      • HarryHeller
        April 16, 2011
        Reply


        #14

        I think the Malazan would work well because the way the story is structured you could easily excerpt bits,

        I’ll keep an eye out for those William’s ones if you think they are of similar quality.

    • DragonSifu
      April 16, 2011
      Reply


      #15

      No way to Covenant. He is a whiny bitch, and the endless whining would not translate well in the long run. The protagonist’s idiotic whining would have to be seriously reduced to make any movie or series viable.

      • HarryHeller
        April 16, 2011
        Reply


        #16

        haha! True, but Saltheart Foamfollower deserves a platform!

  • Itaintrite
    April 15, 2011
    Reply


    #17

    Do you know what mini-series means? Suggesting that somebody makes a 14-book (15?) series, Wheel of Time, into a mini-series is just dumb.

  • sam.i.am
    April 16, 2011
    Reply


    #18

    …another one written for CGI would be Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

  • Eaton
    April 16, 2011
    Reply


    #19

    The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester. Crushes everything listed here. Look it up. Read it. Science fiction done right.

  • Robert
    April 16, 2011
    Reply


    #20

    Jack L. Chalker’s Soul Rider Series or Piers Anthony’s Incarnations of Immortality series would be fantastic on the big screen. Excellent blends of science fiction and fantasy in both.

  • JJ
    April 16, 2011
    Reply


    #21

    I’d put forth the Belgariad/Mallorean (although Eddings is staunchly against them ever being made into films) and Moorcock’s Elric. Agreed on the Drizzt trilogy, although I remember reading they had greenlit it a long time ago and Wesley Snipes was going to play Drizzt (bad choice, imo!).
    The WoT would have to be fantastic-ly done in order for that behemoth of a series to get off the ground. Harry Potter was a force to be reckoned with, so as long as they really didn’t screw it up, it was going to be popular. WoT didn’t quite have that media blitz.

    • Paul
      April 18, 2011
      Reply


      #22

      I was waiting for someone to mention Elric! He is a good deal different from anything mentioned.

      Loved the Death Gate Cycle, but pretty long, even for a mini series.

  • Rawn
    April 16, 2011
    Reply


    #23

    Speaking as someone who GMs multiple tabletop systems, we do not need a Drizzt movie.

    Excellent character and story, but I’m *already* sick of seeing Drizzt clones everywhere. A movie would just make the issue even worse.

  • Dustin
    April 16, 2011
    Reply


    #24

    How about King’s Dark Tower series

  • jackmama311
    April 21, 2011
    Reply


    #25

    a spell for chameleon – piers anthony

  • Newslurker
    April 21, 2011
    Reply


    #26

    Gateway – Frederik Pohl
    The Forever War – Joe Haldeman
    Neuromancer – William Gibson
    Vurt – Jeff Noon
    Schismatrix – Bruce Sterling
    Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
    Elric stories – Michael Moorcock
    Pern stories – Anne McCaffrey (as a TV series)
    Ringworld – Larry Niven
    The Forge of God – Greg Bear
    Songs of a Distant Earth – Arthur C. Clarke
    Glass Houses – Laura J. Mixon

  • Bigheadmike
    May 5, 2011
    Reply


    #27

    The Death Gate cycle was utter trash in my opinion. I agree with newslurker though Neuromancer must be made into a movie.

  • Jessica
    May 18, 2011
    Reply


    #28

    Terry Goodkind’s “Sword of Truth” series should have been mentioned here. They’ve tried to turn these books into a cable TV series already, but the tv series was absolutely terrible. With the right writers/director, these books would make great movies.

  • Timberwulff
    May 26, 2011
    Reply


    #29

    What about the M.Y.T.H series by Robert Asprin, Or the Callahans Chronicles by Spider Robinson?

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