Nine Sci-Fi Books That Deserve To Be Films

Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2009 08:31 am
Nine Scifi Books That Deserve To Be Films

Some science fiction novels can't be translated into films, but others are perfect for big screen enjoyment. Here are our nominations for the next big scifi movies, ripped from the pages of your favorite books.

Unfortunately, there are a number of adaptations that don't meet or really fail expectations. Alan Moore's comic books come to mind. But the news that Roland Emmerich might be directing Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy, and that Scott Derrickson is set to direct an adaptation of Hyperion isn't exactly promising either. So here's our antidote: A short list of books that would likely make good films (and television series) that would succeed in theaters, and be fun to watch.

follow the link to see the list
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Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2009 09:07 am
I've never considered myself a sci-fi reader so I was surprised to see two books I've read and really enjoyed on the list -- "Soon I Will Be Invincible" and "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel".

I agree both would make excellent movies.
Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2009 09:20 am
i'm gonna check out "soon i will become invincible", it looks like something i'd enjoy

i agree with jonathan strange, but i'm not sure i'd call it sci fi, more fantasy

if you liked invincible, you might want to check out a short story anthology, "Who Can Save Us Now"


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Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2009 11:01 am
I'll have to look for that book.

".... Invincible" is hilarious. I had a quote from it as my signature line up until the time sig lines disappeared.
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Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2009 01:02 pm
I have long rooted for Niven's Ringworld to be made into a movie. I love that book. I love the author, to, especially the old pulp-y novels he used to write.

So many good SciFi books, so few good SciFi movies.
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Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2009 01:14 pm
I'd love to see this ones:


Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2009 02:52 pm
Ringworld Larry Nevin
The Demolished Man Alfred Bester (a cinematic friendly) ESP detective
murder mystery)
Mission of Gravity Hal Clement (the strange world novel)
Santaroga Barrier Frank Herbert (again, designer drug, but in an
isolated California tow cut off from the world)
The Caves of Steel Isaac Azimov (another cinematic friendly murder
mystery of all the robot series)
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Green Witch
Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2009 02:59 pm
I've only read Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell,and done correctly it could be great. Hollywood seems to have a hard time doing Sci-Fi well. Most of it comes out more B movie than block buster. I know there are exceptions, but other than LOTR (which for me is fantasy and not Sci-Fi) there are not many great examples in the last decade or so.
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Finn dAbuzz
Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2009 10:53 pm
In no particular order:

1) The Skinner - Neal Asher
2) The Somnambulist - Jonathen Barnes
3) The Forge of God - Greg Bear
4) The Diamond Age - Neal Stephenson
5) Lord of Light - Roger Zelazny
6) Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
7) The Forever War - Joseph Haldeman
8) Perdidio Street Station - China Mieville
9) Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman (Apparently a BBC series which I've never seen)
10) CJ Cherryh - The Foreigner series

Many, many more.
Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2009 11:00 pm
A Case of Conscience is a science fiction novel by James Blish, first published in 1958. It is the story of a Jesuit who investigates an alien race that has no religion; they are completely without any concept of God, an afterlife, or the idea of sin; and the species evolves through several forms through the course of its life cycle. The story was originally published as a novella in 1953, and later extended to novel-length, of which the first part is the original novella. The novel is the first part of Blish's thematic "After Such Knowledge" trilogy, followed by Black Easter/The Day After Judgment and Dr Mirabilis.

The story is unusual in several respects. Few science fiction stories of the time attempted religious themes, and still fewer did this with Catholicism. Some of the first part is taken up with the Jesuit's attempt to solve a puzzle, a long description of scandalous intrigue between various pseudonymous characters. As he is about to leave for Earth, he realizes the puzzle is soluble. The puzzle is contained within the pages of Finnegans Wake, by James Joyce.

Many reacted negatively to the story, but surprisingly few educated Catholics were among them. One even sent James Blish a copy of the actual Church guidelines for dealing with extraterrestrials. These are not detailed, but merely suggest overall strategy based on whether the beings have souls or not, and if they have them, whether they are fallen like humans, or exist in a state of grace.

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Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 01:00 am
CXan you tell us a bit about them, fbaezer?
Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 02:24 am
A well written set of books, with a wonderful plot..

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Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 06:38 am
I thought The Santaroga Effect sucked, it would be too obvious for a movie. Everyone in the audience would get it long before the "hero" does. I also think Orson Scott Card sucks (he's a right wing loony besides being a one novel author who didn't have the sense to quit while he was ahead), but Ender's Game would make a great motion picture, especially now that CGA is available. It would not have been so easy at the time it was written--it could have been done, but the effects would have been expensive, and lame. Now, with computer generated animation, it would not only be possible, it would make the movie relatively inexpensive.
Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 06:48 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
neverwhere is a available as a two disc (six episode) a&e/bbc production

the book is actually a novelization of the tv script, the show having been made first, it's well done for a bbc production of the time, not the best special effects, but quite enjoyable

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Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 06:51 am
have to agree with your assessment of card, i haven't read ender or any of it's sequels, but i have read a few others and something just didn't gel for me, may have to try to ender, see what all the fuss is about
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Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 08:40 am
Ender's Game is a one dimensional short story stretched into novel length with flimsy devices. Which is precisely why it would make a good movie. I suspect it was an unanticipated success, and the editors pressed Card to produce more, resulting in the pallid sequels to a lackluster novel.
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Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 09:28 am
Herbert's "The Santaroga Barrier" is one of his "pulpier" novels but with a smart script writer, tweaking some of the plot points, it could be an exciting and thought provoking intrigue flick, hopefully, since we are soon loosing the Governator, not with Ahnold. In fact, a really good script writer could make it a better movie than a book.

Some others:

Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke
A Canticle For Leibowitz by Walter Miller
More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon
Slan by A. E. Van Vogt
A Scanner Darkly By Philip K. Dick (his least science sci-fi novel, but
great movie title and story for a film)

Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 09:31 am
Destination Void
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Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 09:44 am
A Canticle For Leibowitz by Walter Miller;
certainly on my favorites list but a movie?
Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 06:35 pm
dlowan wrote:

CXan you tell us a bit about them, fbaezer?

Ubik is my favorite Philip K. Dick novel (didcha know lightwizard actually met PKD?) and I was terrified while reading it... and thinking at the same time what a cool movie would it make.
There are the alive people and then there are the semi-alive, agonizing people, kept in special chambers where they can "wake up" for a while and relate to the living. But at some point (enough spoilers already) the characters don't know whether they're alive -and perceive external reality- or semi-alive -and perceive either their own constructed reality or some semi-alive neighbour's constructed reality.
Tipical PKD (Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report) ontological problems. What makes us alive? What makes us who we are? Is this reality made up? Are we somebody else's dream? Are we the nightmare of a teenage God?

Asimov's The Naked Sun is a Sci Fi classic I don't understand why it hasn't been filmed, since it would be so easy. A crime is committed in a faraway planet, and a detective from earth is sent there to solve it, with his android assistant. The faraway planet is affluent, scarsely populated and has a culture that is very much against human contact. So somehow it's a Third World agent trying to solve a First World crime... but first he has to understand how this "affluent world" works.
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