13
   

Nine Sci-Fi Books That Deserve To Be Films

 
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 07:18 pm
@Lightwizard,
Lightwiz, A Scanner Darkly has been made into film:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0405296/
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 08:51 pm
@fbaezer,
I totally forgot -- must have had too much Pinot Noir the night I put it into the DVD player!
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 09:01 pm
@dyslexia,
I would see it as a mini-series on HBO (a two hour film couldn't come close) -- the theme of a post-apocalyptic world with a Catholic order preserving books and science is relevant to the debate of science versus religion of today by allegorically reversing the viewpoints. Very delicate to cast and write a script but it could be done.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Feb, 2009 12:45 am
"Ringworld" by Larry Niven
The Amber series by Roger Zelazny
"Lord of Light" by Roger Zelazny
The Belgariad and the Mallorean by David Eddings
The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Feb, 2009 10:05 am
@Brandon9000,
The Foundation Series, as much as I do like it, does not actually have much action, it's loaded with dialog, so I am not sure it would be a commercial success, given how spoiled many movie goers are by special effects / action scenes / instant results.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Feb, 2009 10:42 am
@Chumly,
books like foundation would make a better mini series on something like the sci fi network
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Feb, 2009 10:55 am
I agree about Foundation - it's been decades since I read it, but it was more philospohical than action oriented.

I remember hearing that Ringworld was going to be made into a movie - years ago. I think it's one book that consistently makes it to the tops of lists of SciFi books to be made into movies.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Feb, 2009 11:03 am
Niven sold the movie rights in 2001, and in 2004, the Sci Fi channel announced that it was developing a miniseries--all of that according to Wikipedia.
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Feb, 2009 05:31 pm
@Setanta,
There's been no news from the Sci-Fi channel since 2004 so I'm wondering what's holding them up? I'd really like to see it in better CGI than the Sci-Fi channel normally invests in, although they pulled out most of the stops on Battlestar Gallactica.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Feb, 2009 05:33 pm
i'd love to see a decent production of the martian chronicles, the made for tv version was awful
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 01:05 pm
@djjd62,
I didn't think the TV version was that bad -- it was dramatically uneven but had a satisfying last chapter.

I don't know if the fantasy in The Martian Chronicles and almost total lack of credible science is filmable today. If there was a way to explain how any developed race of beings could live in the air and temperature of Mars, how humans can breath the same air, that could make it more credible. Let's say that it reads well as science fantasy, not sci-fi, but is very difficult to market it as a film today because of all the publicity on the Mars missions.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 01:11 pm
@Lightwizard,
i never even consider the science behind anything in sci fi or fantasy, that's why it's sci fi and fantasy in my mind

if the science is real so be it, but not important
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 03:22 pm
@djjd62,
Except that's not just a trifling scientific mistake. When I first read The Martian Chronicles in the late 50's, I was a member of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (I think they finally changed it to Science Fiction Society but never thought to ask Forry Ackerman when I've talked with him). Bradbury would show up at meetings somewhat frequently.

The book is so enthralling, you just simply forget that life is very slimly possible unless they can find some water under the surface, and then it would probably be bacteria. At that time, they knew the air and temperature changes would not allow humans to live there without a spacesuit.

Most of the serious sci-fi I've read has a credible scientific extrapolation that's one of the main themes of the story. It has been criticized and often rightly so for having poor characterizations and not concerned enough with emotional and social issues. The reason Philip K. Dick's work makes good movies is he combines very real human characters in a sci-fi dilemma and the story is motivated as much by them as the science.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 03:28 pm
@Lightwizard,
i understand what your saying, but for me it's not that important, now that i think about it, i don't really like the hard science sci fi writers, arthur c clarke being an exception
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 03:50 pm
@djjd62,
Most sci-fi writers are in the middle of the road as far as imaginative fantasy and hard science. Bradbury was firmly implanted in the story telling and any science was a backdrop. In The Martian Chronicles, the closest he gets are the two stories about the war on Earth leading up to the revelatory final line.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Mar, 2009 08:32 pm
Setanta wrote:
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.

Ender's Game is a one dimensional short story stretched into novel length with flimsy devices.


This gratuitous little critque is so asanine I chose to ignore it, but the other day I read an article by Card and it reminded me of this thread.

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MmJmZDFiYmVkOTdlYjVmZmNiMzhhODEwYmYzMTRlMzg

Returning to the thread I noticed that djdd62 may have considered these comments in some way authoritative, and while he is in now way compelled to appreciate Card, I would hate for him not to give him another try because of foolish comments.

Card is hardly a "one novel author," as even the most cursory search will reveal. Nor is he esteemed as a writer for only one novel.

His numerous awards include:

1978; John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer; from the World Science Fiction Convention
1981; Songmaster; Hamilton-Brackett Memorial Award 81
1985; Ender's Game; Nebula Award 85, Hugo Award 86, Hamilton-Brackett Award 86, SF Chronicle Readers Poll Award 86
1986; Speaker for the Dead; Nebula Award 86, Hugo Award 87, Locus Award 87, SF Chronicle Readers Poll Award 87
1987; "Eye for Eye"; Hugo award 88; "Japanese Hugo" 89
1987; "Hatrack River"; Nebula finalist 86, Hugo finalist 87, World Fantasy Award winner 87
1988; Seventh Son, Hugo finalist 88, World Fantasy finalist 88, Mythopoeic Society Award 88, Locus Award (best fantasy novel) 88
1989; Hugo & Nebula Finalist; Red Prophet
1991; Hugo Award; How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy (Writer's Digest Books, 90)
1995; Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel; for Alvin Journeyman
2008; YALSA Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Contribution to Young Adult Literature; for Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow

I recommend just about all of Card's novels, but in particular, and in addition to Ender's Game:

Songmaster
Lost Boys
The Worthing Saga

And as for him being a "right wing looney," take a look at the linked article and see if it sounds like the ravings of a lunatic.

In fact, Card considers himself a Democrat, but because he is a Mormon who has publicly spoken out on the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, he is cast by some as a "right wing looney."

0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Mar, 2009 09:46 pm
I think Robert Heinlein's novels Star Beast and Tunnel in the Sky would both make good movies.

***

Star Beast explores how the existence of extraterrestrial life forms might challenge the strong distinction we human animals make between ourselves and all other animals.

The plot is about a human child called John Thomas who raises an alien pet called Lumox. That is John Tomas's perspective, anyway. As it later turns out, Lumox is of the opposite opinion: that she is raising several generations of terrestrial pets. Lumox gets in all kinds of trouble, and a court order her "destroyed". That fails. But shortly thereafter, an alien spaceship turns up and orders that the humans surrender a lost child, lest they will destroy Earth.

Lots of action to entertain. Lots of absurd humor. Lots of equally absurdly humorous side threads, such as the embarrassing incident of an alien ambassador disappearing, only to be found shot and stuffed in some hunter's cabinet. I think it would make a great movie.

***

If I had to pitch Tunnel in the Sky to a movie agent, my pitch would be "Lord of the Flies meets the Social Contract". A hundred teenagers are teleported to a foreign planet for some kind of survival training. Something goes wrong, so they can't teleported back after a week as planned. Stranded on an uninhabited planed, the teenagers find themselves in a Hobbesian State of Nature. About half of them can't handle it and end up killing each other. The survivors also struggle with one another, but gradually manage to work out their differences, set up a social contract, and build a civil society.

Over a year later, when Earth finally obercomes its teleportation problem and "rescues" the teenagers, it feels like imprisonment to them: They have been functioning as grown ups for too long to be willingly put under tutelage again. Lots of fighting, lots of nature, lots of teenage hormones, lots of love. And in hte end, just a little anti-grown-up rebellion to top it all off.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Mar, 2009 03:31 am
I referred to Card as a one novel author because he wrote one novel, Ender's Game, for which he became well-known, it was of modest quality at best, and nothing he wrote subsequently rose to the same level of mediocrity. What Djjd might feel about what i write is not something i can control, but i suspect he is sufficiently intelligent to form his own opinions, and to recognize that when i make remarks of this character, i am expressing my opinion.

It is a matter of complete indifference to me what awards Card might have received--science fiction is a sufficiently small genre, with a sufficiently loose set of standards, that i've read literally dozens of award-winning novels which didn't merit the purchase price. As for Card being a right-wing loony, i was not surprised to learn of his attitudes toward marriage, but that is not the basis of my remark. Since politics is not the subject of this thread (and given that i suspect that politics, Finn's obsession, is the only reason he responded as he did), i'm not going to comment further than to say i consider Card a right-wing loony.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Mar, 2009 03:41 am
@Thomas,
I agree that Tunnel in the Sky would make a good motion picture, it certainly has all the necessary dramatic elements, and i think Hollywood doesn't do drama well if producers and directors do their own "treatments." Heinlein is certainly a first class story teller, although (at the risk of Finn's impotent wrath) i will observe that he is racist, elitist and sexist, and in some novel's, such as Farnham's Freehold, he manages to work all of those elements into the same book. Basically, he's just another flavor of right-wing loony. In Tunnel in the Sky, at the beginning and the end, he manages to work in the image of a wagon train. When Heinlein is not doing the rugged individualist thing, he dreams of power over others based on one's skills as a rugged individualist. I think one could do a good motion picture of Tunnel in the Sky without the wagon train theme. It's one to which Heinlein returned in the first Lazarus Long novel, when Long and his (predictably much younger and nubile) woman set off into the wilderness to set up a new settlement.

Heinlein would not allow his novels to be made into motion pictures in his lifetime (or so i've heard, at any event). Since his death, very few have been made into movies, but as i noted, i consider him a good story-teller, and many are prime candidates. I don't think they did a good job with Starship Troopers, and apparently, the public wasn't impressed enough to make it a big box office success--i can't say if it made back the money it cost. I suspect that not many of them have been done simply because there are probably few die-hard SF fans among Hollywood producers. Heinlein is tedious because of his moralizing and his long sermons within his novels, something from which movies of his books needn't suffer.

I hadn't thought of Tunnel in the Sky, but i enthusiastically second Thomas' choice. I've never read Star Beast, so i couldn't say about that.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Mar, 2009 07:15 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
Heinlein is tedious because of his moralizing and his long sermons within his novels, something from which movies of his books needn't suffer.

Although I probably agree with a somewhat greater percentage of Heinlein's political views than you do, I second your point. It's the reason I wouldn't recommend any of his famous books. To those, the sermonizing is central. It is also pretty dated today. Stranger in a Strange Land? Why bother if you can make a movie about real hippies. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress? Please. The one, big mega-mainframe, running the whole colony and becoming self-aware? That's so 1970, or whenever it was that he published it.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
Copyright © 2024 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 02/26/2024 at 04:01:00