The Top 10 Science Fiction/Fantasy Novels That Really Need to Get Made Into Movies

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If you have any contact with people in the film industry, you know they’re constantly desperate for ideas — what’s the next “hot” “property” they can “option,” etc. So how to explain all the fantastic SF and fantasy books that just lie around unproduced? Here are my top 10. If you’re reading this, and you’re the assistant to a Hollywood “bigwig,” maybe you could, I dunno, print it out and fax it to him.

1. Orson Scott Card, ENDER’S GAME. I hear rumors about this every few years. They never turn out to be true. C’mon, it’s like Hogwarts in space! Dragon, your ass is draggin’!

2. Larry Niven, RINGWORLD. It was Halo before Halo was Halo! I would seriously love me some CGI Puppeteer action. And what’s the rating board’s position on rishathra?

3. Roger Zelazny, NINE PRINCES IN AMBER. Seems like a perfect Peter Jackson project to me. Random is some character actor’s dream…

4. Joe Haldeman, THE FOREVER WAR. A brutal, surprisingly tear-jerking Vietnam-era rewriting of STARSHIP TROOPERS, complete with some very, very dope powered armor.

5. Anne McAffrey, THE WHITE DRAGON. If Shia LaBueof were a younger man, he’d be all over this.

6. Iain Banks, The Culture Novels. Far-future space opera as cultural critique…somebody with major technical chops could make this huge. I see it as a late-career redemption property for George Lucas.

7. Neal Stephenson, SNOW CRASH. I can only assume this is snarled in some massive legal imbroglio or somebody would have made it. I pray that Stephenson is at least collecting option checks.

8. Bruce Sterling and William Gibson, THE DIFFERENCE ENGINE. A gorgeous slice of alt-history Victoriana, with somebody — Thora Birch? — stealing the movie with a cameo as Ada Byron. They could probably use the sets from the Pullman movies…

9. Fritz Leiber, The Fafhrd/Grey Mouser novels. You’d really just need to pluck a short story or two from this series — I guess “Ill-Met in Lankhmar” would do as good as anything, but you’re spoiled for choice. And they’re buddies! It’s like Rush Hour in Middle-earth. I foresee the first Oscar speech to feature the word “widdershins”…

10. Miracleman. Partisan plug for a personal favorite. To me this comic is up there with Watchmen — I think the Golden Age may even be the greater book. And how can you not love a character who was written by both Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman? But I hear the legal ownership of poor MM is a nightmare…