I'm pretty sure that most of us got into this genre because of books. And books dominate the genre by a long shot. But with technology advancing like it is, and with the wild success that Game of Thrones has enjoyed, it is increasingly likely that the TV networks will set out to create their own success stories by turning to stories with an established fan base. Because let’s face it – movies are just too short to satisfy, and nearly every original Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV show gets cancelled a few seasons in – if it even gets that far. So here’s a list for all of you network bigwigs: these are the books you should be looking at for adaptation.
The Wheel of Time, by Robert Jordan
If any network out there wants to compete with HBO's Game of Thrones, then The Wheel of Time is your only option. There is simply no other epic fantasy that is comparable. It has the political intrigue, the quest for power and kingship, the dynamic characters, intricate storylines... I could go on and on. Though there have been many rumors about a TV adaptation, and the rights to do it have been purchased many times, this book still can't seem to make it to the screen.
The Night Angel Trilogy, by Brent Weeks
This series seems like it was made to be turned into a live-action TV show. The fight scenes are impeccably described, and the blood and gore might as well be replicated to the letter on screen. And Kylar Stern, the main character, is complex enough to merit a subtle and long exploration by whomever is chosen to play him.
Kushiel's Legacy, by Jacqueline Carey
Boy oh boy, but television sure is in for a treat with this series! Phedre is raised in an equivalence of 12th century France as a courtesan and spy. She is cursed with a tiny red speck in her eye, Kushiel's dart, which allows her to feel pain as pleasure. Carey has created a richly detailed and developed world, with politics that go at least as deep as Game of Thrones.
Mistborn Trilogy, by Brandon Sanderson
Mistborn is one of those series that would just be plain fun to watch. With all of the flying, manipulation of time, and other special powers, there is plenty of live action to thrill and entertain. The main characters are all thieves and rebels, with plenty of Firefly-esque heist scenes to execute.
The Chronicles of Amber, by Roger Zelanzy
This is a book with a plot that will keep you guessing until the very end. It's set in a world unlike anything else - nothing but the best computer animations could do it justice. The small, close-knit cast of this book is always hiding secrets, and always has another trick up their sleeves. This would make a fantastic mystery thriller.
Song of the Lioness Quartet, by Tamora Pierce
This is an old favorite that I'm suprised hasn't been attempted for TV yet. It's plot is relatively similar to some very successful TV shows. Seehere for my review of these books. Alanna is one kick-ass leading lady, and would make a great addition to Brienne of beloved lady knights!
The Abhorsen Trilogy, by Garth Nix
With the surging popularity of zombies these days, Abhorsen is a natural choice. These leading ladies are charged with eliminating the masses of undead that threaten their world. That means lots of zombies and lots of awesome fight scenes. While the idea may sound overused, Nix tells this story in a wholly unique way.
The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Robinson
A television version of this series has been long anticipated, ever since James Cameron held the rights... and sadly passed up the opportunity. This classic Sci-Fi tells the story of colonizing Mars, contrasting the utopia on the red planet with the dystopia of Earth. It's a fantastic exploration of society and humanity.
The Dragonriders of Pern, by Anne McGraffrey
And I think we all know what the appeal of this series is... Dragons. Fantastic dragons that you can ride, train, and come to love. There is no better series to bring dragons to TV. Lots and lots of dragons. The storylines are classic, the characters relatable, and the settings awe-inspiring.
Please note: these are all books that, as far as I’m aware of, are not being considered for an on-screen adaptation and have not been attempted in the past (though a number of them may be stuck in development limbo). There are several popular series that will be showing up on your TV in the near future – keep checking in for that list, coming soon!
What do you guys think? Would these look good on your television screen? Any books that you would add to the list?
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