It's a fact: Hollywood is mining the pages of science fiction and fantasy for excellent stories to tell onscreen. Here's the latest roundup of speculative fiction books that are being turned into films and television series. Read them now and watch them later!
Runtime by S.B. Divya
In this novella-length story, S. B. Divya puts an interesting, futuristic spin on wanting to rise above one's station. Marmeg Guinto doesn't have much but sees a chance for a better life for herself and her brothers. If she can win the Minerva Sierra Challenge, a day-long race across the Sierra Nevada, she can turn her life around. Here's the thing: the race is meant for cyborgs and Marmeg lacks both the equipment and the funding to enter. So, she cobbles together parts she found in rich people's garbage and uses the money earmarked for her mother to attend nursing school and enters the demanding competition. Sounds like a great premise for an action-packed film, right? Well, Escape Artists productions has optioned this fast-paced, Nebula-nominated story for a film. While an option purchase does not guarantee any film will be made, I would love to see the cyberpunk future of Runtime told on a visual medium.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Young adult novels often mean big money in Hollywood. Their latest acquisition, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, is a fantasy story about a nineteen-year-old huntress named Feyre. When she kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for its death. Feyre is taken to a treacherous magical land that she believed to exist only in legends. She finds out that her captor is not an animal at all; his name is Tamlin and he's one of the immortal faeries who once ruled their world. As she comes to separate legend from truth and learns of the evil threatening the land, Feyre's feelings turn from hostility to adoration. Constantin Film bought the rights to this Beauty and the Beast-ish fantasy and rising British writer Rachel Hirons (Kiss Me First) has been attached to author the screenplay.
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
In this legitimately page-turning debut, Neuvel posits how the scientific and military communities would react if they found the parts of a giant, alien-built robot scattered around the globe. Physicist Rose Franklin, who first found the giant robotic hand when she fell down a hole as a child, now leads the scientific team to discover the robot's origins and purpose. But not without supervision—the military is overseeing the project via an enigmatic power-player. The story is told through riveting dialogue-driven prose that lays out the story in a way that makes it hard to stop reading. Immersive Pictures optioned the novel, which is the first in the Themis Files series, followed by Waking Gods and the recently released third book, Only Human. No word yet on how that project is progressing.
Discworld by Terry Pratchett
One of fantasy literature's most beloved series, Terry Pratchett's Discworld, has been optioned by BBC Studios for a television adaptation. The setting of these comic fantasy novels is Discworld, a gigantic flat disc held up by four elephants which in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle traveling through the universe. The tentative title of the six-part television series is The Watch and Simon Allen (Strike Back, The Musketeers) is rumored to be writing the series. It is not yet known which aspect of Discworld will be the focus of the series. They have more than forty novels to choose from. The first Discworld novel, The Colour Of Magic, was published in 1983. (There's another Pratchett work in the works also: Good Omens, co-written with Neil Gaiman.)
Soothsayer by Mike Resnick
Multi-Award-Winning author Mike Resnick recently noted on his website that his 1991 novel Soothsayer, the first book in a trilogy, has been optioned by Intrinsic Value Films. Soothsayer carries the same space-western vibe as the author's Santiago series (think: Firefly). It's about a dangerous criminal named Carlos 'Iceman' Mendoza and his quest to kill the only person in the universe powerful enough to stop him: a seemingly normal little girl named Penelope Bailey, who possesses a special gift. The only thing standing in his way is a cynical thief named Mouse who may have gotten in way over her head.
Y: The Last Manby Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra
This much-loved post-apocalyptic science fiction comic book series is about the only guy who survived an event that killed off every man on Earth. What's left of society has all but resigned to the fact that, barring any surprising scientific breakthroughs, humanity may be doomed. FX has ordered a television series based on this dark-but-awesome 60-issue comic book series, the latest in several previously failed attempts to develop this Eisner-winning series. Michael Green (American Gods, Blade Runner 2049, Logan) and Aida Mashaka Croal (Luke Cage, Turn) will serve as co-showrunners on the project. Melina Matsoukas (Insecure, Master of None) will direct the pilot.