Although most diehard readers prefer books over movies, they greet news of TV and film adaptations of the books they love with some amount of trepidation. That's an understandably cautious reaction; Hollywood has butchered more than a few adaptations. But there is also lots to be hopeful about. You get to re-experience the story you loved and others will, too. It also gives you an excuse to re-read the story so you can compare the similarities and contrast the differences between the book and its visual counterpart. If you're a reader of fantasy, or otherwise want to have fun looking at different versions of a story side-by-side, check out these fantasy books which have been tagged for TV and film adaptation…


A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly

Kelly's crossover fantasy novel imagines a very different Roaring Twenties where magic is not only real, but it's outlawed. The setting is 1926 in Washington, DC, and sorcery has been declared illegal. That hasn't stopped sorcerers from finding work, mind you. In fact, their talents prove quite useful in the criminal underworld. That's where Joan Kendrick, a young sorcerer from Virginia, turns when her family's home is repossessed. She joins the Shaw Gang just as government agent Alex Danfrey is assigned to go undercover and infiltrate the Shaws.

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Seeing the appeal of a story about illegalized magic, the CW has picked up the rights to Criminal Magic for development as an hour-long drama. However, it will be set in present-day Los Angeles and revolve around two warring street gangs out to control the market on magic. It will still feature a young woman protagonist and an undercover cop caught up the intrigue of it all.


6.7 SF_HikeThe Hike by Drew Magary

Magary serves up a weird and humorous odyssey through a fever dream with The Hike. Everyday family man Ben, on a routine business trip to Pennsylvania, decides to take a short hike before his meeting. That's the last thing that happens to him that resembles anything normal. As soon as he enters the woods, he has embarked on a path from which there is no turning back…a journey that includes man-eating giants, bizarre demons, colossal insects, a profane crab-like creature and more than a handful of videogame tropes. The only way to escape is to find the so-called "Producer," creator of this entertainingly peculiar world.

Packed with so many ideas, the longer storytelling format of television seems like the perfect home for an adaptation of Magary's weird trip. IM Global Television had the same idea. They optioned The Hike for development as a TV series. David S. Goyer will serve as executive producer while Magary himself will write the script.


Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

You know the cliché where every girl dreams of becoming a princess? Yeah, this book is not for them. On the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born, all of whom are equal heirs to the throne. They also each have mystical powers: Mirabella is a fierce elemental who can control fire; Katherine is a poisoner, able to safely ingest poisons; Arsinoe is a naturalist, able to bloom flowers and control fierce beasts. They will need these abilities because to become the Queen, they must fight each other to the death to earn it.

The idea of three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen must have been a great elevator pitch, because Fox is developing a feature film based on Blake's dark fantasy. In fact, they bought the rights to the series, so don't be surprised if more dark fantasy films follow.


SF_goodomens Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman

Mankind's final judgment comes not with a bang, but with a guffaw in this farcical collaboration from two beloved writers. First published in 1990, Good Omens is the story of the forthcoming Rapture, as predicted Agnes Nutter, a witch, in 1655. And by "forthcoming" I mean next Saturday. An angel and a demon, both of whom have become quite comfortable living among humans for many millennia, are not exactly looking forward to the end of it all. So, they conspire to kill the 11-year-old Antichrist…except that he seems to have been misplaced.

Earlier this year, Gaiman (who is currently involved in an adaptation of his solo novel American Gods, as well as a handful of others), revealed that Good Omens will be adapted as a six-part miniseries to be aired in 2018 on the BBC and streaming on Amazon Prime. Gaiman himself will be serving as the showrunner and penning the script. This bodes well for viewers and fans of the novel.


Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

In this young adult West African fantasy, a girl must fight against the monarchy to bring magic back to her people. Zélie Adebola remembers when her land bristled with magic. But one night it disappeared. The ruthless king decreed that all maji were to be targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Zélie escaped their radar, and with the help of a rogue princess, she aims to outwit the crown prince, looking to extinguish magic forever, and bring back magic to the people.

Adeyemi, a relative unknown, struck a remarkably lucrative deal with Fox 2000 studios to adapt her fantasy story, which is the first in a proposed trilogy and won't even be available to readers until 2018. Infused with African culture and working as a metaphor for race relations, it promises to bring something fresh to American audiences.


6.7 Sf_mistbornMistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

The Final Empire, a heist story of political intrigue, magic, and martial-arts action, is the first book of the Mistborn series. On the Dystopian fantasy world of Scadrial, a despotic ruler who has ruled for a thousand years has extinguished all traces of hope from his people. But then a street urchin named Kelsier finds himself with the magical powers of a Mistborn, and he assembles a group of thieves to pull off a heist against the Lord Ruler that, if successful, will change the world forever.

DMG Entertainment picked up the rights to Sanderson's popular novel and hired F. Scott Frazier (xXx: Return of Xander Cage) to adapt it into a screenplay. Sanderson and Joshua Blimes will serve as executive producers. DMG was also the studio that also picked up Sanderson's The Way of Kings. They have a lot to work with; The Final Empire is the start of a trilogy that has sister Mistborn trilogies which are, in turn, part of a larger world of books called Cosmere, which includes other entire series. There's plenty to explore here!

John DeNardo is the founding editor of SF Signal, a Hugo Award-winning science fiction and fantasy blog featuring news, reviews and interviews. You can follow him on Twitter as @sfsignal