Step right up, folks, and check out the latest science fiction and horror books that are being adapted into television shows and films! Read them now, watch them later!
Sinless by Sarah Tarkoff
At what cost beauty? Sinless, the first novel in the Beholder series, is set in a chilling near-future dystopia where those who are deemed to be "good" are blessed with the gift of beauty, while those who are "bad" are subject to disfigurement or death. Grace Luther, the daughter of a cleric, grew up accepting these rules, wholeheartedly trusting those in control. But that changes when Grace comes across information that causes her to question the way of the world, challenging her notions of faith and the so-called objectivity of beauty. This fascinating coming-of-age story gives readers a nightmarish look into a dark future, one that has caught the attention of independent studio MarVista Entertainment, who announced that they have purchased the rights to Tarkoff's debut novel for a television series adaptation.
The Oracle Year by Charles Soule
The life of twentysomething New Yorker Will Dando (and, in fact, the entire world) gets turned upside down when he wakes up one day with the power to predict the future. Will has 108 predictions about the future in his head and they are all frighteningly accurate. To protect his anonymity, he sets up a website to announce his predictions and calls himself the Oracle. He soon becomes one of the most powerful people in the world, with companies paying top dollar for early access to his knowledge. But he also has enemies, including the President of the United States, a popular televangelist, and a power-hungry warlord with nuclear weapons. Will must use his knowledge of the future to outwit his enemies and stay alive. If you think this sounds like a non-stop adventure, you'd be right—this is a genuinely page-turning book—but you also wouldn't be the only one. Tomorrow Studios purchased the rights to develop The Oracle Year as a television series. Soule himself will be one of the project's executive producers, so hopefully the show will maintain the spirit and tempo of the just-released novel.
84K by Claire North
Claire North (author of the excellent resurrection novel The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August) imagines a dystopian future where there prison terms can be avoided provided you have the money to pay for your crime. If you don't, you are forced to work off your debt. Theo Miller is an auditor at the Criminal Audit Office, assessing the value of crimes and making sure that society's debt is repaid for every offense that crosses his desk. Then Theo witnesses a hired killer literally paying his way through a murder and decides he has had enough. Theo if going to find the person responsible for the hit and will make them pay. North's dark take on capitalism-gone-too-far is ripe for thoughtful examinations of human rights in a capitalist society. Fingers crossed that the proposed television drama, being produced by Tall Story Pictures, maintains that examination of the value of human life.
Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks
Science fiction fans have a great fondness for Ian M. Banks's Culture novels, and rightfully so. His space opera series is a hallmark of science fiction, depicting a post-scarcity Utopian society that leaves few citizens wanting. Amazon Studios, not wanting to pass up on a good thing, has acquired the global television rights to Consider Phlebas, the first novel in the Culture series. The estate of Iain Banks is attached as executive producer for the project. Consider Phlebas depicts what happens when a highly advanced society ends up at war with the Idirans, an alien race that equates religion with war. The Idirans want nothing less than to conquer the galaxy and it's up to the Culture to stop them.
Flashback by Dan Simmons
The Utopia of Consider Phlebas seems to be an exception in this roundup. In the Dan Simmons's undeniably dystopian Flashback, the United States is near total collapse. A large majority of Americans don't even care; they're addicted to a drug called Flashback which allows them to re-experience the best moments of their lives. Ex-detective Nick Bottom is one of those addicts. He lost his wife in a car accident and, longing for those happier times, turns to the drug for comfort, even if it's short-lived. Despite his addiction, Nick is hired by a powerful Japanese dignitary to solve his son's murder. Fans of Simmons, whose novel The Terror has been adapted as a TV show currently airing on AMC, will be pleased to hear that Flashback is also being adapted for television. This one is just getting off the ground, so keep your eyes open.
The Chrysalis by Brendan Deneen
It has to say a lot about a novel that it gets picked up for adaptation before it's even published. That's exactly the case with Brendan Deneen's The Chrysalis. Film rights to Deneen's supernatural dark fantasy novel, which is being described as "The Shining meets Alien," were optioned by Wes Ball of Oddball Entertainment. The novel revolves around barely-employed millennials Tom and Jenny Decker, who are forced out of their expensive New York City home to live in the suburbs of New Jersey. There, Tom finds something unbelievable—a literal monster in the basement. He doesn't tell Jenny because the supernatural thing scrambles his senses and heightens his emotions, making him feel like he can do anything. Sure enough, good things start to happen: Tom gets a high-paying corporate job and a pregnant Jenny opens a small gym catering to moms-to-be. Of course, what goes up must come down, and Tom and Jenny are set to come down hard.