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Note: Nominations are now closed. Thanks for the stampede of sugestions. We're now ploughing through the lot to make the final selection for the poll. Watch this space... We know a lot of you are sci-fi buffs, and have your own personal feelings on what would make the ultimate sci-fi movie. The recent news that Paramount will …
Robert Ramsay sez on 04.15.11 @13:45gmt:
"'The Wall of Years' by Andrew Stephenson"
Actually, I've not read that, but you do raise a very good point about how it might actually be very cool to make films out of the lesser-known stuff, if the stories are really very good.
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Asimov future history.
He himself glued all of them together including a set of childrens books, the robot books, Foundation series and another series.
Smith Lensman series
Live action in the same style as 1930s adventures.
Niven Ring World - but a lot of his stuff the style is so dated
Live action again
Brin Uplift series
Live action with tons of CGI, and complete with text messagers favourite alien.
Actually not sure
"Rendezvous With Rama" would be good, except that the only director I'd want anywhere near it -- Stanley Kubrick -- is long dead.
And, no; I wouldn't let George Lucas anywhere _near_ any of these stories. Ridley Scott, maybe, as I thought "Blade Runner" was excellent, but Lucas? P'ah. Every "Star Wars" movie but the first one was a goddamn' toy commercial. Too bad Lucas only had one decent movie in him ("THX 1138").
No arg wrt Star Wars.
In the general category of dystopic futures, THX1138 was terrible!
Problems with THX1138:
- Where exactly did the drone guy learn to drive futuristic Lamborginis like a professional driver and handle handguns like a pro?
- In such a tightly controlled society, why is access to the underground roadways he escapes into not limited?
- At the end of the movies the drone guy escapes to 'outside', but we never see what is outside!
THX1138 lived up exactly to Lucas' low standards. It is 90-odd minutes of loose ends and unanswered questions.
THX1138 was a knock-off effort by Lucas merely playing on California nanny-state.
"Brin Uplift series"
The Uplift saga would make a few good-to-spectacular movies depending on who did the adaptation and who directed it.
Some of Ring world has been done. I rented The Colour of Magic a couple years back. The books are good, but the movie didn't do it justice (but isn't that always the case?)
The Foundation series places the whole of humanity's future in the hands of a secretive band of self-appointed back stage manipulators, answerable to no one.
It is the primal conspiracy theory, given a geek's adolescent intellectual gloss.
Heinlein's Future History always struck me as more open, more interesting and more human.
I'd love to see Stalinslaw Lem's Pirx the Pilot series get a good film deal or cable series treatment. They are good SciFi but they also revolve heavily around the development of the central character from an uncertain cadet to an experienced pilot. The series could transition well to the screen without huge CGI budgets.
I'm not sure I'd call Cryptonomicon sci-fi. It has a few elements of sci-fi in it, true, but I think 99% of the tech was available when it was written and the other 1% was software that hadn't been written yet. Then again, it may have been written earlier than I think or I may have forgotten some of it. It's been a while since I read it.
Now Snow Crash, that would be a good sci-fi movie with the right director.
Harry Harrison's book about a second rate Hollywood film directory making a film about Vikings with the aid of a mad professor who has invented a Time machine, thus permitting the film to use real locations and real Vikings as extras... the film of the book of the film of the book (well saga)
Whilst we're on Harry Harrison books.
The story, set in the 1980's where a descendant of the traitor George Washington, has to design and build a transatlantic tunnel to the jewel in the Empires crown, America. Lots of nuclear powered steam trains, B(r)abbage mechanical computing engines and a west country post master with an interest in rocketry.
I read the book years ago....totally forgot about it until I read your post. This is a fabulous suggestion for a movie. If I recall correctly (which is probably wrong) lots of alcohol is involved in getting the main Viking actor to perform. I can't wait to see the movie....in fact I may even go on Amazon now to buy the book again.
How about a character driven story that follows some politically correct stereotypes as they come to terms with their life experiences and learn that only by mutual respect and working as a team can they overcome the challenges they confront. This could all be based on a big spaceship or in the future or something and have an educational underling plot to do with the environment, or something.
<me wakes up with a start in a cold sweat breathing heavily />
Seriously though, any one of the Dan Abnett Warhammer 40k novels, preferably Horus Rising.
Not exactly the most thought provoking sci-fi in the world but it would make a freeking awesome movie. If you want intellectual sci-fi, books are the best platform anyway.
Peter F Hamilton's Night's Dawn Trilogy. Thrills, mystery, action, romance, spaceships, pirates, gangsters, satanism, spectral possession, antimatter explosions up the wazoo (very nearly literally in one case), inter-dimensional travel, god-like aliens - it ticks every box. It'd have to be a mini-series or about 6 films (going by the Harry Potter waste-of-a-film technique of splitting up nasty big books). The Greg Mandel trilogy would probably be easier and cheaper to adapt though.
While the more cerebral, speculative side of the genre exists, it's very hard to adapt into anything that people actually want to watch.
... I'd love to see Peterborough flooded!!
How about Neal Asher's books, either the Cormac novels (Mr Crane, C3-P0 with attitude?) or the Spatterjay series - Prador coring of a human could be rather interesting.
Oh, and one I nearly forgot - C Cherryh, Downbelow Station, damn I'd pay good money to see that!!
Um. Julian May's Saga of the Exiles would be nice; not too heavy on the S, but good visual potential. Those brightly-lit Tanu cities, the firvulag/howler mutants with their virtual bodies...
Larry Niven's Ringworld might be a goer (although how you'd get past all the exposition required to explain the properties of hulls and other exotic materials I'm not sure, but again the visuals would make up for the effort...)
On a similar note, it'd be really cool to see what Ian M Banks sees when he imagines a Culture ship, or Orbital, or Mind, so one of his Culture novels would be smart.
The danger with all of these is that I suspect the pictures might be better in my head than anything Holywood is likely to dream up. Banks' own vision of a Ship would be spectacular; the same thing visualised by Cronenburg would probably be more pedestrian...
I like this game. I may be back.
There's a movie based on A Gift From The Culture which has just been greenlit. I think that is the best we can hope for.
The Culture novels are far too large in scope to work as movies - you'd probably just end up with a Star Wars knock-off featuring talking ships with silly names if they attempted anything more complex.
> how you'd get past all the exposition required
The simple solution would be to not explain, if people wanted to know the ins and outs (which for a movie, I think they'd be unlikely to question) they can read the books.
As an emergency backup choice, I'd be happy with The Mote in Gods Eye or Integral Trees - both of which ask some interesting questions about society.
Two TV adaptations, plenty of rumours about a film adaptation, including the most recent rumour of Ridley Scott directing and Leonado DiCapro starring as The Savage... but never made it to the silver screen.
Massively relevant today; just replace the genetic selection and conditioning with cloning, and it's instantly up to date; the rest of the story can stay exactly as Andous Huxley wrote.
I'd say a two-part extravaganza of Brave New World and 1984, both with Ridley Scott directing, but 1984 has already been adapted.
Aside; Centrifugal Bumblepuppy? Ten pin bowling.
"Next you'll be claiming there was a Highlander 2 or Star Trek 6..."
Or Starship Troopers.
(seriously, I'd like to see somebody who actually READ THE BOOK make Starship Troopers, but the odds of that being accepted in Hollyweird are within epsilon of being zero.)
Starship Troopers was actually made as a six-part Japanese anime series back in the late 80s. It is more faithful to the book than the movie version made later. You can perhaps find copies of it floating in the piratical seas of the Internet if you look hard, and there are rumours of a fansubbed version I understand. You can't miss it, Juan Rico has green hair.
Rendezvous with Rama would be my choice too.
I like the sequels but they would suck as movies. I started re-reading the set this week on the train to work.
On that note - Rediscovering that paper novels kick e-readers asses on everything other than weight/bulk which is no issue at all when you only need 1 book with you. I switched to reading e-books several years ago and liked it so stuck doing that. Seems I made the wrong choice.
The "Pern" novels by Anne McCaffrey - with modern CGI, they should have no issues with the dragons.
How about "The Caves of Steel" (Asimov) - I understand that there was a TV series way back but still think the big screen could do it better justice. That could then be followed by the Foundation series, including the later stories.
What about Clarke's "Rendezvous with Rama" series? Try that in 3D!
I'd also like to see a few of Heinlein's books converted; "Stranger in a Strange Land", "Time enough for Love" etc. They could do the mucky stuff without too much bother from the censors these days. (I'm thinking of "I will fear no evil" and some steamy girl on girl action. Time for a cold shower!)
One of the few stories ostensibly directed at boys which I still enjoyed as an adult. It seemed far-fetched back when I first read it (mid '60s-ish) but now not so much, after having seen reports of people having bought complete Project Gemini training/backup suits in antique shops for pennies on the dollar as the antique dealers didn't realize what they had (somewhre in Georgia in the mid '90s, iirc). But, yeah... that might be a really good one. Get the prop shop that made the prop Apollo suits for "From The Earth To The Moon" to work on it, so it looks like a proper spacesuit -- but not the Shuttle launch/entry "pumpkin suits", they just don't look "cool" enough.
Actually, now that I think of it... I was also a big "Tom Corbett, Space Cadet" fan as a young boy; given the current state of the art in film effects, and the state of the art in space tech, and what we now know about the solar system, I think the right director could make a helluva picture out of "Stand By For Mars" (iirc, the story where Tom & pals are first accepted at the Academy).
I don't think that it would survive the censors, at least the uncensored version. Group sex, public sex, polygamy... Seems a little "tough" for american audiences. And it has almost no gore, so even tougher to sell to the clickies target audience!
But it would make a very interesting film.
Another couple of Heinlein novels that I don't know if they could ever film without changing the basic premises are "The Sixth Column" and "Farnham's Freehold".
@Michael Xion - Not sure the whole going back in time having sex with your mother would get past the censors, but you never know. 'time enough for love'.
Might have to produce two versions of the "Time Enough for Love" stories ... one to get past the censors for theater release, and another for direct to DVD release, uncensored. Either that or just leave out or play down a couple of the scenes, like with his mother.
I've read all of them several times, and still like to read them every couple of years... Yeah, I know, I'm a dirty old man, just like Woody, but without the long life to enjoy all of it..
Paris, because we don't have J Lo to fantasize about...
Oh, wow, yeah. Dan Dare would be cool, except you'd have to decide if you want modern space tech, or a believable form of early/mid-century "modern steampunk" space tech... perhaps some weird hybrid beast that's a cross between an old Lancaster and a Space Shuttle.
And, as long as we're talking about another goddamn' movie of a comic book, how about "Ministry Of Space"?
Yeah, I've read this countless times, I agree with Willington on this.
Let there be no mistake about this, I'd like to see a lot of eye candy.
Also, consider rendering the epic space battles... how would you do it? The ships are sometimes stated to be very... very... very... far apart... I've often found capital ship battles rendered on films like star trek to be most incongruent... why are the ships so close together?
Nevertheless I'd like to see an attempt.
How about Look to Windward? That might be better... Those airspheres sound like a challenge to CGI.
Almost any Iain M Banks Culture novel would make amazing movies, from full blown space operas like "Excession" to highly sophisticated sci-fi action thrillers like "Use of Weapons". The diversity of stories and entire series possible in the Culture would make Star Trek's Federation look like a single bard's song of a Medieval village.
The only other *single* work of comparable ambition and originality that sci-fi fans would demand would be something like Greg Bear's "Darwin's Radio". The amazing thing about this latter story is how plausible it would be TODAY. Also, unlike the Culture novels it wouldn't need fancy copious CGI, sets or be super expensive to make.
Some of his books certainly have the potential for great films..
I remember reading an interview where he said he had mixed feelings about filming his books, one of his his main reservations being Special effects won't be good enough, although he admitted advances in cgi mean this is not so much an issue now..
Plus I think he welcomed the idea of pocketing mega $$$
Err guys, this is about the greatest sci-fi stories that have /NOT/ been made into films yet.
I would go for
Engineman by Eric Brown
The Stainless Steel Rat Stories by Harry Harrison
The Culture Stories by Iain M Banks
@HP Cynic: I think that most people understand that this is an Email poll but what's the point having a forum if we can't have fun discussing it. I will still be Emailing my vote.
"Journey to the far side of the sun" ?? also called doppelganger
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064519/ Was originally made by Gerry Anderson's team, and , even though it was filmed with real actors, every time i see it , i can't help looking for the wires.
Ps ... can we have a "Joe 90" icon? or... do we already have one?
The Revelation Space series could be good just give the melding plaque backdrop to any european designer but which one would you do
Pushing Ice well thought through but doesn't have a heroic hollywood ending
House of Suns now there's a possibility...
Century Rain an Alternative history in Paris, or is it!
nine princes in amber / guns of avalon / rest of the corwin cycle (Zelazny ftw)
Neuromancer / count zero / mona lisa overdriver (if done well)
Consider Plebas / excession / use of weapons / any culture novel
also the Algebraist
stainless steel rat
Elric of melnibourne / other moorcock (more fantasy but what the hell)
Stranger in a strange land
the Forever War
Ringworld / some other known space novel
Canticle for leibniz
plenty of others i can't think of right now.
But I forgot Nightfall - though it's not really long enough I guess.
For me it's 'Ringworld' and the other Known Space books.
Iain M Banks
I don't know if mentioning 'Bill the Galactic hero' would be a good idea though, or 'Phules Company', or 'Johnny and the Bomb' come to that.
I always thought Robinson's Mars Trilogy (Red, Green & Blue Mars) would make a good series of movies if it was done properly. But considering the wide scope of the books, it's highly unlikely that any movie or series could do it justice. And it's a lot of hard science, with just a couple of revolutions thrown in occasionally -- so there's probably not enough action there for mainstream consumption.
Still one of my favourite series of books though.
Well, Ringworld would look great (but the sequel would probably film better).
The Dread Empires Fall by Walter Jon Williams would be pretty spectacular.
Something by Iain M Banks? Excession would probably be my choice. Definitely not Feersum Endjinn or The Algebraist as they would be just a little (a lot) weird.
The Lost Fleet?
Ok, I admit it, pretty much anything with HUGE space battles....
The opening scene; the attack on the temple; the fight under the hovercraft; the CAT shooting its way out of the small-bay; the ice-berg; taking an orbital down with grid-fire; the train. It's made for the big screen. It's the ultimate space-opera, with weird aliens, hyper-intelligent machines, rocket-ships and ray-guns. There's even a plot twist where the "evil" culture turn out to be the good guys (oops, spoiler, sorry).
But it doesn't stop there. Once the culture has been introduced, the sequel potential using it as a framework is fantastic; Excession, Use of Weapons; The Player of Games; Look to Windward...
And Iain's on record as saying that he wouldn't mind (too much) if they stapled a happy ending onto it. You know: Horza survives and sees the error of his ways; hooks up with Balveda, who recruits him into SC. Job done. Hollywood'll love it!
This anime was made to trade on the Star Wars frenzy of the 80s, had *nothing* to do with the original storyline other than borrowing the characters' names, and so p*ssed off Smith's family they took back the book rights for years to prevent any other such travesties.
Finding a VHS copy at a convention, I promptly dropped the $20, and broke the cassette over my knee in front of the huckster.
why just books? what about computer games? elite? knights of the old republic? mass effect? halo? half life?
or music? venice in peril by rondo viziano (or how ever thats spelt!)?
but books: stainless steel rat gets my vote. or the david feuntuch series, midshipmans hope (i may have the name slightly wrong....) or enders game?
Causes nothing but hurt.
Can't think of any SF game which would translate to a film without being butchered.
HL2 - would we see Gordon Freeman?
Not SF but there is a lot of upset currently over a proposed Uncharted film, unsuitable actors (just use voice cast) and script NOTHING like game. Would be better toedit together some game play and the cut scenes.
the Skylark series?
Voyage of the space beagle. (The only problem with this, is of course how many people would claim its an Alien rip off rather than the other way around.)
The Dark night stuff by Mr Hamilton, (The Reality dysfunction et al)
How about a proper film of Starship troopers. (I did enjoy the film, but it didnt have much in common with the book)
Slightly more modern:
Space captain Smith
The Lost fleet.
how about the best series never made? Would have to be Firefly season 2, or Firefly season 3... Maybe Firefly season 4? Can anyone else see where I might be going with this?
Seriously though, '48 by James Herbert could make for a fun Sci-Fi/Thriller/Horror type movie
greatest sci-fi film(s) that were never made? Oh, that would be the three Star Wars prequels that were of the same quality as the films from the 70's/80's. I refuse to put Phantom Menace, et al, into the same category as the original Star Wars trilogy.
As others said yesterday in the other thread, Asimov's Foundation series could be good. It's lengthy so could spawn a decent franchise. But at the same time, I don't know that Hollywood, as we know it today, could or would do the books justice.
Same for some of the Niven/Pournelle books. Just not the Ringworld series, which I found to be terminally boring books. But Mote in God's Eye or Lucifer's Hammer would make good movies.
More Fantasy than Sci-Fi, but this was the first book by David Gemmel that i read.
I've always imagined the big scene in the book at the breach in the fortifications that Druss is defending as follows.
<Geek Mode On>
Camera in longshot panning the wall , and slowly going into close up on Druss with his war-axe with just the musical portion of The Final Countdown playing slowly (The equivalent of a 45 single being played at 33&1/3)
In all seriousness, Druss The Legend, is a book that is crying out for a good screen play, it could even Drag Arnie back into Barbarian mode since Druss is in his 60's when the battle takes place.
As mentioned elsewhere, some of the Culture books would make good films - 'Consider Phlebas', 'Use of Weapons', 'The Player of Games'. Others (like 'Excession') would be quite difficult to turn into a film and still be true to the book - 'Excession' is a fabulously complicated book with lots and lots of subtle nuances.
Greg Bear's 'Eon' would be damn good, even if they effectively turned both it and the sequel 'Eternity' into a single film.
+1 vote for the 'Lensman' books.
+1 vote for the 'Stainless Steel Rat' books.
Also the 'Deathworld' trilogy - they might work quite well.
Come on... police state... paedophiles... a public under pressure ready to blow whilst being kettled by the oppressive nanny state... financial/expenses scandals concerning those who rule the heavily taxes masses...
The fact a show based on this hasn't been remade over the last 10 years is criminal! Even the Culture Show would be raving about such a spookily apt show.
I love the 'future as it use to be thought of'' feel of some of the old Asimov and similar books (I even loved The Incredibles). In that vein:
Foundation Trilogy (earlier comments about misogeny noted, but I think it is a good story anyway - though I am less keen on the Brin/Bird/? trilogy)
Nightfall (some great ideas he is exploring)
Bit OT, but Making Money and Pyramids by Terry Pratchett (ok, that was a lot off topic, but I don't care!)
Missing: (I did not read every page, props to the few who mentioned these)
Otherland (Tad Williams)
The Mote in God's Eye (and its sequel, Niven + Pournel)
Ender's game (actually about to enter production)
Nueromancer (also in production)
Out of the Silent Planet (C S Lewis)
One's noted I'm adding a vote to:
Foundation Saga (and prequals too, really about anything from the future history cycle)
Snow Crash (though that could go badly/over-the-top cheezy)
One's I do not agree with:
Ringworld. Might make it on TV as a series, but not enough action/plot for a movie and/or takes too long to get there. This was for FILMS. I would vote for it being a TV show in a second, but it's not good movie material. this has been discussed a long time.
I'm not even getting started on Fantasy... If we stopped writing now we'd still have a century of blockbuster releases to hit screens... BTW: George R R Martin "Game Of Thrones" Episode one THIS SUNDAY on HBO, SO PSYCHED! 15min promo brought me right back to the prologue of the book, I knew exactly who each character was on SIGHT. Super well done.
Jon Brunner - The Shockwave Rider, as far as I know never made it to film ,but predicted life on the internet, worms, viruses and trojans decades before the existed. Oh, there is a Panther and a girl in it too :)
Failing that, I would Go with Asimov's Foundation series. Big Up to Hari Seldon
Yes I know Kubricks already done 2001 and there was 2010 (with Roy Schneider and Helen Mirren), but I want to see the series completed - 2061: Odyssey Three and 3001: The Final Odyssey.
@Neil Weller: Rendezvous with Rama has been supposedly in development for years (with Morgan Freeman expressing an interest in producing it) but there isn't a script finalised.
YES....2061 and 3001 need to be made...
2001 has and always will be one of my favourite books / films of all time and I really enjoyed 2010 too... it should be against international laws to remake those classics but I feel that if they were to make 2061 & 3001 it would best be done with a remake of the first two,
If they were to be made I wouldn't trust it to any old director either, it would have to be done by a big studio with a massive budget by someone like Michael Haneke, Terrence Malick, Steven Soderbergh, Joel and Ethan Coen, mabe even David Lynch, but whoever you get in, I would get Tsai Ming-Liang to do the "dawn of Man" scene at the beginning of 2001...
Each series was 5 books. The Malloreon unabashedly repeats the Belgariad observing history repeats itself in cycles, and that the cycles were getting shorter until it finally fixed the thing that wasn't supposed to have happened which locked history into the repeating loop.
How about China Mieville's Bas-Lag books - the Slake Moths were badass, and I'd love to see Armada on film
Steph Swainston's Jant stories - The Year Of Our War would make a cool film
+1 for those suggesting Slippery Jim , Bil the Galactic Hero and the Deathworld stories.
I'd love to see The Demolished Man on film - one of the all time greats .
In order of preference
1. Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert Heinlein
2. Inferno - Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
3. A World Out Of Time - Larry Niven
4. Ringworld - Larry Niven
5. Sixth Column (sometimes titled as "The Day After Tomorrow" in editions printed before the climate change movie) - Robert Heinlein
6. The Mote in God's Eye - Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
7. Dragonriders of Pern - Anne McCaffrey (series, really should be done in the order written even though Dragonsdawn is a prequel)
Oh and I agree with anything by Peter F Hamilton, but especially the Greg Mandel series.
The Difference Engine by William Gibson & Bruce Sterling.
The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Azimov
The Forever War by Joe Hadleman
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
Action, good-baddies, bad-goodies, nasty aliens and lots of lasers and violence.
Also a vote for Ringworld and I'm sorry but another one for the Lensman Series. ;-)
Yes it's trashy space opera but would look great on a big screen.
But the one I would most love to see would be the 4 book series by Edmund Cooper (Richard Avery) called "The Expendables".
(1) THE DEATHWORMS OF KRATOS
(2) THE RINGS OF TANTALUS
(3) THE WAR GAMES OF ZELOS
(4) THE VENOM OF ARGUS
Just the titles must have some of you drooling. <LOL>
I picked up the first two at Heathrow in late 1979, had 'em both read before I got to JFK ... I remember thinking that they were pretty bad, but would make for good films. Ten years ago, I ran across the four of them at a used book store and re-read them on a flight from SFO to Heathrow ... Same thing. They aren't literature, but each of the books would make for a good two hour movie.
Both of these are now (hopefully) getting made.
Thumbs up for Hamilton.
My list. Greg bear has some pretty good stuff.
Also the coyote series by Allen Steele.
Tiger Tiger by Bester.
I like the idea of it being made into a movie, but I don't know how it will be done...
Not the zero-g stuff, but that they are all young kids, Ender is 6, that's a major part of the impact! If it is actually made into a serious film, it will be acted with 20+ year olds. Or, if kids are used, I can't see how Hollywood can make it into anything other than a dumbed down kids film.
Plus lets not forget that it was only written as an introduction for the characters in Speaker for the Dead, which will likely never be filmed. Notice how many producers jumped onto the rest of the northern lights series!
Agree that the Stainless Steel Rat could be fun if light, kinda like a sci-fi James Bond. Peter Hamilton is also a good contender.
Not so sure about how well the Culture would translate to film, it could be epic or it could be awful shite like those last Star Wars films. In fact that goes for most of these..
Something by China Mieville or Vernor Vinge
Mission Gravity by Hal Clement
Gateway by Bob Shaw (if I've got the author right, or is it Pohl?)
Lord of Light by Zelazny
Also a bit of a fantasy crossover, but The Book of the New Sun and the like by Gene Wolfe.
Forever War - Joe Haldeman
While Banks would be good, I'll shout for Ken MacLeod,
Fall Revolution series.
1. The Star Fraction (1995)
2. The Stone Canal (1996)
3. The Cassini Division (1997)
4. The Sky Road (1999)
I know Johnny Mnemonic has already been done, but they could do it properly and do all the Gibson books.
Not too sure about Banks' Culture stuff - the only one I can really see working as a single shot movie is The Player of Games.
Niven & Pournelle; not Ringworld but The Mote In Gods Eye. TMIGE will need a Peter Jackson to mini-series it because I can't really conceive it coming all in one lump. Or two. That can be the trouble with SF - too much scope. The other question is will the audience cotton on to how dangerous the Moties are even with HH Bury's screaming about it?
If you want battles and cultural differences how about Alan Dean Foster's Icerigger? It is the opposite of Avatar, no human self loathing here.
Agree with the CJ Cherryh comments on Downbelow Station, but for choice would probably choose Merchanter's Luck.
What about John Varley's Titan trilogy? Superb stuff.
Ian McDonald's Desolation Road to weird people out completely.
The Godwhale by TJ Bass has a nice ecosystem collapse and rebirth story to it, but isn't an action fest by any means, and Schwarzenegger is too old to play the lead/s now.
Lets get Girl Genius made into a movie! Once the series is finished. I want five-mile-long airship castles.
I'm waiting for Michael Grade's influence to fade away so Brit TV can start making proper Science Fiction programmes again. Stuff the films, I want series and character development, and by that I don't mean the Doctor snogging the female sidekick.
Varleys Titan set, I can Just see Titanides V Zombies and a 50 ft Marilyn Monroe-alike surrounded by ASSociate producers LOL.
Ice rigger hmm lemme see cross species pervy sex possibilities likewise Ring world set too Rishtartha anyone? mind you A puppeteer taking with Kathleen turners voice..... well thats how I imagine them.
Godwhale err 4 toe nebbish bowshooting feral humans out in the fields around the coweye sump erm nahh cant see Hollywood 'avin that. But I was impressed with the Class 50 spear tho.
About plus 20 billion for the SS Rats
Fred Pohl Gateway has plenty of potential I think,
The Earthsea series of Ursula Le Guin. Ok, ok, this is fantasy, not SF, but it's incomparably greater writing than most of the sf names mentioned so far. And it has the best dragons ever.
And for SF properly speaking, how about Greg Bear's Forge of God (not sure if I've got the title exactly right)? The closing chapters, watching the destruction of the earth, still give me the shudders. There were elements in "2012" from a couple of years ago that tasted a little like Greg Bear's story, perverted and cheapened. A real production of his might be able to clean that bad taste out of my mouth.
Yes to anything by Niven, particularly the stories featuring Beowulf Shaeffer. Any one might not be enough for a feature-length film, but string a few together.
+1 to the Moon is a Harsh Mistress. I have actually been thinking about how to cast that recently - Angelina Joile with a blond dye-job as Wye Knott, and Morgan Freeman as Prof. De La Paz, but I'm coming up blank on a good young Latin actor for Manny. Definitely NOT any of Heinlein's later stuff - its mostly literary masturbation. Glory Road could be interesting, though.
In a similar vein, Philip Jose Farmer's Kickaha series. Plus the Riverworld books - Sam would be a great protagonist.
John Varley's Titan series. Or the Ophiuchi Hotline - it could get a green light now after the whole bruhaha over the "13th Zodiac constellation" a few months back. The Persistence of Vision is a great short story, but I don't think there's enough there for a movie - not to mention the orgies would ensure it a NC17 rating...
+1 to Stainless Steel Rat
The Left Hand of Darkness (Ursula K. LeGuin)
- David Brin's "Uplift" saga
- Gregory Benford's "Galactic Center" saga
- Charles Sheffield's "Heritage Universe" series
- Greg Bear's "Forge of God" series, or the "Darwin" series
- Peter F. Hamilton's "Void" trilogy or his "Commonwealth Saga"
- Alfred Bester's "The Demolished Man", or any of his other works too
- Peter F. Hamilton's "Escape Route" would make an excellent couple of hours' viewing, and "Fallen Dragon" would be a really good Starship Troopers type entertainment, although a bit more serious
- Greg Bear's "Moving Mars"
Off the top of my head, that's all - but I'm sure there are plenty of others.
I for one would like to see more modern books being converted into movies - not too sure what the current obsession of converting 60s scifi into movies is.
Dark Night Trilogy or Mindstar Trilogy (would be cheaper to make) by Robert F Hamilton is pretty good.
Greg Bear has done a few good books that would do brilliant film conversions: Anvil of Stars, Eon, Moving Mars...
Or any of the Greg Mandel series....based in the UK...post apocalyptic....fun science...what's not to like?:)
Failing that there's still a goldmine of lesser known comics to pillage, just about any Garth Ennis stuff like Preacher(post apocalyptic western chaos) or Gravel (SAS combat magician...awesome series!)....or the mini he did about the british getting all the german scientists post WW2 and winning the space race...that was amazing!
I think any of Richard Morgan's Takieshi Kovac novels would be excellent, not sure the rather extreme content would get past the censors though.
Market Forces, by the same author, would also be excellent and was originally written as a screenplay. Only near future though, does that count as sci-fi?
as one of the first posts said.. feersum endjinn wound be visually spectacular, and has engaging characters at a human scale.. man i love that book.
as much as i also love the culture novels, they generally feature too many lengthy discussions between spaceships.. would need changing significantly to be engaging.
The Heechee don't make an appearance in Gateway, though that wouldn't stop Hollywood. If the oblig CGI tentacled monster can be kept out it could make a half decent tension flik, the howling WTF plot inconsistencies would not matter to your average film goer. Terrified me too, how bad would life have to be to make someone take a mortal chance like that? I don't think there's enough action in it to appeal to Hollywood though.
Ringworld would be tougher to realise because if it were faithful to the book it doesn't have enough action to bring in the required budget.
Night's Dawn has more than enough in it to please a wide audience but could Jackson raise the budget for the nine film series it would take? Anyone else would allow it to be cut to nonsensical ribbons.
Lighter weight stuff like SS Rat or Cormac are more Hollywood.
*Ringworld would be tougher to realise because if it were faithful to the book it doesn't have enough action to bring in the required budget.*
Hollywood doesn't need action written into a story! Here is a brief, Hollywood style, overview trying not to give too much detail away
- brief intro... birthday party, character exposition + expedition prep (includes a bit of action, meeting speaker.)
- action/suspense... travelling in quantum 2 hyperdrive.
- brief pause to marvel at the cgi that can be used to create the puppeteers and their world, interspersed with moments of suspense, faux danger etc.
- Lots of impressive ringworld CGI.
- action... investigating the ringworld structure, dodging landing platforms & deceleration rings!
- action... the meteor defence and 'landing'
- brief pause to survey the surroundings.
- some light travelling... possibly some flycycle action.
- action... meeting some locals.
- jump cut some travelling
- action... sunflowers.
- brief pause to recuperate.
- jump cut some travelling.
- action... the storm.
- action/suspense... meeting Prill. - mandatory 'rishathra' scenes.
- montage... planning + prep.
- brief bit of travelling
- action... more locals
- jump cut some travelling
- suspense... the exit!
Hollywood has done far more, with far less!
Short enough for a 2 hour film
Plenty of action
Within the scope of current CGI technology
Love interest for the chicks (dons flame proof suit!)
Love Iain M. Banks, but most would be too complex to film; except maybe for "Against A Dark Background" (not a Culture novel, but great anyway).
Richard Morgan's stuff would translate well to film, but probably too adult for Hollywood budgets (wouldn't get a PG rating).
Neil Asher's Polity books would be good, but maybe a bit complex for Hollywood.
And my obscure choices would be "Gateway" by Frederick Pohl and "Wall Around a Star" by Frederick Pohl and Jack Williamson.
Y'know, back when I was just a young college sci-fi geek, I used to imagine how awesome the film versions would be of stuff like this. With thirty-odd years' hindsight and observation of the rapid decline of Hollywood, I can only be appalled at the idea of these classics being brought to the screen. I'm livid at the remake of "I Am Legend" (the early '60s version, "Last Man On Earth", with Vincent Price, was made of awesome, though), and the thought of a film version of "Martian Chronicles" terrifies me.
Here's a few other faves which I desperately hope Hollywood never gets its hands on:
Clarke's "Rendezvous With Rama"
Heinlein's "Starman Jones"
Baxter's "Voyage" and/or "Titan"
...and while we're too late to save "I Am Legend" and "War Of The Worlds", here's a couple of classics I'm hoping -- against all odds -- are not remade:
HG Wells' "Things To Come" (1936)
Heinlein's "Destination Moon" (1950)
"Foundation", "Rama", "Starman Jones", "Voyage" and "Titan" might stand a chance if made by foreign studios with foreign directors and casts, but they'd be frickin' murdered by Hollywood. Likely, Hollywood would turn over "Foundation" to George Lucas* so that he could turn it into a three-hour toy commercial. It's really a shame Kubrick's no longer with us; I think he'd have made a damned good film out of, say, "Voyage".
*who, ironically, also directed the awesome "THX 1138" -- or, as I like to call it, The Only George Lucas Film That Matters.
In the post Tokyo/San Francisco earthquake world of the early 21st century, Colin Laney is referred to agents of the aging mega-rock star Rez (of the musical group Lo/Rez, and seemingly very much styled after former The Smiths frontman, Morrissey) for a job using his peculiar talent of sifting through vast amounts of mundane data to find "nodal points" of particular relevance. Rez has claimed to want to marry a synthetic personality named Rei Toei, the Idoru (Japanese Idol) of the title, which is apparently impossible and therefore questioned by his loyal staff, particularly by his head of security, Blackwell. Blackwell believes that someone is manipulating Rez, and wants Laney to find out who. Simultaneously, the Seattle chapter of the Lo/Rez fan club is discussing exactly the same topic of the unbelievable marriage of human and AI construct. Fourteen year old Chia Pet McKenzie is chosen by the group to go to Tokyo and meet with the Tokyo chapter to find out what is really happening. On the flight she meets a woman named Maryalice, who dupes her into unwittingly carrying a contraband item through customs in Tokyo.
I would have cast David Bowie as Rez and Daniel Craig as Laney
I'd been scrolling through the entire thread, expecting to get to the end before suggesting this myself.
It'd need to be done by a fairly cerebral director, though, maybe Soderburgh.
Done as an action flick - well, can you see Bruce Willis as John Amalfi?
There's two other Blish novels that'd make magnificent films in the right hands, although one's not sci-fi. "a Case of Conscience" and "Doctor Mirabilis".
You might even do something rather good around the "pantropy" short stories - extreme modifications of humans for hostile environments.
Rogue Trooper - alien world, lone hero, obvious enemy
Ro-busters - robots, killdozers ("Big Jobs"), disasters. It's Thunderbirds with robots (did I mention the robots)
Dan Dare - so long as Dan wasn't turned into a Yank, Daniel McGregor Dare is from Manchester, and Digby would still have to be corpulent and from Wigan.
If we're allowed to suggest works of fantasy, and made-for-TV productions don't count as movies, then I say it's high time someone takes advantage of the fact that modern CGI has finally made it possible to do justice to the ghost scenes! (Which it is anyway, frankly, even if the 1983 made-for-TV version does count.)
I'd suggest Iolanthe too, but perhaps the parallels to current real-life British politics would be too uncomfortable for it to be made...
One of the best books I've ever read. Easily the equal of Banks or Hamilton (both of whom I also think are top-notch). Some great ideas and concepts, awesome weapons and fight sequences, plus a very intelligent plot. But not a single mention in any of the comments...
1. The Stars My Destination (Alfred Bester) Tiger, Tiger in UK, I believe. Cinematic, fascinating characters, great plot. Despite being written just a few years after I was born, the plot has aged well.
2. The Mote in God's Eye (Niven/Pournelle) This movie would stretch anyone's special-effects budget.
3. The Forever War (Haldeman) Space warfare like it might someday happen - without pretty but embarrassingly unlikely 'yardarm to yardarm' space battles, and shoulder-to-shoulder infantry - taking place on monochromatic cryogenic hells.
4. The Stainless Steel Rat (Harrison) This would bring some serious humor to the big screen. Harrison's 'Bill, the Galactic Hero' is also a possibility.
5. Old Man's War (Scalzi) Special effects galore, a unique love story, war, and links to the aging baby-boomer crowd - a can't lose movie!
6. The Dispossed (Le Guin) - Love to see it, unlikely to happen. Even less likely to be done well.
7. Citizen of the Galaxy (Heinlein). Timeless story for all ages, would be easy to translate to the big screen.
Well since there is a ton of entries, here are mine, in no particular order:
Rendezvous with Rama
and a story I read years ago - the paperback was falling apart but a wonderful story
Poul Anderson's Brain Wave - this could be a great all CGI movie.
That's an appelation that is open to interpretation of its actual meaning!!
If you mean "The best Sci-Fi movie concept that really should be made into a movie", then I have to say Ringworld or something like that. Of course, given Hollywood's history with good sci-fi books made into movies, perhaps what would end up on screen would be more fittingly called "Ringworm" and end up in our next category:
Or you could mean, "the Sci-fi movie that I would most like to unmake". Two words--Battlefield Earth.
Or you could mean the Sci-Fi movie that was thought of but never made, in which case I would have to say "Manimal: The Movie" stands right up there with heresy and witchcraft as a reason to tie Hollywood studio execs to a stake and start gathering the firewood...
- should never be made.
Some stories are not visual enough for the average punter. How would you represent Dark Universe by Daniel F Galouye - entirely in sonic images?
Patterns of Chaos by Colin Kapp would be too big for the screen, although it would make a good space opera.
Icerigger would never have been made before CGI, and probably should not be made now.
The formulaic nature of Stainless Steel Rat will probably turn it into a serial on DVD.
I would agree that Foundation needs to be done - if properly done.
Same goes for the Heinleins that some have suggested.
And of course Sirens of Titan.
Calls for titles you can't request a "proper remake" would suggest that this is a trawl for stories unlikely to have the rights already signed up - how sad.
Suggesting short stories you think are excellent is rather silly as history has shown that Hollywood aren't really into "short" and are only very rarely good at extending an authors worlds without some kind of "re-imagining" or "reboot". Especially when the story is essentially told as thought rather than action. Seriously think about how your favourite story has a lot to be how the main character or narrator thought.
In case there is any chance of getting something like The Forever War on the big screen then Halo Jones (Books 1 through 4) might be a more appealing spectacle.
The book is excellent, and so is the movie. (at least according to me).
I think the 'flash crowd' stories by Larry Niven, would be a hit, especially with the twitterati. Also, I think Lucifer's Hammer could make a good miniseries (if Niven & Pournelle had the option of crucifying recalcitrant directors/producers)
My 0,1€'s worth...
How about James White - The Aliens Among Us, also Sector General but may be too much like Dr. Kildare but CGI could manage a Tralthan or Ian life form no probs..
More like an Bond adventure story would be Gavin Lyall's 'Wrong Side of the Sky'
Sir Fred Hoyle's The Black Cloud. Mind you Hoyle's 'science fact' would pass as science fiction these days.
The Stainless Steel Rat would make for good humour & action.
Moorcock. Having the theme music done by Hawkwind would be a must.
All Golden Age. Please no swordslingers or dragonriders going around in FTL ships....
I'm surprised at all the Ringworld love tbh. Once you get past the Ringworld itself I don't think it would make a great movie at all. Protector or even World of Ptaavs would make better stand alone movies if Known Space is what you want, and all of the early Niven/Pournelle books are very cinematic (Lucifer's Hammer is what Deep Impact should have been).
Ooh, thought of others on a completely different tangent; The Anubis Gates or Declare. Maybe now Pirates of The Caribbean are giving Tim Powers a name check some of his other stuff will come to Hollywood's attention.
Guys, what with the resurgent interest in blade runner, incidentaly the KW Jetter sequels work rather well with the film. Im thumbs up for the Gil The Arm series, Population pressure, birth control lottery, mother hunts. New crimes, organ legging, Corpsicle murder, Gil's own wild talent.
The fight with Anubis could be interesting as could Ray Sinclairs timestop machine.
Would Hollywood have the nuts to really do the Social world Gil works in though what with the organ banks getting empty again...
The city & the stars. Childhoods end. Clarke.
'Wild geese' Forgotten author, perhaps the commenards can help. Space ship is an Irish convent, run by a scheming Mother Superior. Wild Geese was the name for the company of lay brothers and mercenaries that ran the ship & did any fighting.
Here is a copy of my e-mail on this subject:
I'd say the best would be "Rendezvous With Rama" without a doubt.
Other overlooked books that I'd like to see made into a movie:
Tom Godwin's "The Survivors" and "The Space Barbarians"
This could be great without being too expensive. CGI effects could be limited on planet to the animals; Unicorns, Mockers, and Prowlers. The animals are what make to books so fascinating. The telepathic Mockers, the insanely murderous Unicorns, and the Hell Hound rejects, called Prowlers, would make this movie great.
Isaac Asimov's "Lucky Star" Novels
Just think what Hollywood could do with a 22nd Century Interplanetary / Interstellar "James Bond" working for the "Council of Science".
Riverworld; Norton's "Forerunner" series (either for the Harry Potter set, or for adults); Ringworld; Zelazny's Amber series; Avery/Cooper's Expendables; Stainless Steel Rat; Robinson's Callahan (not scifi, but ...); Hal Clement's "Needle" would be interesting to script; EE Smith's stuff would likewise be interesting to cast. Tom Corbett (I have first editions ... my DearOldMum was a science fiction fan during the Golden Age :-) ... Bond's "The Remarkable Exploits of Lancelot Biggs, Spaceman" might be fairly good on the big screen. Blish's "Cities in Flight" could be done with modern computers. Obviously Heinlen, Clarke & Asimov all have options. Ted Sturgeon. I'm surprised Moorcock hasn't been put on the screen yet.
I'm sure I'll think of several others as soon as I hit "Submit"
the only way to be sure!
- nuke the scmoltzy re-written ending
- get the "veggy-saur" to eat the frikkin kids in the first scene
- make it EXACTLY like the book... E X A C T L Y !
- obay all 3 of Newton's Laws of Motion (this ain't Meat Loaf, 2 outta 3 IS bad)
- don't change the title so thick Americans can understand it (it was a friggin alethiometer not a Compass)
Until HOLLYWOOD is a burning cinder we'll never see another decent sci-fi movie, they'll all be Independance Day esque nonsence..., which WAS fun...., BUT my mind was screaming in its locked off shut down vault in my brain:
"why didn't they just LAZER them [humanity] from orbit?" WHY?
"why did a Windows XP virus work on an alien computer?" Perhaps Bill got to them first?
- don't change the title so thick Americans can understand it (it was a friggin alethiometer not a Compass)
it was also a philosophers stone, a proper real life, well... 'real' mythological object. Strangely attributed with all of the alchemical properties of this fanciful "sorcerer's stone"!
Winner of the sci-fi triple crown that would make a terrific movie if it wasn't dumbed down.
I gather there's a version in production that has little to do with William Gibson's fantastic novel.
There's a memorable scene in the book where the main character is being stalked by an A.I. (virtually). As he walks by a bank of phone booths in a public space, each one rings once in turn. Chilling stuff that could translate well into film.
All of the Niven fans are backing the wrong book - as fantastics as Ringworld is, it is simply too large, and too alien, to really be explored in a 90 minute movie. You'd spend 80 minutes setting it up.
The best Niven book for a movie is one of his first - "Protector", which sets up the Man In Space stories. Introduces the Pak as the ancestors of man, has reasonable and believable technology, explores Earth and the Belt, and the potential for great Brennan/Truesdale vs. Pak fleet battle scenes. Modify it to actually show the Battle for Home (it is assumed in the book), and you have a stunning conclusion.
Richard Morgan - Altered Carbon
Alastair Reynolds - Century Rain
Iain Banks - Transition
Stephen Baxter - Moonseed
David Brin - Earth
Neal Asher - Skinner
Iain M Banks - Against A Dark Background
if you must have Larry Niven then go for the series set in a virtual game world company (cant remember the titles)
if you must have Foundation then start with the more recently written ones
and sorry but the Lensman series is still total c**p (so could turn out to make a good movie as the screen writer could throw 99% of the book contents away without losing anything)
Samuel R. Delany - The Jewels of Aptor; The Fall of the Towers Trilogy; Babel-17; The Ballad of Beta-2
Jody Scott - Passing for Human; I, Vampire
Damien Broderick - Dreaming Dragons; Striped Holes; White Abacus
Heinlein - The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
Suzette H Elgin - Native Tongue
Ursula LeGuin - The Left Hand of Darkness
Well I've always thought The Forever War by Joe Haldeman or Enders Game by Orson Scott Card. However both are in development which is great news.
So it has to be Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks, which given the right director has the potential to be phenomenal. It reads like a great movie.
Also have to say that The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison, Clarke's Rama and Assimov's Foundation, could / should all be fantastic.
The problem is Hollywood, look what they did to I, Robot. It was just an corporate advertising reel and Will Smith promotional video. Can you imagine Michael Bay directing Rendezvous with Rama?
Thankfully Ridley Scott has his mitts on Forever War. If done justice it should be film that people remember for a very long time. Marygay's letter on the last page of the book made me blub, it's a beautiful ending.
Altered Carbon (and sequels) would make excellent films - especially if direct with balls, like the new Spartacus TV shows. Not afraid of the sex and gore, but tells a good story too.
Also any of the Culture novels by Iain M Banks (perhaps more fitting to a series though)
Fallen Dragon by Peter Hamilton has some very cool Crysis-esque tech in it - would love to see that optioned.
Given the Day of the Triffids has been made into a TV series and The Midwich Cockoos was made as the Village of the Damned, there are still a few of John Wyndham's works to be made into films. The books are very good and as they are generally very close to the real world, would be relatively inexpensive to make, requiring no ground breaking CGI.
Otherwise there must surely be a load of Michael Crichton material to be made into films. His material lends itself to transfer to the big screen given his history of writing TV shows and already having a few of his books made into film.
I can but hope!
I'd like to see Moving Mars - Greg Bear, for the realistic uber technologied mars based society or the Revelation Space saga - Alastair Reynolds for the huge ships and hard sci-fi, whizz bang space battles!
Either of these would be stunning for the visuals & no nonsense science! (well not *much* nonsense science!)
by James H. Schmitz. It's a short novel, which makes it easier to turn into a 90-minute movie. The action is suspenseful and keeps moving plus there's a chance for some good acting as Nile Etland takes on the role of Tuvela in-story. Having giant hunting otters as sidekicks is a cherry on the top (Spiff and Sweeting for the win!) Cameron could recycle a lot of the CGI forestry work he put into Avatar to make the floatwood islands which are the background for the action.
If you don't know the story you'll find it in Baen's Free Library for legal download, in the collection "The Hub -- Dangerous Territory" edited by Eric Flint. Recommended.
I'd go for Hyperion by Simmons. It has the kind of epic dimension which would translate wonderfully (but might need trimming). The multiple threads might make it a bit hard to screenplay though.
Runner up would be Mote in God's Eye by Niven & Pournelle.
Both have sequels, admittedly of variable quality.
Back in 1979 / 1980, Brian Daley wrote some pre-Star Wars stories dealing with Han Solo's earlier career - they were pulp, but highly entertaining pulp. Any of the three would probably work well with a title change:
* Han Solo at Stars' End
* Han Solo's Revenge
* Han Solo and the Lost Legacy
Alternately, almost any of James White's "Sector General" series could be entertaining as well.
* Hospital Station
* Ambulance Ship
* Final Diagnosis
... the list goes on.
RINGWORLD If I say it loudly enough times will they make the goddamn movie? I choose this not as my all-time favourite Sci Fi book, but one that is just perfect for modern cinema technology, and having a great gung-ho storyline. It really needs 3 or 4 hours and a sympathetic Peter Jackson type director though.
I'm off to carry on reading The Mote In God's Eye again (thanks to this forum). I'm at the bit where the female Motie Engineer is on the ship redesigning the coffee machine, and the small monkey Motie is hugging a cabbage with 4 arms.
PS or any of the amazing culture novels, all of the early ones. POG, UOW, CP etc.
The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress would be great if done properly.
Iain M Banks - The Player of Games. One of the easier ones to film.
CJ Cherryh - Rimrunners. Always imagined it with Sigourney Weaver & Michael Biehn a la Aliens as Bet & NG.
Anything with Slippery Jim diGriz and the adorable homicidal Angelina (can't think who could possibly play that one...)
And has anyone mentioned Eric Frank Russell yet, and if not why not? Wasp and Next Of Kin would both translate really well
It's currently a really bad time to make movies. I'd wait at least 10 years since we are just before one of those entertainment bubbles. The movies made today are like the thousands of musicals made in the 1960s. Hugely expensive and popular at the time, however soon to be overshadowed by smaller, more independent productions, with less budget and a lot more creativity.
In no particular order:
The Patchwork Girl (or a series of Gilbert 'The ARM' Hamilton)
Beowulf Schaeffer series.
A grand one for a miniseries would be "The Boat of a Million Years" by Poul Anderson
Personally, I'm waiting for the Terry Pratchett series starting from 'A Colour of Magic' all the way to his latest, with 'Strata' done out-of-band.
..Steel Beach. Or how about A.E Van Vogt ?Slan, The weapon shops of isher? (Might be too late to cast Charlton Heston in that one).
Soo many choices , so little time.
There's also the alternate history genres.. the man in the high castle, the years of rice and salt.
and , has NOBODY mentioned Dan Abnett yet?
Ethics of human genetic engineering: Robert Heinleins "Beyond This Horizon" Best examination of the pitfalls and policy of changing our own DNA..
Adventure: Niven and Pornelle : Ringworld series and a collaboration "Future History"
Short films from stories in "Another Round at the Space Port Bar" and Neutron Star. Some of the Space Port bar stories also political/horror thriller genre.
and second/third to "Legacy of Heriot" and follow on book.
Political Thriller: Arthur C Clarke s "Double Star" Bit antiquated, with venusians and martians.
Kids Adventure: RH "Farmer in the sky"
Humour. Larry Niven "Flight of the Horse" short stories.
Isaac Asimovs short story Victory Unintentional. Robots ambassadors on Jupiter..
Police Drama: Nivens Gil the ARM stories. More recommended is the Janisary and Janisary:Clan and Crown novels. Something for everyone. UFOs, alien abductions, swords and sandals, celts and romans, interstellar empire and illicit drugs. Oh, and the end of civilisation, with climate change and nuclear bombs.
Military/Socialogy: Gordon R Dickson Dorsai series.
...and have nothing really new to add, but I couldn't let this go by without adding my 2 cents.
Definitely another vote for Julian May's Pliocene Exile Saga from me. More fantasy than SF but with enough of the latter that it still fits the bill. This is my all-time favourite series of books but one I always considered unfilmable until I saw what Peter Jackson did with The Lord Of The Rings. I now consider it to be very filmable, but sadly the series doesn't have the massive following or public awareness that Tolkien's works did and so will probably never get a movie interpretation.
A close second to May in my literary affections is Peter F. Hamilton with his Night's Dawn and Commonwealth series, but sadly I think his books genuinely are unfilmable even with the miracle techniques of the modern movie maker. There's just so much background information that needs to be imparted to the reader that I can't see cinematic versions of any of his sweeping sagas making any sense unless each chapter ran to five hours apiece. Perhaps an animated TV series?
Finally, we're still waiting for Hollywood to do the proper, ultimate alien invasion movie. And while it would need updating for the 21st century I can't think of a better candidate for a reworking than Niven and Pournelle's Footfall. The characterisation in the novel was a bit weak but the science was strong and the battle sequences would look amazing.
There are many suggestions here which I think would lose too much being crammed into theatrical release format, but would be terrific made-for-TV miniseries. Like:
Saga of Pleistocene Exile/Milieu series
All of Peter F. Hamilton's novels (especially these; they're not 900+ pages because they're full of useless meanderings!)
Red Mars/Green Mars/Blue Mars
The success of Avatar by J. Cameron, shows that there is
a market for Deep Ecological/Traditionalist science fiction.
The novel "Ravage" (Ashes, Ashes) by René Barjavel, published
in 1943 in France about the fall of a technological society and
the return of the survivors to a traditional patriarchal and polygamist
society, where books and steam engines are banned
is a sure crowd pleaser. One simply has to move the setting
to the US and change François Deschamps in a Mormon fundie.
And so many could be awful in the wrong hands.
Vurt - Jeff Noon
Only Forward - Michael Marshall Smith. Spares almost got made by Spielberg with Cruise but instead we got Minority Report
Excession - Ian M Banks
Use of Weapons - Ian M Banks
Anything by Neal Stephenson, particularly Anathem. A huge budget serial of the baroque cycle culminating in a 3 parter of Cryptonomicon would also be nice.
There are many options, and with rare exceptions those already made are pretty awful. The one exception to me is Blade Runner.
Jack Vance has a wealth of short stories and novels that could make great atmospheric movies. The Dying Earth, especially the first three stories, could make an excellent movie or set of movies. I don't think there are many directors one could trust to do it right though. The Durdane trilogy would also work well.
R A Lafferty's "Fourth Mansions", Zelazny's "Lord of Light" and maybe some of the Amber series ?. James Tiptree Jr (Racoona Sheldon) has a number of short stories that might work, often a little off the wall; Simak's "The Goblin Reservation"; Davidson's "Rork" maybe; Certainly Brin's Uplift series, but possibly they're too long for good movies. Of those the original Sundiver, Startide Rising, and Uplift War are (IMHO) the best suited. The later ones are less clear and less self contained. I wonder if Gene Wolfe's Torturer series might make a suitable movie series. Niven's early short stories, "Neutron Star" era.
And of course it would be nice if someone could make a decent version of LOTR that stuck a little closer to the original. Some of the individual stories out of the Silmarillion could also work, such as "The Lay of Lethian".
A lot of people have mentioned Richard Morgan and quite deservedly so. Altered Carbon is a fantastic read as are most of the Kovaks novels. Market Forces is also brilliant.
Nobody seems to have mentioned Revelation Space and the sequels (Chasm City etc) by Alastair Reynolds. These would be very cinematic.
Not sure how well the hard-SF would transfer to the big screen though...
Would be Awesome. Ditto for Heinlein. Larry Niven's books were kind of out there in a way that special effects might not have handled so well in the past, but are ripe for exploitation now. Ringworld, A Land out of Time, Neutron Star, etc..
I'd love to see someone do Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land or The Man who bought The Moon.
The Stainless Steel Rat series by Harry Harrison would be awesome as a series of movies too...
[Emailed as well]
Any of the earlier Stainless Steel Rat series is well overdue for a look.
Norstrilia - or at least The Ballad Of Lost C'Mell - now that CGI athropomorphics are up to the task. (I'd love to see what could be done with The Game Of Rat And Dragon with the right director as well.)
And finally, what about Who Goes There? by Bob Shaw... it would make a great double-bill with The Stainless Steel Rat...
'Titan' could make a great film - it has a very tight premise, and focuses on interplay between characters, notably as the crew all go quite mad in their own separate ways.
You get some fairly scathing critique of where our 'enlightened' modern world is heading with political correctness, the rise of fundamentalism, focus on humanities rather than science (thinking of Paula Benaceraf's creepy housekeeper... ew....) and the loss of our ability to put people into space.
It has three 'acts' - Pre Launch, Voyage and Titan - which fit well into a feature film format. It has a smallish cast - 5 main crew, maybe 10 incidental characters. You could even film it in an old shuttle for added realism!
It might be the most depressing sci-fi ever made though, it doesn't exactly have a happy ending!
I'd love to see the moon is a harsh mistress done. Fairly timely too given the theme.
Harry Harrison's Stainless steel rat series.
Retief by Keith Laumer could be excellent source material, though slightly dated in a way.
David Webber's Honor Harrington series as well as the Ring of Fire series.
And there are a lot of great books/stories out there that would sadly not translate well.
My vote goes for Asimov, starting with 'Foundation' then Forward Foundation, then Prelude and then 2nd Foudation etc.
It would have to be a multi billion dollar series and have the bestest greatest actors ever and IT CANNOT BE A LET DOWN! Actually, thinking about it, I'd rather they just didnt bother...
Just agreeing with posters above. Would make a brilliant movie. Not perhaps the greatest novel of ideas ever, but a brilliant basis for a film.
Also agree that much as I would pay money to watch a film of any of the Culture novels I find it hard to imagine any director being able to do them justice.
The Hyperion books by Dan Simmons would be awesome and would be open for sequels with the Endymion books.
Peter F. Hamilton's Night's Dawn trilogy would be out of this world as long as Holywood could stick to the plot, no overdo the gory bits, but not sanitize it either... just present it as it should be.
Both are awesome Space Opera just screaming for a whole series of movies.
Something in the fantasy line, Elric.... somebody someday is going to make this into a movie, although they will probably start with Stormbringer which would be typically out of sequence.
Some contributors suggested Harry Harrison's A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah!
There are a several of other terrific alternative history novels: Ward Moore's Bring The Jubilee (the North loses the Civil War); Keith Roberts's Pavane (the Spanish Armada is successful; England returns to the Catholic fold); and PK Dick's The Man in the High Castle, in which the Axis Powers win the Second World War - it's a zillion times better than Robert Harris's feeble rip-off, Fatherland.
And as for future history, you cannot do better than the truly fantastic stories by Cordwainer Smith.
Re Half-life 2.. interesting suggestion, I wonder if it counts in this list tho' besides.. the bugs in Starship troopers are clearly ant-lions and Galaxy quest has the pointless stamping/ flaming/ squishing device from Quake :D
I'd vote for any of the Culture novels...
Ringworld yes but not the rather shite sequels....
The Mote in God's eye.. yes but again not the rather shite "Gripping Hand"
Footfall would be perfect ... well pretty much any of the Niven/Pournell stuff
Asimov , yes..
Some of Heinlien....
NO to E.E. 'Doc' Smith
any of them, really...
but the ones i think would work best as films:
Legacy of Heorot - think alien, but with science that works, and people that act like people. oh yes, and aliens that are actually a good deal more scary.
Protector - a book that asks the question "what if adult humans were just the 'breeder' form, that should metamorphosise into an armour plated killing machine if only we had the right food?"
Deathworld series -
Stainless Steel Rat series - 'robbing banks is good for the economy' speech
Timothy Zahn - COBRA series; very do-able
when you think about it Spine Leopards have already been seen in the movie 'Chronicles of Riddick and hollywood is well versed in superhuman strength.
Timothy Zahn - Blackcollar series : surprised the sci-fi channel has not done this allready.
The mighty Tharg over at 2000AD has some gems as well:
Ballad of Halo Jones
Slaine (perhaps? strictly its fantasy)
War Toy (future shocks short story)
The City and the Stars - Arthur C Clarke
Amazing sense of wonder and epic-ness... Though the transition from Earth to exploring Space would be disjointed on a filmic level. I understand it's purpose to establish that humanity has receded to the few remnants left on Earth - but not quite sure how this could be achieved if translated literally on film.
Childhood's End - Arthur C Clarke
Another one of his best. Again epic, but also quite revelationary and tinged with sadness. The transition through time would need to be handled consistently for this to work on film.
I guess it's just me that doesn't get on with his stuff, then. I struggled through "Consider Phlebas" and thought that if everyone was raving about him, maybe that was just an off day. Then I started "Feersum Enjin" and realised it wasn't. That was about 10 years ago. Maybe it's time for a revisit, but honestly I doubt I'll change my mind.
On the pulp front, has anyone checked out those Warhammer 40,000 tie-ins by Dan Abnett? As an ex-WH40Ker, I picked up the Eisenhorn trilogy for some brain-resting reading during a flight, and was pleasantly surprised to find someone doing a decent job of it. (For non-WH40Kers, humanity stays afloat only by living in a totalitarian empire of semi-barbarian worlds, protected by an god-emperor who requires regular large-scale human sacrifice; all of which creates certain inevitable tensions for good people smart enough to see what's going on.)