back to article So, what's the best sci-fi film never made?

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 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Vachina Syndrome

    Nothing more to say.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Hmmm i think i downloaded that once...

      ... Oh wait you said vaCHina, sorry...

      Moving right along....

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I hope you've got a robust email inbox!

    Prepare to be geeked!

  3. Robert Ramsay
    Thumb Up

    Mine are all obscure books...

    "The Wall of Years" by Andrew Stephenson

    1. Mike Flugennock

      Films from obscure stuff

      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.

  4. Greencat

    Stars my Destination

    Supposed to be due out in 2012 though...

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      That and the Heechee saga

      ... particularly since recent postings on the physics arXiv blog suggest that life inside a BH is theoretically possible ...

      but I've been waiting for Gully Foyle to rise since I was a kid!

  5. HP Cynic

    Email not Forum post

    I worry that as with most such "polls" a good 50% or more will respond in the forum instead of following the simple instructions to Email their vote....

    Like those "Click to vote polls" where people feel the need to then post "I vote x".

    1. BorkedAgain


      That is all...

  6. Paul Dx
    Thumb Up


    That is all

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Did you even read the article?

      'Your nomination should not ever have been made into a film'

      Quatermass has indeed been made into a film

    2. Arnie
      Thumb Up

      And the Pit

      and what he said

    3. Iain 15

      Been there

      Pretty sure the brief was for ones which were not already films?

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Kevin Bailey

    Gregory Benford...

    Sure some of Gregory Benford's books should have been filmed by now.

    Proper sci-fi for grown-ups - and some of the amazing stuff can be done now CGI is where it is.

  9. leon stok

    the foundation trilogy

    I just wish they kept it that way.

    It's marked as being in production though :-/

  10. Chris Miller


    or anything by Larry Niven. Surely the CGI is up to it by now?

    1. John Sager

      The Legacy of Heorot

      CGI Grendels would be something to see!

  11. MJI Silver badge

    Got a few

    Asimov future history.

    He himself glued all of them together including a set of childrens books, the robot books, Foundation series and another series.

    Animated please.


    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.


    Clarke stuff


    Actually not sure

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Oh yeah, I'd fogotten those, will have to send a new email!

    2. Alien8n


      was made into an anime film, mid 90s? I think.

      Was nowhere near as good as it could have been, was more DBZ in space than Akira with aliens.

      1. Petrea Mitchell

        Re: Lensman

        Two versions, in 1984:

      2. Andrew Norton


        It was a film AND a 25-ep series.

        Was also done in 1984, and was, if I remember correctly, the first time computer animation had been used in an anime.

      3. Frederick Tennant


        yea I saw that waist of plastic.Lensman is a great series of books, but will they keep the redheads as the heros?

    3. irish donkey


      Yes Please

      Aaron Ross a student put together an 'the opening sequence' of the RAMA as a end of year project. It is hosted on Vimeo.

      It was OUTSTANDING. Check it out:

      1. Dave Lawton

        Re: irish donkey Rama short

        That is awesome, not to be missed.

    4. Britt Johnston

      re Rama

      Stargate universe concept has a (too-high?) overlap to Rama

    5. Peter Ford

      Uplift ++

      Brin's Uplift would be excellent.

      How about 'The Practice Effect' - only a short but so was 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?'

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ... Sheep

        Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep = 128 pages paperback. Short(?)


        An obsessed Dickhead.

        1. Anonymous Coward


          A recent Fringe episode was called "Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep."

        2. Deadly_NZ
          Thumb Up


          Do Androids dream of electric sheep was made into that very good movie Blade Runner

    6. Mike Flugennock


      "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").

      1. E 2

        @Mike Flugennock

        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.

    7. Ian Michael Gumby

      Niven animated?

      Sorry but you can do Ring World and a lot of his other stuff as Live action with tons of CGI.

      (Avatar shows this...)

      I mean he does have a lot of good story lines that appear to have been 'borrowed' by others.

      I'd love to see a puppeteer!

      1. Dagg Silver badge

        I'd love to see a puppeteer!

        There was an episode of the cartoon star trek based exactly on a Niven short story. Spock played the puppeteer role. I just cannot remember which story it was.

    8. sisk


      "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?)

      1. Chris 2


        "Colour of Magic" is Discworld, which is not the same as Ringworld.

    9. OrsonX

      Niven Ring World... and the computer said:

      X ug-uuugh X

      I was quite enjoying it.... and then all the characters got bored.... and went home.

      The End.

    10. edge_e

      Foundation gets my vote too

      title said it all

    11. westlake

      Re: Got A Few

      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.

    12. corestore

      Lensman... being made by JMS. Google it.


  12. Kimo

    Overlooked Lem

    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.

    1. Kimo

      Should still count...

      ...but apparently there is a 1979 Polish film based on one of the stories, but that leave most of the series unfilmed.

    2. Petrea Mitchell

      Speaking of Lem...

      I think Peace on Earth might have possibilities. (Then again, I thought that about Solaris, and two different filmmakers have largely failed trying to adapt that one.)

  13. Paul 120

    Foundation Series

    Any of them take your pick.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Martian Chronicles isn't sci-fi

    Brabury only wrote 1 Sci-Fi novel, that was Fahrenheit 451. The others were Fantasy.

    1. DF118
      Thumb Down

      So what?

  15. David Evans


    Sci-Fi: Cryptonomicon (I nearly said Snow Crash but it could suffer from an attack of the Johnny Mnemonics quite easily).

    Fantasy: Stormbringer (I'm amazed this has never been made tbh).

    1. Colin Brett

      RE: Stormbringer movie

      This has been in the works for ages. Check out some of the forums at Moorcock's Miscellany


    2. sisk


      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.

    3. Mike VandeVelde

      +1 moorcock

      just to hear that organ where the keys are hooked up to torture people who scream different notes gotta get me one of those ;-)

  16. JimC

    The Technicolor Time Machine

    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)

    1. David Paul Morgan
      Thumb Up

      A Transatlantic Tunnel Hoorah

      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.

      1. usbac Silver badge

        Also a great film

        Netflix has it as a watch instantly. Filmed in 1935. Lots of references to the Channel Tunnel.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The Technicolor Time Machine

      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 fact I may even go on Amazon now to buy the book again.

    3. Version 1.0 Silver badge


      Deathworld would be a great film but probably has too many parallels to the Israel/Palestinian conflict to get financed.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's has to be Metropolis, it started the genre.

    1. Andrew Moore

      Try reading the title again

      'nuff said

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Are you suggesting that Metropolis isn't sci-fi? Have you even seen it?

        I saw it at The Roundhouse last year, complete with orchestra, it was fantastic.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Well I have now read the title about ten times and suddenly managed to see the n in never...

          So scratch metropolis and replace it with Ursula Laguin's Left hand of darkness.

    2. Mike Flugennock


      Agghhh, no, please, not that one. If it were possible to legally enjoin studios from remaking certain films, I'd want "Metropolis" to be one of them.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm let me think

    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.

    1. Fred Titmus

      Hmmm, makes me think of.......

      The "Legacy of Heorot" by Niven, Pournelle, Barnes.

      Bit "Alien", bit "Beowulf", bit "Brave New World"

      Would make a rousing sci-fi flick............

    2. Isendel Steel


      If this does well enough then we might just see that...

  19. Subliteratus
    Thumb Up

    Proper space opera

    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.

    1. Reality Dysfunction

      yes indeed..

      thats just what I emailed in to the link provided :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Greg Mandel would be a good start....

      ... 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!!

      1. Tim Parker

        @Andy Goodair / C J Cherryh, Downbelow Station

        ...blimey i'd forgotten about that - good call.. time for another email...

    3. RJ

      And the other one

      I never managed to get into that trilogy.

      I think that Pandora's star and Judas Unchained would make a fantastic series though.

  20. BorkedAgain


    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If you're outside its field

      even a GCU looks like a plain silver ellipsoid. Not a huge amount of R&D will be required for the CG on that.

      1. Michael Xion

        Consider Phlebas....

        The opening scene always plays like a movie in my head when I read it.

    2. Willington

      A Culture movie

      Would be fantastic if done well but could be awful if done badly, but I'd like to see someone try. Look to Windward would work well as a movie.

      1. Geeky Monkey

        One of his short stories is being adapted

        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.

      2. Gary Gleeson

        Player of Games

        Best Banks book, screaming out for a screenplay.

    3. Pete 2 Silver badge


      > 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.

    4. Geeky Monkey

      Culture ships

      you wouldn't though - you'd get to see what the special effects team thought one looked like.

      I doubt Iain M Banks would have any more influence than saying 'thanks' when they gave him the cheque if they did decide to adapt a book.

    5. Peter Ford

      Feersum Injun

      The visuals could be awesome...

    6. breakfast Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Another neat quality of the Culture

      It would be great seeing any film in which anyone was trying to actually pronounce the names Banks comes up with for his Culture characters.

  21. Steven Jones


    I has to be Alien - although some would say it's not truly sci-fi but horror-suspense.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Pretty sure they've made that already...

      Admit it, you jumped straight to the comments didn't you...

    2. Anonymous Coward

      let me be the one to ask....

      How can you compete with all those human beings around you who ARE able to read?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    For the visual scope if nothing else

    Alternatively "Rendevous with Rama"

  23. Ian Ferguson
    Big Brother

    Andous Huxley's Brave New World

    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.

  24. Pete 2 Silver badge

    No question


    next question please?

    [1] yes, I know you asked for emails - too bad.

  25. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge


    Or was this limited to science-fiction ?

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge


      ...but it was limited to FILMS THAT HAVEN'T ALREADY BEEN MADE.

      Apologies for caps, but there doesn't appear to be an icon for banging your head against a desk.

  26. Tom Maddox Silver badge


    Ringworld, by Larry Niven

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rendezvous with Rama

    But only the first one, not the others...

    1. Vulch

      What others?

      Next you'll be claiming there was a Highlander 2 or Star Trek 6...

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Other movies I refuse to acknowledge

        "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.)

        1. Robert Sneddon

          Powered Armour

          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.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Starship troopers

            is actually a pretty good film, it captures the political satire of the book, even if it tones it down a bit. Unfortunately it glosses over most of the actual details...

      2. irish donkey

        Check this out...

        Aaron Ross a student put together an 'the opening sequence' of the RAMA as a end of year project. It is hosted on Vimeo.

        It was OUTSTANDING. Check it out:

    2. stratofish

      title title title

      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.

  28. Tony S

    Starter for 10

    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!)

    1. BorkedAgain

      Oh yes!

      Heinlein's "Have spacesuit, will travel."

      Loved that book since shortly after I learned to read. It's still aces...

      1. Mike Flugennock

        Have Spacesuit, Will Travel?

        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).

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Stranger in a Strange Land

      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".

      1. Rattus Rattus

        @Jose Bernardo B R Silva

        Farnham's Freehold irritated the hell out of me, as does around half of Heinlein's work. I think it's his staunchly libertarian protagonists, they're annoying as all hell.

    3. 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'. I like Heinlein's work but he had some serious kinks when it came to his female characters.

      1. LateNightLarry
        Paris Hilton

        Heinlein books...

        @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...

  29. Daniel 1

    Ridley Walker

    Not so sure how well it would adapt, but there's no heroism that doesn't require a heroic effort.

  30. Vometia

    The silliest, you say?

    Has to be "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians". It was certainly the most *something*, at any rate.

  31. Mike Oxlong

    There's a book for that...

    and a flippin' great read it is too

  32. Anonymous Freetard

    Missing movies


    Anything by Doc Smith especially featuring skintight jumpsuit highly developed redheads (cool your jets!)

    1. Frederick Tennant

      EE Doc Smith

      Yes your right. That author is a work of art, my fav has to be the expansion from the novella by Stephen Goldin who did the 'Family D'Alembert. agents from a heavy grav planet, everything would be in bullet time.

  33. WonkoTheSane

    We need BIG SPACE operas

    Like Arthur C Clarke's "Rendezvous with Rama".

    +1 for Doc Smith's Lensman, also his "The Skylark of Space" series.

    How about a live-action Dan Dare?

    @Paul Dx & Ashton Black - The subject is "The Best Sci-Fi Film _Never_ Made.", not "My fave flick".

    1. Mike Flugennock

      Dan Dare?

      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"?

  34. Thomas 4

    It's a real shame...

    ...that they never made the three prequels to Star Wars. I'm sure I would have remembered.

  35. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    The Rat obviously

    Of the Stainless Steel Type naturally.

    Then there is the wondeful

    Venus on the Half Shell by Kilgore Trout (aka K Vonnegut)

    Mines the one with a copy of Stranger in a Strange Land in the pocket. (I'm reading it on the train at the moment)

    1. dvd

      You sure?

      I thought that the concensus on who wrote Venus on the Half Shell was Philip José Farmer?

  36. AGirlFromVenus

    Iain M Banks

    Excession would make an amazing film. Go! Sleeper Service, Go!

    1. Grey Area

      Any Culuture if done well

      Would be interesting to see how they'd do the Killing Time scene when it rips through the other ships in about a second

    2. Willington

      My favourite Culture novel

      But a lot of dialogue between Minds (and there is a lot) would be hard to portray well on the big screen in my opinion.

      1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD


        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.

        1. Jolyon

          Attempt? Do or do not. There is no attempt.

          I just don't think I could stand someone ruining those books.

          If it was only as bad as Lord of the Rings (decent films, hard to imagine a better attempt at an impossible task) then maybe.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Couldn't agree more - Iain M. Banks is THE missing piece in the genre

      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.

    4. Ian Stephenson
      Thumb Up

      It's a Grey Area Matter

      Which tells you more about my mental state than you want to know....

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Which of "email"

    is everyone finding so difficult?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Did the email first ....

      .... thought it might be fun to throw some suggestions in the ring for others to think about,

    2. Kimo

      You are assuming...

      ...we did not ALSO email. But we are SCIFi nerds, and therefore compelled to post IN ADDITION to sending said message.

  38. Colin Brett

    Star Wars 7 8 and 9

    But they must improve on 4, 5, and 6 and bury 1, 2 and 3 in an unmarked grave during the opening sequence.


    Terminator will have to do as it looks a bit like c3po. Can we have an evil Lucas icon, please?

  39. Simon Millard

    It's has to be..

    Fobidden Planet - and don't call me Shirley!

  40. ttuk

    Iain M Banks

    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 $$$

  41. Anonymous Coward

    What is it with the " " blidess?

    early half of the it wits respodig so far seem to be blid to the letter after m i the alphabet?

    Mies the oe with othing i the pockets

  42. Bonce

    The Player Of Games

    by Iain M Banks. I think that would translate into a good movie.

    1. smalga
      Thumb Up


      Player of Games is probably one of the easier Iain M Banks books to translate to the big screen..

      But as a kid, the two books I always wanted to see turned into films were Futuretrack 5 by Robert Westall and the Chrysalids by Wyndham.

    2. Real Ale is Best

      Oh gosh yes!

      Please, please, please!!!!

  43. Chazmon

    Niven and Pournelle

    Anything by these guys especially the motie series.

    Although i have my suspicions if footfall and lucifers hammer are eligable as pretty much every sci fi film involving an asteroid draws pretty heavily on them

    1. Eponymous Cowherd
      Thumb Up


      would get my vote.

    2. stucs201

      But Footfall is also alien baby elephants

      I'd expect hollywood to like that, plenty of cgi required (ditto for archangel launch). Unfortunately probably too late, too many shuttles in it and they'll be retired by the time they'd made it.

  44. Rupert Stubbs

    The Baroque Trilogy

    by Neal Stephenson would be awesome (and rather long)... And you'd want to have Cryptonomicon as a prequel as well...

    1. Kimo


      Prequels happen BEFORE the other story.

    2. John Sager

      Too long, sadly!

      There is no way you could make one film of the Baroque Trilogy, not even a trilogy of films. How about a series of 104 2-hour episodes?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Kimo


        With the right directors/showrunner, I could see six seasons on HBO or Showtime doing justice to the source material.

  45. Gerard Krupa

    War of the Worlds...

    ...a version faithful to location, period and plot of the novel without being crap, banned, resulting in lawsuits for plagiarism or restricted to distribution in limited regions.

  46. Alien8n

    Gotta love

    all the people who can't read.

    Best sci-fi film NEVER made, not ever made. I can understand posting in the comments, but if I comment I will also be emailing (as requested).

  47. Minophis

    @Ashton Black & AC 14:04

    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.

    1. Minophis

      I would also like to see...

      The Diamond Age


      The last two parts of the Dark Materials Trilogy

  48. Stumpy Pepys


    A film adaptation that seems to be permanently in development.

  49. Michael 28

    Probably not the best choice but...

    "Journey to the far side of the sun" ?? also called doppelganger 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?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      The fact it is on IMDB already...

      Should give you a clue....

      1. Michael 28

        I knew that...

        .... so it is... anyone seen it then, or is it just me.

    2. Michael 28

      this isn't 4chan!


  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stainless Steel Rat anyone

    Have the Stainless Steel Rat books ever been filmed? I reckon they'd be good if done properly.

  51. CharlieBoY


    I'm going to take a different view and say System Shock 1 & 2 would be awesome if they made it into a film!

    And yes I have emailed too...

  52. Tom Servo
    Thumb Up

    ACE TRUCKING !!!! Woo-Hoo!!

    Ace Trucking from 2000AD if we're doing wishlists.

    or Stainless steel rat series from Harry Harrison.

    1. Jolyon


      Was going to suggest both of those and would add


      The Ballad of Halo Jones

      Despite Alan Moore's loathing of his stuff in the cinema.

  53. Eponymous Cowherd

    A suggestion

    Ian M Banks' "Consider Phlebas". Not the best Culture novel, but probably the most "cinematic".

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Consider phlebas... It's just so...cinematic!!!

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Blakes 7

    They should make an multi-part Blakes 7 epic on he scale of Star Wars, PotC, LOTR,etc

    1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

      Yep... totally agree

      Redo Blakes 7 into a series of films. Yes, I was always pretty fond of that lovely white ship.

      When I were a wee lad, I often wondered who'd win, Enterprise or Liberator...

  55. ClickMonster

    Stainless Steel Rat

    Humour, action, story line simple enough for easy rewrite to screenplay. What's not to like?

    (and yes, I also sent an email)

  56. Ian 56

    William Gibson / Alien

    If you search the intertubes you can find a screenplay written by William Gibson for an Alien sequel, the hook being that the Aliens reach Earth and much hilarity^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H mayhem ensues.

    I've got a copy somewhere - it's effin' good.

  57. Sonny Jim

    No more Asimov please

    I found his stuff to be misogynistic, or maybe I missed the point. Also the whole thing of 'Robot is built, robot goes bad, robo-psychologist figures out obscure logic puzzle to make Robot be good' gets a little boring after a while.

  58. Dave Walker 1

    Definitely need more of Slippery Jim DiGriz

    I am surprised that no-one has tried to do a Stainless Steel Rat film yet - it's not like there weren't enough stories to choose from

    Or if you want to go even sillier, Bill, The Galactic Hero....

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Or even...

      ..."Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers"!

  59. Ken MAC

    Alastair Reynolds perhaps

    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!


    1. johnnytruant

      House of Suns

      is great. not sure how well it would translate to screen.

      Surprised nobody has mentioned Neal Asher yet.

      Neal Asher. The Skinner sequence would make a good, if gruesome, film.

    2. StooMonster
      Thumb Up


      Was going to say Revelation Space series, but you did already.

    3. MJI Silver badge

      How did I forget these?

      Chatted a little to the author by email once as well.

      Would be excellent films

  60. Yeah, about that thing?

    A Fire upon The Deep

    A Vernor Vinge Classic - although training dog/hyenas to work co-operatively with the talking plants may be a challenge...

    +1 for any Stainless Steel Rat movies...

    1. Petrea Mitchell
      Thumb Up


      My first choice in the moderately-hard-sf area. And animal training is no issue in the age of cheap CGI.

  61. Rodrigo Valenzuela

    Another vote for...

    Ringworld, by Larry Niven.

    And the sequel, The Ringworld Engineers... but that's it, no ringworld throne or ringworld children


  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    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.

    1. Routerbod
      Thumb Up

      Your luck is partially in....

      The Forever War is "in development"

      Which probably means it will never come to pass :(

      1. Michael C


        So is Neuromancer and Ender's Game...

    2. ducatis'r us

      chocolate ones?

      'canticle for leibniz' would presumably be about biscuits?

      A canticle for Leibowitz on the other hand...

  63. Paul_Murphy

    I sent mine in am email

    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

    Snow Crash.

    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.


    1. Rattus Rattus


      I think Nightfall would make a fantastic movie. Unfortunately, it's already been made, into a shitty movie.

  64. GrantN

    Kim Stanley Robinson

    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.

    1. Petrea Mitchell

      Miniseries perhaps

      I don't think it's possible to squeeze these into movies, but they would make a terrific miniseries if done properly.

      1. Rattus Rattus

        @Petrea Mitchell

        There would be nothing "mini" about that series. Maybe as three seasons of a TV show?

  65. booboo
    Black Helicopters

    Deus Ex

    The big daddy of non linear PC gaming. That awesome story combined with today's CGI

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time Traders

    By Andre Norton. very dated by now but a decent script writer should be able to update it while staying true to the original

  67. Routerbod

    So many choices.....

    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....

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Feersum Endjinn

      I would like an English translation of it!

  68. hugo tyson

    Of course we're talking about it here...


    Any of the Laundry gothic horror books, I want to see a demonically-possessed EE lightning!

    That huge mad dark triliogy with the Inhibitors; now *there's* an implacable enemy.

  69. technome
    Thumb Up

    It's got to be Iain M Banks' "Consider Phlebas'.

    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!

    1. Michael Xion


      I always thought horse became the ship mind at the end. A bit out there but the ultimate chameleon. Also. That whole sequence in the train tunnels could be done very original alien spooky.

  70. Robert Halloran


    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.

  71. Conrad Longmore

    Alien 3

    It would be great if they'd followed up Aliens with a third move to tie up what happened when Ripley, Newt and Hicks got back home..

    ..and I always thought that The Matrix could have done with a sequel too.

  72. Sartori

    Letters and digits and all that

    Well, seeing as Muppets From Space has already been made I guess it'll have to be Rama! :)

  73. illusio

    Julian May / Peter F Hamilton

    Julian May's Saga of the Exiles

    Peter F Hamiltons Pandora's Star & Judas Unchained.

    1. Gordon 10
      Thumb Up


      ++1 to both

    2. Nuffnuff

      ozzy ozzy ozzy

      oi oi oi

  74. Mike Brown

    my fav non-films

    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?

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      There was a novelette for Elite...

      ..."The Dark Wheel" by Robert Holdstock:

      Maybe that could be developed.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Is reading that difficult?

    3. Rattus Rattus

      @Mike Brown

      Mass Effect would be a fantastic movie, and good news - it's already in the works, with Bioware staff involved in it. Although, I bet they're going to pretend Shepard was male...

    4. MJI Silver badge

      Keep games as games

      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.

  75. Blofeld's Cat

    How about...

    "The Difference Engine" by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, if only for the mechanical computers.

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    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.

  77. Loyal Commenter Silver badge


    by Iain M Banks would be nice, particulalrly some of the Culture novels.

    The Algebraist would make a very nice stand-alone Sci-Fi film too.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Piers Anthony

    Bio of a Space Tyrant - All volumes

  79. Dr Insanity

    does it have to be the best movie never made?

    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

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What not to make

    No more Philip K Dick short story adaptations please!

    He wrote some fun, if weird and strangely dated, stories; but they won't all stretch to movie length or take to Hollywood treatment. I think the good ones have been done already.

    1. Michael Xion

      What's that Perky Pat? More Chew-Z

      The K W Jeter sequels to Blade Runner would be good if done properly. Anyone been to Scapa Flow? Sounds seriously spooky.

  81. g e

    My 2-penn'th

    Greg Bear's 'EON'

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge



  82. Britt Johnston

    Dune trilogy, vols 6 and 7

    The first book of Dune was done and redone, but the story picked up speed at the end.

    1. Michael C

      for that matter

      The house books too. Though, God Emperor Dune kicked it big time too!

  83. Pirate Dave Silver badge


    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.

  84. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

    Iain M. Banks

    Another prop for Banks.

    Although, to be honest, his books are probably too hefty to portion out into film sized pieces. But perhaps an adaptation could work, even with a lot of changes.

    Or, get Banks to come up with an original screenplay or something.

  85. Parsifal

    Druss The Legend

    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)

    <Geek Mode>

    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.

    1. James Campbell Andrew

      also the Jon Shannow books

      'Wolf in Shadow' would make a good film, I think.

  86. John Dougald McCallum

    SF for films

    Elizabeth Moon's Serano Legacy books (7 of)

    or Remnant Population

    or Gordon R.Dickson's Dorsai trilogy

    There are so many good SF books out there that unfortunatly will never be turned into films

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no more oldies, please !

    Ok, some of the "golden age" stuff is fun to speed read but most of it is poorly written and very much of its time.

    1. BorkedAgain

      Admit it.

      You *enjoyed* the Phantom Menace didn't you?


    2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      In that case... about John Scalzi's "Old Man's War" books?

  88. Metal Marv

    What about John Wyndham

    Chrysalids would be cool :)

  89. Kimo

    Alexander Jablokov

    Either "Carve the Sky" or "Nimbus" have potential as films: great characters, visual possibilities, and philosophical themes that are deeper than a movie-of-the-week usually get at.

  90. NoneSuch Silver badge


    Enders Game !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Foundation Trilogy (on same budget as Lord of the Rings) :-)

    Cobra Trilogy - Timothy Zahn

    The War Against The Chtorr Trilogy - David Gerrold

    Lucifers Hammer

    Ones they should burn to ash and redo correctly...

    Starship Troopers


    I, Robot

    1. David Paul Morgan

      Some re-writing required

      Done of the dialogue of Enders Game made me unintentionally chuckle, because the hive-mind aliens are called Buggers.

      "We've got to defeat the buggers"

      Can you imagine a US production in the British cinemas?

      1. Sooty


        it'd almost be like if an American created an animated series and called one of the main characters Bender without realising.

  91. Rinsey

    I know it's not a book but...


    Alternatively, as many have suggested above, something from the Culture.

    I'll be emailing as well.

    1. Gordon 10

      Nerd mode on

      Actually in the original BBC version there was a novella included. So it counts! Quite good from memory took

  92. EvilGav 1

    How has Heinlein not yet been mentioned ??

    Time Enough For Love

    (I would have said Stranger In A Strange Land, but I have a feeling that that has been in development hell for a number of years)

  93. James Campbell Andrew

    +1 for the Culture

    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.

  94. bidet


    It's got to be the Hyperion series of books by Dan Simmons.

    Would love to see the Shrike and Tree ships etc

    1. Peter Storm

      Title something something...

      Too bloody right! I thought it could be made into a cracking movie when I read it (given the right treatment of course).

  95. hexx

    Blade Runner

    must be one of them, that theme with flying ads and so on has been copied so many times in other films. Also Stalker from Tarkowski

  96. hexx

    and Dune

    of course

  97. SteveP_UK

    Elric of Melnibone

    Elric or any of the Moorcock heroes

  98. Anonymous Coward

    Another one it's gotta be....

    Stephen R. Donaldson's "The Gap Cycle".

    Would have to be stretched out over a few movies though (I'm thinking Star Wars style, but in order and without the crap ones....actually nothing like Star Wars then).

    1. Pirate Dave Silver badge


      if they could make Steve Buscemi look younger, he'd make a good Angus Thermopile - kinda scraggly and rangy is how I always pictured him. And Kate Beckinsale would be perfect for Morn (unless I'm remembering wrong).

      1. corestore

        You're wrong...

        Didn't SD describe Angus as a 'bloated toad'?

        Kate could be Morn tho, yes absolutely.

        And James Hong ("I only do eyes" in 'Blade Runner') probably has to be Hashi.

        Min Donner? How about Mira Furlan; she has form as a kick-ass female...

  99. Jon Axtell

    Heliconia / Brian Aldiss

    The trilogy of very thick books of the Heliconia series by Brian Aldiss

    Or anything by Brian Aldiss

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      the wheel..

      I am _so_ pleased to see the post. Something made me think of the monastery wheel thing a few days ago and I've been racking my brains ever since trying to remember where it was from. Thanks!

  100. James Campbell Andrew

    Ben Bova's "Mars"

    ...would be pretty good.

  101. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blake's 7

    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.

  102. Steve King


    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!)

  103. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    can I submit minus 1000 votes for the Lensman series - come on guys, that stuff is *really* bad

    Some of the other ideas, such as Foundation, don't sound like especially wonderful films, and which order would you make them in, start with Caves of Steel maybe ?

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Missed the point

      Books are not great but would translate to a 1930s style movie so well.

      Loads of books would not translate to films - hence I left them out.

  104. Woza

    Not that I trust Hollywood to do it right, but:

    The Icarus Hunt (Timothy Zahn) - or perhaps Angelmass (by same).

    +1 for Culture novels, Cryptonomicon, Peter F. Hamilton.

  105. Al Taylor
    Thumb Up


    would have to be first choice. Second would be Robert R McCammon's Swan Song.

  106. Anonymous Coward

    "Level 7"


  107. Michael C

    some I didn't see here, and some I'll second

    Missing: (I did not read every page, props to the few who mentioned these)

    Otherland (Tad Williams)

    Diamondage (Stephenson)

    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.

    1. BorkedAgain
      Thumb Up

      Out of the Silent Planet!


      How could I have forgotten the Perelandra trilogy? Gosh...

      1. JimC

        Out of the Silent Planet... Please No

        Hollywood would slaughter that: its far too subtle.

  108. Christos Georgiou

    The Demolished Man, by Alfred Bester

    Far better than almost all Hollywood scripts.

  109. At0micAndy

    The Shockwave Rider

    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

  110. IT Monkey

    Arthur C Clarkes Space Odyssey Series

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      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...

  111. bumpy

    No email

    Another vote for "Ringworld." Also suggest Pohl's "Gateway."

  112. a53

    Asimov future history

    He himself glued all of them together including a set of childrens books, the robot books, Foundation series and another series


  113. Maty


    The Moon is a Harsh mistress.

    'nuff said

    1. Aleph0


      Just the scene of the orbital bombing of Earth would be worth the ticket.

  114. David Kelly 2

    The Belgariad and Malloreon series by David Eddings

    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.

  115. adifferentbob


    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 .

  116. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

    seven choices, in order of preference

    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)

  117. Solly

    A couple

    The Siren's of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut

    A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge

    1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

      Sirens of Titan

      Could they really do that as a movie? I mean, wouldn't it be illegal to hand out the required LSD to moviegoers so they could make sense of the plot? ;) Vonnegut wrote some good stuff, but it was strange at times and perhaps too deep for teh Facebook generation.

  118. Richard Brown

    Childhood's End by Arthur C Clarke

    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

  119. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    Cobra series by Timothy Zahn

    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".





    Just the titles must have some of you drooling. <LOL>

    1. jake Silver badge

      The Expendables!

      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.

  120. sparkyboy

    pern/enders game.

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      enders game

      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!

  121. MarkS

    If they could find a way ...

    of filming it without ripping 75% of the story out then The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson.

    Swift and Yellow Blue Tibia by Adam Roberts (or is that Robert Adams?) would also be quite good.

  122. Bert 1


    Other choice as already stated would be a Culture film, or Julian May's Exiles series, with a follow up of the Galactic Milieu Series.

  123. Eric Crippen

    sci-fi with comedy

    Pandora's Planet by Christopher Anvil.

  124. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's a few

    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

  125. Morningstar

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    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.

  126. Richard Brown

    There's more

    Retief: Diplomat at Arms by Keith Laumer

    The Forever King and The Broken Sword: The Return of King Arthur by Molly Cochran and Warren Murphy

  127. lawndart


    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.

    1. Kimo

      Agatha Heterodyne and the Incredably Long Anime Series

      Girl Genius is already too long for a feature film..but a series would be welcome.

      Work it like Harry Potter...start filming now, release so that the comic will conclude before the final film comes out.

    2. Fr. Ted Crilly Silver badge

      Hey! you been raiding my book shelves?

      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

      Mote(s)oh yes...

      Fred Pohl Gateway has plenty of potential I think,

  128. jimhex

    But but nobody's mentioned...

    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.

    1. Petrea Mitchell

      Made already

      Even if the American made-for-TV version of the first two books doesn't count, there's the "Tales From Earthsea" animated movie from a couple years ago.

  129. 4HiMarks

    I will be emailing

    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)

  130. xyz Silver badge

    The Other side of Time or The Forever War

    2 belters IMHO

  131. Michael Souris


    Well, Friday has been touted around Hollywood before, but how about Heinelin's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress"?

  132. Jason Togneri

    A whole variety of good sagas and standalones


    - 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"

    Individual films:

    - 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.

  133. Nazar
    Thumb Up

    Newer Sci Fi Books

    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...

  134. WFW
    Big Brother

    Stand on Zanzibar

    John Brunner's distopia has if all: computer hacking, a bit of Big Bad government & action. Come to think of it, _The_Shockwave_Rider_ is another nominee.

  135. David Haig
    Thumb Up

    ... My vote goes to ...

    Good idea for anything from Ian M. Banks

    Always thought Moorcock's Stormbringer would be great

    Asimov's Foundation Trilogy

    And Robert Rankin's 'Brentford' trilogy - not all fantasy!

  136. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Three nominations

    1) Stranger in a Strange Land (Robert A. Heinlien)

    2) Wizard / Titan / Demon (John Varley)

    3) Ringworld (Larry Nivin)

  137. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Count me in

    for The Mote in God's eye

    But I would vote for "The Forge of God" and "An Anvil of stars" by Greg Bear

    Flames..... because thats what the world ends in

  138. Alex Wilson
    Thumb Up

    Mindstar Rising -Peter F. Hamilton

    Or any of the Greg Mandel series....based in the 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!

  139. Bunglebear

    Richard Morgan?

    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?

  140. Rogue357

    I cant believe so many people not listening

    My votes would be for:

    Enders Game



  141. robinlawrie

    feersum endjinn!

    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.

  142. Richard Brown

    How are you going to sort this lot out?

    Dorsai by Gordon R Dickson

  143. Zebo-the-Fat
    Thumb Up


    Pohl's Gateway, a book that just made me terrified !!

    CGI Heechee anyone?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Er what?

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ringworld action... hollywood style

        *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!

        - End!

        Hollywood has done far more, with far less!

  144. Anonymous Coward

    Has to be Ringworld

    Great characters

    Simple plot

    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.

  145. Jez Lawrence

    Can't beleive no-one mentioned richard morgan

    Altered Carbon, Broken Angels, Woken Furies (Takeshi Kovacs FTW!)

    or Market Forces (Max Max + LA Law = all the right people being messily killed in awesome car chases)

  146. F111F
    Thumb Up

    Von Neumann's War

    Lots of Sci-Fi and military action with BONUS naked people (in the beginning, at least).

  147. Mike Flugennock

    Oh, no... oh, gaaahhhddd, NO.

    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:

    Asimov's "Foundation"

    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.

  148. Admiral Grace Hopper

    The Ballad Of Halo Jones

    As per title.

  149. Rolf Carson

    No question

    Christopher Walken in Natalie Woods' last movie: Brainstorm

  150. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Lord Of The Rings.

    I wish someone would make a movie of this novel. Pity no one thought of that before.

  151. Eric Pedersen

    I recommend...

    "The Wreck of The River of Stars" by Michael Flynn

    Good science, scary in some places, and a palpable feel of a tragedy unfolding in front of your eyes.

  152. David Paul Morgan

    Idoru - William Gibson

    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

  153. Alex Wilson

    Stainless Steel Rat

    There was a brief moment in time when SSR and Dan Dare almost made it into pre production in the 80's when a lot of 2000ad stuff got optioned, sadly we just ended up with Stalone in judge Dredd:(

  154. Brian Miller 1

    AC got to agree

    I have to say "stranger in a strange land" has some SERIOUS potential to be made into a really inspirational and awesome movie.

    I would also vote for Raymond Feists

    The Magician, and subsequent riftwar saga

  155. Anonymous Coward

    Three more

    The Invincible (Lem)

    Feersum Endjinn (Banks)

    A Fire upon the Deep (Vinge)

  156. Peter \Horne
    Thumb Up

    Cities in Flight by James Blish

    Cities in Flight by James Blish, one of my all time favourite books

    I can't believe I've got this far through the comments without seeing this. I'm picturing the CGI when the spindizzies spin up and rip an entire city into the air.

    1. Andydaws

      At last!

      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.

  157. Christopher Key.
    Thumb Up

    <title />

    In addition to the adding a further vote for the Foundation series, I'd like to suggest Clarke's 'The City and the Stars'

  158. dmck
    Dead Vulture

    The long slog

    Perry Rhodan series - obviously not all of it...

    1. Petrea Mitchell
      Thumb Down

      Been made

      Not very well from what I hear, but there has been a cinematic adaptation.

  159. graeme leggett Silver badge

    While we're being inspired by 2000AD and other comics

    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.

    1. Michael 28

      Alan moore ...

      ....Abelard Snaaz mini series? ....or how about a major budget reworking of "Death Planet" ?

      DR and Quinch ?

  160. Petrea Mitchell

    Hull Zero Three

    Not only one of Greg Bear's best works, much more importantly, it's one of his shorter novels, and wouldn't lose much being turned into a movie.

  161. Petrea Mitchell


    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...

  162. Gordon 6

    Altered Carbon - Takeshi Kovacs FTW

    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. Ian Stephenson

      It went in by email

      see title

  163. McLaren

    My (also emailed) vote goes to...

    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.

  164. Petrea Mitchell

    A Bridge of Birds et al.

    Finally, I'd like to nominate Barry Hughart's three great fantasy novels, A Bridge of Birds, The Story of the Stone, and Eight Skilled Gentlemen. The only problem is I can't think of anyone I'd trust to get them right.

  165. Wintermute

    Does Cyberpunk count as Sci Fi?

    I'm still waiting for a cinematic masterpiece based on a book titled "Neuromancer" by author William Gibson.

    Of course, no book would live up to my high expectations, but I'd still enjoy watching it and being disappointed.

  166. Mike 61

    My list

    The Mote in God's Eye and Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

    The moon is a harsh mistress by Heinlein

    Enders game by Orson Scott Card

    Added to all the previous of course.

  167. OldFartNerd
    Big Brother

    My picks

    Well since there is a ton of entries, here are mine, in no particular order:

    Foundation Series


    Rendezvous with Rama


    Luicfer's Hammer

    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.

  168. Milo Minderbinder

    My cent's worth

    More than human by Theodore Sturgeon, closely followed by Sparrow written by Mary Doria Russell.

  169. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    More Science Fiction that should be movies

    Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat series.

    Or Deathworld series for that matter...

    Tom Godwin's Space Prison

    James White's Sector General series

    Keith Laumer Galactic Odyssey

  170. Goffee
    Gates Horns

    Atrocity Archives!

    I'll go with Charles Stross's The Atrocity Archives, its even got a bit of BofHery in it, and some Nazis and demons... what's not to like?


  171. lostjohnny

    Titles? We don't need no stinking titles

    So, has anyone mentioned the Culture novels yet? Oh, well, in that case I'll put forward Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun tetralogy: torture, executions, aliens, (possible) incest, archaic words - what more do you need?

  172. Anonymous Coward

    The Best Sci-fi Movie Never Made....

    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...

  173. Ian Stephenson

    Stasheff FTW!

    The Warlock - inspite of himself

    Its a good SciFantasy crossover - and an epileptic AI is just what we need!

  174. Steve Powell 1

    The Anubis Gates. Tim Powers

    Pure quality and v cinematic.

    Any of mr powers books would be excellent

    Someone mentioned Alfred Bester. The Demolished Man or Tiger Tiger. Both 30 years ahead of Star Wars dross

    What about Strontium Dog from 2000 AD?

  175. John Deeb


    Tschai by Jack Vance is perfect movie material. Impossible to somehow "disrespect the original" or tschait like that. No high brow story which would have the production die in obscurity, just highly imaginary scenery and epic action!

    His series about the Demon Princes could also work.

  176. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some Films

    - 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.

  177. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's been less than half a day and there are already 6 pages of comments on this article.

    It's nice to know my reg reading colleagues are fulfilled.

  178. Brian Miller 1

    oo ooo ooo

    Snow Crash would make a Frikkin AWESOME movie!

  179. Eeep !

    Roll up, roll up, what media rights should we buy ?

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Haven't seen Shawshank Redemption, have you.

      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)

  180. LesC

    Don't Forget The Doctors

    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....

  181. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    The "Lensman" series by EE "Doc" Smith - Plenty of space battles for the GFX crowds to get into.


    "Have Spacesuit - Will Travel" by Heinlein, if you are aiming for the ET crowd.

  182. Andy Howarth

    Have to agree

    Agree wholeheartedly but I think that Market Forces would also be a good choice. City types ramming each other off the road in Docklands :)

  183. Dave Taflin

    Ender's Game

    Sequel: Ender's Shadow.

  184. David Evans

    Not the right Niven

    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.

    1. Fr. Ted Crilly Silver badge

      Niven/pournelle getting lots of 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...

  185. OrsonX

    Ringworld vs Culture Orbital

    Culture - 1

    Bizzare boring muppets with utterly crap ending - 0

  186. Robert E A Harvey
    Thumb Up

    two remembered, one nearly forgotten

    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.

  187. AhSoul

    Think this would work...

    Greg Bear - Eon. Great story and reckon it would work nicely as a film....

  188. Robert E A Harvey

    Bit of a laugh

    If we can have Agatha Hetrodyne, could we have Crimson dark

  189. Cagey

    "Rama" Definately

    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".

    1. Petrea Mitchell
      Thumb Up


      +1 for the Lucky Starr books-- the only examples of Asimov's fiction I have truly loved! (I've loved a lot of his non-fiction works, though. Come to think of it, I'd love to see a TV documentary series based on Asimov's Guide to the Bible...)

  190. Zimmer
    Thumb Up

    Harry Harrison

    Anything , really... In our hands, the stars, Stainless Steel Rat etc etc.. Robert Heinlein, too. Revolt in 2010 (hmm could be he was a year out.... :) ).

  191. Retro Man

    Rama or Helliconia

    Arthur C. Clarke - Rendezvous with Rama,

    But it looks like some NY Art Student has made a mini film on this book in 2001

    So, if that's counted out then . . . .

    Brian Aldiss - Helliconia

  192. jake Silver badge

    In no particular order ...

    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"

  193. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Franchise based

    Star Wars: The rise of the Mandalorians

  194. OrsonX

    HOLLYWOOD.... nuke it from space

    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?

    1. Sooty
      Thumb Up

      +one OrsonX

      - 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"!

  195. Mike Bell


    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.

    1. Munchausen's proxy

      One problem with that scene

      What's a 'phone booth'?

  196. Scribblenerd

    The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

    RAH! RAH! RAH!!

  197. Robert Hill
    Thumb Up

    Niven - Protector

    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.

  198. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and still they pour in

    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)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      you're thinking of the DreamPark series

      Hell yes, but don't make them PG-13, make them R so they can be done right.

  199. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

    Anime's count?

    Voices of a Distant Star.

    The Wings of Honnamise

    I am pretty sure there are more interesting things those Japanese guys have made that just haven't been seen by a large proportion of the Western world, that would probably translate quite well these days.

  200. Peter O

    Some of my favourites

    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

  201. Andydaws

    can anyone remember

    the name of the Arthure Clarke novella that start with the crash of then follows the main character as pilot of a balloon probe into Jupiter's atmosphere?

    That could be visually superb, and small in scale enough to be filmabe.

    1. Andydaws

      Remembered it!

      "a meeting with medusa"

  202. tardigrade

    Another +1 for the Culture.

    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.

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      Dear gods, no!

      >Michael Bay directing Rendezvous with Rama?

      I'll not sleep now. Ugh

  203. Sampler

    I feel sorry for whomever has to compile all these suggestions

    Neuromancer (whole trilogy if you like)

    And can I put a vote in for Ghost in the Shell - even though we have a kick-ass anime already,

    Similarly Akira but the final may be difficult to pull off well in live action.

  204. Martin Lyne

    Banks or Morgan

    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.

  205. Sarah Davis

    go go Streeling, go go Streeling !!

    it has to be Asimov's 'Foundation' series just for scope, originality, foresight and the fact it's influenced so many other sci-fi books, films, graphic novels, and shorts

  206. Sarah Davis


    Clive Barkers 'Weaveworld' just to be different and non-spacey

  207. Nick Galloway

    John Wyndham

    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!

  208. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Walter Tevis - Mockingbird

  209. MrBilious


    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!)

  210. Robert E A Harvey

    Just a reminder

    Don't forget that "Cold Comfort Farm" is in some wise science fiction - with video phones and private jets taken as read for the metropolitan population, to further contrast with the rural isolation.

  211. Robert Sneddon

    Demon Breed

    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.

  212. Surgez

    Callahan's Crosstime Saloon & Use of Weapons

    Would love to see Callahan's Crosstime Saloon by Spider Robinson made into a movie. An awesome storyline

    For effects, would love to see Ian M Banks's Use of Weapons on big screen. That book got me hooked on Culture

  213. Duppo Floopery

    big Zelazny fan here

    - Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny

    - The Amber Chronicles by Roger Zelazny

    - A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelzany

  214. Petrea Mitchell

    The Yiddish Policemen's Union

    Would make a great noir movie, though of course anyone who wanted to seriously try it would be obligated by Hollywood custom to claim it isn't really sf.

  215. Hud Dunlap

    How about some Isaac Asimov

    The foundation trilogy

  216. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Portable Door

    I know it's not exactly science fiction, but there must be a movie or good TV series in Tom Holt's "The Portable Door".

    Forever War would also be good, as would Bored of the Rings.

  217. corestore

    My list

    Anything from Known Space

    The Mote in God's Eye - possibly the best SF novel, ever.

    Donaldson's 'Gap' universe - pretty gritty

    Another vote for Julian May - Exiles/Milieu

    Heinlein - 'Friday'. An entertaining romp.

    And most of all...


  218. Spiteful B

    Iain M Banks - The Player of Games

    That would be amazing on the big screen!

  219. Thor Blunder-Bucker

    a flim

    Orphanage series by Robert Buettner. Steals some Heinline ideas, but would make a seriously good scifi action film.

  220. Thor Blunder-Bucker

    Julian May anyone?

    The Many Coloured Land series, time travel, dangerously powerful mental powers and pre history aliens. It doesn't get much really.

  221. Jean-Luc

    Hyperion or Mote in God's Eye.

    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.

  222. Robert E A Harvey

    +1 for Greg Bear

    Terraforming mars as a multi-film franchise.

  223. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some suggestions

    1. The Null-A World by Alfred Elton van Vogt

    2. Gateway by Frederik Pohl

    3. Nightwings by Robert Silverberg

  224. Clay P. Igion

    Obscure Titles

    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.

    1. Denarius Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Missed that medical

      Second that, James Whites stories were excellent. good drama

    2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Agreed re:Solo

      Unfortunately I doubt the other Star Wars spinoff novel "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" would ever get made, given the romantic subplot between Luke & Leia (it was written before TESB).

  225. Max_Normal


    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.

  226. Steven H Taylor
    Black Helicopters

    Perhaps not the ultimate one

    but still a fantastic science fiction story that would make for a great movie I've been waiting for decades to see made: "This Perfect Day" by Ira Levin.

  227. Gala

    Too many to count


    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

  228. YumDogfood

    Lots of good suggestions made y'all made

    The Centrifugal Rickshaw Dancer

    Dying Earth series


    The Reproductive System (Sladek)




    Helliconia series

    Naked came the robot

    The diamond age

  229. Shannon Jacobs
    IT Angle

    Whatever happened to Buckaroo Banzai?

    The end of Buckaroo Banzai promised a sequel...

  230. Christian Berger

    Please take a break making sci-fi movies

    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.

  231. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Niven/Pournelle, etc.

    In no particular order:

    Saturn's Race

    Lucifer's Hammer

    The Patchwork Girl (or a series of Gilbert 'The ARM' Hamilton)

    Beowulf Schaeffer series.

    Beowulf's Children

    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.

  232. Andydaws

    would the Stephen Baxter

    Xeelee series books work?

  233. Gerrit Tijhof


    I love that book, it has it all: thriller, aliens, tech, conspiracies, yay galore! :D

  234. Michael 28

    John Varley...

    ..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?

  235. Denarius Silver badge

    a spread of topics

    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.

  236. Denarius Silver badge

    OK another humour satire

    Spaceman Bill series.

    Pokes fun at military bureaucrats, poncy officers and procedure droids in general

  237. peertwo

    Hmm.... where to start....

    altered carbon - richard morgan

    dayworld - philip j farmer

    consider phelbas - iain m banks

    mindstar rising - peter f hamilton

    hyperion - dan simmons

  238. David Paul Morgan

    Another Heinlein...

    How about The Door Into Summer about the engineer who's frozen when a business deal goes wrong, wakes up and find's he's invented the modern world of the future. Romance, a cute cat called Pete, time travel and gadgets. What could fail?

  239. The Infamous Grouse

    I'm very late to this game...

    ...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.

  240. Steve X


    No-one's mentioned Lois McMaster Bujold's "Vorkosigan" series yet? Don't tell me it's already been made into a film?!!

  241. Petrea Mitchell


    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

    Hyperion Cantos

    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

  242. Petrea Mitchell

    Some from the other half

    The other half of my household, who isn't signed up for these forums, would like to make these movie suggestions:

    Vorpal Blade series by John Ringo and Travis Taylor

    Schlock Mercenary by Howard Tayler

  243. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Deep ecological Sci-Fi

    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.


  244. Real Ale is Best

    How about Alan Dean Foster?

    Any of the Flynx series would make fantastic films. Not really surprising as he's a film script writer...

    1. Swarthy
      Thumb Up

      Thank Bob!

      I was beginning to despair of young Phillip Links ever getting a nod in these hallowed forums.

  245. Simon Lyon

    The Rat would be great ...

    ... and hilarious with a droll voiceover a-la Michael Weston in Burn Notice.

    Some of the best stuff in the books is his internal musings on bureaucracy, the police, the ultimate good his scams do for society and the taxman.

  246. Tim57

    A fire upon the deep.

    A fire upon the deep, by Vernor Vinge. It would need cgi, but that's possible, and it's in space, also a good sign from a funding pov. The only issue might be utter perfectionism.

  247. Bananimal

    So many to choose from...

    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.

  248. Sigfried

    Some suggestions

    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".

  249. Jonski

    Citizen Of The Galaxy

    Robert Heinlein.

  250. Dave Edge

    Alastair Reynolds - Revelation Space

    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...

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      I always thought

      That the final battle in the new Battlestar Galactica was based on the assault by "Nostalgia" on the inhibitors device...

  251. drfreak

    Anything by Larry Niven

    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...

  252. GrouchoCaesar

    Well, bowb my buddy and call me Jim... or Warren.

    [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...

  253. Casey Bee

    Men, Martians and Machines

    by (I think) Frank Russell

  254. Adrian Esdaile

    Stephen Baxter - Titan

    '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!

  255. Daedalus

    By his bootstraps!

    The ultimate vanity project : one actor plays 5 parts - at least!

  256. Anonymous Coward

    Deathstalker ftw!

    +1 for Stainless Steel Rat!

    +1 for Only Forward (Michael Marshall Smith)

    How about the entire "Deathstalker" series by Simon Greener?

  257. eldakka

    Snow crash!

    enough said.

  258. Richard 15

    Heinlien would be a good start

    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.

  259. The Jase


    Bill, The Galatic Hero.

    that is all

  260. Richard Jukes


    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...

  261. Anonymous Coward

    Oh no

    The ultimate geek question along with 'do you have a girlfriend?' and 'do you know any jokes in binary?'

  262. janimal

    My votes

    +1 Stainless Steel Rat series

    +1 John Wyndham: The Outward Urge

    +1 John Wyndham: The Kraken Wakes

    +1 Banks Player of games

    +50 Richard Morgan's Kovacs series (altered Carbon and sequels)

    +100 Neal Asher, preferably all of them, done really, really well

    1. BorkedAgain

      Oh yes!

      +10 for Wyndham's The Kraken Wakes. Especially if filmed in "period" style; not interested in a modernised remake where the sea-tank shell fragments have mechanical insides etc...

  263. Ian Tunnacliffe

    Stainless Steel Rat

    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.

  264. Loki 1

    Simmons or Hamilton

    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.

  265. kulibar tree

    Past and Present

    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.

  266. Richie 1

    Anything by Greg Egan

    Terenesia would probably be the most filmable, but I'd love to see a version of Diaspora for sheer epicness.

  267. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


    Here are my suggestions (as emailed to LH):

    "Eon" by Greg Bear

    "A Deepness In The Sky" by Vernor Vinge

    "A Fire Upon The Deep" by Vernor Vinge

    Half-Life 2 - The Movie

    "Jupiter" by Ben Bova

    Could also add the Destroyermen series by Taylor Anderson...

    1. IsJustabloke

      I refuse to enoble a simple forum post!

      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

  268. Any Cowman Odors


    Niven - Ringworld series

    Asimov - Foundation series

    Harrison - Stainless Steel Rat series

  269. Bunker_Monkey


    Turn the last 5mins of CEO3rdK into a proper movie!

    Look at for ideas.

  270. Nat Pryce


    I'd love to see a movie version of Hinterlands by William Gibson. It's a haunting story, and it could probably be done on quite a small budget.

  271. klb

    Not just blokey stuff please

    Sherri Tepper - Sideshow or pretty much anything else.

    Maybe something from Nancy Kress too.

  272. Blue_Skunk

    A great series

    My vote is for Jack L Chalker's Well World series... it would have a lot of CGI, creatures of all types

  273. Anonymous Coward

    Eon Series - Greg Bear

    Got to be the Eon series by Greg Bear

  274. finbarre

    The Chrysalids

    ... why this hasn't been made into a decent film is a crime against good taste.

  275. Tieger

    Larry Niven

    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?"

  276. Tieger

    a title

    much as i'd like to see Iain M Banks's stuff, and the Revelation Space series, made into a more accesible medium, i dont think it'd really work - too much about them wouldnt come across properly in a film.

  277. Adam 67

    The Forever War, By Haldeman.

    I've only read three pages but surely it should be up their!??!?!

    It's bloody marvelous!!!!

    Here's hoping this is a repost.

  278. shoelace
    Thumb Up

    Donaldson - The Gap Series

    As posted by others would probably make a pretty decent series of movies (if not completely borked by writers and directors)

    What about "The I Inside" by Alan Dean Foster...?

  279. jon 72

    So much to choose

    Harry Harrison

    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:


    Rogue Trooper

    Ballad of Halo Jones

    Slaine (perhaps? strictly its fantasy)

    War Toy (future shocks short story)

  280. Little Poppet



    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.


  281. Graham Bartlett

    Iain M Banks - please no

    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.)

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