Five For Friday: SF&F That Should Be A Movie Or TV Epic

Hello again, to all the story Empire readers. Somehow, I drew double duty this week with the Wednesday post and today’s Friday post. We’re trying something a bit new in our repertoire of Friday features and I am to be the happy guinea pig. So here goes nothing. If you missed the Monday post by C. S. Boyack, just click the link.

Here’s a list of five science fiction and fantasy books/series that I’d like to see as a movie or a TV/Internet series:

Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card – this book is the sequel to Ender’s Game which was made into a movie several years ago. Enders Game made a pretty good movie, but I thought that it could have been better if it were developed into some sort of series that could have covered more of the content better. Speaker for the Dead might make a pretty good movie, but I could also see it being a series as well. The story is rather complex and the ending rather surprising. It’s an older book but it is quite a thought-provoking piece of work. It’s actually book two of a four-book series. Check it out on Amazon to find out more if you’re not familiar with it.

Here’s the blurb:

In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: The Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War.

Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered, but again the aliens’ ways are strange and frightening…again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery…and the truth.


Armor by John Steakley – I shared this is a book as one of my Friday posts earlier in the year but I think it belongs on my list now. Armor is a military sci-fi which I have enjoyed several times over the last several decades. It’s well-written and pretty entertaining so I think that it would make a good movie, but it is another complex story-line which moves back and forth in time, so it might need a miniseries for better development.

Find it on Amazon

Blurb:

The planet is called Banshee. The air is unbreathable, the water is poisonous. It is home to the most implacable enemies that humanity, in all its interstellar expansion, has ever encountered.

Body armor has been devised for the commando forces that are to be dropped on Banshee—the culmination of ten thousand years of the armorers’ craft. A trooper in this armor is a one-man, atomic powered battle fortress. But he will have to fight a nearly endless horde of berserk, hard-shelled monsters—the fighting arm of a species which uses biological technology to design perfect, mindless war minions. 

Felix is a scout in A-team Two. Highly competent, he is the sole survivor of mission after mission. Yet he is a man consumed by fear and hatred. And he is protected, not only by his custom-fitted body armor, but by an odd being which seems to live within him, a cold killing machine he calls “The Engine.”

This is Felix’s story—a story of the horror, the courage, and the aftermath of combat, and the story, too, of how strength of spirit can be the greatest armor of all.


The Riddle-Master series by Patricia Mckillip – this series was written several decades ago and is one of my all-time favorites. I’ve always enjoyed the trilogy and I think that a three season series would do it justice. Such a length of time would give viewers the breadth and depth of the world in which the story takes place. Again, this is a complex story with a lot of subtext that could be used very easily hour-long format shows.

Find the series on Amazon.

Blurb: 

For over twenty years, Patricia A. McKillip has captured the hearts and imaginations of thousands of readers. And although her renowned Riddle-Master trilogy–The Riddle-Master of Hed, Heir of Sea and Fire, and Harpist in the Wind–has been long out of print, it is considered her most enduring and beloved work. Now it is collected in one volume for the first time–the epic journeys of a young prince in a strange land, where wizards have long since vanished…but where magic is waiting to be reborn.


The Powder Mage Series by Brian McClellan – this is a more recent fantasy series which revolves around the use of black powder by mages. These magic users are capable of making incredible shots and using black powder as an offensive weapon. The setting of the series begins around a coup which topples a ruling king. The books deal with the aftermath of the political changes which set off a chain reaction of conflicts. It’s a well-developed series with a lot of excellent characters. The series has already been developed into a video game and would certainly make an excellent group of movies or even a series of several seasons.

Available on Amazon.

Blurb:

It’s a bloody business overthrowing a king…
Field Marshal Tamas’ coup against his king sent corrupt aristocrats to the guillotine and brought bread to the starving. But it also provoked war with the Nine Nations, internal attacks by royalist fanatics, and the greedy to scramble for money and power by Tamas’s supposed allies: the Church, workers unions, and mercenary forces.

It’s up to a few…
Stretched to his limit, Tamas is relying heavily on his few remaining powder mages, including the embittered Taniel, a brilliant marksman who also happens to be his estranged son, and Adamat, a retired police inspector whose loyalty is being tested by blackmail.

But when gods are involved…
Now, as attacks batter them from within and without, the credulous are whispering about omens of death and destruction. Just old peasant legends about the gods waking to walk the earth. No modern educated man believes that sort of thing. But they should… 


The Dragonriders of Pern – this series of books was also written several decades ago by Anne McCaffrey, and was always highly entertaining. Set on the world of Pern, where dragons and humans work to gather to defend the world from destructive forces of nature, the books are very complex with realistic characters with an often tense setting. It also was one of the first books which took readers on a different ride on the back of dragons. The series of books would certainly make an excellent translation into a number of seasons worth of television watching.

Find it on Amazon

Blurb:

DRAGONFLIGHT

On a beautiful world called Pern, an ancient way of life is about to come under attack. Lessa is an outcast survivor—her parents murdered, her birthright stolen—a strong young woman who has never stopped dreaming of revenge. But when an ancient threat reemerges, Lessa will rise—upon the back of a great dragon with whom she shares a telepathic bond more intimate than any human connection. Together, dragon and rider will fly, and Pern will be changed forever.

DRAGONQUEST

Since Lessa and Ramoth, her golden queen dragon, traveled into the past to bring forward a small army of dragons and riders to save their world from deadly alien spores, fear and desperation have spread across the land. But while the dragonriders struggle with threats both human and otherworldly, a young rider named F’nor and his brown dragon, Canth, hatch a bold plan to destroy the alien scourge at its source—the baleful Red Star that fills the heavens and promises doom to all.

THE WHITE DRAGON

Never in the history of Pern has there been a dragon like Ruth. Mocked by other dragons for his small size and pure white color, Ruth is smart, brave, and loyal—qualities that he shares with his rider, the young Lord Jaxom. Unfortunately, Jaxom is also looked down upon by his fellow lords, and by other riders as well. His dreams of joining the dragonriders in defending Pern are dismissed. What else can Jaxom and Ruth do but strike out on their own, pursuing in secret all they are denied? But in doing so, the two friends will find themselves facing a desperate choice—one that will push their bond to the breaking point . . . and threaten the future of Pern itself.


Bonus: Dune – this book has already been made into a movie at least twice. However the content of the book is so complex that a movie just cannot do it justice, unless there are four or five movies made. For that reason, I would prefer to see the book made into a series that encompasses several seasons. Personally the second and third book are probably worthy of additional screen treatment but much of the series after that kind of lost my attention.

Find Dune on Amazon.

Blurb:

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides—who would become known as Muad’Dib—and of a great family’s ambition to bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream.

A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.


So that’s my initial offering for a list in Five for Friday post. What are your opinions about these science fiction and fantasy books/series and their potential for TV or movie development? What other science fiction or fantasy would you like to see on the big screen or TV?

P. H. Solomon

25 thoughts on “Five For Friday: SF&F That Should Be A Movie Or TV Epic

  1. YES! McCaffery’s Pern series. And it wouldn’t have to be limited to the Dragonriders trilogy. There’s the Harperhall trilogy, the origin story, Moreta’s Ride, so many. (disclaimer: actually, I just want to see the dragons 😀 )

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve only started reading epic fantasy in the last two years or so, but whenever I can find time to indulge my new passion, I do. And I’m with you 100% of the Powder Mage series, even though it took me a while to stop imagining all the powder users with black noses and teeth. 😯 I am totally hooked on the series, though and can’t think about anything else until I finish what’s available. It’s slow going with as scarce as my reading time is, but an addiction is an addiction. I won’t stop until I’m finished. And a tv series would be amazing, assuming they did a better job than Hollywood did with some of my other favorite books/series. (Jack Reacher comes to mind.) Interesting topic, here, and I look forward to more Five For Friday posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Five For Friday: SF&F That Should Be A Movie Or TV Epic | Welcome to Harmony Kent Online

  4. I read the Pern series and Riddle Master trilogy in my younger days, and loved them both, especially the Riddle Master series. I didn’t realize Dune had been made into a movie twice. I loved the original theatrical version with Kyle MacLachlan and have that one on DVD.

    I would LOVE to see the Coldfire Trilogy by C. S. Friedman or the Elric saga by Michael Moorcock made into a series or a set of movies. I’d line up for either one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great list. I haven’t read any of these, but I think I’d enjoy them.

    Also, I think you hit on a valid point — fantasy is incredibly complex and would benefit from a conversion that takes many hours (television series) and not a mere few (movie). That isn’t to say that fantasy CAN’T make a good film. Clearly, it’s been done, and done well. But I bet all of our favorite fantasy films would make equally good, if not better, series, just because of the depth of detail. One of my favorite television fantasy series was Legend of the Seeker, made from The Sword of Truth novel series by Terry Goodkind. I don’t think a film could have done that mythology justice. And even if it could, I enjoyed visiting that world every week.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is often my problem with movies, Staci. I enjoyed the first season of Sword but the 2nd one seemed to drag at times. I had problems with Seeker books but that’s just a preference.

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