We have been seeing some stunning TV shows based on fantasy and science fiction books, but there is a lot of untapped potential out there. Here we list some of our favourite science fiction and fantasy works that could translate very well into TV shows.
The Eternal Champion
The Eternal Champion series follows the adventures of the many incarnations of a single hero across a rich multiverse. These worlds feature fantastic elements, Victorian era cyberpunk, advanced technology from the far future, and improbable mixtures of these elements. A show based on The Eternal Champion sequence by Michael Moorcock would require top notch production values, but promises to be visually breathtaking.
The Nanotech Chronicles
This is a hard science fiction book, with pretty realistic technologies, and featuring long discussions between researchers and engineers over the ethical implications of their developments, as well as how to meet project goals given constraints. This can be an anthology series that explores the issue through different stories. The book follows the invention of nanotechnologies, as well as the effect it has on the human race.
One of the funniest creations by Isaac Asimov is Azazel. The two centimetre high wish granting demon and/or extraterrestrial is used by his friend, George to help people out of various tight situations. There are some constraints though, Azazel cannot use his powers in a way that directly benefits George. Hilarity ensues when the wish fulfilment does not go exactly the way George imagines it to, and is usually counterproductive.
The Rama Series by Arthur C Clarke and Gentry Lee is an epic story spanning 6 books, with the reveals getting bigger and grander as the story progresses. It all starts with humanity investigating a mysterious cylinder sent towards the Earth by extraterrestrials with advanced technologies. Over the duration of the series, viewers will be treating to humans establishing a colony on an interstellar ship alongside other alien species.
Memory, Sorrow, Thorn
Memory, Sorrow, Thorn is a more streamlined version of GoT, with fewer characters and a more straightforward story. In fact, GRRM was heavily influenced by the series while crafting ASOIAF. The hero is a Simon Snowlock, and the heroine is Miriamele, a princess who goes about disguised as a boy and is named Marya. There are ice dragons, fire dancers, large wolves, and mysterious others. The magical side of fantasy is explored more in depth than ASOIAF.
Indian author Samit Basu has written the Gameworld Trilogy, a series of books that would do incredibly well as a TV series. All kinds of fantasy elements are thrown in, including centaurs, ninjas, giant cats, knights, manticores, aliens, rakshasas and shapeshifters. At very rare times, you are pulled out of the world into a celestial plane where it is revealed that the entire story takes place as an experiment for a God like being.
The Bartimaeus Sequence is a smarter and gritter version of Harry Potter. It is what happens in a world where wizards enforce their control over muggles, instead of hiding in secret. The magical powers are through the summoning of demons. This is an epic and tragic story, of a young information minister in the ranks of the wizarding government. The series has just the right mixture of emotion, spectacle and deadpan humour.
The Mars Trilogy is relevant now more than ever as there are multiple plans to establish a permanent human settlement on the Red Planet. The Mars Trilogy goes a step beyond just establishing a colony. Through the three books, Red Mars, Blue Mars and Green Mars, we follow the efforts to geoengineer the planet, and completely terraform Mars to make it fit for human habitation.
This is a relatively small book, but is dense and packed with stories. So much so that the entire sequence of events in The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings are summed up in a single paragraph. The events follow the very creation of middle earth, and the efforts of the many Valar. What is in The Silmarillion is even more epic than any representation of Tolkien’s works we have seen in video form so far.
After an interstellar war, humans establish the Sector General hospital to care for extraterrestrials. All the drama in this series would be provided by a group of doctors from various alien species trying to provide healthcare to other aliens in distress. The most interesting thing here is the sheer range of creatures from different worlds, with believable physiologies that are brought to the hospital from the distant reaches of space.