What Books Would You Like To See Get Turned Into Television Shows?
Posted on 11th of September, 2018


The Mars Books by Kim Stanley Robinson - Interest in the red planet appears to have faded somewhat in recent years, but with Elon Musk and his SpaceX endeavors, now might be a good time to remind people of our planetary neighbor. The Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson deals with people settling and colonizing mars after an overpopulated Earth prompts them to leave. What makes the books so interesting and what could translate to a great show, is how it follows the personal viewpoints of a number of characters. Some elements of the books will obviously have to be changed somewhat because they were written in the nineties and our scientific knowledge have improved since then, but overall it could make for a gripping series if handled properly.
Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson - Now this one is a bit of a pipe-dream due to the sheer epic scope of the books, but a part of me can't help but wish to see how the spectacle would look on-screen. There are ten volumes in the series, which means more than enough ideas for a couple of seasons of a television show. Unfortunately, I doubt if even HBO has the budget to do justice to these books. The amount of dragons and dinosaurs and nonhuman races alone would blow up the special effects budget of any network. As much as I would like to see this turn into a television show I think for now it will have to remain in the imagination of fans.
Some people may try and dispute it, but we are currently living in an golden age of television. Not only are budgets way bigger than ever before in the past, but there are also more channels to choose from and no shortage of great material to draw from. Just look at the incredible run that Marvel is having on both the big and small screens. Game of Thrones is also a prime example of what can be accomplished when television producers and writers actually value the input of authors and respect the source material. The end of Game of Thrones is going to leave a big void on television and it wouldn't surprise me to see at least one more epic fantasy series make an appearance. This would actually suit me fine as I have very little free time these days and I know that I'll probably die before I get around to reading all the books on my list. Don't get me wrong, I still love books, so there are a couple of franchises that I would prefer reading instead of watching and it is actually the "lesser" books that I want to see on the small screen!

1. The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind - I have heard very good things about the books, but three episodes into the television series I knew it wasn't for me. After talking to some friends who rave about the books, it has become clear that the fault is not with the source material but the television show itself. If the books are as dark as I hear, then a more mature television series would definitely be the way to go.

2. The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon - Now this is one that I have actually read and really enjoyed, so it would bring me great joy to see it receive a good television series. The medieval world of Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter with its elves, dwarves, gnomes and humans would make a great setting and the fact that Paks is such a strong, independent woman is something that will resonate well with modern audiences. Maybe when Gwendoline Christie hangs up her sword in Game of Thrones she can take the spotlight in this series as she is a perfect fit for the character.

3. The Discworld books by Terry Pratchett. It would require a substantial investment in make-up, costumes and special effects, but just imagine how cool a television series based on the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett would be. I would really like to see an entire series and maybe a couple of seasons of this instead of just a holiday special as the world is just so rich and the characters so awesome.

4. Guardians of Ga'Hoole by Kathryn Lasky

This is another book that would require a big budget to pull off correctly, but I truly believe that if they did it properly it could be one of the most amazing shows on television. What is that you say? Movie? Nope, nope, there was never any movie based on this series. NEVER! You hear me!
At this point I'm too scared to hope for any of my favorite books to become television shows because all the ones so far have been massive disappointments. Case in point the Legend of The Seeker series that turned the awesome fantasy epic of Terry Goodkind into a generic, watered down, young adult snoozefest that bears very little resemblance to the books. Then, wouldn't you know it, the same thing happened with the Shannara books by Terry Brooks, which got turned into the teen friendly Shannara Chronicles. Like Legend of the Seeker, the show barely limped to a second season before it was canceled. Now I've heard that Justin Cronin's vampire trilogy is being turned into a television show, but before filming has even begun they have started to butcher the source material by cutting out characters and gender swapping others. I guess that Fox has already proven that they don't know how to turn books into a good television series, just look at Wayward Pines for proof of this.
Some people would say that not all goods would make good television shows, but I disagree. Personally, all of the good books that I have ever read made me wonder how they would look on the television. I know there is the whole debate about how reality could never match up with the vivid images we can conjure up in our imagination, but special effects have improved immensely lately and some television shows rival blockbuster movies in the special effects department, so I do not think that it is such a big issue anymore. When asked this question a lot of people also always pick the most elaborate and action packed books that they have ever read, but there is plenty of room on the television schedule for shows that are a bit more thoughtful and not as bombastic. Just think of the success of Sherlock to see what I mean. My personal picks for good books that could make for great television are the following;

Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte). You want plenty of drama, intrigue, backstabbing, revenge and backstabbing, then forget the Kardashians and watch Wuthering Heights. There are even supernatural encounters for those who are into these kind of things. It also has the one thing that all television dramas thrive on, a love triangle!

One For Sorrow (Jane Godman). This one has it all, an obsessive serial killer, a dogged detective and a clairvoyant who also happens to be a potty mouthed biker chick. The unlikely duo of detective and clairvoyant have to put aside their differences and track down a killer who has claimed the lives of five girls already. But what happens when it turns out that the killer actually wanted the clairvoyant to start looking for him?

Rituals of the Night Series (Kayla Krantz). So far there has been three books in the Rituals of the Night series, Dead by Morning, Alive at Sunset and Survive at Midnight. All three of these would make for riveting television and there is enough materials here for at least three seasons with plenty more to come if the author keeps writing. It initially looks like it is just going to be a typical teen school drama, but then turns into something much, much more.

Dublin Murder Squad Series (Tana French). I know there are plenty of murder mystery television shows already, but In The Woods (and the rest of the Dublin Murder Squad series) is just so good. The first book is about an Irish detective who was the sole survivor of an event that killed two other boys in his youth. The problem is that he doesn't remember what happened, only that he was found gripping a tree and wearing blood filled sneakers. His past comes back to haunt him when a young girl is murdered in the same woods where he was found and he has to investigate the case. What sets the series apart from other murder mysteries is the depth of the characters and how deeply you begin to care about the story, all of which would translate well to a television show.
I have always wanted to see a television series based on "Looking For Alaska" by John Green and it looks like it is finally going to become a reality. Anyone who hasn't read the book yet is seriously missing out and I recommend giving it a glance before the show is released. John Green is the author of Paper Towns as well as The Fault in Our Stars, both of which were turned into movies, so heaven knows why it took so long for Looking For Alaska to get a little love. It was his debut novel and tackled some very serious issues that I think would make for compelling television. Hopefully it's not going to get watered down to make it more palatable for audiences as this would be a disservice to the source material.

From what I understand Green based a lot of the material in this book on his own life and experiences at a boarding school. The protagonist is Miles Halter, who goes to boarding school or his junior year, which is where he encounters a bevy of interesting characters, including the charming, but unstable Alaska Young. From the start you know that these two are going to end up together, but how this happens and what happens afterwards is something you will have to discover for yourself. John Green knows how to elicit an emotional response from readers and Looking For Alaska does so effortlessly. The book was originally going to be turned into a film like the other books by Green, but I honestly feel like the 8-episode series by Hulu is the right way to approach it. Time will tell if it will turn out good, but if they stick to the source I can't see why not. They have done a splendid job with The Handmaid's Tale and with the right cast this could be a another big hit for Hulu.
I would love to see a television series made out of the James Joyce book, Finnegans Wake, just to see the reaction. It is one of those books that everyone who is hip claims to have read, but nobody can actually give a clear explanation of what the heck happened in it. If any network is brave enough to try and turn it into a television series I would expect the results to be pretty surreal. However, in the unlikely event that it is ever filmed, I'm pretty sure they would simply change 90% of the original story and transform it into something completely different.

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