Book Watching: Upcoming scifi and fantasy shows

This week, I got TV on my mind. Book-to-TV adaptations, that is.

This is happening:

American Gods by Starz

This trailer for the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel dropped last week, and it is gorgeous. Full on dramatic imagery, powerful silhouette shots, and slow-motion drama, I’m feeling a visual vibe of The Fountain (2016) and the dark drama of Breaking Bad. I also wonder if the movie will lean more towards suspense rather than special effects.

Release date: 2017

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Netflix

They’ve already started shooting for sure, and IMDB says this series based on Lemony Snicket’s books, will premiere in August 2016. As in, this month. Except Netflix hasn’t only just finished filming and hasn’t even released an official trailer yet (though a suspiciously well-made fan trailer has been making the rounds), so I’m not stocking up on popcorn yet. The show will star Neil Patrick Harris, Malina Weissman and Louis Hynes and was rumored to be quite a bit darker than the books.

Release date: Filming just finished, so…December 2016?


His Dark Materials by BBC

Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials trilogy is coming to a TV near you (no, not the 2007 movie). I’ve been hearing about this one on and off for a while, but facts remain sparse. It sounds like pre-production has been scheduled for this fall (so, now?) and filming will take place in Wales at the end of this year (maybe).

Release date: Late 2017



Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

Not TV, but I’ll lose all my book cred if I ignore this one. If you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve still probably heard of this newest addition to the Harry Potter movie universe. Set in the 1920’s, our hero, Newt Scamander, goes on a gotta catch ‘em all spree after he loses all of his pokemo- err, I mean, fantastic magical beasts that he carries around in a magic luggage. Here’s the latest trailer:

Release date: November 18, 2016. (ie, not soon enough)


Is this still happening?

Asimov’s Foundation trilogy for HBO

No, really. Is this still happening? Jonathan Nolan was adapting Asimov’s science fiction classic for the small screen. Will it be Game of Thrones in Space? Many questions remain.

MaddAddam for HBO

Rumors, rumors, rumors. Apparently HBO may or may not be adapting Margaret Atwood dystopian trilogy. Here’s hoping the post-apocalyptic fad holds on long enough for this to happen.

Redshirts by FX

This book by John Scalzi riffs on the incredibly low survival rate of nameless expendable characters in television and novels in general, and in the Star Trek universe specifically. With the newfound resurgence of the Star Trek franchise via the movies, this show just might happen. My talons are crossed.

Ancillary Justice by Fox

The first novel won a Hugo in 2014. In the two years since, each subsequent installment of this science fiction series by Ann Leckie has landed on the Hugo shortlist. Still, Fox isn’t exactly the go-to channel for space opera, so I’m not holding my breath just yet.

A bunch of amazing books by SyFy

Let’s talk Syfy. That channel has finally hit its stride, with an incredible mix of tight adaptations across all of my favorite genres.

  • Space: The Expanse (based on an Arthur C. Clarke novel)
  • Alien invasion/thriller: Childhood’s End (based on James S. A. Corey series)
  • Vampires and werewolves: Hunters, Bitten (Kelley Armstrong)
  • Time Travel: 12 Mondays (based on the movie), Continuum
  • Space Opera: Dark Matter (from Dark Horse comics), KillJoys.
  • Fantasy: The Magicians (Lev Grossman)

And these are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. According to the internet (which never lies), there’s more to come. Syfy may have these two new  book adaptation series in the pipeline: Gateway by Frederik Pohl (David Eick of “Battlestar Galactica” and Josh Pate of “Falling Skies” are rumored to be on this project) and Hyperion by Dan Simmons. Syfy also has the TV rights to a bunch of books I can’t wait to see brought to life, including Old Man’s War by John Scalzi, 3001: The Final Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and Spin by Robert Charles Wilson.

What adaptation are you looking forward to?


More book-watching posts:

7 thoughts on “Book Watching: Upcoming scifi and fantasy shows

  1. I can’t wait until A Series of Unfortunate Events! It’s been so long since I’ve read them, I don’t even remember what happened anymore. And I love that it’s supposed to be darker and no really geared to the younger audience like the books.

    • Agreed! I see each book adaptation as something inspired by a given novel, not so much a novel-in-movie-form, so I’m totally okay with it if they take it in a different direction with mood or even story.

    • Hah, you should read it first. What if you don’t like the book! Though I will say…the trailer did look pretty darn great, and as if the story could stand on its own.

      Actually, now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve read it either. I’m not a big fan of Gaiman (heresy, I know), so I never got around to it…

      • Good point. It’s much easier for me to like shows and movies though. I think I judge books harder. I’ve never read anything by him but American Gods sounds like my kinda jam.

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