5 Books That Deserve the Game of Thrones Treatment
Nothing in entertainment comes close to the betrayal you can feel when someone makes a terrible adaptation of your favorite book. Ask any Stephen King fan and they’re likely to gloss over about 70% of the movies made from his stories in a line or two: ”(Insert story that formerly was enjoyable until you just saw it murdered on-screen) was awful. Did you know that King wrote The Shawshank Redemption script?”
Cowering behind former glories is not usually something that an author who has sold his licence for a terrible adaptation gets. Sometimes the team that makes the adaptation hits all the right notes, pleasing fans and author alike giving the world something great to enjoy. So far, and I say that tentatively because these situations seem to rarely arise, HBO’s Game of Thrones has really done all the right stuff. The show could go on some free-wheeling killing spree of characters, watchability and, in the end, producer’s jobs, but that seems slightly unlikely.
On the opposite side of that coin are the myriad terrible shows and adaptations, the ‘Lurkers at the Threshold’ as Lovecraft deftly put it. He wasn’t referring to today’s television shows, just the monsters in the night ready to swallow your existence, a strikingly similar feeling to watching Thinner, the Langoliers or more recently, Trueblood.
In the spirit of the coin landing on the right side, and the recent premier of one of our favorite shows, I present a short list of books that in our opinion deserve a good Game of Thrones , HBO-style treatment.
5.) Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
Obviously the stories here will be considered classics but Ender’s Game is the only one in this last that has the distinction of being followed up by arguably the worst sequels afforded to a “classic”. Both the Eater of the Dead and Xenocide were burned at the stake for their disappointment in the shadow of one of the most beloved Sci-fi stories written. Here the producers would have a chance to redeem even Card by following little Ender Wiggins through his training and subsequent domination of anything that gets in his way.
Ender’s Game is this low because of the fact that it is currently in production to be released as a movie. No doubt, all sorts of ideas and characters will not make it in to the final cut so I’m more than excited to read the backlash that this one should bring.
4.) The Baroque Cycle, Neal Stephenson
An Epic about science, Isaac Newton, thieves, liars, cheats, debutantes, scoundrels, artisans, heroes, villains, cryptology,numismatics alchemy and technology set in 17th and 18th century Europe. Even the way it is written looks like a primer for a HBO series script. It has all the basics, intrigue, deception and comedy and would no doubt win Emmy after Emmy based on costume design and set structuring alone.
3.) Mistborn, Brandon Sanderson
Sanderson offers something interesting in the form of magic and combat. His writing indicates a flow usually designed for film and his plotting and arc would make for a good ongoing series. This one could be done without the grit of a Game of Thrones or a Deadwood, but with the deadpan humor and ridiculous trappings of the Steam-punk genre. You would think that if a live action Steam-punk series were to go main stream it would be this one.
That and the heroine reminds me of a version of River Tamm from Firefly that you actually get to see in action.
2.) The Name of The Wind, Patrick Rothfuss
Kvothe’s Story which is not quite finished is great. Each of the books in the trilogy serve as one whole day that he spends with a chronicler who wants his story. In a manner of speaking this becomes a biography of one of the most influential and interesting person this fantasy world has ever known. His separate adventures alone could be spun off into full on series with a little fleshing out. Needless to say there would be enough for HBO to find interesting for at least a 2-3 year series.
1.) Foundation, Isaac Asimov
This is considered by many to be one of the pillars (no pun intended) of Science Fiction. A good deal of its convention has been stolen and used by other stories, sort of like what happened to Burroghs and John Carter.
This one offers up intrigue, espionage, robots and men, war, politics and technology. At its heart is the concept that math in its various forms can be harnessed to tell the future. That knowledge is brought to bear to destroy entire empires and force a dark age in the Milky Way Galaxy.
This type of series would have been nearly impossible to pull off years ago. I can see that, with so many different plot lines and interests warping across 7 books why people haven’t gone out of their way to adapt it. But with the loss of BSG and no imminent competition this saga could easily claim the throne on sci-fi epics for a long time.