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    • There are some books that just pop with cinematic qualities and would be absolutely incredible miniseries / movies / adaptations. I've put together a brief list of some of my favorites and why, and would love to hear some of your recommendations!

      Interstellar Pig, by William Sleator (and really, anything and everything by William Sleator - I'm a huge fan and was sad to find out he passed away a few years ago, image above found here). The book tells the story of our teenage protagonist, who's stuck with his parents on a boring beach staycation - until sexy, mysterious neighbors move in and take a bizarre interest in their family. Who are they? Why are they so obsessed with the boardgame Interstellar Pig? What does the history of the beach have to do with it? With graphics being what they are, I feel like the story could be compellingly brought to the screen realistically. IRSC steadlily zooming downwards!

      SHADE'S CHILDREN by Garth Nix (and again, nearly anything & everything by Garth Nix would be an incredible visual series - Newt's Emerald, anyone? Hello, magic and Jane Austen visuals?). In a not-too-far-away future, all the adults have vanished in the blink of an eye, and mysterious Overlords appear, turning the surviving children and teens into creatures they manipulate in gigantic battles and sport. Survivors who escape face slim chances - unless they are found and rescued by Shade, an AI intelligence who's gathered together escaping youth to train them to survive, study and learn about these enemies of humanity. Gold-Eye, our protagonist, joins a group of Shade's Children who each have mysterious "change powers" or skills that help them survive - Drum has telekenesis, Ella can manifest physical objects from thought, Ninde can read other's thoughts - to take on insurmountable odds. Disturbing, imaginative, and gripping.

      INCARCERON by Catherine Fisher (and its sequel, SAPPHIQUE, which is equally excellent and doesn't suffer from any kind of Sophomore slump)! Our story is split into two worlds: the world of the largest prison in existence, Incarceron, to which all lawbreakers have been exiled to live in utter desperation, darkness and hunger, and the larger world of perfect 17th century rustic splendor, complete with chateaus, courts, fields and flowers. Our protagonists somehow meet across these disparate environments... and begin to start an unravelling that has no stopping point.

      What's the connection between these two worlds? What lies underneath the surface of sumptuous finery and gentility? It's a story of worlds within worlds - no spoilers allowed - and would lend itself to a visual format incredibly well. (NOTE: INCARCERON was supposed to be turned into a film starring Taylor Lautner but this was 9 years ago, no update since then, sadly)

      ADVENT by James Treadwell (and its sequels, ANARCHY and ARCADIA). Picture the serious, somber tone of HBO's True Detective - with a background of magic beginning to seep into the world. The story is complex and multi-layered: it's the story of one family that encompasses the fate of the entire world. As magic returns, technology ceases to function, financial markets are inoperative, planes begin to fall out of the sky, and whole regions disappear off the map. In this landscape, you're learning past, present, and future, a story of love and loss, of mysterious, implacable forces. Beautifully told.

      THE RAFT by Fred Strydom. In a future world where humanity's memory has been devestated by a mysterious EMP-type event, one man struggles to remember who he is and what he's lost. As flashes of clarity appear, he is led on a journey that breaks through space, memory and time, discovering what's truly occurred. The ending is spectacular and truly unexpected.

      14 by Peter Clines (and yes, this story is related to the 1920's Los Angeles apartment building of a style pictured above). In this action-packed book that I've recommended to dozens of people (all of whom have enjoyed it - yes, it's that good), our protagonist finds an apartment that seems like such an incredible deal. Moving into the building, he begins to encounter his neighbors, and realizes that not all is as it seems - and that there's a great deal more at stake than anyone can possibly imagine. A super-fun read that I would love to see cast a la LOST!

    • I've always thought Wasp by Eric Frank Russell would make a great little sci-fi action thriller or TV series. It's a gritty and subversive story about a man sent to singlehandedly wreak havoc on the fascist government of an alien planet involved in an interstellar war with Earth. He uses every dirty trick in the book to create civil unrest, panic, and chaos, because it's much cheaper to win an interstellar war with one guy than with giant space fleets.

      When I first read it many years ago it was just fun sci-fi, but now I see so many of the themes (and even specific tactics) portrayed in the book coming to life in the real world, and it's eerie how accurate it was.

    • Another book I think could be an incredible movie (in the right hands) is Replay by Ken Grimwood.

      Jeff Winston dies of a heart attack in 1988 and suddenly it's 1963, he's 18, and he's living his life over again with all his previous memories intact. Each time he dies, he replays again. Replay predates the similarly themed Groundhog Day and Russian Doll, and has a much grander scale. I've re-read it countless times and think about it often.

      People have been trying to make it into a movie for many years. At one point Eric Roth was writing the screenplay and Robert Zemeckis was attached to direct (you may remember them as the writer and director behind Forrest Gump, a movie that dealt with similar themes but without the sci-fi twist), but they eventually left the project and it has since changed hands many times.

    • And finally, the one I want perhaps most of all: a big budget Netflix series based on the Aubrey-Maturin novels by Patrick O'Brian.

      The 2003 Peter Weir movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World was a fantastic and faithful adaptation that drew from several of the novels in the 20-book series, but there's so much more that could be done with it!

      The novels may be the best historical fiction ever written — I'd argue that they're even among the best fiction ever written — and tell a continuous serial story full of adventure, intrigue, heartbreak, and loss during the Napoleonic era.