New post - From book to tv

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The last poll asked this question : "Do you read the same novel more than once?". Here are the results :

- Yes, quite often - 24%
- Yes, sometimes - 31%
- It happened - 33%
- No - 10%

As I mentioned in my comments about this interrogation, I'm not among the readers who return to books they have already read. It's not that I don't want to, it's because I can't convince myself to read a novel I've gone through before when there's unread novels waiting on my shelves. And since it doesn't matter to me when I buy a novel whether or not I will re-read it, there's no obstacle when filling up my personal library.

It seems that I'm among the minority here. The majority of respondents, 55% of the readers, are returning to previously read books. From the answers I received, it seems that the reasons vary from re-reading to gain more perspective or another angle on a novel, to refresh their memories when a new book in a series is released (in which case I usually look for recaps but if I had the time it would probably be my principal reason to re-read) or simply because they miss them. Interesting.

I will have to add this element to my fantasy reader definition. Now, let's start a new poll!


With the tremendous success of the Game of Thrones TV adaptation, more so with 13 Emmy nominations (and then it didn't even need that), what I would ask you is "Which fantasy series should come to TV?".

This is a difficult question when taking in account the sheer number of series and the different tastes among the readers. So I decided to "restrict" the list of answers. Well... I was not really successful in doing so but you have to remember that GoT probably received the TV treatment for two reasons; first it was already hugely successful in book format and second, it was the kind of story that fitted well with a 10 episode structure.

I know that you may have answers that are not in the list and if that's the case, share it with us in the comments! I haven't put stand alone novels but I've added to the list non-finished series. I also limited myself to one series per author.

As for myself, while reviewing the list, I always came back to two picks. Even thought the Malazan book of the Fallen is among my favorite series, I don't think that a TV adaptation would be an easy task. Another factor is that many of these series would be so cool on TV if the budget would be there and the right persons hired for the job (a la Game of Thrones). The same could not be said for the Sword of Truth series (Legend of the Seeker) who received the Hercules/Zena treatment (and I'm not here to argue about the books themselves......).

So then, my two picks would be The Gentleman Bastard Sequence by Scott Lynch and The First Law by Joe Abercrombie. In the end, I would choose The First Law trilogy. Not simply because I loved the books but because I think it would be an easy translation on TV in my opinion (even though the rating could probably be a small problem). I could not wait to see who would be cast into Glokta, it would be a character that would be remembered for a long time.

So, "Which fantasy series should come to TV?"

- The First Law by Joe Abercrombie
- The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan
- The Prince of Nothing by R. Scott Bakker
- The Black Company by Glen Cook
- The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen Donaldson
- Shannara by Terry Brooks
- The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson
- The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss
- The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb
- Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
- Memory, Sorrow and Thorn by Tad Williams
- Eddie LaCrosse by Alex Bledsoe
- Codex Alera by Jim Butcher
- The Dragon Trilogy by Stephen Deas
- Acacia by David Anthony Durham
- Godless World by Brian Ruckley
- The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone by Greg Keyes
- Legend of the Red Sun by Mark Charan Newton
- The Psalm of Isaak by Ken Scholes
- The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks
- The Long Price Quartet by Daniel Abraham
- The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist
- The Coldfire Trilogy, C.S. Friedman
- Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny
- The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett
- The Gentlemen Bastard Sequence by Scott Lynch
- Shadows of the Apt by Adrian Tchaikovsky

What's your pick?


Ghost said...

From your poll,I should like to see "The Wheel of Time" but it is highly unlikely.
Outside the poll, "The Night Angel Trilogy” by Brent Weeks would be nice.

Ghost said...

Oops, "The Night Angel Trilogy” is in the poll. Sorry about that. I'll take it as second choice after "The Wheel of Time".

vijay said...

The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

Dom said...

The problem with epic fantasy is that there's just too much content.. I mean they did 3x 3hours and a half movies with LOTR and it's a 900 pages book... That's one book from either Wheel of time or Malazan..Hell they did one movie for every Harry Potter

Phil said...

That's right Dom but look at what they did with Game of Thrones...

I admit that Wheel of Time or the Malazan book of the Fallen may be too much to ever be translated to TV or movie (hopefully not all epic are that big in scope) but I can easily imagine Abercrombie's or Sanderson's work (in the case of Mistborn) to be a realistic choice... don't you think?

Ghost said...

Scope might be problem, but I think the rating will be the main problem. In The Wheel of Time, Rand Al’Thor went mad and Perrin chopped off the hand of a prisoner to get information. Hard to see how that will shown on TV.

Grant said...

The biggest problem with a lot of these series is the action. Even in Game of Thrones with an HBO budget they cut out the battle scenes. Most of the books are people in rooms talking to each other so it works out fairly well. Many of these choices have a decent amount of fights or adventure in expensive locations to recreate. I love the Mistborn books, but the number of fight scenes and the acrobatics involved would require a movie budget rather than a TV one. Same with the Night Angel books.

The Kingkiller books might work but the actual number of events is fairly small even if the page count is high. They would quickly run out of material.

I think the Gentleman Bastard books would probably work the best. They would also probably work out well as a basis for material written just for a TV show.

Anonymous said...

From your list, I'd love to see The Chronicles of Amber, the Riftwar Saga, and the Gentleman Bastards series. Seems like Amber is ripe for adaptation and offers exactly the kinds of family skullduggery that TV viewers dig. I'd love to see the Riftwar because, well, it's cool. Scott Lynch's stuff offers a very rich, very different world and fun characters, but it isn't known much beyond the genre, which might make it a tougher sell.

What's most likely is The Wheel of Time because of its overwhelming popularity and its proven appeal beyond typical genre lines.

Anonymous said...

The Psalms of Isaak, great story, plus if it madeit to tv Ken might actually finish the remaining books.

Anonymous said...

Psalms of isaak

Unknown said...

Psalms of Isaak for sure, though I I could stand to see some Codex Alera or First Law if someone forced me to.

Anonymous said...

The Psalms of Isaac would probably work better as movies (one movie per book), but I'd love to see it either way.

Bets Davies said...

I'm missing the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander. True, YA. But that makes them perfect for adaption in that there is enough, but not too much, content. There's a few war sequences but they could be cut carefully or cgied in relatively cheaply. They've got heart, a distinct world, and an inventive plot.

Anonymous said...

The Farseer Trilogy. I only discovered them in 2008, but they were a fantastic read. I am torn between wanting them to be converted to a TV adaptation because i suspect it wouldn't do justice to the Wit and Skill aspects of the novel. It could possibly come across comical, and that would be a true shame.

Anonymous said...

I’m surprised that Robin Hobb is absent from such a list, her unique style of first-person narrative would definitely lend itself to the Screen.

The Farseer Trilogy

The Tawny Man Trilogy

The Tawny Man Trilogy

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