What do these books/comic books have in common? They have all been adapted into unbelievably successful movie and television properties.
There was a time when fantasy readers were observed as the “geek,” a condition with symptoms like being ridiculed in public for the ratty paperback we carried. Or the lack of dating life. Or clustering in small groups of our own for protection. No longer. The geek is out and proud now. And now that technology has been able to capture some of the visual magic these books contain, Hollywood has begun turning its eye toward properties they can turn into the next Game of Thrones.
Thankfully, it appears no one wants to regurgitate what George R. R. Martin and HBO have created. Super gritty, almost nihilistic. Game of Thrones is epic fantasy and the closest book series to be optioned and green lit into production is probably The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks. It is far more family-friendly though, in that it lacks cursing and nudity. It is a powerful story, with one of my all-time favorite characters and all-time favorite endings of any book ever.
Including Elfstones, there are three more books that are being given the Hollywood treatment right now that I love:
These three books are very different. In scope and content. I have read all three and all three deserve their adaptations. As a fan, I can’t wait. Mostly because these books are going to find all new readerships after they premiere on television. Thousands and thousands of new readers!
When I see someone out in public reading A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, I think to myself, “There’s one more person that HBO has made a fantasy reader. A new geek. And they don’t even know it.” Right thought or not, I can’t help but be pleased about it.
Which leads me to my point today. If you haven’t read The Elfstones of Shannara, Leviathan Wakes, The Magicians, and Old Man’s War, do yourself a favor and make sure you’ve read them all. Because the most awesome thing I hear out in public is, “Oh, I’ve been reading George R. R. Martin for years.”
Which actually translates into, “I’ve been cool long before the show hit HBO.”
Don’t you want to be that person? To be in the know before most everyone else? To have your friends marvel at your reading taste? At how wise you truly are? I would think so! It gives credence to the geek culture we live within.
Honestly, I joke. Mostly. It’s not about being cool. I want word to spread about these books. I want people to read them and enjoy them as I have. I want these books to enter our current lexicon. They deserve it. Their writers deserve it.
I hope all four of these books become bestsellers, vying for the #1 spot on the trade paperback and mass market lists. It’d be a good problem for the writers to have.
Which book will you pick up? Or have you read them all?
Let’s talk about it!