You oughta be in Pictures

Here is my idle thoughts on which SF books would make good films.

STARSHIP TROOPERS would be impossible to make seriously (which is why the film adaptation was not serious)–because it is mostly talking, with no real plot. Ditto for most RAH books. One exception, and a personal favorit of mine, is CITIZEN OF THE GALAXY. Start with the slave auction, the death of the character’s foster father, his trek through the Galaxy trying to find his way in life, his true identity…. it might work.

WORLD OF NULL-A by A.E. van Vogt. Movies like MINORITY REPORT or DARK CITY show there is at least some audience for this kind of paranoid thriller about an amnesiac superhuman. A better choice might be SLAN: the opening scene kills the boy’s mother, and everyone can sympathize with the character who defies the worldwide police state.

MOTE IN GOD’S EYE by Niven and Pornelle: this one might be too huge to compress into a film, but it has all the classic SF themes of first contact, the mystery of the Moties, and the SFX could be impressive.

RINGWORLD. A classic. Great visuals. The plot is a little slow for movie-dom, however.

CITY OF CHASCH, SERVANTS OF THE WANKH, THE DIRDIR, THE PNUME: Jack Vance does planetary romance right: this would be a thrill ride adorned with great special effects, swordfights, gunfights, intrigue, gallantry, and, best of all, good dialog, a thing Hollywood lacks and needs.

THE STAR KING, THE KILLING MACHINE, THE PALACE OF LOVE, THE FACE, THE BOOK OF DREAMS: as above, Jack Vance does a brilliant job of retelling Count of Montechristo in space.

Doc EE Smith’s “Lensman” series. Space opera. ‘Nuff said.