For those of you not initiated into the depths of my nerdistry, I’m spending a good deal of time this weekend playing Dungeons & Dragons, so I’m trying to squeeze in some blogging when I can. Gotta maintain the streak. I reasoned, therefore, that a couple of lists might be in order. They’re quick, pretty easy to put together, and kinda fun. So let’s start with another list of books that should be movies.
#5 City- Clifford D. Simak
The earth has been abandoned by humankind at large leaving behind robots, dogs, occasional wandering mutant geniuses, and industrially organized ants. It’s really a series of linked short stories which would make a great anthology. Specifically, the ant story would be good. One of the mutant geniuses figures out how to keep ants from forgetting their progress every winter allowing them to continue building without losing progress. Let that sink in a second. There’s also the story of a scientist and his dog discovering the transformative properties of Jupiter. My director pick: Pretty much anyone who has directed an episode of Black Mirror
#4 The Visitors- Clifford D. Simak
Another Simak novel, this one a bit darker. The Visitors come to earth in large, black, oblong boxes the size of skyscrapers. It’s impossible for humans to communicate with them in any significant manner. Eventually it’s discovered that the beings inside these vehicles are highly developed, cellulose-based life forms. They consume trees and replicate the same things humans have. The end of the novel is left up to interpretation, but the implication seems to be that The Visitors will soon enough replicate everything on Earth. Literally. Everything. Again, let that sink in a second. My director pick: Neill Blomkamp
#3 The Chronicles Of Amber- Roger Zelazny
Hear me out fantasy fans. There’s a ton of horror to mine outta this epic 10-book series. Shadow worlds that can be manipulated at will by the inhabitants of Amber, murderous demons, torture–kinda like The Princess Bride meets Game Of Thrones. The hero of the first 5 books is the fairly standard fantasy swashbuckler type. Family intrigue has left him with amnesia and stranded in our world (in reality one of the many Shadows cast by Amber). He slowly regains his memory, and so begins his quest for his family position and, of course, revenge. Lots of swordplay=lots of potential for blood, and that’s always fun. My director pick: as much as it pains me to say it, Peter Jackson
#2 Lisey’s Story- Stephen King
I had this book sitting around for a while before I read it about a year ago. I had my doubts when I started, but it grabbed a pretty good hold of me and wouldn’t let go. Lisey is the widow of author Scott Landon, and she’s in the painfully slow-going process of packing up Scott’s office. Hounding her is a professor anxious for Scott’s unpublished manuscripts. He’s so desperate that he accidentally sets ex-con Zack McCool on her trail. That idea is tense enough and could read like any really good psychological thriller, but this is Stephen King. There’s also a supernatural layer involving an alternate reality Scott was able to travel to in times of need. I guess I’m cheating a little since this is already a miniseries slated for June with Julianne Moore, but I’d still like to see it as a movie. My director pick: Sophia Takal
#1 Demons By Daylight- Ramsey Campbell
Speaking of Stephen King, he likes Ramsey Campbell and this book quite a bit, at least according to Danse Macabre I think. Demons By Daylight predates King’s Night Shift by 5 years. It’s a solid short story collection that would serve as a great anthology movie along the lines of Tales From The Crypt, Torture Garden, Vault Of Horror, The Illustrated Man, or Cat’s Eye. Like the title suggests, many of the stories are set in the garish light of day and involve fairly mundane objects and activities. Highlights include “The Enchanted Fruit,” in which a man happens upon a tree that bears fruit he’s never seen, and eats some. The results are catastrophic–so simple, but so terrifying. “Made In Goatswood” involves garden gnomes (already creepy) and takes on a distinct Lovecraftian tone. My director pick: Richard Stanley
And there you have it. What books do you think should be brought to the screen? Let me know in the Comments.