July and August were great months for book adaptation news. Three of my favorite sci-fi authors are having works adapted for television and I CANNOT WAIT. Are all these adaptations going to be as great as their source material? Probably not. At the very least, I’m hopeful that the upcoming shows will drive new readers to these three awesome authors (but I’m really hoping that all three shows are absolutely outstanding can’t-miss TV).
Book: The Fifth Season
Author: N. K. Jemisin
People attached to the project: Leigh Dana Jackson (Sleepy Hollow, Helix)
What it’s about: A warning — proceed with caution when reading summaries of the Broken Earth Trilogy, there are some excellent reveals and twists in the books that won’t have nearly the same impact if you know that they’re coming — I’m going to try not to spoil anything here. The Fifth Season is set in a world where catastrophic climatic and geological events occur at unpredictable intervals — earthquakes, volcanoes, acid rain, etc. force people to band together in order to survive the “season”. Jemisin does an outstanding job of creating a huge cast of characters that you’re sure to care about deeply.
Further reading: Check out Book Riot’s fancasting/dreamcasting for the show — I’d make a few changes (I’d love to see Michael K. Williams as Alabaster), but it’s pretty spot-on.
Book: Who Fears Death
Author: Nnedi Okorafor
People attached to the project: George R. R. Martin
What it’s about: Set in post-apocalyptic Sudan, Onyesonwu discovers her magical destiny – to end the genocide of her people. I haven’t read Who Fears Death yet, but I’m going to make sure I do before the show comes out (I’m a huge fan of Okorafor’s Binti and Akata Witch series). Okorafor consistently writes some of the most imaginative sci-fi and fantasy worlds I’ve ever read.
Further reading: There was some unfortunate reporting surrounding this adaptation when it was initially announced — Okorafor’s name was completely left out of some announcements which focused solely on Martin’s involvement (grrrrrrr).
Author: Octavia Butler
Network/Streaming service: ???
People attached to the project: Ava DuVernay
What it’s about: Hundreds of years after the destruction of Earth, Lilith awakes on a spacecraft full of an alien species called the Oankali. The Oankali have restored Earth to its pre-apocalyptic status, and now they’re ready to repopulate it with humans… or almost-humans. Like Who Fears Death, I haven’t read Dawn (yet), though I’ve read other books by Butler.
Further reading: I’m also crazy excited about Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time and wrote a bit about it here.
Until next time, find the stories that make you stronger. #WorkOutNerdOut