6 books to read before they become TV series

Do you love TV series? Are you a bookworm? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then 2018 will be a good year for you. Bookish TV series are on the rise, and there will be plenty coming out this year for us to pick from. We must proceed with caution though, as many great books fell victim to screen adaptation over the past years. I still refuse to talk about the horror of watching the movie version of The Dark Tower. Just… Nope…

TV series are usually a safer way to bring life to our beloved stories. I loved the Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, and the series that came out last year with the same title was absolutely amazing, painting an even more terrifying picture than the book by expanding the plots of the secondary characters.

If you are anything like me, you will most likely want to read the book before watching the first episode of the show. You know, just so you can have enough ammunition to rage about later, that the book was better.

So let’s see what is waiting for those of us who love thrillers, sci-fi and a bit of weirdness.

Good Omens
Based on the 1990 novel Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman the TV series will follow the story of a demon and a fussy angel (both living amongst mortals) who are trying to prevent the coming of the antichrist and the ensuing battle between Heaven and Earth.
Guess who’s playing Crowley, the demon. David Tennant, that’s who. Love it! There’s no official release date, but according to IMDB we can expect it in 2019.

Altered CarbonThis juicy sci-fi, set in the 25th century, tells the story of Takeshi Kovacs, a soldier from an elite group of warriors who were defeated in an uprising against the new world order. Even though Kovacs was also killed, his consciousness and skills are downloaded (a.k.a. re-sleeved) into the body of a thug. This action and violence packed series, starring Joel Kinnaman as Takeshi Kovacs, will come out in February, 2018.
The series is based on Richard K. Morgan’s book with the same title, published in 2006.
A must for fans of the cyberpunk genre!

Sharp ObjectsGillian Flynn’s book, Sharp Objects is a delicious treat for anyone craving something dark and disturbing.
Camille Preaker, a journalist, returns to her hometown in Missouri, to investigate the murder of two young girls. If this wouldn’t be upsetting enough, staying in her parents’ house brings back unpleasant memories from her own childhood, and she’s forced to confront her own demons that led her down the path of self harm for years.
The show, starring Amy Adams and Chris Messina, is coming this summer.

The City & The CityBased on the multi award-winning novel by China Miéville, the series follows Inspector Tyador Borlú on his investigation of a murdered student whose body was found in the decaying city of Besźel. As evidence starts piling up, suggesting deadly conspiracies, the Inspector has to travel to Ul Quoma, the only metropolis on Earth.
China Miéville describes his own work as “weird fiction”, so if weird is your thing, don’t miss out on this one.

Instinct
This new police procedural series, starring Alan Cumming as Professor Dylan Reinhart, is based on Murder Games by James Patterson. Professor Reinhart is a criminal behavior professor who ends up helping Detective Elizabeth Needham, the NYPD detective in charge of investigating a serial killer case. The only clue linking the victims is a playing card left behind on the scene, hinting at the next target.
It’s coming in March, so you should still have time to finish the book before the show hits the screen.

You
You by Caroline Kepnes is yet another gem for those of us who enjoy exploring the depths of a twisted mind.
The show follows Joe Goldberg, a bookstore manager, who becomes obsessed with Guinevere Beck whom he met in his bookstore. The stalker turned boyfriend orchestrates the perfect plan to remove all obstacles that stand in their way.
The release date has not been announced yet.

Have you read all these books yet? TV adaptations yey or nay?

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
Genres: Science Fiction, Classics
Published: 7th May, 1895
Goodreads
Series: N/A
Rating: 3.5

“I’ve had a most amazing time….”
So begins the Time Traveller’s astonishing firsthand account of his journey 800,000 years beyond his own era—and the story that launched H.G. Wells’s successful career and earned him his reputation as the father of science fiction. With a speculative leap that still fires the imagination, Wells sends his brave explorer to face a future burdened with our greatest hopes…and our darkest fears. A pull of the Time Machine’s lever propels him to the age of a slowly dying Earth. There he discovers two bizarre races—the ethereal Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks—who not only symbolize the duality of human nature, but offer a terrifying portrait of the men of tomorrow as well. Published in 1895, this masterpiece of invention captivated readers on the threshold of a new century. Thanks to Wells’s expert storytelling and provocative insight, The Time Machine will continue to enthrall readers for generations to come.


You know, what? This wasn’t bad. I generally don’t like time travel stories, because I find all the implications of messing with one’s past just too daunting and mind boggling. This book was different though. The Time Traveller (as he’s referred to throughout the story) has no great agenda to save the world, he just wants to explore, driven by his curiosity.

Just like so many books written in this era, the story is told by an unnamed guy, who witnessed first hand the scientific discussion that lead to the experiment, and the Time Traveller’s recollection of his eight-day adventure into the future. There’s no fluff, no fillers, just crisp, fast paced facts recounted over a dinner.

The future is bleak, society is split into two: the peaceful, innocent, almost childlike Eloi and the bloodthirsty, but technically advanced, ape-like Morlocks. According to the Time Traveller’s theory, society at one point must have reached balance and security, that lead to their degradation.

“But even on this supposition the balanced civilization that was at last attained must have long since passed its zenith, and was now far fallen into decay. The too-perfect security of the Upper-worlders had led them to a slow movement of degeneration, to a general dwindling in size, strength, and intelligence.”

The Eloi are constantly being hunted by the Morlocks, but they do nothing about it, just accept it as the norm. In a way this future seems even scarier than those depicted in dystopian books with the oppressive governments, because they at least still have the chance to revolt and claim back their freedom. The Eloi, who are proper bubbleheads, are way past this.

The conclusion? Humanity is its own worst enemy. No surprise there, unfortunately.

Reading Challenge Prompt: A book about time travel #23

Have you ever wanted to go back in time and change something you’ve done? Yeah, me neither… On the other hand, I understand the appeal of being able to hop back in time just to witness some of the major historical events, even though just being there could cause a rift in time, so these things are better not to be taken lightly.

I could count on one hand the number of time travel books I’ve read and would still have fingers left. Same goes for movies on the topic, so this reading challenge prompt is one of the few that actually fills me with dread. Somehow the sheer idea moving back and forth between alternate timelines stresses me out.

Time travelling is not a new trope. Just think about The Time Machine by H. G. Wells, published in 1895. Ever since then, this theme became quite popular, and not only in the strictly science fiction genre.

Stephen King handled it brilliantly in 11.22.63, and I loved that book to bits. To be fair, in my eyes, he just can’t do anything wrong. I bet even his shopping lists are awesome.

The Beautiful Land by Alan Averill
In this science fiction story, Takahiro O’Leary is hired by the Axon Corporation to explorer multiple timelines that exist parallel to each other.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
An explorer’s journey 800,000 years into the future. If, like me, you are not particularly keen on time travel stories, but still want to complete the challenge, this short book with its 118 pages would be a good pick.

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Billy Pilgrim becomes unstuck in time after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore.

11.22.63 by Stephen King
Jake, a high school teacher goes back in the past through a portal in a diner’s back room, just in time to witness, and potentially stop the assassination of J. F. Kennedy.

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
What happens when the power of time travel falls into the hands of a serial killer?

Invictus by Ryan Graudin
The adventures of a time travelling teenager, Farway Gaius McCarthy, and his crew in a futuristic world. This suspenseful YA read is full of gladiators, snarky banter and teenage love.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The story of Clare and Henry, a librarian with Chrono-Displacement Disorder that causes his genetic clock reset periodically, misplacing him in time. A good choice for fans of romances.

Not inspired enough? Join us on the Goodreads Popsugar Challenge group for more.

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
Genres: Sci-Fi, Space Opera
Published: 21st March, 2017
Goodreads
Series: The Interdependency #1
Rating: 5

Does the biggest threat lie within?

In the far future, humanity has left Earth to create a glorious empire. Now this interstellar network of worlds faces disaster – but can three individuals save their people?

The empire’s outposts are utterly dependent on each other for resources, a safeguard against war, and a way its rulers can exert control. This relies on extra-dimensional pathways between the stars, connecting worlds. But ‘The Flow’ is changing course, which could plunge every colony into fatal isolation.

A scientist will risk his life to inform the empire’s ruler. A scion of a Merchant House stumbles upon conspirators seeking power. And the new Empress of the Interdependency must battle lies, rebellion and treason. Yet as they work to save a civilization on the brink of collapse, others have very different plans . . .

The Collapsing Empire is an exciting space opera from John Scalzi.


Then there is the way that mutinies actually happen, involving weapons, violence, sudden death, the officer ranks turning on each other like animals, the crew trying to figure out what the fuck is going on. Then, depending on the way things go, the captain being murdered and tossed out into the void, and then everything backdated after the fact to make it look all legal and pretty, or the mutinous officers and crew being shown the other side of an airlock and the captain filing a Notice of Extralegal Mutiny, which cancels the mutineers’ survivors benefits and pensions, meaning their spouses and children starve and are blackballed from guild roles for two generations, because apparently mutiny is in the DNA, like eye color or a tendency toward irritable bowels.

The best book I’ve read this year! This story definitely adds a new spin on “going with the flow”.

I fuckin’ loved the smartass tone, the witty dialogues, the heavy-handed use of the F-word, and the characters, even though some of them were proper assholes. But aren’t we all, sometimes?

Finn smiled.
“You’re definitely your mother’s child,” she said. “She was also blunt and to the point.”
“Yes, we’re a family of assholes,” Kiva said, and the car lurched forward. “Now, explain.”

Even though there’s access to travel between planets, it’s not as easy as one would expect from a story set in the future. No warp speed here, and reaching a destination could take up to a year. This also limits the availability to news as they travel the same way as people. Rumor has it, that the flow system is collapsing, basically cutting planets off from each other. You are not worried yet? Well, you should be! Thanks to the great system where each planet is specialized in something (agriculture, mining, you name it) – hence the Interdependency -, it could be a devastating situation for the inhabitants. Throw in some rebels and terrorists, and you have enough to be stressed out about.

Amidst this chaos, emerges Cardenia, a sort of accidental empress (or emperox, as they call her in the book) and her task is to save the Interdependency, while trying to navigate the political scene full of backstabbers and wannabe rulers.

“They want to preserve an existing potential alliance.”
“An alliance with terrible people.”
“Really nice people don’t usually accrue power.
“You’re saying I’m kind of an outlier,” Cardenia said.
“I don’t recall saying you were nice,” Naffa replied.

Another remarkable character is Kiva Lagos, a representative of one of the merchant houses. One of the best characters across all books I have encountered this year. She’s rude, sexy, no bullshitter, and entirely relatable. If I could be anything, I’d want to be Kiva Lagos. There… I said it.