Celebrating the Unpopular Arts

Movies They Will Never Make… But Should!

In the comments section of my Star Wars Day post, reader “M-Wolverine” remarked about how amazing it is to see stories and characters on film that none of us ever believed Hollywood would touch: “…to be able to see the actual Avengers on screen together…a Civil and Infinity War… a world where Ego the Living Planet is on screen as more than an Easter Egg, and is taken seriously by the general populace; just things I couldn’t have dreamed of.” And that got me thinking about movies I could never have dreamed of. And that got me dreaming of them.

Autumn Angels cover
Because when Theodore Marley Brooks, Sydney Greenstreet, and the demon Puzuzu team up to save the world, things get weird.

The first one to come to mind is Arthur Byron Cover’s Autumn Angels. This is a weird one, all right. Published in 1975, it neatly straddles pop culture and pop psychology in a hallucinatory tale of godlike men trying to bring some humanity to a godlike human race. A brief synopsis: In a far-flung future where people have advanced to the point of being able to bend reality to their will and can remake themselves into anything they choose, the world has become both more bizarre and more banal than anyone could have imagined, because the overwhelming majority have fashioned themselves into fictional or historical figures and live in perpetual self-indulgent pointlessness. Three godlike men — “the lawyer” (a dapper man who carries a cane with a sword hidden inside), “the fat man” (yes, Sydney Greenstreet), and “the demon” (an actual scaly demon, who spends most of his time fondling his enormous but limp penis) have realized that what godlike mankind needs is depression, because depression provokes a desperate search for meaning, and the search for meaning in life brings meaning to life. In the course of  this adventure, they encounter characters who have recreated themselves as the virgin queen, the hawk man, the Platypus of Doom, the gaunt British detective, and the other fat man (the one with the witty assistant), among others. Then it gets weird. It’s possibly unfilmable (though that may no longer be true, given the brilliant work being done on Starz’s American Gods), and it’s a total nerd trap trying to identify all the literary, cinematic, comic book and historical references.

Bill the Galactic Hero cover
Just your average farmboy soldier with two right arms.

Harry Harrison is a satiric genius, and Bill, the Galactic Hero is a masterwork. At first glance, Bil (just one L, double consonants are for officers!) appears to be a naive rube of a farmboy drafted (kidnapped and shanghaied, more accurately) into a world he can’t hope to understand; before too long, we learn that he is a lot smarter than we thought, and he has an incredible ability to navigate the insanity of military life. All of the military people I know who have read Bill, the Galactic Hero swear that the inane and irrational rules, policies, and situations imposed on our hero are pretty accurate. Written during the Viet Nam war, the book straddles the line politically; it could be seen as either pro- or anti-war, depending on one’s capacity for irony. In 2014, filmmaker Alex Cox (Repo Man) made a “student film” (according to the licensing agreement, anyway) short version of Bill, which earned positive reviews, but it has not yet been adapted to a full feature.

Little Fuzzy cover
Michael Whelan’s cover art remains the definitive version of the Fuzzies.

H. Beam Piper is a writer who should by all rights be as popular as Heinlein; he created an incredible extended universe stretching across multiple galaxies and over centuries, working out the rise and fall of governments and cultures, the migration of people and colonization of planets, with storylines intersecting among multiple series. His most famous story, which begs to be filmed, is Little Fuzzy, a story that Spielberg could really dig into. It’s an adventure story with a tough old prospector, a corporate intrigue story with slimy businessmen conniving to loot a world, a courtroom drama with a murder trial, a mystery, and most of all, a story about impossibly adorable furry aliens the size of small children whose existence puts all of those other stories in motion. There’s also a little love story and some comedy mixed in there. The main reason why this book has never been filmed is complicated rights issues; Piper committed suicide in 1964, and his publisher, Avon, somehow allowed the copyright to expire in the US, but it remains protected under European law, so a movie studio wishing to film it would have to wade through a lot of paperwork, but that’s why studios have lawyers. In 2011, John Scalzi did a “reboot” of Little Fuzzy, called Fuzzy Nation, loosely following the original plot while updating the technological and societal elements that had become hopelessly dated; this book was authorized by the Piper estate, with the ancillary effect of putting the story, or at least a version of it, back under copyright, so we’re probably not going to see any knock-off versions any time soon, but now there’s at least a clear paper trail for somebody to inquire about adapting it.

Leave it to Chance cover
In the six months since I last wrote about Chance, this hardback has doubled in price on Amazon. Maybe it’s working.

I’ve previously written about James Robinson & Paul Smith’s fantastic supernatural adventure series Leave it to Chance, so I’ll just mention it here and ask once again how it’s possible that no network or studio has grabbed on to this comic, given (a) the huge popularity of the Harry Potter franchise and (b) the enormous popularity of plucky adolescent female protagonists.

Envoy to New Worlds cover
I can’t believe how many Retief stories there are.

Science fiction author Kieth Laumer found a rich vein of material in the idea of interstellar diplomacy; his loose-cannon hero, Retief, Envoy to New Worlds, successfully out-negotiated some really unpleasant species, most notably the arrogant and officious five-eyed frog-bug people known as the Groaci, despite the best efforts of the Terran Diplomatic Corps to rein him in and make him follow the rules. Reteif, whose adventures began appearing in 1960, comes off as what would happen if Han Solo were an ambassador. The stories, of which there are dozens spanning 40 years of publication, are largely based on Laumer’s experience as a vice consul in Burma (now Myanmar) in the 1950s. The stories spend about as much time skewering hidebound bureaucracy as they do taking shots at our Cold War adversaries; the Groaci are in many ways a personification of Americans’ stereotype of the Soviets.

Another Fine Myth cover
I prefer the Kelly Freas covers, but then that’s true of just about everything he ever painted.

Another no-brainer, and long overdue, is Robert Lynn Asprin’s “Myth Adventures”. There have been attempts at comedy-fantasy films in recent years, but they tend toward either parody or frat humor (Galavant and Your Highness come to mind) as opposed to just straight laugh-out-loud comedy. The first in the series, Another Fine Myth, nails it, turning the Sorcerer’s Apprentice into a buddy comedy evocative of the Hope & Crosby “Road” pictures. The books are entertaining for about the first six installments, then become increasingly formulaic; by the time Jody Lyn Nye joins in as co-author around book #12, the series starts to feel like fanfic of itself, but those first three or four books could make a pretty solid movie franchise or TV series. The premise: Skeeve, a young and seemingly not-very-bright apprentice to the great wizard Garkin, finds himself teamed up with a monstrous green scaly demon (short for “dimension traveler”) named Ahz (“no relation”) to solve Garkin’s murder. They are hampered by two facts: Skeeve doesn’t know any magic, and Ahz was stripped of his powers by the spell that brought him here; fortunately he can teach Skeeve to do the things he can’t, and together they just might get through this, if they don’t kill each other first. Later the two become partners in a magic-for-hire business. When I first started reading the books in the early ’80s, I pictured Matthew Broderick as Skeeve and Brian Dennehy as Ahz, with Michelle Pfeiffer as Tananda the trollop (a trollop is a female troll, but you knew that) and Jack Nicholson as the villain Isstvan. 35 years later, all of those have to change, but that “what if” casting ought to give you some idea of the personalities involved.

Cat's Cradle cover
Should be mandatory reading for kids at age 16.

Kurt Vonnegut’s sardonic satire of the Cold War (pun intended), Cat’s Cradle, has sort of partly been filmed; there was a TV special made for NET (National Educational Television, a precursor to PBS) in 1972 called Between Time and Timbuktu that mashed together bits from various Vonnegut stories and novels, including a few choice bits from this one. The plot of this TV production: unemployed would-be poet Stony Stevenson (a character in Sirens of Titan) wins a NASA jingle contest; first prize is to become an astronaut, so Stony finds himself being launched into space to find the chronosynclastic infundibulum, which is basically the nexus of all realities. Passing through that wormhole, Stony wanders through key scenes from Cat’s Cradle, Harrison Bergeron, and Happy Birthday, Wanda June, his meanderings punctuated by absurd commentary from TV hosts Walter Gesundheit and Bud Williams Jr., played by the brilliant comedy team of Bob & Ray. But that show only skimmed the surface of Cat’s Cradle and its hilariously fatalistic world, which takes aim at military build-up, Mutually-Assured Destruction, and the political exploitation of religion, especially self-serving religion invented precisely for the purpose. The plot: While researching for a book about the bombing of Hiroshima, the narrator becomes involved with the family of a deceased Manhattan Project researcher who inadvertently invented a different doomsday device. He finds himself on the remote island of San Lorenzo, where two men have for decades led factions in opposition; Bokonon, the old wise man in the woods, leader and founder of Bokononism, an outlawed religion that promises only comforting lies, is persecuted by his best friend, island dictator “Papa” Monzano, in an elaborate charade intended to legitimize both men’s actions. Hanging in the balance is Ice-Nine, a deadly form of water that can destroy the world.

‘American Flagg’ no. 3

Howard Chaykin’s American Flagg! is another series I’ve talked about before. Every day the present more and more resembles Chaykin’s dystopian future. A gun and sex obsessed culture? Check. Corrupt politicians selling off assets to foreign powers? Check. Manufactured conflict to drive TV ratings? Check. Media dominated by reality programming? Check. Netflix or Starz or Showtime could do this as a series, but they’d have to crank up the satire to 12 and try to be even more absurd or it will seem like a documentary.

Stainless Steel Rat cover
Because everybody loves a good anti-hero.

Harry Harrison made the list twice; before he invented Bill, the Galactic Hero, he chronicled the escapades of James Bolivar “Slippery Jim” diGriz, better known as The Stainless Steel Rat. Slippery Jim is a thief, con-man, master of disguise, criminal mastermind, burglar, liar, and all-around rascal in the far-flung future, who finds himself recruited into an elite crime-fighting organization staffed entirely by ex-criminals. In a series of books spanning centuries (with the aid of some well-executed time-travel), diGriz meets and marries Angelina, a fellow criminal who lacks his reluctance to kill, and together they raise twin sons while carrying out a wide variety of cons, scams, heists, and rackets, usually in service to the Special Corps’ anti-crime efforts.

The Boss is Crazy Too cover
Who knew a cartoonist could also be funny in text form?

Mel Lazarus was best known as the cartoonist behind classic comic strips Miss Peach and Momma, but he was also a novelist. One of his books, The Boss is Crazy, Too, takes place in the offices of a failing comic book company (modeled after Toby Press, a comics company owned by Al Capp at which Lazarus worked as a young man); art director Carson Hemple is told to help drive the company into bankruptcy. His solution is to invent ever-more-creative embezzlement schemes. Set in the early 1960s, it could be the comedic counterpoint to Mad Men.

Callahan's Crosstime Saloon cover
“You’re traveling through another dimension… where everybody knows your name.”

Finally, let’s wrap up with some optimistic humor and compassionate humanism. Spider Robinson’s Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon could best be described as “Cheers in the Twilight Zone.” Somewhere in Long Island, off Route 25-A, there is a bar that only gets found by people who need to find it. Inside, a big, burly, Irish bartender named Mike Callahan holds court over a mob of people who wandered in at the lowest point of their lives and accidentally discovered a family and the help they need to rebuild their lives. Some of them are like the narrator, Jake, whose wife and daughter were killed in a car accident that he blamed himself for; others are more like the cyborg alien sent as an advance scout who has decided he likes humans and doesn’t want to send the attack signal but his programming can’t stop it, or the talking dog, or the vampire who won’t prey on people, or the 200-year-old lady who’s tired of burying loved ones, or the alien who used to be Hitler, or any of the time travelers, but most of them find some redemption at Callahan’s, along with an endless stream of puns, pranks, and shaggy dog stories. The 11 books that make up the Callahan’s series are episodic in structure, since they are for the most part short story collections, with a couple of volumes containing some other non-Callahan entries; in any case, Callahan’s is an ideal candidate for the Netflix-HBO-Amazon treatment.

Okay, those are my picks; what are yours? There’s a comment section down there.

See you next week.




  1. Jeff Nettleton

    American Flagg was optioned back in the late 80s/early 90s; though, like a lot of comic properties optioned in that period. nothing came of it.

    Robert Mayer’s Superfolks would be good satire, especially in light of the various superhero movies we’ve gotten (especially the crap Man of Steel). The pop culture stuff would need updating (Kojak as a neighbor and coming from the planet Cronk, vulnerable to Cronkite); but, it would be workable.

    Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula and Diogenes Club novels and stories are screaming for film and/or tv treatment; so much rich material. Same is true for his Moriarty collection of stories.

    Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching has been in development; but, doesn’t seem to be in danger of reaching screens anytime soon; it should. The series is fantastic and would appeal massively to young and old, making a really good family franchise that didn’t resort to fart jokes and manipulative treacle. Also, Discworld could use big screen treatment; it’s had some animation and live action-tv love, though hampered by budget. A City Watch tv series has been in development since before Pratchett’s death.

    Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and Gray Mouser is a no-brainer; buddy action-comedy in a fantasy adventure world. Plenty of jokes, fights, and scantily clad women; it screams Hollywood.

    Paul Malmont’s Chinatown Death Cloud peril would be a good one: pulp writers Lester Dent, Walter Gibson, Robert heinlein, Louis L’Amour and L Ron Hubbard team up to solve a pul mystery, arising around the death of HP Lovecraft. Of course, the Scientology people would probably sue to block it. In the same vein, Glen David Gould’s Carter Beats the Devil would be a great one.

    From the pulp world, The Spider vs The Empire State trilogy would make a fantastic film; the hero takes on a corrupt New York government and its fascist police force.

    Strangers in Paradise would make a great HBO/Netflix series, Bone is screaming for animation (I’d prefer line animation to CGI), Hepcats would be good, if only to get Martin Wagner to finish it. I’d love to see Patty Cake as an animated series for kids and adults and Christopher Moeller’s Iron Empires screams film franchise. Of course, we want a Love & Rockets tv series.

  2. M-Wolverine

    Well, you knew I was going to have to comment on this one. 🙂 I love all the old time covers. The things you could get away with. I mean, you can do parodies of characters, but man, talk about cribbing Hawkman wholesale for that cover!

    I also like that Envoy to a New World cover with a turtle guy, a mantis guy, a fish guy, a blob guy, a plant(?) guy, and….an arab sheik.

    But you do have to go to more obscure properties to find things. I mean, we got our big budget Godzilla even after a disastrous first attempt. Anime like Ghost in the Shell got made; and maybe give hope that like Godzilla it can be made faithfully again someday…or at least they’ll learn their lessons from Akira. TV is adapting the unadaptable. Walking Dead is fairly faithfully on non-premium cable. Hannibal gets made on network TV more freaky than any of the books or movies.

    Right now the hardest thing it seems to get out there is the theatrical cuts of the original Star Wars movies in remastered HD…. 😉

    So I guess I’d go to the things that the lawyers will make impossible. Because Cloak & Dagger is going to be on TV. And the Punisher is getting another shot for them to hit what should be an underhand pitch of an adaptation. (Seriously, 50% of the movies in the 80’s were the Punisher/Mack Bolan. How can they not make a completely good Punisher movie??)

    So I’d want something like Secret Wars (the original; the good one) with all the Marvel heroes together, which we’ll most likely never get, because FOX won’t ever give the characters back. I guess again never say never, because Spider-Man, but man, something like that would be awesome, and I don’t know how many stories DC has that would work like that without gutting the whole thing completely. Secret Wars is really self-contained. Most other movies would have to be the Civil War version, practically in name only. Crisis was classic stuff too, but there’s no way to make that a movie with all those parts without hacking it to pieces.

    I guess you could add The Dark Knight Returns cartoon, re-dubbed with Kevin Conroy. Considering he’s played Batman at different ages, how they didn’t plug him in for this story of all stories, will always be a huge regret. DC has a tendency lately to do good animation and find one thing to just screw the whole thing up badly where it could be a classic. See also: weird Batgirl fetish for Killing Joke.

    But yeah, that’s not going to happen. But maybe they’ll get the live action version right…. 😀

  3. And of course, as soon as the post went live, I thought of a bunch more. Maybe I should have done 15 titles so people would mistake it for a CBR post….

    The big one I forgot is Michael Chabon’s SUMMERLAND, his first young readers work and one of the best entries in the fantasy adventure category, a refreshing alternative to the overworked “dystopian future” genre. Short version: an awkward kid who hates baseball, but his dad makes him play, ends up having to pitch in a mystical game with the fate of the universe at stake. And how do you not love a book that has both a footless bigfoot and a miniature giant?

  4. Callahan’s sounds a little like Interstate 60, which I will never stop recommending to people.

    Only a little though. The premise is: there is a highway across the US that people find only when they need it, and along this highway travels O.W. Grant (One Wish Grant) played by Gary Oldman. He helps James Marsden’s character track down the girl of his dreams (Amy Smart) and choose a path after college is done, and along the way we meet a bunch of people who have fallen afoul of O.W. Grant’s twisted sense of humor (the wishes always come with a twist.)

    They stop at a diner where a man with a black hole for a stomach bets people he can’t eat a stack of burgers, pick up a hitch-hiking woman looking for ‘the perfect lay’ who is still searching, a town of lawyers stuck in eternal bureaucracy, a town of blissed out teenagers happy to be slaves for their next hit, etc, etc.

    Bob Gale wrote it (and maybe even directed it?) and if it had been successful, had intended it to be a series where we get more ‘Tales of Interstate 60’, but of course, it never got successful, because no-one even knows about it, much less seen it. It would make a pretty good anthology type series for Netflix now, though.

    Up top, Jeff mentioned Bone, and I hear it has been optioned to Dreamworks (maybe?) where it is to be directed by Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda, The Little Prince). I would have loved to have seen it be a stop motion trilogy from Laika though. (Laika would also do a rip-roaring Mouse Guard.)

    I Hate Fairyland would be fun in animated series form, but will never be made. Target audience is way too confusing for suits to figure out. “It’s cutesy, but it’s gory…? I don’t… what? I still hate the Dark Crystal… mumblegrumble…”

    And I’d love to see a Slapstick movie, in the vein of Roger Rabbit. Never. Gonna. Happen!

    An epic, full-budget-animation version of the Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck would be great for Netflix. (It ended up with 15… 16 chapters or so? After all the add ons?)

    I’m currently reading the Dragon*Princess series by S Andrew Swann, a gender-fluidity fantasy series, (no, seriously) but that will never get made because it involves body swapping. I remember reading somewhere that the general public rarely get on board for body swapping stories (unless it’s young and old people like Freaky Friday, I guess, or comedies where the guy can’t stop touching his own boobs – yuk, hyuk.)

    I would also love to see an Amelia Rules animated series, but fear it doesn’t have the elevator pitch hook that things need these days. Being solidly good just isn’t enough.

  5. jgc

    If I won a large lottery, the first thing I’d do was buy movie rights to Roger Zelazny’s A Night in the Lonesome October. CGI is at the point where the story could be told from the viewpoint of all the animal familiars as in the novel.

    1. Slam Bradley

      I read that book with both of my younger sons every October from the time they were about 7 or 8 until they were too old to want to be read too any more. On the nights with really short days (in the book) we’d also read Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree.

      My youngest son recently told me that he wants a copy to read to his kids some day when he has them.

  6. Slam Bradley

    Relatively recently re-read Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War. I think that the sfx are finally at a point that it could be spectacular and a new generation of veterans makes it as relevant as it was when it was written in response to Vietnam.

    I know that it’s supposed to be being made, but it appears to have been in development Hell for at least a decade.

    Loved seeing Aspirin’s Myth books on here. I bought the Omnibus of the first three (or four) from the Science Fiction Book Club when I was in high school and loved them. The first book is on my kindle waiting for a re-read.

  7. People keep talking about Heinlein’s STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND as a possible movie, but screw that. The Heinlein that is begging to be a movie is HAVE SPACE SUIT WILL TRAVEL. It’s almost the SF Harry Potter.

  8. Edo Bosnar

    Some great suggestions; love the idea of an adaptation of Cat’s Cradle in particular.
    And I totally agree with Jeff about Bone (that one occurred to me as well as I was reading the original post) and a Love & Rockets TV series (that would be so awesome), as well as Canaan’s Scrooge McDuck suggestion.
    And yes, Have Space Suit, Will Travel would be friggin’ awesome.

    One character I’ve been wanting to see adapted forever, since I read the first novel in the series in 1981, is Imaro by Charles Saunders – the titular hero gets involved in all kinds of sword and sorcery adventures in a mythical ancient Africa. There’s four novels, so it could be an excellent movie franchise.
    More recently, Saunders created another character, Dossouye, a woman warrior, whose stories are also set in a fictionalized historical Africa. Again, I think this would look so cool on screen.
    And sticking with Saunders, he also wrote a pulp novel a few years ago called Damballa (published by Airship 27, the same guys who’ve published a number of stories by the Junkshop’s own Greg Hatcher). It’s set in 1930s Harlem, and the main character, Damballa, is kind of like the Shadow, except he actually has occult powers. This could be made into a great period piece film.

    Another one I’ve been wanting to see ever since I first read it, is Tanith Lee’s The Dragon Hoard, a young-adult novel that is a hilarious satire of fantasy quest stories.

    I also think Octavia Butler’s dystopian near-future novel Parable of the Sower, and its sequel, Parable of the Talents, would make a great television series.

    And finally, based on how much I enjoyed the two Guardians of the Galaxy movies, I’d love to see Jack Kirby’s Captain Victory adapted into a similar tongue-in-cheek space opera.

    1. Le Messor

      I totally agree with Jeff about Bone

      As do I… but it wasn’t until I read your comment that I noticed the juxtaposition of the name Jeff and the title Bone. 🙂

  9. Le Messor

    A lot of satire and political parody on your list, I notice. 🙂

    My pick? No contest – an Alpha Flight movie.
    One of my favourite book series is Alan Dean Foster’s Spellsinger books, which could make a good movie.

    what godlike mankind needs is depression, because depression provokes a desperate search for meaning

    … Time for the Christian in me to say that I can see how being godlike themselves might give them the illusion they don’t need God, but that meaning is found in Christ.
    Then to answer the book’s thesis with: If by that they mean serious, clinical depression? No. NO!
    Although, the premise reminds me of the TOS episode where they find the planet of immortals…

    Just your average farmboy soldier with two right arms.
    Is the cover artist wrong? Because those are two left arms on the picture.

    with Michelle Pfeiffer as Tananda the trollop (a trollop is a female troll, but you knew that) and Jack Nicholson as the villain Isstvan
    So, like Burton’s Batmans or Wolf? 🙂

    Kurt Vonnegut’s sardonic satire of the Cold War (pun intended),
    None detected?

    “You’re traveling through another dimension… where everybody knows your name.”
    Love the mash-up there!

    1. A lot of satire and political parody on your list, I notice.
      Guilty as charged. Scratch a cynic, you’ll find a battered idealist, and I think mocking is an incredibly effective political tool.

      what godlike mankind needs is depression, because depression provokes a desperate search for meaning

      … Time for the Christian in me to say that I can see how being godlike themselves might give them the illusion they don’t need God, but that meaning is found in Christ.
      Then to answer the book’s thesis with: If by that they mean serious, clinical depression? No. NO!
      Although, the premise reminds me of the TOS episode where they find the planet of immortals…

      One of the key premises of Autumn Angels is summed up in the quote from the frontispiece, “when people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.”- Eric Hoffer

      The problem is not so much that the godlike men are bored or live pointless lives that lack meaning, it’s that they lack vision; they have the ability to do whatever they want, create anything with a mere thought, and what they think to do is transform themselves into characters from old movies and comic books and live banal lives as those personae instead of becoming better versions of themselves. Given that Christianity starts with realistic self-appraisal (acknowledging one’s failures and errors), I’m not sure how one would go about convincing these godlike people that they aren’t gods and need something outside themselves. I think the protagonists here are not trying to cause depression so much as disappointment and discontent.

      Just your average farmboy soldier with two right arms.
      Is the cover artist wrong? Because those are two left arms on the picture.

      Hah! In 40 years I never noticed that. But then I have trouble with left and right.

      Kurt Vonnegut’s sardonic satire of the Cold War (pun intended),
      None detected?

      Read the book and you’ll get it. (okay, fine. SPOILER: Ice-Nine is a type of water that freezes at room temperature. A chip of it dropped into water will serve as a “seed” to “teach” the water molecules how to arrange themselves to turn into Ice-Nine. A chip dropped into a river would freeze the river, the underground springs that feed it, the oceans that it flows into, and as the rain fell it would turn into little nails of Ice-Nine pelting the dead earth. The country that owns Ice-Nine would be the most powerful country on Earth, and all the Ice-Nine on Earth is in the Presidential palace of San Lorenzo. The Cold War is really cold.)

      “You’re traveling through another dimension… where everybody knows your name.”
      Love the mash-up there!

      Thanks. It really is the most apt description of the series.

      1. Le Messor

        The problem is not so much that the godlike men are bored or live pointless lives that lack meaning, it’s that they lack vision

        Oh, yeah – that’s so true of people. Give them carte blanche, they don’t know what to do with it.


        A read-the-book pun. Okay.
        Reminds me of a short story I once read where they had a kind of ‘water’ they’d developed that turned everything it touched into itself (basically a universal solvent). It did not end well.

  10. Greg Burgas

    I would love to see Orson Scott Card’s Alvin Maker series adapted for television – I think it would work really well. Two reasons it will never get made: Card’s obvious toxicity with regards to homosexuals (which still mystifies me, given that his fiction is so humanistic and empathetic), and he’s probably not going to finish it. Still, it would make a great series.

    Edward Whittemore’s Jerusalem Quartet (about which I’m going to write soon, because I have some more time now that school’s out) would make a great series – it begins almost as a fable and becomes more bitter and cynical as it goes along, but the four books are superb and sadly out of print, so I doubt anyone would want to tackle them.

    As for Heinlein, there’s no reason why Job: A Comedy of Justice can’t be made into a movie. I haven’t read a lot of Heinlein, but I adore that book.

    1. I’d love to, but I’m not on the WB press list, so I didn’t get invited to a preview screening. I’m hoping to go see it this week, but it’s possible one of the other guys will beat me to a review. We’ll take it up in the back room.

  11. Louis Bright-Raven


    Don’t get mad, but here’s your Bill the Galactic Hero student movie, directed by Alex Cox (REPO MAN), as crowd funded by Kickstarter in 2014:


  12. Climbing onboard three years late, but wot da hell, right?

    Harry Harrison rides again with Deathworld (the first in the trilogy). Nice little moralistic sci-fi fable, a planet where the flora and fauna live in harmony, becoming dangerous only in response to violent thoughts…such as those of the new human colonists.

    H. Beam Piper rides again as well with The Cosmic Computer a.k.a. Junkyard Planet a.k.a. The Graveyard Of Dreams. In the aftermath of a galactic war, a cargo cult planet begins a quixotic search for the ultimate computer that can solve every problem (I’m convinced Douglas Adams read this before coming up with Deep Thought and the search for the meaning of life, the universe, and everything). Piper plays it straight, however, and in the end it’s the search that provides meaning and purpose.

    Alfred Bester’s The Stars My Destination (UK title: Tyger! Tyger!). What a dazzling, pyrotechnic / psychedelic novel, filled with such unique and vivid characters (and perfect for casting multi-ethnic actors across the board)! Bester’s sci-fi take on The Count Of Monte Cristo, this is arguably the greatest science fiction novel ever written (I certainly think so!).

    Samuel R. Delaney’s Nova is probably his most conventional science fiction novel insofar as it falls quite squarely in the space opera sub-genre but it’s a marvelous book.

    Jack Vance’s The Dragon Masters and The Last Castle, two novellas that while not formally set in the same universe serve as companion pieces to one another. I’d suggest doing it as a double-bill the way Death Proof and Movie! Movie! were passed off as faux double-bills.

    For that matter Roger Zelazny’s A Rose For Ecclesiastes and The Doors Of his Face, The Lamps Of His Mouth would also make a great faux double-bill, one a Bradburyesque story of human explorers encountering the dying Martian race, the other a Planet Stories-style extravaganza where Hemingwayesque sports fishermen of the future use themselves as bait to catch the sea monsters of Venus.

    Zelazny’s Roadmarks would also make a great movie, an alternate history / time travel story where time is literally a highway that can be traveled by those in the know (a wild animal park in the future finances a jet car to go back to the dinosaur era to bring back a t-rex; the trip takes them a subjective month). Doc Savage and Adolf Hitler have cameos, and Zelazny came up with the concept of notebook computers long before the actual computer industry did.

    J.G. Ballard’s short story, The Cloud Sculptors Of Coral D, and his novel Concrete Island would both make excellent films. Cloud Sculptors… would be perfect for animation of a film with extensive CGI atmospheric effects since it’s literally about sculpting clouds into huge works of art, and Concrete Island is a modern day Robinson Crusoe tale of a survivor of an auto accident, thrown clear on impact, waking up on a traffic island in the middle of a vast interchange of ultra-highspeed freeways with no way to safely navigate across them to safety.

    And I trust this doesn’t come across as snarky, but now that Harlan and Susan have passed on, maybe the Kilimanjaro Corporation could license Dangerous Visions as an anthology series…

    Finally, not really sci-fi or fantasy, more like weird crime, but A. Merritt’s Seven Footprints To Satan done right, not that gawdawful silent era travesty but the grim, terrifying crime / cult / conspiracy novel it is.

    1. Le Messor

      “Concrete Island is a modern day Robinson Crusoe tale of a survivor of an auto accident, thrown clear on impact, waking up on a traffic island in the middle of a vast interchange of ultra-highspeed freeways with no way to safely navigate across them to safety

      That could be filmable. Tom Hanks as the survivor, making friends with a tyre he finds washed up on the same traffic island…

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