Science fiction is often applauded for creative ideas that allow us to explore other worlds or other versions of our own. Their powerful imagery can lead to some pretty spectacular movies as well, especially if you love good makeup and special effects. If you want to read some of the best sci-fi ever to hit the mass market, then check out this list of the 22 Best Science Fiction Books Of All Time by Cool Things Chicago. But if cinema is more your style, then make sure to rent one of these sci-fi adaptations in the near future.
Dune by Frank Herbert is the best-selling science fiction book of all time. The movie adaptation, while critics balked, has become a cult classic. It’s a fun movie set on the desert planet of Arrakis. Containing a ruling class family, hard living conditions, a profitable drug, and lots of betrayals, this exciting movie is sure to entertain. A new adaptation is set to hit the big screen within the next few years and that has a lot of sci-fi nerds very excited.
#2. Jurassic Park
This Michael Crichton adventure answered an age-old question, what would happen if humans and dinosaurs had to co-exist. Spoiler alert, it doesn’t work out all that well for the humans. Many people are talking about Jurassic Park right now, linking our premature reopening of states during a global pandemic to the reopening of Jurassic Park after the dinos ate so many tourists. The special effects were stunning for its time and it’s many children’s (and grown-up children’s) dream to see a real-life dinosaur.
This movie and all of its sequels are great explorations of man vs. nature amplified by about a million. The stake are high when you have a velociraptor hot on your trail. It also spotlights man’s desire to push the envelope in science, even as the risks get higher.
#3. The Iron Giant
Adults and children alike found this animated adaptation of Iron Giant to be profoundly moving. This story about a boy and his giant robot will melt hearts. As we delve further and further into the capabilities of artificial intelligence, this story just becomes more relevant. You can read more about AI in some of these incredible books, as listed by Digital Authority Partners.
The movie is ultimately about friendship, between two beings that are vastly different from each other and yet are far better off for having known each other. This is a great message in today’s political and historical climate. Just make sure you have your tissues ready for this one.
#4. Starship Troopers
The movie adaptation was so goofy and fun that it won hearts over even though it was super cheesy. The book, Starship Troopers, makes a lot of interesting predictions about exoskeletons used in warfare that is still talked about to this day even though the book was written in 1959. If you like to see tiny humans battling giant bugs then this is the perfect movie for you.
A new reboot is on the horizon, from the producers of the Fast & Furious movie franchise. The new movie plans to be more faithful to the original book but that doesn’t come without controversy as the original text was later deemed too favorable of fascism. We’ll see how a new generation takes to the film and the source material.
#5. The Martian
This is one adaptation that was hailed as being faithful to the original book. The story of a lone astronaut stranded on Mars that must survive for over a year is a compelling example of the strong human spirit. The book and movie are incredibly realistic and a great twist on man versus nature themes. The title role, expertly played by Matt Damon, is a study in inner strength in what ultimately is a castaway tale about survival.
#6. The Hunger Games
This wildly popular YA dystopian future book series made some pretty exciting movies full of great special effects and memorable characters. It seems to take place in a post-apocalyptic world where the survivors are grouped into “districts” that provide resources to the ultra-rich. It’s a great blend of no-tech and high-tech worlds. It explores the very real wealth distribution problem we face in America in an exaggerated way that makes you think. The movie made Jennifer Lawrence even more famous as the beloved hero Katnis Everdeen.
#7. Ready Player One
This is a more modern sci-fi tale, written in 2011. It contains a lot of pop culture references, especially from the 80s. In a dystopian future people are super poor and like to distract themselves by being a virtual reality version of themselves in a world with unlimited possibilities where they can play games and earn real-world prizes. It’s not surprising that this movie resulted in an effects-heavy movie adaptation that was loved by kids and adults alike.
#8. Do Android Dream Of Electric Sheep / Blade Runner
The book with an ultra-weird title was about what happens when humans become almost extinct and have to live off-world. They use AI and robotics to build very lifelike androids which become illegal on Earth. A bounty hunter is charged with hunting them down. The movie adaptation is one of the best science fiction movies ever made, starring Harrison Ford in the title role. The dystopian future takes place in 2019, which we have of course surpassed. This BBC article talks about what Blade Runner got right and wrong about the future. One thing they got right was how much big corporations influence our daily lives, living under a police state, and some of the detrimental effects humans had on the environment.
There are some great science fiction movies coming our way in the next five years, including Tenet, The Tomorrow War, and a new Dune movie. Check out this list of the latest in science fiction and fantasy books by the New York Times.