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Thursday 13 #2

For this week’s Thursday Thirteen I offer you Thirteen SciFi/Fantasy Books that have been filmed. I’m always interested in books that are making the transition to film, so if you encounter any information on the topic, please let me know.

I have linked the title of the book to the listing for the film on the IMDB. (In some cases I had to chose one version of a film to link to when there have been multiples.) I also linked to the book and/or film if it is in the Alameda County Library system so that you may place a hold on the item if you want to. The opinions of the films and books that are included in this list are my own snarky opinions and not the official stance of the Fremont Libraries. Just so you know.

1. Dune – Frank Herbert (This book has been filmed a couple of times. I still haven’t seen the new mini-series that the Sci Fi Channel put out, but the one with Kyle MacLachlan had several different versions. A couple of those versions are a bit…gross, actually. This is the only book of the series that I have read. [The Book, The Film, The Miniseries]

2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams (Douglas Adams provided the world with a number of different versions of this story. Reportedly, he liked to change it a little each time he gave us a new version. There have been a book, radio series, mini-series, and a film. I’m sure that I’m missing an iteration in there somewhere. This is not a mere work of literature. It has become a cultural phenomenon. Do you know where your towel is?) [The Book, The Mini-Series, The Film]

3. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick (The film version of this book is better know as Blade Runner. I love the film, but I haven’t read the book yet. The film contains my favorite film quote ever. “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe…”) [The Book, The Film]

4. Contact – Carl Sagan (Why haven’t I read this book yet? I loved the film, and I used to obsessively watch Cosmos as a kid. Hmm… Perhaps this is another of those mysteries of life.) [The Book, The Film]

5. Stardust – Neil Gaiman (I loved this film, and not just a little bit. De Niro’s performance was priceless. As is usually the case, the book and the film are a wee bit different from each other. I have a friend who likes the film better than the book.) [The Book, The Film]

6. K-Pax – Gene Brewer (I don’t have too much to say about this one, except that Kevin Spacey did a good job in the film.) [The Book, The Film]

7. The People: No Different Flesh – Zenna Henderson (The People appeared as a TV film back in 1972. It isn’t available in either DVD or VHS, sadly. To see this one you’ll have to set your Tivo or monitor the late night movies. That’s what I did anyway. The film was okay, but Zenna Henderson’s books are fabulous. I own the compilation of her stories about “The People” called Ingathering. I need to go back and re-read it now.) [The Book]

8. A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula K. LeGuin (This book is the first in a series of excellent books. Well, I’m not that fond of Tehanu, but still… The film was a bit regretable and sort of combined the first two books in the series. If you have a choice between the two, read the book.) [The Book]

9. The Golden Compass – Philip Pullman (The book has been out for a while, and the film has not yet arrived on DVD. I haven’t yet seen the film, but the trailers were breathtaking effects-wise. Both the book and its film are controversial. Kinda makes you want to see the film/read the book when you hear that, doesn’t it?) [The Book]

10. Wyrd Sisters – Terry Pratchett (Strangely, my library has the filmed version of this, but not the book. This film first appeared on British television back in 1997. Hey, it has Christopher Lee as the voice of Death. How can you go wrong with that?) [The Film]

11. 2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke (“I’m sorry Dave. I can’t do that.” Actually, what I remember best about the film is the bone flying up into the air and becoming a space ship. Yes. I haven’t seen it for about 18 years. I should probably see it again one of these days. I’m also amused that it is now 2008, and we still don’t have quite that level of space travel.) [The Book, The Film]

12. The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkien (I loved both the book and the film on this one. I’m completely biased. No point in arguing about it. I have two copies of the book, and both versions of the film.) [The Book, The Animated Film, The Film]

13. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling (This is my favorite of the Harry Potter books. As near as I can figure, it’s due to the change of pace that this book represents. All of the others are Harry vs. Voldemort in one form or other. This one is different. Well, that and I like Sirius Black. I wish that the film could have been a bit longer. It felt rushed. Not as much as the next one did, but there you are.) [The Book, The Film]

Do you have a favorite SciFi/Fantasy Book that has been made into a film?

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Do you like libraries? (Well, I’d hope so if you’re reading this, but anyway…)
Would you like to know what it’s like to work there in an amusing format?

Really?
Well, then you may enjoy Unshelved, a daily comic strip about life working in a library.

Sundays are reserved for book talks. Seriously! Check out the one for Airborn by Kenneth Oppel or A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin.

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