As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
If you’re an avid book reader like me or a film buff who spends most of their time at
the cinema, I’m sure you’ve noticed that the book is sometimes better, but it’s true that (occasionally) the movie far exceeds what you read in the book. There are fireworks and dragons and mythical swords that can save the world and you see it all in a darkened room with a bucket of popcorn and a slushie in your hand. Your imagination cannot quite perform like the CGI masters and you’re absolutely awestruck by what you see in your favourite fantasy book’s movie.
Sci-fi and fantasy books have experienced a massive surge in popularity recently. Thanks to Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and multiple other streaming services, this genre has boomed with a whole new generation being exposed to classics that have been revamped for the 21st century to brand-new books whose film rights sold before the ink was dry.
Together with these shows, sci-fi and fantasy books have also experienced a surge in sales, leading to book series like Shadow and Bone and the ever-popular Game of Thrones to once again top the best-seller lists. Books like Harry Potter, which are always popular but sometimes took a dip in sales, have once again become bedside staples thanks to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and its sequels.
Of course, there are good books that have been adapted for viewing very well, good books whose movies didn’t quite capture its magic (looking at you Half-Blood Prince!), and occasionally, books where its adaptation far surpassed the book’s quality and improved on many aspects, leading bookworms filled with awe at the magic on the silver screen.
- Journey to the Center of the Earth
We’re starting off strong with this Brendan Fraser led movie about a man taking
his nephew on a crazy ride looking for a lost family member. Even though this
Jules Verne book is an iconic classic that I view as one of the best standalone
sci-fi books, it can tend to be a bit boring. But enter the movie: an exciting,
action-packed adventure that is way better than the book.
- The Martian
We’re getting spacey here! The book can get a bit… long-winded and the
protagonist’s personality just doesn’t shine through. Thank goodness for Matt
Damon though – the actor pulled a rabbit out of a hat and really made us care
about our Friend on Mars.
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Shots fired! Yep, I think the movie is a little bit better than the book (and this is
coming from someone who regularly thanks people for all the fish). The cast is
made up of lovable celebs who deliver outstanding work and really, truly bring
this funny science fiction book to life.
- Catching Fire – The Hunger Games trilogy
One of the things I love about this trilogy is the urgency of the situation at hand
(getting chased around by murderous, competitive teens would freak me out
too!), and the way the book really brings home the fear these teenagers feel.
Catching Fire (the book) is a great read, but the movie cuts it into high gear and
you’re left breathless for a big part of it, making it an easy entry to this list.
- Jurassic Park
This sci-fi favourite book is a bit of a bore with a lot more horror than seen in
this Jeff Goldblum-led movie. It was a box office hit and paved the way for an
entire franchise to follow.
Written by Illona Luther