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4 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Novels About to be Adapted for Film

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by Emily Farrer (subscribe)
Adelaide based aspiring freelance journalist, casual Hansard reporter for SA Parliament, keen netballer and history nerd. I blog sometimes about other non-WeekendNotes stuff at
Published March 5th 2013
Books: they're like a movie you direct in your head
Adapting books to film will always be popular, but sometimes what reads well on the page may not play out well on the big screen. Then there's the issue of length: books can afford to take you on an in-depth journey in ways that films, with time and budget constraints, simply cannot.

In 2013, there is a rather large slate of adaptations of science fiction and fantasy works set to come out. If that's your sort of thing, now is the time to get on top of what are about to be the latest film crazes by reading the books before the films debut.

The Host – Stephenie Meyer (2008)
Film release: March

There are a lot of people out there who roll their eyes at the mention of Twilight, but don't be thrown by the fact that Stephenie Meyer is the author of this science fiction romance, in which future Earth colonised by an alien race, called 'souls', that take over the bodies of human 'hosts'. In The Host, a soul named Wanderer (Wanda for short) takes possession of the body of Melanie Stryder, one of the last humans left alive. When Melanie fights back, Wanda begins to question her people's hijacking of the human race and aligns herself with a rogue band of humans to extract souls from human bodies.

World War Z – Max Brooks (2006)
Film release: June

The full title of this post-apocalyptic novel is World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, and if that doesn't make you want to go out and get a copy right now, I'm really not sure what will. WWZ is told by way of a collection of individual narratives rather than a straight-forward narrative. With its factual tone and documentary style, readers are able to experience the zombie apocalypse as if they were actually reading an historical document. A surprisingly immersive and addictive book, it will be interesting to see how the film adaptation deals with its unique structure.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones – Cassandra Clare (2007)
Film release: August

Clary Fray witnesses a murder committed by three teenagers who seem to be invisible to everyone else and then discovers her mother has been attacked and kidnapped from their New York City home. Enlisting the help of the teenagers, who are surprised that she can see them, Clary embarks on a quest to save her mother. Along the way, she delves into a mysterious world of angels and demons, and learns about the secretive race of Shadowhunters, of which her mother was a part.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins (2009)
Film release: November

Katniss Everdeen might have outsmarted the gamemakers the first time around, but in the second installment of Suzanne Collin's Hunger Games trilogy, she is out of the frying pan and into the fire. Forced back into the arena this time with a cohort of previous winners, she must once again fight for herself, her family and her district against an oppressive Capitol. This time, however, she has some allies. The movie adaptation of this enthralling book is highly anticipated, and well worth the read before you go into the cinemas.
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Why? Enhance your enjoyment of films by reading the book first
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