Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Movies/TV Adapted into Books

Books adapted into movies have been making a big splash of late.  Gone Girl and Wild were two of the movies taken from bestselling books that were huge events this year and in 2015 here's a list of 38 books being made into movies including The Martian by Andy Weir and A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. Oh and a couple of small books called Fifty Shades of Gray and Insurgent.  There's nothing new about this, movies and TV have always taken inspiration from books.  Lately though I have had  thinking about something a little different - books that have taken their inspiration from movies or TV.

The books are usually a little different case than book adapted movies.  Rather than being a direct interpretation of the material (aka novelisations), they build onto or further enhance the TV show or movie they are based on.  It's essentially like sanctioned or "official" fan fiction.  I don't have enough experience with it to really say this for certain but I feel like it varies as to how much oversight and involvement there is from the TV or Movie creators.  There's some excellent non-sanctioned fan fiction out there but I do think that the involvement of the original creators make these stories closer to canon and that's comforting to me especially when they are continuations of a show that's no longer with us. 

SHOWS/MOVIES that have been adapted into or continued with books that I have read:

 1) Veronica Mars

Veronica Mars was a supremely awesome but short-lived show that ran from 2004 to 2007.  If you don't believe me about the awesome believe Joss Whedon:
"Best. Show. Ever. Seriously, I've never gotten more wrapped up in a show I wasn't making, and maybe even more than those [...] These guys know what they're doing on a level that intimidates me. It's the Harry Potter of shows."  Joss Whedon
That's right.  He compared it to Harry Potter.  It's had a resurgence recently when it raised over $2 million dollars on Kickstarter in 10 hours to fund a movie which came out in the spring of 2014 and quickly following there have been two original mystery novels written by Rob Thomas (the show's creator) and Jennifer Graham.   The second book Mr. Kiss and Tell (my review) was released yesterday and both it and the first book The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (my review) are really great continuations of the TV series and movie!

2) Avatar: The Last Airbender

This show has been adapted into Graphic novels some of which are straight adaptations and some of which are continuations of the story.  I have only read the continuations and they've been very satisfying especially since I left the last season of Avatar a little disappointed about a few things.  The comics are written by award winning writer Gene Luen Yang in partnership with the TV series creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Brian Konietzko.  The artwork is pretty seamless with the shows animation.  The three stories in the series thus far are The Promise, The Search and The Rift.

3) Firefly
This very short-lived show by Joss Whedon may be my favorite of all time and it has been continued with a series of graphic novels written by the series creator in partnership with a few others.  I've read the first in the series, Those Left Behind, which is all that my library has but I am dying to get my hands on Book 3 The Shepherd's Tale which promises to elucidate one of the biggest mysteries that was left hanging by the show and movie - Who was Shepherd Book before he joined the Serenity crew?

4) Doctor Who

Who wouldn't want more Who?  Especially to revisit the Doctors and companions who are no longer with us, sniff, sniff.  I've read one or two of the books in the Doctor Who series and they were pretty good though they haven't really stuck with me in any meaningful way like some of the show episodes have.  I would definitely like to read more when I'm in the mood for some of Number 10's silliness and to hang with Rose again.

MOVIES/SHOWS that have book series which I have not read:

5) Star Wars

There are a HUGE number of books that have been written in this universe and by some pretty great authors too.  I recently noticed a new Star Wars series called the Empire and Rebellion Series that has some very interesting authors - James S.A. Corey and Kevin Hearne and it's made me sit up and take notice.  This series of books is so huge though it seems overwhelming and I'm not clear on how involved George Lucas is with any of these.

6) Star Trek

I know nothing about these but would be willing to give them a try. Maybe.  Here's a link to the complete list and it also looks vast and overwhelming.  The good thing is there are books based on all the different series so you can indulge in whatever your poison is.  I haven't heard a lot about the quality of any of these.  

 7. Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Back to my dearly beloved Joss.  BtVS was also continued with a Graphic Novel series and I would very much like to dip into these.  First I want to do a complete rewatch of the series and then dive into the graphic novels. 

8. Angel

Again with Joss Whedon. Thank god he can't seem to say goodbye to his awesome characters.  Angel the show's ending was pretty perfect but also VERY up in the air.  It would be nice to see where things went if we'd gotten another season.  And before I go listing every Joss Whedon show ever made, there are also Dollhouse graphic novels.  

So I know I have just scratched the surface here and that this list is highly biased towards shows that I love.

Now I'd like to hear from you! I have many questions.  Are you addicted to any particular series of books based on live action entertainment? Any that you've heard are particularly good and would like to try? Any shows or movies that you wish would be continued in book form?  How do you think these creations compare with "unofficial" fan fiction? 

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