If ‘Game of Thrones’ worked, how about these?
With eight Primetime Emmys and a warehouse full of trophies from other awards, “Game of Thrones” has proven that the public will devour a fantasy series even if plots are woven like a Persian rug, characters run far into double digits and storylines can take years to resolve.
Seeing dollar signs from “Thrones,” based on the multi-book series by George R. R. Martin, Hollywood is driving hard to the net on adaptations of other book series, be they fantasy or horror or science fiction. “The Dark Tower,” a seven- book epic by Stephen King, is being made into a film and maybe a TV series (or not), although the movie picks up where the last book ends instead of trying to film the original vast, sprawling narrative.
So in the spirit of always trying to help, here are a few suggestions for other multibook series that Hollywood should examine.
› The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. Sixteen books and counting. In 2007, SyFy aired this as a series — and proceeded to screw it up to a degree that only occurs when lobotomized people are in charge. It lasted one season. But it deserves a second chance. Hands down the best offering in the genre of urban fantasy, it centers on a private investigator who’s also a wizard. Intricate plotting, a terrific main character, humor and a carefully crafted world — what more do you want?
› Repairman Jac k by F. Paul Wilson. Sixteen books. Jack assists people who need beyond- the- law help, so he stays off- the- grid, getting his cash and laying low. But he’s a sucker for decent folks getting the shaft, which pulls him into a conspiracy that’s not only worldwide but universe wide.
› The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen Donaldson. Ten books. In these days of anti-heroes, this series might work. The title character is not a very pleasant person, self-involved to the point of isolation (he’s a leper in remission) and cranky as hell. Thrust into an alternate world where he’s seen as the potential savior, he doesn’t want the job — at all. A trilogy and a tetralogy follow the first trilogy.
› The Clockwork Century by Cherie Priest. Seven books. Priest, who lives in Chattanooga, creates a steampunk world around a Civil War that’s lasted for about 20 years and is filled with zombies, ghosts, secret agents, detectives, wildly imaginative machines and plots that race along. What’s not to like?