The Best Science Fiction Books That Became Films

Escape to a host of strange planets, space-based sagas and dystopian worlds in these thrilling science fiction books, all of which are so good, they've been adapted into films. Whether or not you've seen those films, we reckon these top sci-fi books they're based on are guaranteed to be better! So, if you love science fiction stories make sure you give these books a read before you see the films so you don't miss a thing. See below for the best science fiction books that became films.

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1. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Philip K. Dick

The inspiration for the blockbusting 1982 film, Blade Runner, this chilling tale is set in the eerie world of Los Angeles, 2019. 'Replicants' - human-looking robots formed from organic material - have been created to take the jobs that humans don't want. Four of them are now on the run. Former replicant hunter Rick Deckard is forced to resume his old job. But when he is instructed to hunt down Rachael - the replicant girl he has fallen in love with - he will have to decide whether or not to kill the one he loves: the girl he knows is actually a bioengineered being... Both thrilling and profound, this book questions our concept of humanity and what it is to love someone.

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2. 2001: A Space Odyssey

Arthur C. Clarke

Written at the same time as the screenplay for the 1968 film, this book comes from a true genius of the science fiction genre. Brilliant, compulsive and prophetic, the book tackles the enduring theme of man's place in the universe. On the moon, an enigma is discovered. So great are the implications that, for the first time, men are sent out deep into the solar system. But before they can reach their destination, things start to go wrong - terribly wrong...

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3. A Clockwork Orange

Anthony Burgess

Discover the engrossing dystopian novel that inspired the 1971 film. In a nightmarish vision of youth in revolt, 15-year-old Alex and his friends embark on a diabolical rampage of robbery, assault, torture and murder. Alex is jailed for his teenage delinquency and the State attempts to reform him - but at what cost? Social prophecy, black comedy and a study of free will, this book is also a dazzling experiment in language, as Burgess creates a brand new argot: nadsat, the teenage slang of the not-too-distant future.

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4. The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins

The first in the ground-breaking Hunger Games trilogy, this captivating novel follows feisty 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen. The post-apocalyptic nation of Panem consists of twelve 'districts', most of them oppressed and miserable places - especially compared to the opulent, shimmering Capitol. But Katniss from District 12 has the chance to change everything once she ends up participating in the brutal 'Hunger Games', a televised fight to the death between a group of teenagers. Featuring adrenaline-pumping action, turbulent romances and a gritty atmosphere, immerse yourself in this white-knuckle novel, which inspired four blockbusting films.

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5. The Martian

Andy Weir

This nail-biting sci-fi thriller inspired the highly-acclaimed 2015 film. It stars Mark Watney, an astronaut who finds himself stranded on Mars. He has no way of communicating with Earth. He's in a Habitat designed to last 31 days. If the Oxygenator breaks down, he'll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, he'll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, he'll explode. And if none of these terrible fates claim him, he'll eventually run out of food and starve to death. Somehow, Mark Watney must find a way to survive in this compelling and beautifully-written novel.

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6. The Time Machine

H. G. Wells

H. G. Wells's science fiction classic follows a scientist known as the Time Traveller, who invents a time machine and travels to the year 802,701 AD. There, he encounters a society of elegant but frail people called the Eloi, rescues an Eloi woman named Weena and must fight to get his time machine back from the aggressive, ape-like Morlocks - who feed on the Eloi... Discover the breath-taking book that inspired the 2002 film.

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7. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams

One Thursday lunchtime, the Earth gets demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass. It's the final straw for Arthur Dent, who already had his house bulldozed that same morning. But for Arthur, this is only the beginning. Seconds before global obliteration, Arthur is plucked from the planet by his friend, Ford Prefect, and together, the pair must venture out across the galaxy on the wackiest, weirdest road trip ever. This fantastically funny and futuristic story cannot be missed by sci-fi fans and inspired the 2005 film starring Martin Freeman and Zooey Deschanel.

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8. The Handmaid's Tale

Margaret Atwood

In the dystopian Republic of Gilead, Offred is forced to be a Handmaid, a woman with only one function: to breed. If she dares to challenge this position, she - like other dissenters - will be hanged at the wall or sent out to die, slowly and painfully, of radiation sickness. Offred remembers all that has been taken away from her: love, family, access to the news. But even a tyrannical state cannot obliterate desire - neither Offred's nor that of the two men upon which her future depends... Discover this ground-breaking book, its 1990 film adaptation and its 2017 TV adaptation.

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9. Ender's Game

Orson Scott Card

An alien menace threatens the human race with annihilation. If humanity is to be defended, the government must create the greatest military commander in history. The brilliant young Ender Wiggin is their last hope. But first, he must survive the rigours of a brutal military training program to prove that he can be the leader of all leaders. Through whatever means necessary, a saviour for mankind must be produced. But will they create a hero - or a monster? This ground-breaking tale of war, strategy and survival is the adrenaline-fuelled adventure that inspired the blockbusting 2013 film.

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10. 1984

George Orwell

This chillingly prophetic book was released in 1949, imagining a world 35 years in the future. In London, Big Brother stares out from every poster, and the intimidating Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal. Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth, but when he finds love with Julia, he discovers that life needn't be tedious, but rich and exciting. Winston and Julia start to question the Party and are increasingly drawn towards conspiracy theories. But Big Brother will not tolerate dissent - not even in the mind. This unsettling vision of a future dystopian society, ruled with an iron fist by a totalitarian government, will shock and move its readers, and inspired the film (aptly released in 1984) starring John Hurt and Richard Burton.

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Need more sensational sci-fi stories? Check out our full range of science fiction books and novels.

  • The Hunger Games Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9781407130361 - Suzanne Collins
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    Suzanne Collins' bestselling YA book series, The Hunger Games trilogy, transports readers to a dystopian future run by the evil President Snow, where children are forced to take part in a deadly game to win favour for themselves and their village.

    When Katniss Everdeen becomes a contestant, she is convinced she won't return, but as she enters the life-or-death world of the televised game, she finds she's stronger than she thought... Will the odds be ever in her favour? She'll need the help of fellow contestant Peeta Mellark, previous winner Haymitch Abernathy and other rebels to help overthrow the sinister government.

    Totally unputdownable, the Hunger Games books - The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay - are a must for any bookshelf and they will surely generate discussion around the world we live in today. The Hollywood films - starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Woody Harrelson - have gained the trilogy a legion of dedicated fans and now is the perfect time to immerse yourself in the life-or-death adventures found in The Hunger Games books.
  • ADGET
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    The human race faces annihilation. An alien menace is hovering on the horizon, ready to strike. And if humanity is to be defended, the government must create the greatest military commander in history. The brilliant young Ender Wiggin is their last hope. But first he must survive the rigours of a brutal military training program - to prove that he can be the leader of all leaders. A saviour for mankind must be produced, through whatever means possible. But will they create a hero or a monster? This is the multiple award-winning classic ENDER'S GAME - a groundbreaking tale of war, strategy and survival.
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    The television adaptation of Margaret Atwood's modern classic The Handmaid's Tale has turned heads and earned so many awards, not least for Elisabeth Moss' stunning performance in the lead role as Offred. Now is the ideal time to read the novel that inspired the series...

    Offred finds herself a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, a religious totalitarian site in what was the United States. She has been placed in the household of Commander Fred Waterford and has one function - to breed.

    If she refuses to do this horrific and degrading act, Offred will be hanged. But even this repressive and hideous state cannot eradicate hope... Offred remembers how life was before as she tries to find a way out.
  • AADNT
    George Orwell
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    A famous novel that covers many questions that are still relevant today, it is easy to see why George Orwell's 1984 has been applauded and acclaimed by so many. Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth in London, where Big Brother stares out from every poster and the Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal. When he finds love with Julia, he discovers life does not have to be dull and mundane, and opens up to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party and are drawn towards conspiracy theories. But Big Brother will not tolerate dissent, even in the mind. A terrifying vision of a totalitarian future in which everything and everyone is slave to a tyrannical regime. This is a classic story that just has to be read!

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    World War Terminus had left the Earth devastated. Through its ruins, bounty hunter Rick Deckard stalked, in search of the renegade replicants who were his prey. When he wasn't 'retiring' them with his laser weapon, he dreamed of owning a live animal -- the ultimate status symbol in a world all but bereft of animal life. Then Rick got his chance: the assignment to kill six Nexus-6 targets, for a huge reward. But in Deckard's world things were never that simple, and his assignment quickly turned into a nightmare kaleidoscope of subterfuge and deceit -- and the threat of death for the hunter rather than the hunted ...
  • AAEAA
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    When a Victorian scientist propels himself into the year 802,701 AD, he is initially delighted to find that suffering has been replaced by beauty, contentment and peace. Entranced at first by the Eloi, an elfin species descended from man, he soon realises that this beautiful people are simply remnants of a once-great culture now weak and childishly afraid of the dark. They have every reason to be afraid: in deep tunnels beneath their paradise lurks another race descended from humanity the sinister Morlocks. And when the scientist's time machine vanishes, it becomes clear he must search these tunnels, if he is ever to return to his own era.
  • ABJBZ
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    'What we were after was lashings of ultraviolence'. In this nightmare vision of youth in revolt, fifteen-year-old Alex and his friends set out on a diabolical orgy of robbery, rape, torture and murder. Alex is jailed for his teenage delinquency and the State tries to reform him - but at what cost? Social prophecy? Black comedy? Study of freewill? "A Clockwork Orange" is all of these. It is also a dazzling experiment in language, as Burgess creates a new language - 'nadsat', the teenage slang of a not-too-distant future.
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    A Sunday Times bestseller, Andy Weir's nail-biting thriller The Martian is a 21st century Robinson Crusoe story - told from Mars.

    He's stranded on Mars. He has no way of communicating with Earth. He's in a Habitat designed to last 31 days. If the Oxygenator breaks down, he'll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, he'll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, he'll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, he'll eventually run out of food and starve to death.

    Gravity meets Robinson Crusoe with a touch of Duncan Jones' Moon, The Martian by Andy Weir is endlessly gripping, thoroughly compelling a touch terrifying and beautifully written.

    Andy Weir's The Martian has been chosen as a World Book Night book for 2015.
  • ALLTZ
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    Arthur C. Clarke has been the presiding genius of science fiction for almost fifty years. His works include the ground-breaking and profound CHILDHOOD'S END, RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA and EXPEDITION TO EARTH. Written when landing on the moon was still a dream, made into one of the most influential films of our century, brilliant, compulsive, prophetic, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY tackles the enduring theme of man's place in the universe. On the moon an enigma is uncovered. So great are the implications that, for the first time, men are sent out deep into the solar system. But, before they can reach their destination, things begin to go wrong, horribly wrong...Look out for more information on this book and others on the Orbit website at www.orbitbooks.co.uk
  • AUMRZ
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    One Thursday lunchtime, the Earth gets unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass. It's the final straw for Arthur Dent, who has already had his house bulldozed that morning. But for Arthur, that is only the beginning ...In the seconds before global obliteration, Arthur is plucked from the planet by his friend Ford Prefect - and together the pair venture out across the galaxy on the craziest, strangest road trip of all time.