Best Book-Based Sci-Fi TV Shows

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TV adaptations of popular book series aren’t new, but many people are often unaware that their favorite shows started out as novels or comic book series. So we’ve put together our list of the best book-based sci-fi TV shows to help you uncover the inspirations behind your favorite sci-fi shows.

While your imagination and creativity can transport you to new dimensions by absorbing words from a new book, it’s always exciting when a team of TV experts turn those dreams into reality. There is something very special about sci-fi novels turning into TV shows because the author’s vision is so out of this world that our imaginations run wild with what they imagine and what it would look like visually.

Alas, sometimes we can be disappointed when a show doesn’t look like what you might have imagined, or a book doesn’t read the same once you’ve seen it on screen, giving faces to characters and details to places that do not match your versions / visions. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the best book-based sci-fi TV shows available to purchase and watch on various streaming platforms right now.

From iconic novels taking us across the universe to incredible graphic novel series creating incredible superheroes, this list has something for everyone in the sci-fi world. If you like this guide, why not check out our lists of best space movies and best space horror movies indulge more in this sci-fi goodness?

1. Scope

The Scope_Amazon Studios

(Image credit: Amazon Studios)
  • Release date: November 23, 2015
  • To throw: Wes Chatham, Dominique Tipper and Steven Strait
  • Seasons: Six

The Expanse is a science fiction novel series by James SA Corey that envisions a future in space where humans live among the solar system, with Mars becoming its own military base. James SA Corey is actually the pen name of the two screenwriters who aired the series on television, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. As The Expanse wraps up on Amazon after the upcoming sixth season, it is hoped that it will be released elsewhere with the next book in the series, Leviathan Falls, which has yet to be released.


2. Brave New World

Brave New World © TM and © 2019 Peacock TV LLC.

(Image credit: TM and Peacock TV LLC.)
  • Release date: July 15, 2020
  • To throw: Alden Ehrenreich, Jessica Brown Findlay and Harry Lloyd
  • Seasons: A

Based on Aldous Huxley’s famous dystopian novel from 1932, it’s a surprise that it took so long for him to get a TV series adaptation. The plot centers on a utopian society that has, at first glance, achieved peace and stability by introducing the ban on privacy, money, family, history, and monogamy. .. until the rebellion strikes. Getting one of the world’s most iconic sci-fi books from the page to the screen was a bold move. Unfortunately, while the Brave New World TV series had impressive reach, it was canceled by NBC after just one season. However, that might not mean the end of this Brave New World, as it might head to the pastures again.


3. The company

The company_Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)
  • Release date: May 10, 2019
  • To throw: Kathryn Newton, Gideon Adlon and Sean Berdy
  • Seasons: A

The concept of the Society is fascinating. Not exactly a straightforward adaptation, The Society is more of a modern take on William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Cut off from the rest of the world by an inexplicable magic of the sci-fi space-time continuum, a group of teenagers must learn to survive with each other on whom to rely. Much like Lord of the Flies, there are power struggles, attempts to restore order and alliances formed between the people of this new society. While it left viewers divided, the TV show strikes an interesting balance between YA drama and the supernatural. We have to warn you that the first season ends with a huge cliffhanger, no season two in sight yet.


4. Altered carbon

Altered Carbon_Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)
  • Release date: February 2, 2018
  • To throw: Chris Conner, Renée Elise Goldsberry and Dichen Lachman
  • Seasons: Of them

Altered Carbon is a Netflix Original based on the Takeshi Kovacs book series by science fiction writer Richard K. Morgan. Inspired by other science fiction greats such as Doctor Who, Space: 1999, and William Gibson’s short stories, Altered Carbon explores a world where death is no longer permanent. It is thanks to new technologies that digitize and store one’s consciousness, which allow human bodies to be interchangeable. An imprisoned elite soldier, Takeshi Kovacs, is brought back to life to solve a murder and in return is offered the chance to be freed. You’ll notice a pattern in this list of book-based sci-fi TV shows that unfortunately have a few canceled shows in the lineup, and Altered Carbon is no exception. While Altered Carbon has known its fate during the pandemic, author Richard K. Morgan has not ruled out a fourth book in the series.


5. The only one

The One_Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)
  • Release date: March 12, 2021
  • To throw: Hannah Ware, Dimitri Leonidas and Diarmaid Murtagh
  • Seasons: A

The One is based on the novel of the same name by John Marrs and came to life on Netflix in 2021. The premise is that a company is discovering the science behind pairing couples into perfect couples based on their DNA. Set in London in the not-so-distant future, not everything is what it seems when a body is discovered in the Thames, turning this sci-fi show into a thriller. It’s not yet clear if there will be a second season, without a go-ahead from Netflix, but the premise itself is gripping and explores paths that are disturbingly close to the way we already live in modern society.


6. The war of the worlds

War of the Worlds_AGC Television

(Image credit: AGC Television)
  • Release date: February 16, 2020
  • To throw: Léa Drucker, Gabriel Byrne and Daisy Edgar-Jones
  • Seasons: Of them

Based on the famous book by HG Wells, War of the Worlds explores the fragility of humanity as astronomers pick up a transmission from another galaxy and address the age-old question “is there anyone there?” -low ? War of the Worlds explores what happens when Earth is wiped out by something from another world, and how humanity must fight for survival against the aliens who have come to destroy them. This dystopian TV series takes sci-fi by the horns, preying on the existence of alien life – this screen adaptation of The War of the Worlds truly breathes new life into a 19th century classic!


7. Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones_Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)
  • Release date: November 20, 2015
  • To throw: Krysten Ritter, Rachael Taylor and Eka Darville
  • Seasons: Three

American comic book series turned Netflix Originals series, former superhero Jessica Jones is a private investigator, hiding her superpowers due to a tragic incident in her past. Her nemesis, Kilgrave, led her to a dark place that caused her to retire from her superhero days, and now she is channeling her powers undercover to help others. This epic show has so many layers, you’ll find yourself not only caught up in the cases Jessica Jones deals with, but the character herself as she explores and tackles her own internal struggles, from weird romantic relationships to even family relationships. stranger.


8. The man of the high castle

The Man from the High Castle_Amazon Studios

(Image credit: Amazon Studios)
  • Release date: Jan. 15, 2015
  • To throw: Alexa Davalos, Luke Kleintank and Rufus Sewell
  • Seasons: Four

Prolific science fiction writer Philip K. Dick is the author of the book turned television series, The Man in the High Castle. A world with an alternate history where the Axis Powers won WWII, which ultimately led to the United States splitting into three sections – one ruled by Japan, one by the Nazis, and one taken area between. While viewers were enthralled by this dystopian take on reality, the following seasons weren’t so popular and the series ended after four seasons.


9. Roswell

Roswell High_20th Century Fox

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)
  • Release date: October 6, 1999
  • To throw: Shiri Appleby, Jason Behr and Katherine Heigl
  • Seasons: Three

Melinda Metz’s iconic Roswell High book series tells the sci-fi story of teenage aliens and their human friends attending Ulysses F. Roswell High in Roswell, New Mexico. And in 1999, it was groundbreaking television when it aired on television for three seasons. There’s all the usual high school drama, from teenage romance to friendship struggles, with an alien sci-fi twist. While it might seem a bit dated now, Roswell was picked up by Apple TV a decade later with Roswell, New Mexico also getting a spot on this list of book-based sci-fi TV shows.


10. The punisher

The Punisher_Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)
  • Release date: November 17, 2017
  • To throw: Jon Bernthal, Amber Rose Revah and Ben Barnes
  • Seasons: Of them

We can thank Marvel Comics for this Netflix TV show. The Punisher is Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal), an ex-Marine turned vigilante, with an unwavering mission to avenge the deaths of his wife and child, by any means necessary. This usually results in the violent elimination of bad guys from the New York underworld.

This is Marvel at its best: supporting anti-hero, brutal fight scenes, and plenty of brooding moments. It’s almost hard to believe this one hasn’t been renewed after two seasons, and we imagine The Punisher wouldn’t be too happy either. We’re probably stretching the definition of sci-fi to its limits here, but the Marvel Universe runs deep in sci-fi, even if Frank Castle generally sticks to the gritty belly of New York City.


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