Time to decide: What’s the best movie adapted from a science fiction novel?


Last week we started a poll asking you to submit your votes for the best movie adapted from a science fiction novel.

Hundreds of you voted on over 50 movies that were submitted to the debate.

Today, we've parred the list down to 11 (to account for the 2 that tied for 10th place in the first round of voting) as determined by the majority of you*, and now we want to find out who comes out on top. Register your vote below, and duke it out in the comments.

Weigh in on the poll below (feel free to add your own suggestions) and then duke it out in the comments!

*The results were decided by you based on votes tallied up between our Facebook group and on our blog.

What's the best movie adapted from a science fiction novel?
25 replies
  1. Michael Blackwood
    Michael Blackwood says:

    I would love to see a poll of the worst Sci-fi movie made from an excellent book. I think my nomination would be Starship Trooper. While the book was considered legitimate literature by many when it was published the movie was mediocre eye-candy. Battlefield Earth would not be considered because both film and movie would have been laughable had they not been so long. The movie was at least a four-napper bordering on coma-inducing while the book was stream-of-unconsciousness.

  2. Zona Price
    Zona Price says:

    The original “The Day the Earth Stood Still” with Michael Rennie. I’m an old lady now but I still remember this from my much younger years (cost a whopping $0.25 to see). I watched remake and, frankly, it was a waste of film.

  3. LadyD
    LadyD says:

    Although several of the books listed here are excellent, none of the movies was worth the cost of the film. And I’m not including the other expenses… just the actual film used to record them. 95% of the time, the book is better than the movie; a small fraction of that remaining 5% of the time, the movie is as good as the book, but rarely or never better.

    • Ernie_S
      Ernie_S says:

      The movie not being comparable to the book is very common so I ignore that and just consider the film version as stand-alone selection.

  4. Helen Picone
    Helen Picone says:

    Nobody likes Arnie anymore? Where is Total Recall, Terminator, or Predator
    Personally I would have picked Alien over the rest. Cannot believe it isn’t there.

    • Iain
      Iain says:

      Movie based on a novel, remember? Terminator is based – loosely, and subject to legal proceedings – on short stories used in old SciFi series, but novel? No. Predator? I think you’ve misread the question.

  5. Maria Korsman
    Maria Korsman says:

    I just want to clarify… the original tv series(british) hitchhikers guide to the galaxy was awesome…. the movie(american) … not so much, I wasn’t sure if the tv series was included so voted for blade runner 🙂 also agree with Zona, the original The day the earth stood still was great, was it based on a book?

    • Kris
      Kris says:

      Sooo glad I’m not the only one that feels that way!!
      Americans should leave certain British stuff alone..

  6. Charles
    Charles says:

    I agree with the original “The Day the Earth Stood Still” with Michael Rennie.
    I voted for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, but the remake wasn’t a patch on the original movie of the BBC TV series . (but I still love the audio radio version)

    • Des Auer
      Des Auer says:

      Overblown, too long, but I felt that the actors were perfect and only wished that Dune was given the credit it deserved…. almost as unfilmable as Lord of the Rings… BUT damn, I wish a blu-ray transfer with subtitles and the FULL movie (ie about 4 hours) was available…

  7. Rob Kay
    Rob Kay says:

    2001, despite being the best of these films by a country mile, shouldn’t even be on the list, as the Sentinel is a short story, not a novel.

  8. Wil
    Wil says:

    You have Dune on the list. The movie was …I mean Patrick Stewart played Gurney and led Atredies troops into battle carrying a pug. The mini series is great because it took the time to flesh out the complex politics.

    Dune should have been replaced with the 1950s classic Them. It was scary and the final battle under Los Angeles was haunting.

  9. Iain
    Iain says:

    Blade Runner is and always will be the best movie adaptation of a novel – albeit it is adapted from only a section of DADoES. As proof, I’d offer that upon finding no discussion group available to discuss the art, design, issues and underlying influences & messages in the movie, I started my own, on Facebook. Within a matter of 3 months I had to change the name from UK to “Worldwide Fan Group” as so many people applied to join. We now had thousands of members, each diehard fans who, while they love and respect many other classics, such as 2001, STILL find new issues to raise and discuss and interpret, more than 35 years on from the movie’s release (and in the year in which it was set – oh, for one of those spinners….!!).

    It is a sublime, seminal, multi-layered Classic (capital C) which holds many messages, none more important than the issue of what makes us human, what is the soul and are we not all the same beneath the skin? Philip K Dick is the world’s most filmed SciFi author (more movies from his work in this genre, than any other writer, by far) and deservedly so. This drug-fuelled paranoid was the perfect prophet for our crazy modern technological age. No more so than in DADoES, which gave birth (painfully, as Hampton Fancher would attest) to “Blade Runner”, the greatest science fiction movie of all time and the best adaptation of a piece of writing to the movie screen. Sheer unmitigated, never to be repeated genius, in every aspect – design, sfx, cinematography, writing, acting and overall direction by a crazed perfectionist genius who created an entire dystopian dysfunctional world, of our dreams & nightmares.

    A wonder, among wonders.

    • Kevin Miller
      Kevin Miller says:

      I cant even believe this is a discussion. Bladerunner is in the running for best movie I have ever seen, much less best sci fi movie adapted from a book. Directed by a master, this film won multiple awards for cinemetography, music, lighting etc. Dune? How high are you?

  10. Gary
    Gary says:

    I voted for Bladerunner, but I still think Interview with the Vampire was the best movie adaptation, even if Tom Cruise didn’t fit the image of Lestat. The story itself was almost spot on from the book, only leaving out some time they spent in Europe. Too bad the second movie was such a train wreck, I’d have loved to see The Vampire Lestat done correctly as a movie.

  11. Ian Cannon
    Ian Cannon says:

    An impossible question to answer, but therein lies the fiction in “science fiction.” Yeah, had to go with Contact for its cinematic treatment of the novel. Incredible in both forms, but damn! Just spectacular. Yeah, yeah, I hear the “But Blade Runner …” and “But 2001 …” groans already. And I agree. But like I said, an impossible question to answer. Good stuff boyos and goils!


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