39 voters

The Best Sci-Fi Shows Based On Books

Updated March 12, 2021 224 votes 39 voters 1.3k views16 items

List RulesVote up the best TV series based on science fiction novels or short stories. No comic book adaptations.

The best science fiction series based on books have a big hurdle to overcome: the fans. When other worlds have been living in full color in readers' heads for years, it can be hard to compete as a TV show. Even so, the best sci-fi shows based on books do more than just win over the biggest fans, they bring more folks to the fold who may never have even heard of the books before. Such is the power of the best sci-fi adaptations.

Some of the most popular science fiction shows adapted from books are based on book series, such as The 100, Wayward Pines, and both adaptations of the Roswell High book series. Altered Carbon and The Expanse are also both based on book series, but Altered Carbon mixes themes from all three Takeshi Kovacs novels while The Expanse more tightly weaves itself to the written inspiration by naming the final episode of each season after one of the books. The faithfulness of the adaptation to the original text may vary for each series but each one of these shows was born from a book.

Which of these shows based on sci-fi books is the best? Vote up the best science fiction shows below - whether because they nailed the adaptation or because they were top-notch, quality programming in their own right.

  • Photo: CBS

    Based on the 2009 Stephen King novel of the same name.

    Under the Dome (CBS, 2013) is an American science-fiction drama television series developed by Brian K. Vaughan, and based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. When an invisible and mysterious force field cuts off a small town from the rest of society, those trapped inside learn to discover its purpose and are forced to adapt....  more
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    • Based on the 1962 Philip K. Dick novel of the same name.

      The Man in the High Castle (Amazon Video, 2015) is an American dystopian alternative history television series created by Frank Spotnitz, based on the novel by Philip K. Dick. In an alternative version of 1962 America where the Axis powers have won WWII, several characters stumble upon propaganda films that show a vastly different history....  more
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      • Photo: Castle Rock / Hulu

        Based on characters and settings from the stories of Stephen King.

        Castle Rock (Hulu, 2018) is an American psychological horror web television series created by J. J. Abrams. Based on the stories of Stephen King, the series intertwines characters and themes from the fictional town of Castle Rock....  more
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        • Photo: The Society / Netflix

          Based loosely on the 1954 William Golding novel The Lord of the Flies.

          The Society (Netflix, 2019) is an American mystery drama television series created by Christopher Keyser. After discovering everybody else in their town has vanished, a group of teenagers must come up with their own rules to survive....  more
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