42 voters

The Best Sci-Fi Shows Based On Books

Updated March 12, 2021 233 votes 42 voters 1.4k 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: Peacock

    Based on the 1932 Aldous Huxley novel of the same name.

    Brave New World (Peacock, 2020) is an American sci-fi dystopian drama series based on Aldous Huxley's book of the same name. A utopian society that has achieved peace and stability through the prohibition of monogamy, privacy, money, family, and history itself....  more
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    • Photo: The One / Netflix

      The One

      Based on the 2017 John Mars novel of the same name.

      The One (Netflix, 2021) is a British sci-fi television series based on the novel by John Marrs. In the future, where a DNA test can find your perfect partner, people are matched with those genetically predisposed to fall passionately in love with....  more
        Great show?


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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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        • Photo: Noughts + Crosses / BBC

          Based on the first book in the novel series of the same name by Malorie Blackman.

          Noughts + Crosses (BBC, 2020) is a British television adaptation of the first book in the novel series of the same name by Malorie Blackman. The series is speculative fiction set in an alternate history dystopia, where black "Cross" people rule over white "Noughts"....  more
            Great show?