9 Stephen King Stories That Should Be Adapted Into Film

I know. It’s hard to imagine that there are any left that haven’t been.

Stephen King/Photo © DDay Gen Adult 2017

With the record-shattering adaptation of It – not to mention critically-acclaimed takes on Gerald’s Game, Mr. Mercedes, and 1922 – we are currently experiencing a Stephen King cinematic renaissance. Given all of the recent success, odds are that Hollywood will dig deeper into the master storyteller’s massive catalog.

Stephen King is nothing if not an incredibly productive writer, and there is plenty of adaptation fodder waiting in the ranks of all of those bestsellers. Here are a few of our favorite stories, primed for the move to screens large and small. Some have remained untouched by the hands of Hollywood, while others have been languished in the pits of developmental hell, but all of them are ready to make their cinematic debut.

The cover of the book The Long WalkThe Long Walk

Stephen King

The Long Walk is probably the best known of Stephen King’s “Bachman” books – books he wrote under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. It’s a dystopian thriller set in an alternate timeline where the Germans appear to have won World War II. In the novel, teenage boys are forced to participate in a grueling walking marathon where the winner is the last person left alive and standing. It’s a taut and emotional thriller that would require a deft touch, but one that we’d still love to see adapted.

 

The cover of the book The Man in the Black SuitThe Man in the Black Suit

Stephen King

This O. Henry award-winner originally appeared in the New Yorker before being included in Everything’s Eventual. King cited Nathaniel Hawthorne as an inspiration for the story, which centers on an elderly man recalling an encounter he had as a boy with an enigmatic figure, who may have been the devil. It’s a slow-burn, haunting story with plenty of room to be expanded upon on the screen.

 

The cover of the book InsomniaInsomnia

Stephen King

Insomnia is about as close any King novel can be to a cult classic among the author’s fans. The novel is an unsettling mix of sci-fi and horror, and features an elderly suffering from insomnia who begins to see otherworldy phenomena. At just shy of 800 pages, it could be tough to adapt to the big screen, but a mini-series would give the characters and the story plenty of room to breathe.

 

The cover of the book The Girl Who Loved Tom GordonThe Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

Stephen King

This is one of Stephen King’s better psychological thrillers. The story is built around nine-year-old Trisha McFarland who wanders away from her family during a hike along the Appalachian Trail. Lost, subjected to the elements, and fearful of a monster that could be real or imagined, Trisha turns to her admiration of Red Sox relief pitcher Tom Gordon for comfort.

 

The cover of the book 'Salem's Lot‘Salem’s Lot

Stephen King

While it’s true that Salem’s Lot has already been adapted twice – a well-regarded 1979 TV film and a forgettable 2004 version – the success of “It” 2017 proved there’s always room for another look at King’s works. This is one book that could really benefit from a mini-series adaptation. Despite its scant (at least for Stephen King) page count, the novel spends a fair amount of time fleshing out the town and occupants of Jerusalem’s Lot.

 

The cover of the book Night ShiftNight Shift

Stephen King

This Stephen King deep cut was originally published in Cavalier magazine – home to quite a few King stories – before eventually appearing in Night Shift, Stephen King’s first short story collection. The Boogeyman centers on a family falling prey to a titular sinister creature. While certainly on the shorter end in terms of length, there’s quite a bit of content that a skillful writer or director could flesh out on the screen. In the right hands, The Boogeyman has the potential to be a truly terrifying exercise in suspense and horror.

 

The cover of the book Rose MadderRose Madder

Stephen King

Domestic violence is a fairly common theme in much of Stephen King’s work. But in Rose Madder, King gives his writing a fascinating symbolic and mythological twist. The novel centers on a woman who escapes an abusive relationship and eventually finds herself caught in a bizarre fantasy world after purchasing a painting. With the right director at the helm, it could be a visual treat on the screen.

 

The cover of the book Just After SunsetJust After Sunset

Stephen King

Stephen King’s short stories are some of his best work. The Gingerbread Girl is of my personal favorites, which appears in Just After Sunset. It begins with a fairly normal pedestrian woman dealing with the aftermath of a trauma, but when Stephen King throws a dangerous serial killer into the mix, it becomes a tightly written cat-and-mouse survival story.

 

The cover of the book Duma KeyDuma Key

Stephen King

Duma Key is one of the better novels to come out of the latter part of King’s career. The 2008 novel is an intricately plotted exploration of grief, secrets, and obsession. Like a lot of Stephen King novels, there is a touch of the autobiographical as the story’s protagonist is an artist recuperating from a near-fatal accident. Thankfully, Stephen King tends to be at his best when he injects a little of himself into the narrative.

By KEITH RICE, December 15, 2017, first appearing on Signature Reads
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Books to Film: Summer ’18 Edition

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot by John Callahan

609364DontWorryOfficialPoster.jpegMovie: Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot
When it comes out: July 13
What the book is about: In 1972, at the age of 21, John Callahan was involved in a car crash that severed his spine and made him a quadriplegic. A heavy drinker since the age of 12 (alcohol had played a role in his crash), the accident could have been the beginning of a downward spiral. Instead, it sparked a personal transformation. After extensive physical therapy, he was eventually able to grasp a pen in his right hand and make rudimentary drawings. By 1978, Callahan had sworn off drinking for good, and begun to draw cartoons. Over the next three decades, until his death in 2010, Callahan would become one of the nation’s most beloved—and at times polarizing—cartoonists.

The Wife by Meg Wolitzer

394255The Wife (2017 film).pngMovie: The Wife
When it comes out: August 3
What the book is about: “The moment I decided to leave him, the moment I thought, enough, we were thirty-five thousand feet above the ocean, hurtling forward but giving the illusion of stillness and tranquility. Just like our marriage.” So opens Meg Wolitzer’s compelling and provocative novel The Wife, as Joan Castleman sits beside her husband on their flight to Helsinki. Joan’s husband, Joseph Castleman, is “one of those men who own the world…who has no idea how to take care of himself or anyone else, and who derives much of his style from the Dylan Thomas Handbook of Personal Hygiene and Etiquette.” He is also one of America’s preeminent novelists, about to receive a prestigious international award to honor his accomplishments, and Joan, who has spent forty years subjugating her own literary talents to fan the flames of his career, has finally decided to stop.

 

Meg by Steve Alten

105744The Meg teaser poster.jpgMovie: The Meg
When it comes out: August 10
What the book is about: On a top-secret dive into the Pacific Ocean’s deepest canyon, Jonas Taylor found himself face-to-face with the largest and most ferocious predator in the history of the animal kingdom. The sole survivor of the mission, Taylor is haunted by what he’s sure he saw but still can’t prove exists – Carcharodon megalodon, the massive mother of the great white shark. The average prehistoric Meg weighs in at twenty tons and could tear apart a Tyrannosaurus rex in seconds. Taylor spends years theorizing, lecturing, and writing about the possibility that Meg still feeds at the deepest levels of the sea. But it takes an old friend in need to get him to return to the water, and a hotshot female submarine pilot to dare him back into a high-tech miniature sub. Diving deeper than he ever has before, Taylor will face terror like he’s never imagined.

 

Black Klansman by Ron Stallworth

37901607A black man wearing a white hood, holding up a hair pick with his right hand and raising his left fist.Movie: BlacKkKlansman
When it comes out: August 10
What the book is about: In 1978 the community of Colorado Springs, Colorado experienced a growth of Ku Klux Klan (KKK) membership. One man dared to challenge their effort and thwart attempts to take over the city, Police Detective Ron Stallworth. He launched an undercover investigation into the Klan, gained membership into the organization, briefly served as Duke’s bodyguard, and was eventually asked to be the leader of the Colorado Springs chapter. The irony of this investigation was that Stallworth is… A Black man. In the process he battled internal departmental politics to successfully pull off this “sting.” Black Klansman explains how he overcame these obstacles and accomplished this almost unbelievable unique achievement.

 

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

18373213Crazy Rich Asians poster.pngMovie: Crazy Rich Asians
When it comes out: 
August 15
What the book is about: 
When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should–and should not–marry.

Three Seconds by Anders Roslund & Borge Hellström

9292518Image result for three seconds movie posterMovie: Three Seconds
When it comes out: August 17
What the book is about: Piet Hoffman, a top secret operative for the Swedish police, is about to embark on his most dangerous assignment yet: after years spent infiltrating the Polish mafia, he’s become a key player in their attempt to take over amphetamine distribution inside Sweden’s prisons. To stop them from succeeding, he will have to go deep cover, posing as a prisoner inside the country’s most notorious jail. But when a botched drug deal involving Hoffman results in a murder, the investigation is assigned to the brilliant but haunted Detective Inspector Ewert Grens–a man who never gives up until he’s cracked the case. Grens’s determination to find the killer not only threatens to expose Hoffman’s true identity-it may reveal even bigger crimes involving the highest levels of power. And there are people who will do anything to stop him from discovering the truth.

 

The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen

184355Image result for little mermaid 2018 movie posterMovie: The Little Mermaid
When it comes out: August 17
What the book is about: There was once a little mermaid that fell in love with a human… This beloved story has been told and retold (and reworked) time and again, but the original is the story of a young mermaid who is willing to give up her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain the love of a prince and a human soul. A deal with a sea witch makes pursuing these dreams possible, but not without enduring a great deal of pain and, ultimately, heartache.

 

Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby

6224826Juliet, Naked PosterMovie: Juliet, Naked
When it comes out: August 17
What the book is about: Annie loves Duncan — or thinks she does. Duncan loves Annie, but then, all of a sudden, he doesn’t. Duncan really loves Tucker Crowe, a reclusive Dylanish singer-songwriter who stopped making music ten years ago. Annie stops loving Duncan, and starts getting her own life.

 

Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan

538757Down A Dark Hall Poster.jpgMovie: Down a Dark Hall
When it comes out: August 17
What the book is about: Why does the exclusive boarding school Blackwood have only four students? Kit walks the dark halls and feels a penetrating chill. What terror waits around the next corner?

 

Papillon by Henri Charrière

6882Papillon 2018 poster.pngMovie: Papillon
When it comes out: August 24
What the book is about: Henri Charrière, called “Papillon,” for the butterfly tattoo on his chest, was convicted in Paris in 1931 of a murder he did not commit. Sentenced to life imprisonment in the penal colony of French Guiana, he became obsessed with one goal: escape. After planning and executing a series of treacherous yet failed attempts over many years, he was eventually sent to the notorious prison, Devil’s Island, a place from which no one had ever escaped . . . until Papillon. His flight to freedom remains one of the most incredible feats of human cunning, will, and endurance ever undertaken.

 

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

319388Film poster for La librería, 2017.jpgMovie: The Bookshop
When it comes out: August 24
What the book is about: In 1959 Florence Green, a kindhearted widow with a small inheritance, risks everything to open a bookshop – the only bookshop – in the seaside town of Hardborough. By making a success of a business so impractical, she invites the hostility of the town’s less prosperous shopkeepers. By daring to enlarge her neighbors’ lives, she crosses Mrs. Gamart, the local arts doyenne. Florence’s warehouse leaks, her cellar seeps, and the shop is apparently haunted. Only too late does she begin to suspect the truth: a town that lacks a bookshop isn’t always a town that wants one.

 

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

The Little StrangerThe Little Stranger (film).pngMovie: The Little Stranger
When it comes out: August 31
What the book is about: One postwar summer in his home of rural Warwickshire, Dr. Faraday, the son of a maid who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country physician, is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once impressive and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in its stable yard permanently fixed at twenty to nine. Its owners—mother, son, and daughter—are struggling to keep pace with a changing society, as well as with conflicts of their own. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life? Little does Dr. Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become intimately entwined with his.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books to Film: June 2018

Tag, He’s ‘It’ for Another Year by Russel Adams (of The Wall Street Journal)

Image result for wsjTag (2018 film).pngMovie: Tag
When it comes out: June 15
What the book is about: Okay. So it’s not from a book, but it is based on a true story that was written about in the Wall Street Journal.

The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers

13366259The Yellow Birds.jpgMovie: The Yellow Birds
When it comes out: June 15
What the book is about: “The war tried to kill us in the spring,” begins this breathtaking account of friendship and loss. In Al Tafar, Iraq, twenty-one-year old Private Bartle and eighteen-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. In the endless days that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side: the insurgents, physical fatigue, and the mental stress that comes from constant danger.

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

6604712Eating Animals (2017)Movie: Eating Animals
When it comes out: June 15
What the book is about: Faced with the prospect of being unable to explain why we eat some animals and not others, Foer set out to explore the origins of many eating traditions and the fictions involved with creating them. Traveling to the darkest corners of our dining habits, Foer raises the unspoken question behind every fish we eat, every chicken we fry, and every burger we grill.

The Catcher Was a Spy by Nicholas Dawidoff

34629The Catcher Was a Spy.pngMovie: The Catcher Was a Spy
When it comes out: June 22
What the book is about: The only Major League ballplayer whose baseball card is on display at the headquarters of the CIA, Moe Berg has the singular distinction of having both a 15-year career as a catcher for such teams as the New York Robins and the Chicago White Sox and that of a spy for the OSS during World War II. Here, Dawidoff provides “a careful and sympathetic biography” (Chicago Sun-Times) of this enigmatic man.

 

 

 

Books to Film: May Edition

Suprisingly slim pickings.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties by Neil Gaiman

13378509How to Talk to Girls at Parties poster.pngMovie: How to Talk to Girls at Parties
When it comes out: May 18
What the book is about: Enn is a sixteen-year-old boy who just doesn’t understand girls, while his friend Vic seems to have them all figured out. Both teenagers are in for the shock of their young lives, however, when they crash a local party only to discover that the girls there are far, far more than they appear!

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

815309On Chesil Beach (film).pngMovie: On Chesil Beach
When it comes out: May 18
What the book is about: It is July 1962. Florence is a talented musician who dreams of a career on the concert stage and of the perfect life she will create with Edward, an earnest young history student at University College of London, who unexpectedly wooed and won her heart. Newly married that morning, both virgins, Edward and Florence arrive at a hotel on the Dorset coast. At dinner in their rooms they struggle to suppress their worries about the wedding night to come. Edward, eager for rapture, frets over Florence’s response to his advances and nurses a private fear of failure, while Florence’s anxieties run deeper: she is overcome by sheer disgust at the idea of physical contact, but dreads disappointing her husband when they finally lie down together in the honeymoon suite.

 

Here’s What You Need To Know About Infinity Stones Before The New Avengers Movie

Ya Got The Stones For This? Thanos (Josh Brolin) blithely ignores Coco Chanel’s advice on accessorizing — so you knowhe’s evil — in Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War.
Marvel Studios

by Glen Weldon, April 16, 2018, first appearing on Books : NPR

Call them the Mighty Marvel Movie MacGuffins. They’re the glittery objects that drove the plots of several individual Marvel movies and that collectively shaped the direction the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe has been heading (almost) since its inception.

They are the Infinity Stones — immensely powerful gems that contain and channel elemental forces of the universe. They’re what the villains crave and what the heroes protect. They can be used to destroy or create.

Mmmmmostly that first thing.

They’ve been seeded throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2011, and now, with the release of Avengers: Infinity War on April 27, all the logistical heavy lifting of seven years’ worth of films — chasing the Stones, finding them, wielding them, handing them off to shady minor characters for safekeeping — comes to a head.

Well. To a hand, anyway.

Thanos’ hand, to be specific. Thanos’ gauntlet, if you want to get technical.

Thanos is the MCU’s biggest Big Bad, first glimpsed in a post-credit scene in 2012’s The Avengers. He is a hulking, purplish-reddish-bluish (seems to depend on the movie’s color balance) space warlord determined to reduce the population of the universe by half. If he collects all of the Infinity Stones and affixes them to a metal glove-thingy called the Infinity Gauntlet, he will be able to go about his deadly halving business, according to his daughter Gamora (Zoe Saldana) in the trailer, “with a snap of his fingers.”

(Leave aside, for the moment, how difficult it would be to snap one’s fingers in a metal gauntlet.)

(I mean it would be less of a snap and more a rasp, right?)

(Or maybe a clang? Like he was striking some terrible Xylophone of Pan-Galactic Death? Or a Wind Chime of Cosmic Annihilation?)

Anyway. That’s Thanos pictured at the top of this post. He is played in the movie by Josh Brolin and a superfluity of CGI chin dimples. And that thing he has on his left hand (so literally sinister!) is the Infinity Gauntlet.

As you can see, he is already well on his way to collecting ’em all — not quite at full, “Billie Jean”-era sparkle-glove status, but close.

Let’s review where the various Infinity Stones were the last time we saw them — and what they do.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Space Stone

AKA: The Tesseract

What It Looks Like: When first glimpsed in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), a glowing blue cube. (The cube is just a housing that allows the glowy blue stone inside to be handled by us lowly humans.)

What It Does: Opens wormholes in space, making possible instantaneous travel between any two points in the universe. Also has undetermined (read: hazily defined) power to develop weaponry.

Transporting is what the eeeevil Red Skull did with it in Captain America: The First Avenger. It was later recovered by S.H.I.E.L.D., which lost it when Loki absconded with it in The Avengers (2012) and used it to open a wormhole above Manhattan through which an alien army attacked Earth.

Where It Is Now: It spent some time in Asgard’s armory, but at the end of Thor: Ragnarok (2017), it was stolen by Loki. (At the very end of Thor: Ragnarok, the spaceship Thor and Loki were flying was intercepted by what was very likely Thanos’ ship. So if you’re taking bets, the Space Stone is likely one of the first Infinity Stones we’ll see Thanos add to his collection.)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Mind Stone

AKA: The Scepter

What It Looks Like: At first, in The Avengers, a scepter housing a glowy blue gem. Nowadays, a yellow gem (long story) embedded in the forehead of Vision.

What It Does: Oh, a lot of stuff. In its Scepter mode, it granted Loki zappy powers and the ability to manipulate minds, and its mere presence made the Avengers more snippy than baseline. In its current mode (as of 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, it grants Vision the ability to … do lots of stuff, including phase through matter, fly, zap others with energy beams and, you know … live.)

Where It Is Now: Doing time on Vision’s forehead. But the trailers suggest this will not be a permanent condition. Look for Vision to get blurry.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Reality Stone

AKA: The Aether

What It Looks Like: Not like a stone, for one thing. Instead, it’s a thick, red liquid that sends out tendrils that undulate in a cinematically creepy way.

What It Does: Look, it’s OK. You didn’t see Thor: The Dark World (2013). A lot of people didn’t. So you didn’t see the Reality Stone (in the form of the Aether) take over the body of Thor’s girlfriend, Jane Foster, allowing her to send out shock waves and … whatnot. As its name suggests, the Reality Stone alters reality, by converting matter to dark matter. Don’t bother asking why that’s a thing. Doesn’t matter. Lots of people didn’t see Thor: The Dark World.

Where It Is Now: For safekeeping, it was given to an ancient being who collects lots of stuff. His name, appropriately enough, is the Collector. (He is played by Benicio del Toro in Thor: The Dark World, and his character is the brother of Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster from Thor: Ragnarok.)

Given that not a lot of people saw Thor: The Dark World, I’d wager we won’t get a big protracted scene of Thanos hunting down and claiming the Reality Stone, and Infinity War will simply cut to the (end of the) chase.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Power Stone

AKA: The Orb

What It Looks Like: When we first see it, at the beginning of Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), it’s encased in a silver spherical rock-thing. Later, the Orb is split open and the stone inside is grafted onto a bad guy’s space-hammer and given the awesomely ridiculous name of Cosmi-Rod. Once the bad guy is defeated through the power of dance, the Stone is returned to another Orb-casing.

What It Does: Grants … power? Look, I know, the specific abilities of the various stones seem kind of frustratingly all over the place, but this one’s legit. It makes its wielder more powerful — better, stronger, more zappy. You know: energy blasts and energy tornadoes and energy waves and energy bars. (No, OK, not that last one.)

Where It Is Now: Benicio del Toro’s Collector character nearly added it to his collection, but it sent out a massive energy blast, as is its zappy wont, that destroyed most of his menagerie. It ended up in hands of the Nova Corps — basically the Marvel Universe’s resident space-cops, run by Glenn Close in a complicated wig — and there it will stay, until it won’t.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Time Stone

AKA: The Eye of Agamotto

What It Looks Like: First (and only) seen in Doctor Strange (2016), it’s a glowy green gem housed inside an amulet embossed with an eye.

What It Does: Finally, some specificity! Some truth in advertising! The Time Stone allows its wielder to control time — to speed it up, slow it down, reverse it or create time loops. See, there, Marvel? Simple. Precise. Clean.

Where It Is Now: Hanging around Doctor Stephen Strange’s neck, right under his dumb goatee.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Soul Stone

AKA: ?

What It Looks Like: Again, ? It has yet to turn up in a Marvel movie, at least by that name. It’s most likely an orange gem, the largest of them all, which fits on the back of the gauntlet — not, as the others do, on the fingers.

What It Does: In the comics, it grants its owner the ability to do lots of mystical things — trap souls in an artificial existence, see into a person’s soul, etc. It’s not known how closely the film will adhere to this.

But given the fact that so much of the Infinity War trailer is set in and around Wakanda — and the fact that the “heart-shaped flower” seen in Black Panther grants the ability to commune with the dead — many have speculated that the Soul Stone will turn out to have something to do with vibranium.

Where It Is Now: Your guess is as good as any. Unless you guess, “in Wakanda,” in which case it’s slightly better than most, probably.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Sharon Stone

AKA: Catherine Tramell, Ginger McKenna, Iris Burton

What It Looks Like: A human woman.

What It Does: Wears the Gap to the Oscars, famously. And nowadays? Rocks the hell out of a Disaster Artist cameo and gives a great interview in a sweater to which attention must be paid.

Where It Is Now: Not getting the work it deserves, HOLLYWOOD.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Slyandthefamily Stone

AKA: Sly Stone, Freddie Stone, Rose Stone, Cynthia Robinson, Greg Errico, Jerry Martini, Larry Graham.

What It Looks Like: Deeply groovy.

What It Does: Effortlessly fuse rock, soul, funk and psychedelia into chart-topping, socially conscious pop anthems.

Where It Is Now: On the set list of every wedding DJ at or slightly after 10:30 p.m.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Coldcreamery Stone

AKA: “That place your Aunt Janice likes? With the slab? What’s it called?”

What It Looks Like: An ice cream store, duh.

What It Does: Grants its wielder one unusually muscular forearm.

Where It Is Now: 1,100 locations in the U.S. and abroad.

Loved Annihilation? Here’s What to Read Next

Photo Credit: Peter Mountain © 2018 Paramount Pictures

Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation is finally making its way to the big screen. The haunting first volume in the Southern Reach Trilogy is the sort of novel that slowly worms its way into your thoughts and takes root like a malignant infection – and that’s a very good thing. It’s a near-future tale of the twelfth expedition into the mysterious Area X – an uninhibited and abandoned part of the US that has been reclaimed by nature, and something more. The first expedition mapped an Eden-like paradise. The second ended in mass suicide. It’s a slow-burn piece of bizarre suspense, part of the literary niche of New Weird fiction. Alongside China Miéville, Jeff VanderMeer has been one of the pre-eminent voices of New Weird – a shambling amalgamation of speculative fiction, fantasy, and horror with a literary bent. If “Annihilation” has piqued your interest and you’re wondering where to turn next, the seven books below should point you in the right direction.

The cover of the book Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation; Authority; AcceptanceArea X: The Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation; Authority; Acceptance

Jeff Vandermeer

If you haven’t already read the Nebula- and Shirley Jackson-award winning novel that “Annihilation” is based on, there’s no better time. And the best part? It’s a trilogy. Jeff VanderMeer’s acclaimed Southern Reach Trilogy begins with Annihilation and continues the bizarre and horrifying chronicle of Area X through Authority and Acceptance. And you can pick up all three in this handy single volume.

The cover of the book The New WeirdThe New Weird

Ann & Jeff Vandermeer, Eds.

Much like Weird Fiction, New Weird can be a little tough to pin down in terms of defining characteristics – but that’s sort of the point. New Weird has its roots in speculative fiction but tosses in a healthy dose of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy all tied together with tight literary thread. This anthology, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, is a perfect jumping-on point to this weirdly eclectic genre.

The cover of the book The Etched CityThe Etched City

K. J. Bishop

With The Etched City, K.J. Bishop drops readers into the darkly fantastical world of Copper Country – a region that’s part Wild West and part 1001 Arabian Nights. It centers on Raule, a healer, and Gwynn, a gunslinging bounty hunter. The Etched City falls somewhere on a spectrum that includes Stephen King’s Dark Tower and the bizarre urbanscapes of China Miéville. In other words, it’s violent, weird, and thought-provoking.

The cover of the book JagannathJagannath

Karin Tidbeck

Karin Tidbeck’s award-winning short story collection earned rave reviews from no less than the likes of China Miéville and the late Ursula K. Le Guin. That in and of itself should be enough to grab your attention. Jagannath is a strange and haunting assortment of tales that draws on the folklore of Tidbeck’s native Sweden while introducing elements of Le Guin-esque speculative fiction and Lovecraftian levels of existential dread.

The cover of the book Bloodchild and Other StoriesBloodchild and Other Stories

Octavia Butler

Bloodchild is Octavia Butler’s only short story collection and it features some of the celebrated author’s best and most unnerving work. The title story, which centers on a boy impregnated by an alien race, took home the Nebula and Hugo Awards. In true Butler fashion, the stories included here are thought provoking and upend conventional conceptions of race, religion, gender, and sexuality.

The cover of the book Perdido Street StationPerdido Street Station

China Mieville

China Miéville’s Perdido Street Station is a sprawling epic that borrows liberally from fantasy tropes only to tear them all down and assemble the pieces into something wholly original, wholly unsettling, and wholly captivating. Perdido Street Station introduces New Crobuzon, a city built beneath the ribs of a dead leviathan. It’s a squalid city where dark magic and perverse science intermingle. It centers on a scientist named Isaac who finds himself in the thrall of half-bird, half-human creature known as the Garuda. Soon Isaac’s increasingly bizarre experiments malignant terror unlike anything New Crobuzon has experienced.

The cover of the book Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction AnthologySisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology

Ann & Jeff Vandermeer, Eds.

Challenging traditional conventions and tropes has long been a hallmark of Speculative and Weird Fiction. This collection features a host of feminist fiction ranging from the 1970s to the present. The stories are diverse examinations of gender fluidity, misogyny, and sexuality. It is equal parts a celebration of diversity in speculative fiction and a reminder of just how essential the feminist voice in literature continues to be.

Books to Film: April Edition

You Were Never Really Here by Jonathan Ames

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When it comes out: April 6
What the book is about: Joe has witnessed things that cannot be erased. A former FBI agent and Marine, his abusive childhood has left him damaged beyond repair. He has completely withdrawn from the world and earns his living rescuing girls who have been kidnapped into the sex trade. When he’s hired to save the daughter of a corrupt New York senator held captive at a Manhattan brothel, he stumbles into a dangerous web of conspiracy, and he pays the price. As Joe’s small web of associates are picked off one by one, he realizes that he has no choice but to take the fight to the men who want him dead.

The Spinning Man by George Harrar

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When it comes out: April 6
What the book is about: Mild-mannered philosophy professor Evan Birch spends his days teaching college students to seek truth. Then, one afternoon, he’s pulled over by the police, handcuffed, and questioned about the disappearance of a local high school cheerleader. When the missing girl’s lipstick turns up in his car, the evidence against him begins to build. Even his wife and sons are having their doubts. And as the investigating officer engages him in a decidedly non-Socratic dialogue, Evan Birch begins to understand that truth may be elusive indeed-but sometimes you have to pick a story and stick with it…

Zama by Antonio di Benedetto

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When it comes out: April 13
What the book is about: Zama takes place in the last decade of the eighteenth century and describes the solitary, suspended existence of Don Diego de Zama, a highly placed servant of the Spanish crown who has been posted to Asunción, the capital of remote Paraguay. There, eaten up by pride, lust, petty grudges, and paranoid fantasies, he does as little as he possibly can while plotting his eventual transfer to Buenos Aires, where everything about his hopeless existence will, he is confident, be miraculously transformed and made good.

The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni

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When it comes out: April 20
What the book is about: Sebastian Prendergast lives in a geodesic dome with his eccentric grandmother, who homeschooled him in the teachings of futurist philosopher R. Buckminster Fuller. But when his grandmother has a stroke, Sebastian is forced to leave the dome and make his own way in town. Jared Whitcomb is a chain-smoking sixteen-year-old heart-transplant recipient who befriends Sebastian, and begins to teach him about all the things he has been missing, including grape soda, girls, and Sid Vicious.

Disobedience by Naomi Alderman

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Movie: Disobedience
When it comes out: April 27
What the book is about: The story begins with the death of the community’s esteemed rabbi, which sets in motion plans for a memorial service and the search for a replacement. The rabbi’s nephew and likely successor, Dovid, calls his cousin Ronit in New York to tell her that her father has died. Ronit, who left the community long ago to build a life for herself as a career woman, returns home when she hears the news, and her reappearance exposes tears in the fabric of the community.