Wonderful sci-fi movies start with great scripts, and great scripts often come from adapting the works of great minds. Hollywood has a few favorites, the go-to guys of sci-fi cinema, so we compiled this list to give you some insight into the author who upon which the genre was built.
Arthur C. Clarke (December 16th, 1917 – March 19th, 2008):
Credited with 14 films, including 2001: A Space Odyssey, Childhood’s End, Rendevous With Rama this British writer is the only sci-fi writer to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Clarke authored nearly 100 books, mostly technology based, and is known for his predictive writings including Extra-terrestrial Relays an article that established a theory that would later become the basis for Geo-stationary relay satellites. In 1962 he published a compliation of writings called Profiles of the Future, which contained predictions about inventions up to the year 2100.
George Orwell (June 25th, 1903 – January 21st, 1950):
Born Eric Arthur Blair, this English novelist was focussed on the political climate of the time, including communism, facism, and colonial imperialism. 1984, and Animal Farm are prime examples of his work and among the 23 productions he’s credited as writing.
Isaac Asimov (January 2nd, 1920 – April 6th, 1992):
Having written more than 500 books spanning almost every conceivable subject. Best known and appreciated for his works in genres like history, science and sci-fi. He has 24 credits in TV and Film including I, Robot, and Bicentennial Man.
Asimov is well known for creating the 3 laws of robotics. In I, Robot robots are designed and programmed to follow to the Three Laws of Robotics:
- A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm;
- a robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law;
- a robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws
Philip K. Dick (December 1st, 1928 – March 2nd, 1982):
With more than 30 Hollywood credits to his name, including Blade Runner, Minority Report, and Total Recall. His writing tended toward dark, and dystopian themes. Most of his better known works focus on authoritarianism.
Kurt Vonnegut (November 11th, 1922 – April 11th, 2007):
Among his 32 Hollywood credits Slaughterhouse Five is the best known. Vonnegut is known for his thorough world development and intricate characters. He also wrote frequently on the end of humanity, and the dangers of encountering more advanced species. A prevalent writer through the 50s-60s-and 70s drug use and altered states are very present in many of his writings.
Michael Crichton (October 23, 1942 – November 4, 2008):
An American author, screenwriter, film director and producer best known for his work in the science fiction, thriller, and medical fiction. His books have been adapted into 44 films and TV shows including Jurassic Park, and Westworld. The danger of aliens, science and technology are a repeated theme in Crichton’s work, his first book, The Andromeda Strain focused on a virus brought to Earth from outer space. Sphere followed a similar alien focused theme when a group of underwater scientists encounter an alien intelligence. Westworld is focussed on a group of robots that become self aware and start making their own decisions.
H.g. Wells (September 21st, 1866 – August 13th, 1946):
A British writer in a variety of genres, best known for his work in science fiction. He had a great influence the shape of the science fact and the direction of our future. With over 115 Hollywood productions based on his works including Time Machine, War of the Worlds, and Island of Doctor Moreau In addition to his fiction, Wells wrote many essays, articles and nonfiction books. On Halloween night of 1938, Orson Welles caused borderline hysteria when he went on the air with a reading of his version of War of the Worlds, claiming that aliens had landed in New Jersey.
Jules Verne (February 8th, 1828-March 24th, 1905):
From the Earth to the Moon, and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea are the best known of the more than 170 Hollywood projects based on his works. A pioneer of the sci-fi genre his novels included submarines, airplanes, and even space travel, giving his readers and scientists glimpses of what the future may hold.