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10 epic sci-fi novels you should read before they become blockbusters

It’s a good time to be a fan of science-fiction movies. Whether your tastes favor explosive, big-budget spectacles or subtle, thought-provoking stories that explore life’s biggest questions, the last few years have offered up something for everyone — and the same can be said for what’s headed to the big screen down the road.

Sci-fi literature has long been fertile ground for Hollywood, and with some of the cinema’s most popular projects beginning as novels or short stories that made the leap from page to screen, it’s easy to get ahead of the curve when it comes to sci-fi movies. In that vein, we’ve compiled a list of some of the sci-fi stories that currently have big-screen adaptations in various stages of development, so you can get an early peek at the next big things hitting theaters. We’ll periodically update this article as time goes on, too, so feel free to leave a comment with any projects you’d like to see added to the list.

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

This award-winning 2014 novel followed a group of four female scientists — including a biologist, an anthropologist, a psychologist, and a surveyor — who set out to explore a mysterious region known as “Area X” after the previous 11 attempts to survey the area resulted in strange, terrifying results for everyone involved with the expeditions. The first book in a trilogy, Annihilation won the 2014 Nebula Award for the year’s best sci-fi novel.

Written and directed by Ex Machina filmmaker Alex Garland, the big-screen adaptation of Annihilation has an all-star cast that features Academy Award winner Natalie Portman (Black Swan) as the biologist and Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight) as the psychologist, as well as Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin), Tessa Thompson (Creed), Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina), and David Gyasi (Containment). The film is expected to arrive in theaters sometime during 2017.

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