The novel is in conversation with classics like 1984

Monday, December 13th, 2021

When I first heard of Netflix’s Queen’s Gambit — which I still haven’t watched, despite hearing good things — it never occurred to me that it was based on a 40-year-old book — one that does not describe its protagonist as anything like Audrey Hepburn playing chess, by the way. What actually jumped out at me about the book, beyond its mere existence, was the author, Walter Tevis. I immediately recognized the name but couldn’t quite place it.

Tevis wrote the science-fiction classic, Mockingbird, which I’ve been meaning to read — and which just showed up on Tor’s list of Golden Age and New Wave SF classics that should be adapted right now, in the wake of Dune and Foundation‘s film and TV adaptations:

The novel is in conversation with classics like 1984 but is built on a reversal of empowering people through the power of books and literature. The high-concept, post-apocalyptic setting and narrative would make for great set pieces and visuals. Tevis, who also wrote The Hustler has a knack for rich, compelling characters and his work is ripe for adaptation. Given the recent success of Netflix’s adaptation of The Queen’s Gambit and the buzz over Showtime’s upcoming The Man Who Fell to Earth series makes this a perfect time to adapt the Nebula-nominated Mockingbird as well.


  1. TRX says:

    I’ve never heard of “The Mockingbird.” When I think of Tevis, I think of “The Man Who Fell to Earth”, which is the only one of his books I’ve actually seen. They made a (bad) movie out of it, too.

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