Terror of the Unknown: 4 Creepy Sci-Fi Novels That Will Make You Fear the Endless AbyssBooks/Art/Culture,News Oliver Thiermann
Okay, as someone fell who in love with Event Horizon years ago, I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with stories that seem to effortlessly fuse sci-fi and horror. Sure, sometimes compelling, horror infused sci-fi can be hard to find, but when you do come across it there’s nothing quite like it. This tends to be particularly true for novels in the genre. As for me, I read them because sometimes reading about the horror of the fictional unknown, makes it easier to cope with the real unknown. Why, you may ask? Because facing fear and overcoming it teaches us a little bit about who are, even in print. So, without further ado, meandering, or woolgathering, here are my top four picks in no particular order.
Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong
Ever since I read John Dies at The End, I have been hooked on the twistedly wonderful fiction of David Wong. Better known as Executive Editor of Cracked.com Jason Pargin, David Wong has written a slew of novels that are loosely connected by settings and themes. This particular novel is all about a dystopian future, and one girl’s attempts to explore that future with her foul smelling cat. What makes this vision of the future unique however, is that in this reality everyone can have god-like powers at will, and their every fantasy can be created and maintained. The end result of all this will surprise you, and Wong’s imagery and unique descriptive powers will sell you on the story’s horror aspects, though I don’t want to give away too much. Read it, but don’t say I didn’t warn you that things are about to get weird.
The Stone Man: A Science Fiction Horror Novel by Luke Smithard
This book is a fascinating little novel about an 8-foot tall stone man that appears at random one day in a city center. Shortly after arriving, it begins to walk in a straight line directly through several buildings, partially collapsing them and killing several people. The protagonist, Andy, starts trailing the stone giant, trying to discover the answer to the questions everyone is asking: What is it? Where did it come from? What does it want? The premise may seem simple, but I assure you the journey is not. This is science fiction horror at its finest. I highly recommend giving it a read.
2389: A Space Horror Novel by Iain Rob Wright
Though occasionally tongue-in-cheek, this novel is absolutely terrifying. The plot sounds like standard science fiction horror fare: a luxury resort on Earth’s moon has sent out a distress call, and no one has been able to reach them via comms since. It falls to Commander Sharman, one of the space program’s finest, to lead a team to the moon and find out what went wrong. Upon arrival though, they discover to their dismay that not only may they be trapped on the moon forever, but they may not have the means to stay alive much longer. Add it to your list of books to read with the lights on, possibly with a headlamp, too.
Lock In: A Novel by John Scalzi
Imagine a form of the flu virus that leaves some feeling unwell for a few days, and others it traps in a coma like state where they are fully aware, but unable to move, communicate, or interact. This is the world of John Scalzi’s Lock In. Twenty-five years after the outbreak, the world has been shaped by what is called “Haden’s Syndrome”. Two detectives are investigating a murder that may have been committed by an “integrator”, or a person who can let the locked in borrow their body for a time. This makes for a complex case as the integrator may not have had control when the murder occurred. The novel goes all the way down the rabbit hole of a new virtual human culture, corporate power and greed, and many unexpected turns along the way. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and if you are looking for a truly unusual read, this is an excellent choice.
Grab any of these books and start enjoying the delightfully twisted thrills they have to offer. There’s some great horror tinged sci-fi out there if you can find it. Sure, you might have go hunting for that perfect blend of futuristic fear, but when you come across it’ll be worth the effort.