The spooky season is upon us once again! This time of year always calls for chills and thrills, and what do many of our favorite scary books and movies have in common? Many of them rely on science fiction to create a sense of dread. Movies like Alien, The Thing, and Us use science fiction’s ‘what if’ to create a sense of ‘okay, no thank you.’ Here are some new works taking up the charge of science fiction/horror to enjoy this fall.
In their debut work, The Scourge Between Stars, Ness Brown’s characters face-off with an alien horror. On their way back to Earth from a failed colony, the crew of the Calypso are on the brink of mutiny. The ship’s captain has disappeared, leaving his second-in-command and daughter, Jacklyn, in charge. And if a crew of starving people isn’t bad enough, the ship has been damaged so badly that they cannot see what is in their path so they are essentially hurtling blind through space. But all of those are minor in comparison to their biggest problem. There is something else on board with the crew. And it is very hungry. Jacklyn must fight to keep her crew alive and figure out how to navigate back home before it is too late.
David Wellington’s latest work Paradise-1, is not a trip to a pleasure planet as the title might entail. Special Agent Petrova has been sent there for a wellness check on humanity’s first deep space colony. Petrova, having spectacularly failed to show that her station was earned and not the result of nepotism, is sent there along with a disgraced and haunted Dr. Zhang and a recently reinstated pilot Sam. The three awaken at their arrival under attack by another ship from Paradise-1 and must fight for their lives against an enemy that fights in insidious new ways. Petrova must stay alive and complete her mission but how do you fight an enemy that infects your mind with a single thought?
Focusing on the issues of race, class, and prejudice, The World Wasn’t Ready for You by Justin C. Key is a collection of short stories that shows the darkness that lies at the heart of humanity. Key uses the many horror and science fiction tropes to explore the problems with society: a father who would do anything to leave prison and return to his family, even submit himself to horrific experiments, a child haunted by a doll after witnessing his brother’s death. Even a husband willing to cheat death to bring his wife back. Key manages to bring a new perspective to the genre and leaves readers with some new unsettling truths.
Enjoy these creepy, crawly creations, and Happy Halloween!