I am a lucky dude who has a bunch of fans who read everything I put out. You all rock. Your farts aren’t stinky, they actually smell like roses. You will live forever in big castles with big giants protecting the gates. I know this. Is pravda.
When people finish the Scott Sigler catalog, I get one of two questions (well, one of three, questions, because one is always ‘Are you working on MT. FITZROY right now?’*). They are, “When is your next book out,” or, “Do you have recommendations for authors who write the same kind of stuff you do?”
That phrase, “the same kind of stuff,” refers to my modern-day hard-science/horror books. You know, when the scares come from a sciencey base rather than a supernatural one. I’m pretty sure people aren’t asking who else writes about an American football league 700 years in the future with aliens playing positions based on their physiology, because — odds are — for that there can be only one. So, lemme give you a quick run-down on people that I think create hard-science/horror similar to my work.
PEOPLE I HAVE READ:
For this rather specific list, J-Mabs is #1. His Joe Ledger series is all about hard science + zombies and (insert cool monster here). If James Bond swilled marcobrews instead of Martinis and went up against freakin’ vampires instead of Cold War Russians, he would be Joe Ledger. If you like INFECTED or NOCTURNAL, I can’t pimp the Joe Ledger series enough.
Warren Fahy: Fahy isn’t as prolific as Maberry, but he’s got some really dope stories that take solid science and pump it full of PED/Steroid goodness. FRAGMENT is like JURRASIC PARK but on a cocktail of acid and moonshine with some cough syrup thrown in for flavor. The sequel, PANDEMONIUM, has one of the most bug-nuts, over-the-top finales I’ve ever read. Absolute summer popcorn-movie goodness.
Jeremy Robinson: Possibly tied with J-Mabs as “the hardest-working man in the book biz,” I’m pretty sure Robinson doesn’t sleep. You can’t produce as many solid books as this dude if you bumblefuck around with something trivial like sleep, man. It’s just not possible. Which books of his should you read? Why, the CHESS TEAM “Jack Sigler” series, of course! Is that a tip of the hat to moi? Yes, yes it is. Well-trained, wise-cracking people with lots of guns who seem to always wind up around a lab where science went horribly wrong. If that’s not enough for you, one of the books in this series has a plausible scientific take on a hydra. No, not the little microorganism, a full-on, many-headed hydra that eats faces. Yeah. It’s like that.
Mira Grant: Less summer blockbuster and more social commentary, Grant’s PARASITE series will science your head clean off. She’s dope. She’s also the author of the NEWSFLESH series, which drops some sciency knowledge on the zombie trope.
Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child: If you like my stuff and you haven’t read RELIC, you are missing out. Full stop. This is the book that changed my writing career. I loves me some Stephen King, and that’s who I wanted to be as a young lad, right up until I read the one-two punch of JURASSIC PARK and RELIC. Waitaminutehere … you can scare the crap out of people with science, and not just ghosty stuff? I’m in! Hard to go wrong with any book written by this tag team of bad-assery. The picture at the top of this post? Oh, it’s no big deal, just the Kothoga from the movie based on that book.
James Rollins: Just about anything he writes. Dude is pimp, and so nice in person he’d shake Ghandi’s hand and leave Ghandi thinking “Wow, I really gotta learn how to be better to people.”
AND SOME STUFF AMAZON SUGGESTS:
Amazon told me what people who bought INFECTED also bought. A couple of names came up repeatedly, although I haven’t read these peeps (yet).
AND THE GREATS:
The aforementioned Stephen King and his biggest contemporary, Dean Koontz, sometimes put a crunchy science shell around their gritty, character-driven horror tales. But even their more-sciencey (maybe THE STAND for King, and WATCHERS for Koontz) are more hand-wavey, “some science stuff happened and now we are all just completely fucked” type stories. The five authors I mentioned up top try hard to give you a scientific explanation for their various plots, getting more into the nuts and bolts of how things really work in the world. Richard Matheson (I AM LEGEND) and Jack Finney (INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS) are also more in the hand-wavey camp. The real focus of authors like King, Koontz, etc., is to show you the human cost of science gone wrong and how real people would react to unreal situations, rather than “let’s see if we can make this insanity really plausible with real nuts-and-bolts biology.”
WHO AM I MISSING?
I know there’s a bunch I’m not thinking of, probably even some folks I have read who just aren’t popping into my head. If there’s a hard-science/horror writer you dig, tell me in the comments.
* No, I am not working on MT. FITZROY right now.