Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! This is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where a new top ten list hits the web every week!
This week we have a great topic to explore …
TOP TEN SPOOKY-CREEPY-SCARY SFF BOOKS
I couldn’t think of a better topic to dive into for Halloween! Plus, it was a difficult topic, since fantasy and science fiction aren’t known for including many spooky, creepy, or scary elements. Most of the time, anyway. But this list includes those speculative fiction stories I felt best fit the description of this topic.
10. Rend the Dark by Gelineau & King
This short story series was set in a fantasy world with magic, monsters, and a medieval-type society. The heroes of the tales are Ferran and his fellow witch hunter Mireia, who travel around the realms uncovering and destroying infestations of demons; these filthy monsters constantly tormenting the living. And what drew me to these shorts was the wonderful fusion of fantasy and horror elements, as well as the compelling characters.
9. The Last Sacrifice by James A. Moore
This one comes as no surprise to those who already know James A. Moore is a prolific horror writer, so, naturally, his fantasy offerings are greatly infused with horrific elements. The Last Sacrifice is no exception with its strange creatures, god-like entities, and a plethora of supernatural creatures. Plus, the book is about the end of the world with all hell breaking loose everywhere.
8. Dreaming Cities by Guy Haley
A post-apocalyptic genre blender which fused fantasy, horror, and a bit of scifi into a creepy page turner. The protagonist here is a “knight” who is caught up in a mysterious quest against the “Angels” who created him and might or might not be the saviors of humanity they are viewed as. Thrown in zombies, ancient technology, dragons, ghouls, and creepy robots and you have a damn fine speculative fiction offering.
7. Beyond Redemption by Michael R. Fletcher
Technically, this is a tale of grimdark fantasy with a really creative magic system built upon the concept that magic is directly tied to the insanity of the wielder. It is much more complex however. But what is noteworthy is that many of the magic users in this place are creepy as hell. Cotardist. Doppelgangist. And even worse mentally ill magic wielders bestride this place. Great, creepy, grimdark fun!
6. Nagash the Sorcerer by Mike Lee
Warhammer isn’t for everyone, I understand that, but this tale of a royal priests descending into the depths of depraved necromancy is a real creep-fest at times. Honestly, the title character is about as bad as they come, willing to do anything to anyone to obtain more power; his vileness really driving this book from first page to last. Nope, I’m not a huge horror aficionado, but I thought this one was damn creepy.
5. Wizard and Glass by Stephen King
I am not a huge fan of The Dark Tower series because I felt it had a pretty pathetic conclusion, but even I can admit there were some amazing bright spots along the epic journey Mr. King took his readers on. Wizard and Glass was the peak of the highs for me, delivering the perfect mixture of western, post-apocalyptic, fantasy, and horror which I found myself drawn to the most. And, yeah, it was damn spooky more than a few times.
4. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Spooky, creepy, scary, and damn horribly depressing. You can use these or many more adjectives to describe this post-apocalyptic story about a father and son desperately attempting to survive in a wasteland where the preferred meat of choice is human meat. I’d also like to add that this book is not recommended to those with a tender heart, small children, or any amount of empathy for families. Brutal story.
3. I Am Legend by Robert Matheson
Robert Neville is the last living man on earth, surrounded by a population of vampires. His time is split between killing sleeping vampires and attempting to survive the terrible nights. His story alternating between spooky, creepy, scary and depressing, as Robert’s horrible life seem to revolve around isolation, desperation, and perseverance.
2. The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman
Zombies. Survivors. (Survivors, I might add, who survived by being the most heartless assholes on the planet basically.) The complete collapse of society. People getting killed by survivors, eaten by zombies, or put down by survivors when they get infected and are going to turn into zombies. This series really is horror writing at its creepiest and best.
1 The Stand by Stephen King
You can’t go wrong with a Stephen King horror novel on this sort of list, I guess, but the reason this one finds itself at the top is due to it being the first pandemic, post-apocalyptic story I ever read which felt like it could actually become a reality. Sure, the supernatural elements were a bit over-the-top at times, but the flu epidemic and its aftermaths was spooky, creepy, and scary in equal measure.
Well, that is my list. Agree? Disagree? Tell me why. And feel free to add some other characters to the list.