23 Of The Best Sci Fi Horror Books To Add To Your Reading List

If you're a fan of sci fi and horror, then we've got a list for you! We've read the books, scoured the internet for reviews, and savagely debated the best sci fi horror books so you don't have to.

Whether the plot is an epic space opera or a terrifying haunted house or an alternate history, these novels have a central theme - they'll twist your mind. So dive into the horror genre with our top picks about alien species, infectious diseases, and terrifying visions of the future. Here are 23 books to add to your reading list.

Note the following list is in alphabetical order NOT by the best book.

1. The Andromeda Strain

Michael Crichton - 1969

the-andromeda-strain

When a military satellite is returned to earth by the Air Force, the entire population of a nearby small town dies suddenly. Soon it is discovered by the main character Dr. Jeremy Stone and his team, that the returned satellite caused the deaths. The "Wildfire team" sets out to determine the cause and must fight extraterrestrial forces along the way.

Long before Michael Crichton was famous for Jurassic Park, he wrote speculative fiction books edging on horror. Similar to his other works, The Andromeda Strain is a thriller with fun-to-read characters that even placed it on the New York Times Best Sellers list.

Check it out here on Goodreads.

 

2. Annihilation

Jeff VanderMeer - 2014

annihilation

The twelfth expedition to Area X is tasked with a mission to map the terrain of the mysterious location. 11 expeditions have gone before. Some of the expeditions have returned reporting a promised land. Other expeditions don't return or return only to die later in horrible ways. What's to be found in Area X? And how can expedition 12 escape the demise of so many who went before them?

The four main characters are well-written. The four women come skilled in their own domain and with interesting pasts. The book comes with twists and turns as we learn more about Area X and the women who seek to explore it.

Check it out here on Goodreads.

 

3. Blindsight

Peter Watts - 2006

blindsight

Odd things have been raining down on the earth from space. Alien things. Things that foreshadow more danger to come and disaster. After two failed probes, a crew of astronauts are sent as a third probe to discover the cause. The crew is made up of strange people. Many would call them freaks. And their task? Find out what's happening and stop it.

The horror book won many awards including the Hugo Award for Best Novel. Beyond the storyline, Peter Watts puts to question the concept of free will, identity, and game theory. 

Check it out here on Goodreads.

 

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From Dream To Scream is a Vienna dark roast has notes of dark baker's chocolate.

Enjoy a cup while reading one of the best horror sci fi books.

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4. The Book of the New Sun

Gene Wolfe - 1998

the-book-of-the-new-sun

The world is cooler now since the sun has dimmed. A nation called Commonwealth fights its enemy, Ascia, to keep humanity from slavery. Our book focuses on Severian, a torturer. Or he was. He's since been disgraced and forced out of his profession. And through his forced exit, he is thrust into an adventure of destiny. 

The novel is heralded for its wild digressions and strange use of time. It is worth a warning: Many criticize it for poor structure and intentionally confusing storylines. But others think those narrative risks pay off in a big way.

Check it out here on Goodreads.

 

5. Carrion Comfort

Dan Simmons - 1989

carrion-comfort

Some in this world have the power to control people. All it takes is a thought and the infected will do anything. "The Ability" gives those who have it puppet master control over the world around them. And it gives them a much more sinister power to stay young at the cost of others. 

Carrion Comfort is an ambitious novel. Dan Simmons writes realistic characters and ties world events to new causes. The book offers flavor to the commonly bland horror troupe of vampires.

Check it out here on Goodreads.

 

6. Coil

Ren Warom - 2019

coil

In this fictional world, it's rare to find one "unmodified". But Bone Adams is unmodified. And he's a talented mortician. Because of his talent with the dead, Adams is tasked to uncover the clues left by a twisted killer who leaves his victims stripped of their modifications.

Reader beware: Ren Warom knows how to write vivid and gruesome scenes. Warom's new novel Coil is a nice mix of horror and sci-fi with the backbone of a crime thriller.

Check it out here on Goodreads.

 

7. The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger

Stephen King - 1982

the-dark-tower

Roland of Gilead is the last gunslinger. And his quest is to catch a man in black. The journey brings him into contact with a woman named Alice and a boy named Jake. 

The Gunslinger is an introduction to a 7-part sci-fi series. The epic fantasy and sci-fi story is expansive in its characters and creativity. It comes with Stephen King's trademark ability to write a gripping novel. I'd argue it's one of his best books.

Check it out here on Goodreads.

 

8. The Day of the Triffids

John Wyndham - 1951

the-day-of-the-triffids

A meteorite shower leaves most of London's population sightless. But Bill Masen is one of the lucky ones. He missed the whole thing because of an eye wound. The city dissolves into chaos forcing Bill and his companion, Josella to leave. But the danger doesn't end there. Strange plants called Triffids sprout across the earth and have the ability to kill humans with poisnous thorns. 

The Day of the Triffids is a held-up as a classic as one of the older additions to this list. The novel explores early-for-its-day themes like mass destruction and bio-weapons.

Check it out here on Goodreads.

 

9. The Fireman

Joe Hill - 2016

the-fireman

Draco Incendia Trychophyton or Dragonscale destroys communities. Many cities across the United States have already fallen into chaos. The plague scars it's it's victims and causes them to burst into flames. And worse of all Harper Grayson discovers that she's infected. But she wants to live to see the baby she's carrying to full term. As her husband becomes crazed and her small New England town falls apart, Harper must navigate the world in order to save herself and her unborn child.

The characters in this novel are some of Joe Hill's most fleshed out and they are endearing, infuriating, and human. We recommend this for fans with a penchant for novels with expressed suffering and fans of post-apocalyptic reads.

Check it out here on Goodreads.

 

10. Gideon the Ninth

Tamsyn Muir - 2019

gideon-the-ninth

Gideon is a necromancer employed by an emperor to fight the undead. But she's over it all and is planning to leave her life as a necromancer. Harrowhark Nonagesimus is a member of the Ninth House and she needs Gideon's service to impress the Emperor and become immortal. 

The book is intimate in its characterization, especially of Gideon. But it's also sprawling in its storyline and scope with battling royal houses and a chance for the rich and powerful to become immortal. I suggest it for the reader who likes fun characters.

Check it out here on Goodreads.

 

11. The Girl with All the Gifts

Mike Carey - 2014

the-girl-with-all-the-gifts

Melanie is told she's a genius every day. She loves learning and loves Miss Justineau, her teacher, most of all. But she's treated as though she is different. And as though she is dangerous. Each day, she's brought to school with a gun to her head, strapped to a wheelchair. And slowly, Melanie begins to understand why.

The book is about a dystopian not so distant future after humanity is nearly wiped out by a disease. If you're a fan of post-apocalyptic young adult zombie stories, I recommend picking this up. And if you have a heart, you'll fall in love with Melanie.

Check it out here on Goodreads.

 

12. The Gone World

Tom Sweterlitsch - 2018

the-gone-world

Shannon Moss is tasked to solve the murder of a Navy SEAL's family. And the key to the case is the missing SEAL an astronaut whose ship was lost to time-traveling gone wrong. In an attempt to unravel the mystery, Moss travels to the future and discovers her case is solving more than the fate of the family, but the fate of the world.

This novel explores a nightmare future world where humans kill and are killed in insane hoards. Sweterlitsch explores the idea that time travel wouldn't lead to saving the human race, but rather would only highlight the inevitable end of the human race.

Check it out here on Goodreads.

 

13. I Am Legend

Richard Matheson - 1954

i-am-legend

Robert Neville survived. And now he's the last living human on Earth. The rest of humanity has become a cannibalistic terror that hungers for Robert's flesh.

I Am Legend took the world by storm because of its 2007 movie adaptation. This terrifying picture of things gone has become a modern classic. If you're looking for a book that will crawl into your brain and stay there, look no further.

Check it out here on Goodreads.

 

 

Terrify your tastebuds with delicious coffee 

From Dream To Scream is a Vienna dark roast has notes of dark baker's chocolate.

Enjoy a cup while reading one of the best horror sci fi books.

Shop Dream To Scream here → 

14. I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream

Harlan Ellison - 1967

i-have-no-mouth-and-i-must-scream

“I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream” is a part of a collection of short stories. It's a horrifying look into the future. A post-apocalyptic world where machines made by man discover sentience now fight wars.

In the story, Ellison explores religious themes and applies psychological theory to man and machine alike. The short story won a Hugo Award in 1968 and has been included in collection after collection because of its renown. 

Check it out here on Goodreads.

 

15. Infected

Scott Sigler - 2006

infected

A disease is making murders out of the masses. The problem with diseases - they spread. Infected follows the work of Dew Phillips, a CIA agent, who is striving to catch a live victim to understand the disease and what causes it.

Sigler masterfully crafts a narrative that will keep you guessing and at the edge of your seat. Pick this one up if you're looking for a fast-paced thriller with lots of gore and graphic violence.

Check it out here on Goodreads.

 

16. John Dies at the End

David Wong and Jason Pargin - 2007

john-dies-at-the-end

There's a drug called Soy Sauce. When taken, you can see into another world - a parallel world. And users of the drug Soy Sauce learn of a future invasion.

This book is irreverent, hilarious, and brutal. It's just fun. The only criticism is that it is sometimes meandering which can leave readers confused when the storyline is picked back up.

Check it out here on Goodreads.

 

 

17. Leviathan Wakes

James S. A. Corey - 2011

leviathan-wakes

As the population of the earth grew, mankind looked to the stars to expand. And expand they did. Now humans are organized on Mars, the moon, and a space station built on an asteroid belt. The political differences between these locations lead to the brutal death of a girl putting James Holden and his crew in the middle of grand, far-reaching events.

Corey's epic space opera has been thrust to new heights with The Expanse being made a television show. Corey's books and now show are known for their lovable characters (can I get an Amos Burton gif here, please?). And the pace of the books holds your attention and will leave you reaching for the next book.

Check it out here on Goodreads.

 

18. The Luminous Dead

Caitlin Starling - 2019

the-luminous-dead

Gyre Price was excited to join the expedition at first. She just wants to be off-planet and in pursuit of her estranged mother again. But instead, she finds herself trapped by a sociopath bent on controlling her with drugs and threats. What appeared to be only a job has become a terrifying journey to survive.

The book is creepy from page 1. The world and the characters drive much of the intensity of the book. Starling writes an incredibly complex main character with anger and trust issues.

Check it out here on Goodreads.

 

19. Necroscope

Brian Lumley - 1994

necroscope

At first, you think this is a standard Cold War thriller. But as you learn more about Harry Keogh and Boris Dragosani (counterparts in a global conflict), you learn of an evil that sits just out of sight. Evil seeks to rule the world with a brutal fist.

Brian Lumley takes a tried and true horror trope of vampires and refreshes it with spellbinding innovation. Some put this book down before it gets good. Don't be like them! Stick through the first chapter and you will be hooked.

Check it out here on Goodreads

 

20. Parasite

Mira Grant - 2013

parasite

In the near future, tapeworms are used in medicine all the time. The tapeworm keeps a human healthy for all of its life. Sal Mitchell gets suspicious when a sleepwalking illness becomes a pandemic. And her suspicions grow and she learns more about the corporation behind the tapeworm discovery. 

Mira Grant (AKA Seanan McGuire) introduces a captivating series with character conflict and criminal corporate behavior that's sure to sweep you up and have you reaching for the next book in the Parasitology series.

Check it out here on Goodreads.

 

Terrify your tastebuds with delicious coffee 

From Dream To Scream is a Vienna dark roast has notes of dark baker's chocolate.

Enjoy a cup while reading one of the best horror sci fi books.

Shop Dream To Scream here → 

21. The Passage

Justin Cronin - 2011

the-passage

The military has been keeping monstrous things in hiding to study. A breach of such a facility sets into motion a night of carnage and a global collapse with fear and darkness now in charge. An FBI agent and a 6-year-old orphan begin a journey to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.

Part military sci-fi and part cautionary tale, The Passage covers a lot of ground in its 766 pages. Justin Cronin takes a simple and familiar plot and layers nuance to give readers a treat.

Check it out here on Goodreads.

 

22. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Robert Louis Stevenson - 1886

jekyll-hyde

The story revolves around a respected doctor, Dr. Jekyll's and his association with a troubled damnable young man, Edward Hyde. It follows an investigation of a killer that leads to a revelation of true identity and a human's propensity for violence.

A true classic. You were probably forced to read this in high school. Read it again! Sometimes books hit different at different times. And being forced to read never did anyone favors :)

Check it out here on Goodreads.

 

23. World War Z

Max Brooks - 2006

world-war-z

A plague outbreak that turns humans into zombies starts in China and spreads across borders through illicit activity. Though some nations make moves to prevent the spread, slow-moving information and slow-moving action are no match for a fast-moving pandemic. Now, with the world on the brink of true destruction, a calculated and cold strategy called Redeker's plan is instigated. But will it save the world?

World War Z was adapted into a movie starring Brad Pitt which was widely praised. The novel is a much more analytical approach to the horror genre and explores more the terrible things humans do to each other when catastrophe strikes.

Check it out here on Goodreads.

 

Conclusion

So there you have it! Those are the best science fiction horror books that we've come across. We've covered all types of works from short story collections to epics in outer space.

What do you think? Do you agree? If you pick up one of these amazing books from the science fiction genre, we'd love to hear from you! Send us a note at sip@scifi-coffee.com with your book review.

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