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Books What Are Good

A while ago, I wrote a post about 9 Low Budget Science Fiction Films More People Should See so I thought I’d write some posts about the sci-fi/fantasy horror books I’ve enjoyed this year. If you’ve not read any of these, I suggest you check them out.

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

birdboxThere’s something outside. You don’t know what it is, but if you see it madness and death will follow.

Bird Box taps directly into the primal fear of the dark, made all the worse because that darkness is self-inflicted. To survive, one must be blindfolded.

I’m not really affected by scary stories because I’m a double hard bastard, but one sequence left me shaking and terrified while sat reading on a packed tube train. This’ll stick with you long after you’ve finished it.

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Resistance is Futile by Jenny T Colgan

resistanceI like Jenny Colgan. She gives good Twitter.

I came across this when researching what turned out to be a similar story idea.

I thought I’d read it for research purposes and found out it contains jokes, snogging and hard sums. Which are three of my favourite things. Result. Funny and touching, if there was more cake it’d be perfect.

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The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

harryHarry August keeps dying. Harry August keeps being born. He always returns to his childhood with the memory of the lives he has yet to live.

I adore time loop stories (see my love of Primer and Timecrimes on the sci-fi film link). I love to see how the writer will keep the narrative fresh as we re-visit events that have already happened.

This has a grander scope, an entire life re-lived rather than hours or days, and a grander narrative ambition.

Look, as soon as I finished this, I immediately ordered Claire North’s next book, Touch, because I wanted to keep on reading her delicious prose. I don’t think I can give any higher praise than that, can I?

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That was short and sweet, wasn’t it? I’ll continue this next week with some more recommendations. I hope I given you at least one new thing to try. What books have you enjoyed this year? Please let me know in the comments.


  1. Sarah Munn says:

    I’m not reading/watching any more of your recommendations! You keep scaring me to death. Birdbox gave me nightmares. (Which I secretly loved of course)
    Have you read The Stone Man by Luke Smithard? A really good sci-fi story from a struggling young writer.

  2. Paul Laker says:

    They all sound great to try, particularly Bird Box as I’m looking for something scary to read for Halloween.

    I read The Sparrow (Mary Doria Russell) at the beginning of the year. That really stuck with me. Really felt for the characters and in places felt awful when I could see what might be coming.

    Also read The Southern Reach Trilogy (Jeff VanderMeer). That was rather different/odd. More of an experience than just reading a book.

    1. mrdaveturner120876 says:

      Ooh. I like the sound of The Sparrow. Just ordered a copy now! Thanks!

  3. Carl says:

    Personal face this year was The Girl With All The Gifts by MR Carey. A really good alternative take on the zombie theme.

    1. mrdaveturner120876 says:

      Ah! Thank you! Ordered it from the library just now!

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