Feed by Mira Grant

>

The people of the world are scared. Zombies are everywhere, and once you’ve been bitten, there’s no way to avoid becoming a flesh eating, brainless monster yourself. George and Shaun Mason are two of the few people in the world who actually seek out contact with zombies. It’s their source of income since they film and blog about the state of the world in 2039, 25 years after the Kellis-Amberlee virus made the dead stand up and walk. They’re good at their jobs and people trust them to bring them the news and an adrenaline rush, this is why they are asked to join the presidential campaign of Senator Peter Ryman to accompany and blog about his campaign.

Feed is set in a world where using zombies as a weapon is considered an act of terrorism and still carries the death penalty. This makes the acts of sabotage that plague the campaign and infect members of Senator Ryman’s camp even more unthinkable than they would otherwise be. George and Shaun are determined to get to the bottom of the attacks, even if they don’t survive to see the end of the campaign season.

Some other science-based horror novels worth reading: Peeps by Scott Westerfeld and The Passage by Justin Cronin.

Horror Fiction

>

In honor of All Hallows Eve at the end of the month, here is a recommended reading list of new and classic horror titles and authors. For those who aren’t familiar with horror, one definition from Becky Siegel Spratford, horror enthusiast, is “a story in which the author manipulates the readers’ emotions by introducing situations in which unexplainable phenomena and unearthly creatures threaten the protagonists and provoke terror in the reader.” Without further ado:

Something Wicked This Way Comes is a classic work of horror by Ray Bradbury that occurs in the small town of Green Town, Illinois. Halloween arrives a week early with the arrival of a dark carnival that destroys the lives of the townspeople it touches.


Dracula’s Guest is a collection of early vampire stories ranging in publication date from 1738-1890. The vampires in these stories do not sparkle, nor are they brooding and sexy. If you’re looking for horror stories where vampires truly are scary and can only- be kept at bay with Christian symbols or garlic, these tales will not disappoint.

One well-known author who has been writing in the horror genre for years is Stephen King. In Under the Dome an entire town is suddenly trapped by a dome that unexpectedly springs up around its edges. The petty arguments of small town life are magnified and factions develop as some seek to take advantage of the captive town.

Joe Hill (son of Stephen King) is also an author of horror fiction. His first novel, Heart Shaped Box, features metal band musician and collector of occult paraphernelia Judas Coyne. Coyne is unable to resist purchasing a ghost when he sees one for sale online. It turns out he has purchased the angry spirit of his late girlfriend’s stepfather. Hill is also the author of the horror graphic novel series Locke & Key.

Hell House by Richard Matheson is written in the tradition of the great horror novels and is one of the scariest haunted house books ever written. Matheson, like King, is one of those horror authors who has developed a cult following (he also wrote the truly scary I Am Legend) and he is a favorite among horror connoisseurs.

In a creative break from the slew of recently published zombie novels, Steven Schlozman’s debut, The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notebooks from the Apocalypse, is presented as the gorily illustrated, hand-written diary of a neuroscientist investigating the causes of zombiism before he himself can succumb to the disease that causes it.

For horror leavened with a (large) dose of humor, try Christopher Moore’s Vampire Love Stories series, the most recent of which is Bite Me. With his normal large and totally weird cast of characters, Moore sets a vampire cat loose on San Francisco.

Halloween wouldn’t be complete without horror movies, and Let Me In is a disturbing but bittersweet film based on a book by the same title. Owen is a young boy who is bullied at school who befriends his young neighbor, Abby, a young girl only goes outside at night. Owen must confront the idea that his young, introverted friend may be connected to a string of grisly murders rocking their community.

Graveminder by Melissa Marr

>Graveminder is the first adult novel published by Melissa Marr (author of the popular young adult Wicked Lovely series). Claysville is a world unto itself. Its residents are born there, and they must die there, though they are ignorant of what is truly going on around them and why they feel an irresistible pull to the place where they were born. In Claysville, if a body isn’t minded after death, the dead don’t stay where they’re put.

Rebekkah must unexpectedly return to Claysville upon the death of her grandmother, Maylene. When she arrives, she finds out Maylene was murdered in her home and that attacks continue to occur. Her old flame, Byron, a man who still loves her, must convince her she has to take up her grandmother’s place and as Graveminder to mind the dead and lay the Hungry Dead who have already woken to rest. He must also convince her she belongs to him and to the dead. Together they act as enforcers of a three hundred year old contract between the enigmatic ruler of the world of the dead and the town of Claysville.

This atmospheric gothic mystery pulls you in and doesn’t let you go until the end.

The Passage by Justin Cronin

>There are a ridiculous number of books being published right now featuring vampires (and werewolves and zombies). The Passage by Justin Cronin happens to feature vampires. But if you’re not a Twilight fan, don’t let the vampires put you off of The Passage. These vampires don’t sparkle and don’t get involved in melodramatic love triangles. These vampires are out of the Stoker tradition, although in this wonderfully captivating novel the vampire condition is caused by a virus harvested and modified by the government to create super soldiers.

One hundred years after “virals” escape a government testing facility in Colorado, there live a group of people in a place known as “The Colony” in what was California. On a maintenance trip to the power station powering the lights that keep their settlement from being overrun by the virals, they find a girl on her own. She has a chip implanted in her neck recording her vitals that has been recording for approximately the past hundred years. They have also discovered a radio transmission repeating the message “if you found her, bring her here.” The obvious conclusion is that the transmission refers to this mystery girl.

A small group sets out to discover the source of the transmission and find out if the reason this girl is still alive after one hundred years is information that can save the rest of humanity. The lights at The Colony are failing, and there isn’t much time to find an answer.