Who says Classic SciFi can't be scary?
If you've followed this blog, you know that I enjoy classic science fiction short stories. I practically grew up on a diet of Asmiov, Bradbury, and Campbell (J.W.). Since I've read a lot of classic science fiction, I wanted to share my top five scariest classic scifi short stories. These are more suspenseful and haunting, and much of the horror take place off-stage.
- "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" by Harlan Ellison - Even the title is scary, but the implications of the story to my ten year old mind were horrific and haunting. I'm still afraid of this story, and I can still picture a few of the scenes if I close my eyes. You'll know the part, the scene with the icicles. What a wonderfully horrible man he was. What a writer!
- "Blood Child" by Octavia Butler - A slow burn about an alien conquest of humans, and our "protective" enclaves. You will feel sick to your stomach when you realize what's really going on. This one will haunt you for months after you read it. She was such a powerful writer.
- "The Screwfly Solution" - I found this to be a bit brutal for parents, so you may want to stay away. But Tiptree...Sheldon...Racoona... whatever name she wrote this under...really hit a nerve with this story of mass-misogyny.
- "The Third Expedition" by Ray Bradbury - I must have read this collection a dozen times as a kid. There's many good stories in it, but this one was the most troubling. In it, humans visit Mars for a third time, and find...small town America. But something's not right. I think this story has really stood the test of time, and Bradbury is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance these days (as he should be).
- "The Jaunt" by Steven King - He's known best for long urban fantasy, magic and creepy clown killers. But I really like King's shorter work too, and this short story is one of his rare clear-cut science fiction pieces. It's about the development of a new technology, and the daring of a young boy. If you think King only does psychic killers, or the occult, read this story. It will change your mind. (Runner up: Doorway in the Sand)
An Important Note from our Shameless Self Promotion Department...
.... and rounding out our list, is:
#1608 The Moctezuman - by E.C. Stever (that's me)
Get it for Free on Halloween! Best described as The Martian meets The Evil Dead, at the end of the Aztec empire. This story has it all: bizarre alien astronauts, Aztecan human sacrifice, jokes about photons. And it's written by a real live archaeologist, so you know he didn't just make this stuff up. What more could you want?
Though not exactly classic (yet), it does fit the bill as scary scifi, and is currently featured by our shameless self-promotion department. They write: "Get it today, before the entropy of the universe causes all electrons to slow, and then drift away from one another. You likely only have another 80 billion years to purchase it, but hey, at least it's a short read." Best of all, it's free this Halloween. Countdown: 3, 2, 1...
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