10 Sci-Fi and Horror Books on Our Fall TBR

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.Oh, lookie, another chance to talk about the books we want to read but will probably actually never get around to. Well, we’re not gonna lie and say we’re going to actually get around to reading these, because that would be wrong. And delusional. And they don’t make a pill strong enough yet to help self-admitted bookworms with that “I can read all the books!” self-delusion.

However, these are 10 sci-fi and horror books on our Fall TBR. Some of them we might actually read, others we’ll look longingly at, and the rest we’ll probably forget about as soon as another book with a shiny cover twinkles our way. (Or waves the promise of a blood-splattered gorefest at us. Don’t judge.)

By the way, Top Ten Tuesday topics are brought to you courtesy of Broke and Bookish.

If you’re looking for upcoming science fiction and horror books for 2017 (well, what remains of it), look here at our More 2017 Science Fiction and Horror Novels to Look For (July-Dec).


10 Sci-Fi and Horror Books on Our Fall TBR


Doctor Arnoldi by Tiffany Thayer – Tiffany Thayer, who was prominent in the Fortean Society, wrote many unusual novels in the first half of the 20th century but DOCTOR ARNOLDI is one of the most elusive. Now, for the first time since its initial publication in 1934, it’s available. The story is an old one — what happens when death is defeated — but no one has ever written about it as Thayer has.

I just recently came across this one in an article I was reading, and it intrigued me. Especially the scene they talked about where a guy was ran through a meat grinder and the meat came out still moving. I need to read this. I also need the gumption to spend 15+ on the book since my library can’t get it. So, it might wait a while.


The Happy Chip by Dennis Meredith – You feel ecstatic! Until you kill yourself. – The Happy Chip is the latest nanoengineering wonder from the high-flying tech company, NeoHappy, Inc. Hundreds of millions of people have had the revolutionary chip injected into their bodies to monitor their hormonal happiness and guide them to life choices, from foods to sex partners. Given the nanochip’s stunning success, struggling science writer Brad Davis is thrilled when he is hired to co-author the biography of its inventor, billionaire tech genius Marty Fallon.

That is, until Davis learns that rogue company scientists are secretly testing horrifying new control chips with “side effects”—suicidal depression, uncontrollable lust, murderous rage, remote-controlled death, and ultimately, global subjugation. His discovery threatens not only his life, but that of his wife Annie and their children. Only with the help of Russian master hacker Gregor Kalinsky and his gang can they hope to survive the perilous adventure that takes them from Boston to Beijing.

The Happy Chip, an edge-of-your-seat thriller, spins a cautionary tale of unchecked nanotechnology spawning insidious devices that could enslave us. It dramatically portrays how we must control our “nanofuture” before it’s too late.

I liked Dennis Meredith’s Wormholes well enough, and the concept of a happy chip isn’t too far-future, neither is the misuse of it. I’m curious to see what the author could do with it. Its terrestrial sci-fi, and sometimes that’s just what I’m looking for. 


Mars One by Jonathan Maberry – Go on the adventure of a lifetime with a teen and his family after they are selected to colonize Mars in this thrilling new novel from multiple Bram Stoker Award–winning author Jonathan Maberry.

Tristan has known that he and his family were going to be on the first mission to colonize Mars since he was twelve years old, and he has been training ever since. However, knowing that he would be leaving for Mars with no plan to return didn’t stop him from falling in love with Izzy.

But now, at sixteen, it’s time to leave Earth, and he’s forced to face what he must leave behind in exchange for an uncertain future. When the news hits that another ship is already headed to colonize Mars, and the NeoLuddite terrorist group begins threatening the Mars One project, the mission’s purpose is called into question. Is this all worth it?

I’m a huge fan of Jonathan Maberry’s Joe Ledger series. His other work? Ehhh, hit or miss. He’s definitely not an author that’s on my ‘must buy’ list. However, he is talented, and I’m really really curious to see what he can do with a straight up science fiction novel. Especially a young adult one. 


Counting Heads by David Marusek – Counting Heads is David Marusek’s extraordinary launch as an SF novelist: The year is 2134, and the Information Age has given rise to the Boutique Economy in which mass production and mass consumption are rendered obsolete. Life extension therapies have increased the human lifespan by centuries. Loyal mentars (artificial intelligence) and robots do most of society’s work. The Boutique Economy has made redundant ninety-nine percent of the world’s fifteen billion human inhabitants. The world would be a much better place if they all simply went away.

Eleanor K. Starke, one of the world’s leading citizens is assassinated, and her daughter, Ellen, is mortally wounded. Only Ellen, the heir to her mother’s financial empire, is capable of saving Earth from complete domination plotted by the cynical, selfish, immortal rich, if she, herself, survives. Her cryonically frozen head is in the hands of her family’s enemies. A ragtag ensemble of unlikely heroes join forces to rescue Ellen’s head, all for their own purposes.

 Another terrestrial science fiction novel, this one looks like it could just be off-beat enough to intrigue me. I mean, it’s Mission Impossible to rescue a *head*.  I know it’s the first book in a series, so it makes me a bit wary, but… good things? And it’s old enough (but not too old!) so that my library should have it! Found this one just recently through random browsing.


Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan – It’s the twenty-fifth century, and advances in technology have redefined life itself. A person’s consciousness can now be stored in the brain and downloaded into a new body (or “sleeve”), making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen. Onetime U.N. Envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Resleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats existence as something that can be bought and sold. For Kovacs, the shell that blew a hole in his chest was only the beginning.

I’m not actually a huge fan of massive conspiracies because I tend to sort all that out way too quick, but this one has too many recommendations for me to not at least think hard about giving it a try. Got it whilst googling “Best hard science fiction novels of the 21st century.”



Paperbacks from Hell: A History of Horror Fiction from the ’70s and ’80s – Grady Hendrix: Take a tour through the horror paperback novels of the 1970s and ’80s . . . if you dare. Page through dozens and dozens of amazing book covers featuring well-dressed skeletons, evil dolls, and knife-wielding killer crabs! Read shocking plot summaries that invoke devil worship, satanic children, and haunted real estate! Horror author and vintage paperback book collector Grady Hendrix offers killer commentary and witty insight on these trashy thrillers that tried so hard to be the next Exorcist or Rosemary’s Baby. It’s an affectionate, nostalgic, and unflinchingly funny celebration of the horror fiction boom of two iconic decades, complete with story summaries and artist and author profiles. You’ll find familiar authors, like V. C. Andrews and R. L. Stine, and many more who’ve faded into obscurity. Plus recommendations for which of these forgotten treasures are well worth your reading time and which should stay buried.

I love covers and the ’70s and ’80s had some great cover art. Hopefully, if it’s successful, they continue through to the present day. Although I fear it will add greatly to my TBR list. Oh well, the more the scarier!

Haunted Nights – Edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton: Sixteen never-before-published chilling tales that explore every aspect of our darkest holiday, Halloween, co-edited by Ellen Datlow, one of the most successful and respected genre editors, and Lisa Morton, a leading authority on Halloween.
In addition to stories about scheming jack-o’-lanterns, vengeful ghosts, otherworldly changelings, disturbingly realistic haunted attractions, masks that cover terrifying faces, murderous urban legends, parties gone bad, cult Halloween movies, and trick or treating in the future, Haunted Nights also offers terrifying and mind-bending explorations of related holidays like All Souls’ Day, Dia de los Muertos, and Devil’s Night.

I love Halloween and short story collections. What could be better for a fall read than a short story anthology with stories based all around the Big Three of the October holidays?

Halloween Carnival, Volume 1 – Edited by Brian James Freeman: Robert McCammon, Kevin Lucia, John R. Little, Lisa Morton, and Mark Allan Gunnells put the horror back in Halloween with a quintet of devilishly delightful tales, curated by acclaimed author and editor Brian James Freeman.

Yup. More Halloween themed short stories. I hope. It looks to be a series that will be released all through October, one each week. I’m interested to know if it will be sold as a collection after the different volumes are released and if there will be a wraparound story or if the stories stand on their own. 

Madness on the Orient Express – Edited by James Lowder: Trains embody the promise and peril of technological advance. They unlock opportunities for wealth and travel, but also create incredible chaos—uprooting populations and blighting landscapes. Work on or around the rails leads to unwelcome discoveries and, in light of the Mythos, dire implications in the spread of the rail system as a whole.

A certain path to uncovering unwelcome truths about the universe is to venture beyond our own “placid island of ignorance” and encounter foreign cultures. The Orient Express serves as the perfect vehicle for such excursions, designed as a bridge between West and East. Movement into mystery forms the central action for many stories in this volume. The only limitation placed upon writers for this collection was that their works somehow involve the Orient Express and the Mythos.

The last warning whistle has blown, and we are getting underway. Have your tickets at the ready and settle in for a journey across unexpected landscapes to a destination that—well, we’ll just let you see for yourself when you arrive. We promise this though: murder will be the least of your problems on this trip aboard the Orient Express!

There’s something about trains, don’t you think? It could be assumed that I’m adding this because of the movie coming out but Agatha Christie ain’t got anything on Lovecraft and I’d rather read about Cthulhu stalking the rails rather than a commonplace murderer.

2113: Stories Inspired by the Music of Rush – Edited by Kevin J. Anderson and John McFetridge18 exhilarating journeys into Rush-inspired worlds 

The music of Rush, one of the most successful bands in history, is filled with fantastic stories, evocative images, and thought-provoking futures and pasts. In this anthology, notable, bestselling, and award-winning writers each chose a Rush song as the spark for a new story, drawing inspiration from the visionary trio that is Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart.

Enduring stark dystopian struggles or testing the limits of the human spirit, the characters populating 2113 find strength while searching for hope in a world that is repressive, dangerous, or just debilitatingly bland. Most of these tales are science fiction, but some are fantasies, thrillers, even edgy mainstream. Many of Rush’s big hits are represented, as well as deeper cuts . . . with wonderful results. This anthology also includes the seminal stories that inspired the Rush classics “Red Barchetta” and “Roll the Bones,” as well as Kevin J. Anderson’s novella sequel to the groundbreaking Rush album 2112.

Lilyn brought this one to my attention back in the spring and it’s been hovering on my periphery ever since. Anyone who comes to the site often is probably well aware (too aware, some might say) of how much I love music. I do like stories based on songs (and songs based on stories) because I like to see how that particular author interprets the song. I may not always agree but it’s always interesting.


So, there you go. Our theoretical list of reading material for fall (that doesn’t include all the new releases).

How are you with these type of things? Do you ever actually read most of the books you put on your lists?

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3 thoughts on “10 Sci-Fi and Horror Books on Our Fall TBR

  1. An update to the TBR list: I just got Paperbacks from Hell in the mail and I definitely recommend getting the physical book. It’s well put together and I don’t think the e-book would look as pretty. So look for it on our site soon!

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