If you’re a fan of horror novels, then surely you have heard of names like H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, Richard Matheson, and Dean Koontz. Chances are good that you’ve read at least one book by any of the previously mentioned writers as well. While all of those guys are simply amazing in every aspect of their horror stories, I’ve recently been in love with one author and one author only: Scott Sigler, the future of Sci-Fi Thrillers as we know it.
The dude started out by giving his science fiction and horror stories away in the form of podcast episodes. Thanks to the popularity and success of his podcast books, Sigler grew a huge following of fans (Nicknamed “junkies”) and eventually landed a deal with Random House Publishing. He has since released three books, and they all deserve to be sitting on your bookshelf as we speak. Read about them after the jump!
Infected and Contagious: These first two novels tell the story of Perry Dawsey, a former All-American linebacker with a slew of anger issues created both from a career ending injury in college and the relationship with his horribly violent father. Even though Perry has managed to quell the anger that has cost him many things for a few years now, a new problem arises when he discovers 8 things that look like zits all over his body. At first they are a mere annoyance, but soon the spots begin to develop into something much, much worse.
As that half of the story focuses on the disturbing nature of Perry’s infection, the other half follows Dew Phillips, a CIA agent looking into a series of cases involving seemingly normal people that snap and go on murderous rampages. Are you piecing this together yet? As the book unfolds, we see the true nature of these strange infections, and the end result is pretty freaking terrifying. I give too much away on the sequel, Contagious, for the sake of readers that may want to pick up the first novel, but I will say that it is just as disturbing and addictive of a read as Infected.
Ancestor: While not a sequel to the previous two books, Ancestor is still in the exact same universe as Infected and Contagious, which the reader is tipped off of by references to the same President and Director of the CIA from the other books. Thinking about it, living in a world with crazy infections and bio-engineered monsters sounds pretty God damn frightening. Yep, that’s what Ancestor concerns: Bio-engineered monsters. This plot follows P.J. Colding and a team of scientists trying to develop animals that will be able to produce human organs, resulting in a solution to the organ transplant problems facing many hospitals. But (Gasp!) due to some complications from a mentally unstable scientist, the genome of the animals is altered so that the animals coming out of the hosts (Average cows) are… well, let’s just say “That sure as fuck ain’t no cow.”
The triumph of all three of Sigler’s published works (And I’m sure his podcast stories as well) is that they’re written in the everyman style that made Stephen King one my favorite authors as a pre-teen. The simple references to things like the characters’ interests, behaviors, and unique aspects all help to create a sense of realism in the book. Suddenly, instead of it just being a bunch of cardboard cutouts being mercilessly slaughtered by monsters and other characters, it’s actually a bunch of human beings. Even though it’s only one minor thing, the aspect of character development makes the book that much more enjoyable. I cheered when the assholes got theirs, and felt bad for the nice guys that also got torn to shreds or blown up. Hell, even a dog gets it’s own back-story in Ancestor. Combine that with Sigler’s talent for creating tense situations that ultimately end in descriptive gore and disarming sense of humor, and you have three books that are literally impossible to put down. Well, at least for me they were.
You can check out more about Scott Sigler at his website, which is also included on our blogroll. Next time on Suppes’ Halloween Goodies, a number of songs guaranteed to scare the piss out of you. Don’t forget to read all the other Halloween posts as well! Toodles!