Read These Disturbing Horror Novels Before They Hit The Screen

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men and monsters? Hollywood does, and your favorite authors are the ones who told them. Here's a roundup of excellent horror novels that are working their way to film and television…

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen & Owen King

As if the master of horror doesn't have enough adaptations of his work, filmmakers have also set their sights on King's not-yet-published novel Sleeping Beauties, which King co-wrote with his son Owen, to develop into a television series. This supernatural horror story poses the question: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men? Set in the very near future, the premise is about something bizarre that happens to women when they go to sleep one fateful night: they enter a trance-like state and become shrouded in a gauze-like cocoon. If the men attempt to awaken them or otherwise disturb the cocoon, the sleeping beauties become violently feral. Men are thus left to their own devices to find out what's going on, including figuring out what to do with miracle-or-monster Evie, the only woman who appears to be immune to the strange phenomenon.

The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice

8.9 Vampire Chronicles

Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles series is a fan favorite. It has already spawned two film adaptations. 1994's Interview with the Vampire, based on the first book in the series, starred Brad Pitt as a morally conflicted vampire and Tom Cruise as his undead companion, Lestat de Lioncourt. The 2002 sequel, Queen of the Damned, based on the second book, was much less of a box office hit. But time heals all wounds, especially those of undead vampires. Anne Rice herself announced that she and her son, author Christopher Rice, are developing the Vampire Chronicles novels for television after reacquiring the rights. The focus of the series will be on Lestat, the French nobleman who was turned into a vampire in the 18th century, and his tribe. Rice hopes that the longer storytelling format of television will be just the place to let the wonders of her saga unfold.

8.9 Haunting of Hill House

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Stephen King described Shirley Jackson's well-regarded 1959 classic The Haunting of Hill House as one of the most important horror novels of the twentieth century. Netflix must agree, because they've ordered a TV series adaptation of what is considered by many to be one of literature's best ghost stories. The plot involves four people who arrive at an eighty-year-old mansion notorious for the strange things that occur there. Among the wary visitors is an investigator of the supernatural, who hopes to obtain concrete evidence of an actual haunting. The visitors are not disappointed; strange occurrences do begin to happen, and it even seems as if the house is trying to claim some of them.

8.9 Nightflyer

Nightflyers by George R.R. Martin

These days, George R.R. Martin is known for his wildly successful Song of Ice and Fire series, which has been adapted by HBO as Game of Thrones. Before that, though, Martin wrote a creepy futuristic novella called Nightflyers, in which a spaceship crew sets out to save a dying Earth and intercepts a mysterious alien spacecraft that holds unspeakable horrors. If there was ever such a thing as VHS aficionados, they'd know that Martin's 1980 novella was already adapted as a film in 1987 starring Catherine Mary Stewart & Michael Praed. Now the story is getting revived by the SyFy Channel, who picked up the rights to develop it as a television series.

8.9 Lovecraft Country

Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

Speaking of unspeakable horrors, that granddaddy of all of them has to be H.P. Lovecraft. Through his Cthulhu tales alone, he launched a mythos that's still going strong. As evidence, consider Matt Ruff's unsettling recent novel Lovecraft Country. In it, Army veteran Atticus Turner and his uncle embark on a road trip to New England (where many of Lovecraft's tales are located) in 1954 to find Atticus' father. Unfortunately, they encounter malevolent spirits, secret cabals and racial tension along the way. The weight of Ruff's novel struck a chord with executive producers Jordan Peele and J. J. Abrams – they're adapting the novel as a HBO series.

John DeNardo is the founding editor of SF Signal, a Hugo Award-winning science fiction and fantasy blog featuring news, reviews and interviews. You can follow him on Twitter as @sfsignal.

 

 

 

MORE BLOG POSTS

More Summer Sequels You Don't Want To Miss
It's hard to keep up with the hundreds of new speculative fiction books being released each month, so there's a decent chance that you may have missed the release of a sequel in a series you've already started. Here's another roundup of some worthwhile sequels that recently hit the bookstore shelves. These books easily work as ...
Spin the Wheel of Science Fiction and Fantasy to Find a Great Read
Speculative fiction comes in many flavors.  Want to see for yourself? Spin the wheel of Science Fiction & Fantasy and find your next excellent read! CLONES In More of Me by Kathryn Evans, a teenage girl deals with the trials of her teenage years and then some. To all outward appearances, Teva appears like an ordinary teenager with all ...
August's Must-Read Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Books
The final month of Summer reading season is upon us but that doesn't mean there aren't new and awesome stories to be read. Here's a roundup of the speculative fiction books that you should be looking at in August. They include stories about a magic-infused alternate history, witches in the Old West, a journey beyond Earth's ...