Thrillers With a Science Fiction Edge
Frequently, exploring the edges of the science fiction genre expands the reading possibilities of most genre readers. Sometimes it is near future murder mysteries, or science fantasy, other times it is science fictional tales of super heroics, or even the subgenre currently growing in popularity, science fiction romance. However, one subgenre that is quietly building momentum is thrillers with science fiction elements. Fast paced action/adventure tales written by writers suited to thriller stylings and pacings, embracing elements that have made our genre exciting.
Here, let’s explore five thrillers that are running with their science fiction ties.
1) The Breach by Patrick Lee
Patrick Lee’s Travis Chase series is grabbing readers with its fast pace and exciting concepts. In The Breach, Lee introduces us to Travis Chase, a hero with a shady past, who comes across a torture scene while hiking in the wilderness. Thus, Chase is drawn into a secret research initiative exploring the Breach, a hole of some sort in our dimension, which occasionally releases inexplicable devices and contraptions from…somewhere. Is the breach a link to another dimension, or to our future? Lee carries the book well, with plenty of excitement and believable characters, leaving the book with a strong conclusion that also leaves things open for further novels. The series continues in Ghost Country and the brand new Deep Sky.
2) Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
A modern classic in the subgenre of science fiction/horror thrillers, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s first novel hits all the right notes. Introducing series characters Vincent D’Agosta and Aloysius Pendergast, Preston and Child set up a tightly plotted story of a monster unleashed in a museum. As the killer creature travels through the museum, murdering people as it goes, our heroes try to track down its origins, exploring genetic mutation and genetic manipulation, as well as the history of death. An in-depth, engaging, and interesting thriller from two masters.
3) Deep Storm by Lincoln Child
The duo above occasionally take time to write novels by themselves, and the most exciting I have read is Lincoln Child’s Deep Storm. Deep Storm tells the story of an underwater research base exploring an unexplainable object. The pace is astounding, the sense of claustrophobia in the enclosed environment is well executed, and the ending is sufficiently overwhelming and exciting. Well written, and well worth a read.
4) Antarktos Rising by Jeremy Robinson
Jeremy Robinson quietly began a career writing exciting thrillers before really taking thriller readers by storm with novels such as Antarktos Rising and Pulse. With Antarktos Rising, Robinson explores an Antarctica that has become ice free, and the multinational race to claim the island. As the nations begin to clash, the secrets of the seventh continent begin to surface. Robinson shows that he knows how to slowly reveal the secret history of the Antarctic while racing through a powerful plot. A member of the top tier of Antarctic thrillers.
5) Contest by Matthew Reilly
Matthew Reilly, with his Shane Schofield novels, quickly became my favorite thriller writer. In Contest, Reilly’s first, originally self-published novel, a gladiatorial death match between alien warriors is set in a museum in New York. As the ferocious beasts clash, one man must fight to survive and protect his son. Reilly uses the enclosed environment well, creating a labyrinth setting that is well-leant to suspense. Contest is as fast-paced as they come, a true treat to thriller lovers, and a brilliant synthesis of thriller and science fiction.