Bio-horror tech sci fi thrillers of the past few years?
February 1, 2017 4:49 PM   Subscribe

Time for some more reading! What's this decade's Blood Music by Greg Bear?

I love stories where humans get wiped out, or are at threat of getting wiped out, by something sciencey. A couple of my favourites are Day of the Triffids and Blood Music, but I've read these both dozens of times. I'm happy to read them a dozen more, and in fact am in the midst of doing so, but surely something similar, and similarly good, has come along in the past few years?

I know there's plenty of good apocalypse fiction around, but that's not exactly what I'm after: I like the thrilling buildup to it (Blood Music) or the gradual unravelling of the mystery (Triffids).

Your recommendations are appreciated!
posted by turbid dahlia to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Expanse (the books and TV show).
posted by dilaudid at 5:06 PM on February 1


Not new, but have you read The Puppet Masters?

These don't get much into bio-horror, but they do get into the end of the world build up:

Remembrance's of Earth's Past

Seveneves
posted by willnot at 5:21 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


I've read a bit of Heinlein, but not Puppet Masters - looks fun, thanks!
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:39 PM on February 1


This is not necessarily GOOD book, but it seems to fit your criteria. (Invasive , by Chuck Wendig. Humanity is threatened by bioengineered bugs).
posted by maryrussell at 6:38 PM on February 1


Have you read Ramez Naan's series: Nexus, Crux, Apex? They're chilling and very well thought out from a almost-here biofuture perspective. I've only read the first one but it was great. LOTS of creepy buildup.
posted by jessamyn at 6:40 PM on February 1 [2 favorites]


Tobias Buckell Hurricane Fever. Old fashioned thriller in the near future, with rising sea levels and Caribbean spies.
posted by mark k at 6:48 PM on February 1


I don't know if the biological threat to humans is at the scale you're looking for, but have you read the Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer?
posted by Candleman at 7:01 PM on February 1


More excellent suggestions by authors I wasn't even aware of - thanks! Ramez Naan seems especially like he will hit the spot.

Candleman, I read the first, and only managed to get halfway through the second, unfortunately.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:05 PM on February 1


Oryx and Crake
posted by pyro979 at 7:24 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]


The sequel is crap (seriously, pretend it does not have a sequel) but The Passage is pretty good for this as well. There's also the Rifter's Trilogy (some books available free online) which is pretty dark and takes a while to get to the "Lots of humans die out because of biological agents" aspect. In fact it may not be until the second book. The series (and the spin offs) are GRIM AS FUCK but they're also pretty good, though Watts is an acquired taste and may not be your thing. The Wool series isn't quite that same thing but there's a lot of interesting science involved in "OK, humans live in a silo now. How does THAT work?" which is pretty interesting. Also I presume you've read Darwin's Radio by Bear also, if not, you should read that AND the sequel.
posted by jessamyn at 7:29 PM on February 1 [5 favorites]


Elizabeth Hand's Winterlong strays into weird mythical fantasy but it's also got bio-horror & genetic engineering run amok & the threat of apocalypse. It's dark & trippy.

Seconding the Watts Rifters books and the warning about their grimness. His Firefall books (Blindsight & especially Echopraxia) are also about several threats to humanity all happening at once, and they're science-heavy like the Rifters books (with surprisingly entertaining and well-sourced endnotes explaining the plausibility of the horrors he's presenting).
posted by miles per flower at 8:16 PM on February 1


Perhaps Peter F. Hamilton's Night's Dawn Trilogy.

It fooled me at first as a hard-ish spaceopera scifi, but it's essentially a space-based fantasy (with a bunch of adolescent wish fulfillment), but it reads really easily with several compelling complementary story arcs.

Lots of people getting wiped out, and wiped out.

I read Greg Bear when I was a kid, liked him, grew out of him. Hamilton is similar, but later stage.
posted by porpoise at 10:10 PM on February 1


Seconding "Oryx and Crake", along with the rest of the trilogy "Year of the Flood"and "Maddadam", by Margaret Atwood. This trilogy is full of bio-horror and well drawn characters. Definitely worth a read.
posted by h00py at 1:38 AM on February 2


Swan Song by Robert McCammon
posted by fourpotatoes at 8:30 AM on February 2


Lots of zombie fiction might qualify.

Mira Grant's Parisitology series and her Newsflesh series have a spin on zombies with the first having more of the before and during the fall feel and the later more of a figure out/fight the conspiracy angle.

Scott Sigler's Infected is bad but compelling from a bioterror/body horror perspective. I listened to the audiobook which is uneven in voicing.
posted by jclarkin at 7:34 AM on February 3


There's a development that might meet your criteria in the most recent book in the Expanse series, so maybe the whole series counts as buildup? It's all pretty thrilling.
posted by chazlarson at 7:08 PM on February 7


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