Historical Horror: The Work of Dan Simmons

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London via Wikimedia Commons
HMS Erebus and Terror in the Antarctic, Oil on Canvas by John Wilson Carmichael

Reading just one genre can get boring, am I right? OK, maybe that's not true for everyone, but I definitely like to switch it up. When I find a writer who can blur the lines between genres, I am in reader's heaven. Enter author Dan Simmons.

Simmons writes award-winning horror and science fiction, even a few hard-boiled detective novels for good measure.  My picks are historical fiction but add in a supernatural twist, a dash of mystery and a whole lot of suspense.

The Terror grabbed my attention right away thanks to its beautiful cover. It's an intimidating length, but I was totally captivated by the story of the doomed 1845 Franklin Expedition of the HMS Terror (yes, that was its real name). The crew's fight for survival in the Arctic blends the best of literary suspense with supernatural horror. Read the book before it becomes the next must-see show because it is also being adapted into a series by AMC, the fine folks who brought us The Walking Dead

The Terror is available in multiple formats.

Drood is another doorstopper of a novel.  Set in Victorian London, author Wilkie Collins serves as the opium-fueled narrator in this tale of murder, ghosts and the final years of Charles Dickens. It was a challenge to get through the whole thing, but I think fans of Dickens and old-fashioned horror will be impressed with Simmons' literary skill and eye for historical detail.

Drood is available in multiple formats.

Simmons' latest is The Abominable, which takes place in 1925 amid the race to top Mount Everest. I haven't gotten my hands on this one yet, but reviews lead me to believe it will be another perfect mix of adventure, history and just enough scary suspense to appeal to an omnivoracious reader like myself.

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