Sci-Fi stories are for everyone - Dan Smith

Published on: 09 February 2018 Author: Dan Smith

The great thing about sci-fi is that it covers such a wide range of stories and ideas – from incredibly stylised tales set in worlds enormously different from our own, to twists on things that are already familiar to us. It can be the difference between highly advanced spacecraft flitting from planet to planet at the speed of light, and carnivorous plants roaming the streets we live on. Sci-fi melts into so many of the stories I love to read, so here is a small selection of some I have read or re-read recently.

Tintin and the Shooting Star

Tintin and the Shooting Star


Tintin and the Shooting Star was one of the very first Tintins I ever read. It has many of the classic Tintin beats – Captain Haddock being a buffoon, Snowy trying to be brave, travel, boats, planes, danger, adventure, and mystery. But this one also has a strange comet that is going to crash into the earth . . . and it has giant spiders!


The Day of the Triffids

The Day of the Triffids

John Wyndham

My first triffid encounter was as an eleven-year-old, when I was enthralled by the 1981 TV adaptation. I went straight out to find the book, with its cover image of a ruined house overrun by plants. It's a little old-fashioned in the telling, but it's such a fantastic story that complicates the characters' lives in so many ways; a world gone blind, society in disarray, kidnap, disease, and giant plants that eat people. Awesome!


Maze Runner

The Maze Runner

James Dashner

I enjoyed this book so much! It's the very definition of a page-turner, with every chapter ending on a note that made me want to read on. Who is Thomas? What is the maze? Who built it? What is WICKED, and what on earth are the terrifying grievers?


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams

Ford Prefect rescues poor, bewildered Arthur Dent from the imminent destruction of earth and things just keep on getting weirder and weirder. Add a paranoid android, a two-headed three-armed man, Vogons, babel fish, and a talking book and you've got yourself a crazy journey through the galaxy. Sit back, grab an intergalactic gargle blaster, and get ready to laugh – a lot!


Here Come The Aliens!

Here Come The Aliens!

Colin McNaughton

Oh no! The aliens are coming! A whole fleet of them, bearing down on us, and they are TERRIFYING! They slobber and dribble, they gobble and munch, they grunt and burp and squeak. No one is safe! I have many fond memories of reading this to my children when they were small, and they both loved it as much as I did. Who says you have to be a small child to enjoy a good picture book?




Alex Scarrow

A mix of sci-fi and horror, Remade is not for the faint-hearted. This fast-paced, action-packed story sees Leon and his family witness the worldwide spread of a terrible and deadly virus. As civilisation collapses, and unease builds, they struggle to find safety - but who can they trust? And how can they survive? You'll need a strong stomach and nerves of steel for this one!


Below Zero by Dan Smith is out in paperback now (£6.99, Chicken House)


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Check out Dan's book

Below Zero

Author: Dan Smith

When Zac and his family arrive at Outpost Zero in the Antarctica, they are expecting a community in training for a mission to Mars – but they find no one. The tension and sense of dread build rapidly in this brilliantly constructed horror thriller.

Read more about Below Zero