What would you do if the planet were being taken over by alien beings shaped like bowling balls that can change into any object they please? After a night out on the town, local reporter Parker Graves returns home to life-threatening danger. Who's out to get him? Who is the mysterious person buying up hundreds of homes and businesses in the area, only to tear them to the ground? And what is he supposed to do about these talking dogs?
First published in 1962, They Walked Like Men by Hugo- and Nebula Award-winner Clifford D. Simak is the perfect slice of retro sci-fi with a dollop of comedy on the side. Who says alien invasion thrillers can't be funny? Here are eight other books for fans of Simak's classic.
To Say Nothing of the Dog
Time travel is real and it's terribly important for the students of Oxford University in 2057. Historians-in-training are able to leap into the past to study it firsthand, which is what Ned Henry spends most of his time doing. He's looking for the location of the “Bishop's bird stump,” but his journeys have left him in need of a vacation. A relaxing trip to Victorian England seems the perfect solution. But time travel comes with a whole heap of problems, and any incongruities in the timeline could lead to disastrous changes for Ned's present and future.
The Day of the Triffids
A green meteor shower rains down over Earth one evening, rendering anyone who watched it completely blind. Biologist Bill Masen wakes up in hospital the next day, fully sighted but unaware of what's happened. The triffids have taken over. Grotesque, carnivorous, and over seven feet tall, these plant creatures are ready to dominate humanity after being exploited for years for their oil. It's up to the few remaining sighted survivors to prevent both an alien takeover and the dictatorial plans of a despot human.
A Fall of Moondust
The moon has long been colonized by humans, becoming both a hub for scientific research and a tourist trap for the exceedingly rich. A lunar cruise takes journeys across one of the lunar seas, akin to jet-skiing on Earth. But on one cruise, a moonquake causes a cavern to collapse, leaving passengers stuck inside with limited air and dwindling hope of survival. Captain Pat Harris and his chief stewardess Sue Wilkins must find a solution while keeping their team stable. Time is running out, the temperature is dropping to 200 degrees below, and the lunar dust of the Sea of Thirst threatens to smother them. Worst of all, it seems like nobody knows where they are…
Into the Drowning Deep
In 2015, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” on the mythic creatures that inhabit the deepest, darkest parts of the ocean. The bottom of the sea contains some of the least explored parts of our entire planet, and it seemed like the ideal location for Imagine, a shlocky entertainment company that specializes in horror movies. But the ship was lost at sea. Some thought it was a hoax to promote their movies. Seven years later, a new crew has been assembled to look for answers. For Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost. For something happened in the deep and the secrets they reveal could come with a price.
A strange malady has taken over the country. False Memory Syndrome strikes without warning, poisoning its victims with memories of a life they never lived, driving them towards death. NYC cop Barry Sutton is on the case, hoping to investigate this illness and find a cure. Neuroscientist Helena Smith has dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let humans preserve their most important memories. She hopes this will help her to record her dying mother’s thoughts before she passes. But her work, funded by a mysterious benefactor, has a darker side to it, and it soon crashes into a growing epidemic that threatens to undo the very things that make us human.
Shana wakes up one morning to discover that something strange has happened to her younger sister. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up, and she is heading towards somewhere with obvious determination. But Shana and her sister are not alone: Across America, these sleepwalkers are silently taking the same journey to wherever they must go, accompanied by loved ones and concerned shepherds like Shana. Society has begun to collapse around them, and an ultraviolent militia wants to slaughter the wanderers and take over the ruins of the nation. All the awake can do is follow and wait to see what mystery is at the heart of this terrifying phenomenon.
The Luminous Dead
When Gyre Price lied her way into a caving expedition on an unknown planet, she only hoped to make some good money and get off Earth for good. But it doesn't take her long to discover that the job is far more dangerous than she was led to believe. Trapped underground, with only a mysterious handler named Em to guide her, Gyre must battle to stay alive. But Em is strange, with motivations Gyre can't uncover, and she has no issue with controlling Gyre’s body with drugs or withholding critical information to “ensure the smooth operation” of her expedition. Monsters lie beneath this planet, but they're nothing compared to her so-called companion…
Even if you're not familiar with the The Expanse book series, the unfortunately canceled TV series helped to show that Leviathan Wakes is one hell of a space thriller. The first book in the long-running series establishes a future where humanity has colonized the solar system. Tensions are fraught between Earth, Mars, and the asteroid belt that separates them, where miners live and are ostracised as low-class outsiders by the rest of the system. The class conflict comes to a boiling point when ice miner Jim Holden and his crew stumble on a derelict ship which contains secrets that could destroy the fragile peace of their small corner of space. Joining Holden is Detective Miller, on the hunt for a girl who might be the key to everything they're investigating.