Monday, November 06, 2023

Nine top scary, creepy, and frightening fictional animals

Justin C. Key is a practicing psychiatrist and speculative fiction writer whose stories have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, Tor (online), Escape Pod, and Lightspeed. He received a BA in Biology from Stanford University, and recently completed his residency in psychiatry at UCLA. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three children.

His new book is The World Wasn't Ready for You: Stories.

At Lit Hub Key tagged nine works of fiction with the scariest, creepiest, and most frightening animals, including:
Great White Shark: Jaws by Peter Benchley

The horror of the unseen. Inspiration for a cultural phenomenon. The reason I don’t venture out into the ocean by myself. The concept transcends the art, where one does not need to ever have read the book or seen the movie to experience its impact.

Whereas Steven Spielberg’s adaptation was all about the shark, Peter Benchley’s Great White almost takes a backseat to the novel’s characters and their motivations, quirks, and infidelities. But the marine killing machine still drives the horror. Benchley’s significant research on sharks and the ocean make for powerfully vivid descriptions and gruesome endings. Also, the parts from the shark’s perspective (definitely under-explored in the film adaptations) are golden.
Read about another entry on the list.

Jaws is among John Winn Miller's seven books that examine the thrill of life at sea, for good & evil, Jonathan Lee's top ten books about public spaces, L.C. Shaw's nine most unforgettable antagonists in fiction, Kat Rosenfield's list of eight books that’ll make you scared to go back in the water, Rebecca Jane Stokes's seven books not to bring to the beach, the Barnes & Noble Review's five top books set at the beach, and six hugely popular books that accidentally screwed the world.

--Marshal Zeringue