This is a list of the very best zombie books out there according to Top Sci Fi. A mixture of classic and newer titles are featured. A wide range of approaches to zombie literature are featured so fans can discover a new tile to enjoy. Check out any of these zombie titles for free thanks to Audible's one month free trial.
By Max Brooks
Max Brooks gives a fascinating insight into the state of the world following a zombie apocalypse. World War Z consists of stories and reports taken from all over the world, reflecting upon what it was like to live through a zombie world war. As well as offering horrific zombie sci fi themes, World War Z comments on the state of politics, war, and the motivations behind them, in a way which is relevant for the real world.
By Mark Tufo
Mark Tufo offers a fresh take on the common zombie apocalypse theme in The Book of Riley 1. If you’re tired of tales of humans surviving amidst the zombie apocalypse, you’ll be pleased to know that this book focuses on dogs. Following a group of canine survivors as they navigate the zombified world, Book of Riley is the perfect choice for animal lovers seeking a fresh take on zombie sci fi.
By Mira Grant
The first installment of Mira Grant’s Newsflesh Trilogy, Feed, is set in a world where advances in medicine and science have led to unpredictable consequences. The common diseases of the time have given way to something far worse. Feed is the story of how two bloggers explore the deepest, darkest cause behind the way the world has changed. This is a gripping zombie tale full of twists and turns guaranteed to keep the reader gripped until the last page.
By HP Lovecraft
This is one of the earliest and most significant zombie genre stories from a true master of the macabre genre, HP Lovecraft. The story later formed the basis for the horror movie Re-Animator. Herbert West - Reanimator is widely regarded as one of the first depictions of zombies to show them in the form familiar to modern readers. The story is also Lovecraft’s first to feature Miskatonic University.
By Stephen King
Stephen King’s Cell is one of the first works of fiction to make the explicit link between modern technology and the way that it causes people to become like zombies. Aside from the social commentary, Cell offers a classic King story showing survivors adjusting to a world in which all cellphone users have been turned to violent predators lacking humanity. Cell is packed full of zombie horror in a way which will delight fans of the genre.
By Alden Bell
In Reapers Are The Angels, Alden Bell sets his tale in an America where zombies have been roaming freely for more than a quarter of a century. This is the backdrop for protagonist Temple’s story of survival, against the undead world in which she lives, and also against the parts of her past which continue to haunt her. Reapers Are The Angels has been praised as a gripping work of zombie sci-fi with an emotionally engaging protagonist.
By Jonathan Maberry
Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry depicts a post-apocalyptic America in which resources are strictly limited and even teenagers are expected to help society. Benny Imura is the teenage main character who finds his zombie hunting apprenticeship to be a valuable insight into what it means to be truly alive. Rot and Ruin is as much a touching personal tale as it is a thrilling work of zombie fiction.
By JL Bourne
Day by Day Armageddon by JL Bourne tells the tale of a US Naval Officer who is thrust into the middle of a world being overtaken by a rapidly spreading zombie virus. The story is told through a diary format which starts off showing everyday life for the main character before quickly depicting how society responds to the zombie plague. Day By Day Armageddon provides both intrigue and terror for fans of zombie literature.
By Justin Cronin
After a science experiment gone wrong causes the zombie apocalypse to begin, it is down to an FBI agent to protect a vulnerable orphan. As well as exploring the aftermath of such a scenario, The Passage offers a touching and personal story of survival. Justin Cronin’s epic is a lengthy read suited for fans of epic fiction with a lot of depth to the plot. The near future time period will prove fascinating for contemporary readers.
By Carrie Ryan
The Forest of Hands and Teeth is set in a mysterious world where the all powerful Sisterhood organization is in total control. The story centers around main character Mary’s discovery that things may not be all they seem. When the mysterious Forest of Hands and Teeth is finally breached, Mary discovers the shocking truth of her world.
By Robert Kirkman
The Walking Dead is probably the most popular modern zombie phenomenon, and any fan of the TV show should check out this collection of the original comics. The stunning graphic illustrations are a great way to discover the world of zombies and survivors. This collection features the first twelve installments of the series.
By James N Cook
No Easy Hope tells the story of a survivor of a devastating outbreak of zombie chaos. James N Cook’s story focuses on the story of an ex-Marine who was prepared for the end of the world by an old friend, Gabriel. When the predicted end of the world occurs, the book’s protagonist must travel to reunite with his mentor. The story is a gritty but inspirational insight into how the enduring bonds of friendship and mentorship can endure even the toughest of times.
By Richard Matheson
Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend is an exploration of a single survivor making his way through a world of hungry, vampiric zombies ready and willing to end his life. The book shares some similarities with the popular Hollywood adaptation, but provides a deeper insight into the scenario, and also offers a more positive message.
By Joseph Talluto
Joseph Talluto’s White Flag of The Dead explores the reactions of humanity to a deadly zombie outbreak. Although the story’s crisis originates in the city, it soon spreads, impacting the world at large. The zombie scenes provide plenty of gore for fans of this genre of sci fi, and the presentation of the human survivors behavior and way of reacting to one another is a fascinating psychological insight.
By Gena Showalter
Alice in Zombieland is the perfect choice of zombie fiction for anyone tired of the traditional tropes. Instead, Gena Showalter offers a truly imaginative take on zombie fiction, choosing to portray her zombies as being of the spirit world. The book packs in plenty of humor stemming from the likeable group of main characters. The plot has added depth due to the presence of the shadowy Hazmat organization whose true motives are totally unknown.
By David A Simpson
Convoy of Carnage by
By Rhiannon Frater
The First Days is the initial installment in Rhiannon Frater’s As The World Dies series. Jenni and Katie are the tough female protagonists forced to survive a country suddenly infested by zombies. The First Days combines the best gore and tension characteristic of the zombie sci fi genre with a touching personal story of friendship and survival amidst the most harrowing circumstances imaginable.
By Courtney Summers
This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers focuses on a small group of survivors trying to desperately to barricade themselves in from a marauding horde of zombies. Against this horrific backdrop, the personal lives of the characters are explored along with their motivations for survival. This is Not a Test is a refreshing change of setting and pace from the typical zombie survival epic often found in the genre.
By DJ Molles
The Remaining by DJ Molles is centered on an Army Captain aiming to make a brave stand against the zombie takeover of humanity. Molles offers a uniquely horrifying take on the stereotypical zombie, as the undead in this tale sometimes regain brief moments of humanity and lucidity, before reverting back to their zombie state. The Remaining is an action-packed zombie sci fi story sure to keep readers gripped until the last page.
By MR Carey
The Girl With All the Gifts by M R Carey offers a unique take on the zombie genre. Instead of portraying zombies as an evil enemy, Carey offers a sympathetic portrayal of an intelligent, child zombie. The Girl With All the Gifts has been widely praised for not only its unique choice of zombie character, but its high death count and other elements that ensure traditional zombie sci fi fans will find plenty on offer here.
By Seth Grahame-Smith
Seth Grahame-Smith provides a unique mashup of classic literature and modern zombie tropes in this humorous sci fi story. The classic plot of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice forms the basis of of an amusing but gory tale which has won rave reviews from fans of the genre and readers in general. If you think you’d enjoy Jane Austen’s stories if they were set in a zombie infested England, this is the book for you.
By Amanda Hocking
The first installment in Amanda Hocking’s Hollowland series is a brief but powerful story centered on a nineteen year old survivor of a zombie outbreak. The book’s main character, Remy, must travel across a zombie ravaged America in search of her little brother. The zombies found here are powerful and fast moving, and the rapid pace of the story is well suited to this type of undead villain.
By Rachel Aukes
Rachel Aukes transplants the familiar tropes of a zombie survival story onto the framework provided by Dante’s classic Inferno. 100 Days in Deadland is the first installment of the Deadland series. This zombie book focuses on an office worker and grizzled military veteran who must survive a zombie outbreak which closely resembles the nine circles of hell as portrayed by Dante. The gore and horror is balanced by moments of genuinely hilarious humor.
By Jonathan Maberry
Zombie sci fi powerhouse author Jonathan Maberry begins his Joe Ledger series with Patient Zero. The book introduces the Department of Military Sciences, a task force responsible for handling the most extreme situations the USA could ever face. This book combines a thrilling tale of terrorism, bio-warfare, and of course, zombies. The book’s main character, a grizzled detective, provides plenty of grit and action as Maberry’s story progresses.
By Z A Recht
The first installment of the Morningstar series, Plague of the Dead, sees a world ravaged by a pandemic unleashing brutal zombies upon humanity. The story focuses on the brave resistance put up my fighters across the world, and the journalistic efforts to expose the shocking origin of the zombie outbreak. This is a gripping start to ZA Recht’s epic zombie fiction series.
What Makes a Zombie Book?
Seriously though. What would you do if the world had been taken over by zombies? Everybody has a zombie apocalypse plan. Even the CDC (Center for Disease Control) has one.
Would you stockpile on food, guns, ammo, gasoline? What shelter would you take? Do you have an escape plan?
These are serious questions. The best place to learn this kind of hypothetical stuff is through Zombie books! These books mostly focus on the human point of view on survival of the walking dead. The fear, the desperation, and the will to survive and the tactics employed to do so are all pivotal part of a zombie apocalypse novel.
Are Zombie Books SciFi or Horror?
Well... There's no clear, clean cut answer here.
Sometimes, horror and science fiction are one in the same. But if I had to make an expert opinion it would be this... Zombies that come from Voodoo and Magic are Horror/Fantasy. Zombies that come from other biological means such as experiments gone awry, mutated viruses, technological accidents, or scientific study... You're looking at science fiction.
How SciFi Zombies are made?
So, how are zombies created in Science Fiction? This is very important information to know lest we accidentally create zombies in real life. (Truth be told... I'm definitely not ready for that.)
The most popular avenue of creation for SciFi zombies is through some sort of zombie virus. This can be seen many popular SciFi books such as Plague of the Dead. A bio-weapon pathogen can also serve as a plot device to create zombies as well just like in Patient Zero.
Another interesting way is through a parasite or fungus. A living organism that takes over the host destroying it in the process. Then, the parasite or fungus would use the host's body as a vessel to satiate its hunger for flesh.
But is this scientifically possible? Let's not try to find out. We've all seen (or read) what happens next.
Is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Monster a Zombie?
You may be wondering why Mary Shelley's Frankenstein isn't on this list. Well, simply put...
This is an age old debate with views on all sides of the matter. Here's my thoughts.
He isn't dead. Or of the Undead variety. He has a heartbeat, thus making him alive. It would be like saying a person brought back to life with defibrillator paddles would live the rest of his life being a zombie. Just absurd.
But... that's just my thoughts. Come at me in the comments for some lively discussion if you believe otherwise.
How were these Best Zombie Novels Selected?
Zombie books have been chosen from throughout the genre’s history. A range of genre types have been included, so fans of comedic zombie sci fi will find something suitable, as will those who prefer more gory or horrific fare. If the books aren’t personal favorites of mine, I’ve found them through the trusted recommendations of fellow zombie sci fi fans, not to mention the best bloggers out there.
Get These Best Zombie Books for Free!
If you are interested in getting some of these zombie science fiction books for free, here is a way in which you can do that:
1. Signup with Audible's One Month Free Trial: By signing up to a free trial from Audible, you can check out any two zombie sci fi titles. Audible is packed with a wide range of incredible audiobooks from almost every genre. Even if you don’t decide to continue with your Audible membership, you can still enjoy any two titles at no cost.