It's no surprise that one of the most binge-watched shows on Netflix is The Twilight Zone. Much like the soon-to-be revamped Cosmos, The Twilight Zone is timeless and has no trouble earning fans in each new generation. In fact, the real problem is where devotees can get a quick fix when they run out of episodes. We've got you covered, with the top 10 best books for fans of The Twilight Zone.
Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, by Philip K. Dick
All of Dick's novels are basically Twilight Zone episodes blown out to book length. But we're particularly partial to this tale of a celebrity who wakes up to find that nobody recognizes him. Typical PKD craziness ensues.
The Demon-Haunted World, by Carl Sagan
Sagan and Serling shared a passion for skepticism and an iconic television presence. Though all of Sagan's books are worth reading, The Demon-Haunted World's meticulous debunking of common superstitions would be of particular interest to TZ fans.
A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter Miller
Twilight Zone episodes are famous for leaving viewer's brain a-buzzing. And oh, how this 1959 classic delivers on that front. This is one of those books where extreme cynicism meets gorgeous prose, and we guarantee the result will stick with you.
The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
Bradbury's masterpiece Fahrenheit 451 is his most well-known work, but The Martian Chronicles is a better place to start if you're a Bradbury beginner. This lyrical book of episodic short stories follows the colonization of Mars, as humans flee a devastated Earth.
Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein
Where Bradbury's book is about the human colonization of Mars, Heinlein's classic novel imagines what it would be like for a human to be raised by Martians and then "returned" to Earth. Heinlein, as always, delivers a grade-A mind-bender.
Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
The experience of World War II loomed large in the minds of both Vonnegut and Serling, and Slaughterhouse-Five is very similar thematically to The Twilight Zone. This novel is also one of the most addictive books on the planet. You will not be able to put it down—you've been warned.
Parable of the Sower, by Octavia Butler
Octavia Butler had an incredible talent for weaving social justice issues beautifully into science-fiction backdrops. Parable of the Sower is no exception, and explores a brutal future in which an empath must bear the emotional burden of bloodshed and chaos around her.
The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
Again, The Forever War is basically a Twilight Zone episode extended into a novel. It's the gritty, heart-wrenching story of an intergalactic war started on shaky grounds and drawn out over millennia. A harrowing read at times, but one you'll be glad you started.
As I Knew Him, by Anne Serling
If you're a fan of Rod Serling onscreen, why not get to know him offscreen? His daughter Anne wrote this gorgeous memoir about her father, revealing the playful man behind the intense television personality. What with all the terrifying celebrity exposés that have been published in recent years, it's a nice change of pace to know that Serling was as loved by his family as he was by his fans.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
Most of the books we've suggested deal with heavy subject matter, much like The Twilight Zone. So just in case you get stuck in a "what is wrong with humanity?" thought-loop, we thought we'd top the list off with some laughs. Sure, Douglas Adams' series deals with the same existential issues, but he really pumps up the silliness factor like no other author can.
What books remind you of The Twilight Zone?