Writing Euphoria/Dysphoria, we were struck by the prevalence of rats in the world. They're seen differently, in part due to their place in the City's food chain, but they are still the stuff of horror.
In honor of these rats, we rounded up our favorite stories that give these scavenging machines a place or notice. The first one to say “awww, cute” will end up falling to whatever disease is dominant on these particular rodents' fangs.
The Princess Bride
Not scary, but belongs here anyways.
Flowers for Algernon
Tragic, cutting, and biting. I could be describing the rat or the story.
Night of the Lepus
A horror movie around rabbits. C'mon.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
But it's only a rabbit...
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
A heartwarming tale about animal experimentation, sick children, deadly cats, and widowhood.
The Rats In The Walls
Scaring claustrophobic people and insomniacs since 1924.
Because the true stories about subways and rats weren't scary enough.
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents
Funny, cute, and around the two-thirds mark, utterly terrifying. You'll wish you'd never heard of a "rat king", but you'll be glad you picked up this book.
The rats don't show up much until the end, but if you ever wondered what's scarier than a totalitarian society--the answer is rats. Scared rats.
Rats may not be the first thing you think of when you consider this muckraking expose of a book, but the dude's kid is eaten by rats when the child is locked in his workplace after hours. That one's a gimme.
And honorable mention to The Nutcracker. Because what kid HASN'T had nightmares about the rat prince, or bobbleheaded soldiers? Happy holidays, everyone. We hope you have relaxing holidays, with a few good books chiseled in between the camaraderie and feasting.
And here's to rats. They'll outlive us all.
Michelle Browne and Nicolas Wilson
Genre: Science Fiction/dystopian biopunk
Date of Publication: 11/20/2014
Number of pages: 252
Word Count: 63,000 words
Cover Artist: Katie de Long
Execution above or extinction below...
“Please help me. I'm pregnant.”
A chance encounter with a fugitive has turned Christine's life into a nightmare.
Survival is hard enough in the poverty-stricken streets of the Lower Blocks, and this woman is far from the first to flee the Engineers who oversee the City. But now Christine's a target: hunted by the aristocracy, her future uncertain, and past laid bare. And a person with Christine's powers can't afford to be caught.
Humanity built the Foundation to elevate themselves from the poisoned earth, but Christine and Ilsa must choose whether to descend to hell below, or remain in hell above.
From post-apocalyptic authors Nicolas Wilson (Homeless), and Michelle Browne (The Underlighters) comes Euphoria/Dysphoria, a biopunk dystopia.
Christine knew that with an Engineers’ blood on her hands, she’d be in for it. That was Three for her, for sure. More likely, she would be immediately taken, due to the severity of her transgressions. No reason to play it safe; best-case scenario, she’d probably have to hide out for months to work through all of the changes needed to disguise herself. She thought of the other grey-market acquirers she knew and wondered which of them liked her enough to shelter her.
She cursed the woman running alongside her and herself for getting drawn into this in the first place. It was too late now—she could only hope that she could make her downfall have as great an impact as possible by seeing Ilsa through this. Tearing her mind from the future, she looked at for exits. No time to worry and fuss. She just had to keep moving.
About the Authors
Michelle Browne is a sci fi/fantasy writer from Calgary, AB. She has a cat and a partner-in-crime. Her days revolve around freelance editing, jewelry, phuquerie, and nightmares. She is currently working on the next books in her series, other people's manuscripts, and drinking as much tea as humanly possible.
She is all over the internet, far too often for anyone’s sanity, and can be found in various places.
Nicolas Wilson is a published journalist, graphic novelist, and novelist. He lives in the rainy wastes of Portland, Oregon with his wife, four cats and a dog.
Nic's work spans a variety of genres, from political thriller to science fiction and urban fantasy. He has several novels currently available, and many more due for release in the next year. Nic's stories are characterized by his eye for the absurd, the off-color, and the bombastic.
For information on Nic's books, and behind-the-scenes looks at his writing, visit www.nicolaswilson.com