Joe Hill's latest novel, The Fireman (2016) focuses on a pandemic of spontaneous combustion.
Just take a moment and think about how awful that would be; people, seemingly at random, simply erupting into flame and burning to death. Then imagine it on a global level.
Having been a long-time fan of dystopian future and post-apocalyptic fiction, I think I can honestly say this is one of the most terrifying concepts I've come across in horror fiction. The Superflu, vampire plagues, and nuclear or zombie strikes are all excellent ways to force regular characters into extraordinary circumstances, but the world Joe Hill has stuck his character Harper Willowes into may be one of the worst I've seen.
What surprised me so much about the book was how much hope and love was able to be exist in this terrible circumstance; as Harper travels through this new terrible world, everything has not simply gone bad, in fact, somethings may even be a little better.
The novel was compulsively readable, and as with his previous fiction had me hooked early. A great read, and definitely stick around through the credits and acknowledgements at the end, as the novel still has one more treat in store for the devoted reader.
1 month ago