These books are not recommendations. When time travel is perfected (we’re almost there), I’ll go back 50 years and sue each of these authors for literary plagiarism, after ripping off my own insect invasion novels The Stealth-Hive Parallax, Locust Rex (vols 1-10) and Stingpregnators, my quintology of cosmic parasitic space wasps, to name just a few of the hundreds of insect novels I’ve written.
Our insect kingdom, indeed the evil six-legged (eight if arachnical) empire, has long been a subject for horror writers. Wells’ Grass kingdom of spiders and ant empirewithout speaking about Leiningen against ants by a writer I had not heard of (but who I have since learned was called Carl Stephenson), were aided and abetted by Jeremias Gotthelf The black spider (a metaphorical plague novel that frankly needs more spiders) and Richard Marsh’s The beetle (with an Egyptian scarab). But when the atomic bomb experiments of the 20th century finally took off, those literary larvae themselves spawned full-fledged insect invasion novels like Keith Roberts’. The Furies (giant wasps), Thomas Page The Plague of Hephaestus (insects that set fire) and John Wyndham the Web (to guess).
Perhaps the greatest, but least known (and frankly, the most egregious plagiarism of my own later work) is Frank Herbert’s 1973 Hellstrom Hive, a tale in which an American police state is threatened by Dr. Hellstrom’s sinister Project 490, a secret community/army of human ants living underground. Frank is best known for his Dunes books (which, frankly, could have done without a few ants) but here the emphasis is on the mixture of ants and humans (bordering on eroticism, for entomological spice seekers), and has was written as a “sequel” to the faux-choc of 1971- doc The Hellstrom Chroniclean eco-horror film that depicts the greatest threat to the existence of humanity: the triumph of the insect.
Thanks to this and my own prophetic work, insects are no longer a threat to humanity. The insect kingdom, a direct result of my literary endeavors and the endorsement of various pest control societies, has now been almost entirely exterminated, even though the resulting catastrophic climate change presents me, as the society’s shaman, unwanted overtime.
Hellstrom Hive depicts a chilling vision of an alternate human society, where spiritual values and emotional empathy are denied in favor of cold opportunism and the ultimate survival of a colony of insectoids (think beehive, bees and to wasp fans). Some might say we’re already there, my friend. Think. Has your brain been taken over by a wasp/ant/beetle/slug/locust/parasitoid bug?
Well, isn’t it? Does he have? Or has he?…
‘TerrorTome by Garth Marenghi (Hodder Studio) is now available