Cosmic Horror Books: Horror Writing Tips for Science Fiction Authors

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  • April 6, 2023
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  • 8 min read


Cosmic horror is a type of science-fiction story. It can be found in movies, books, and computer games, among other places.

Many scary stories about the universe happen in the real world. But they also often have science fiction and fantasy parts, like alien life forms or forces from another world that harm humanity.

The main point of most cosmic horror books is to figure out what it means to be human by looking at what would happen if the world itself was evil, much like the explorations found in our list of best psychology books It is shown by characters whose experiences with these aggressive forces have driven them crazy and by stories that explore the idea that we are not alone in the world.

Tips for Creating Cosmic Horror Books

Nothing can stop you from writing a story if you find cosmic horror stories and motifs interesting. 

Here are some tips on how to write your first short story or tale about space horror:

Try to find cosmic truth and light.

First and foremost, cosmic horror is a genre about change and new things. Throughout the story, the main character learns deep, often disturbing facts about life. Part of what makes the genre so lively and exciting is that you must find things out.

Read about other horrors in space.

You must know much about the genre to write cosmic horror. Writers of cosmic horror often use themes and figures from Lovecraft’s Necronomicon or other stories. Even if you don’t plan to use the same characters and set your story in the greater Lovecraft universe, you should still read as much cosmic horror as possible. It also helps to read horror and thriller stories by well-known authors like John Carpenter and Stephen King.

Always that only some things are as it seems

The presence of mysterious beings from beyond is often explored in cosmic horror books. As you start writing your novella or short story, think about the insecurity and disorder of being human. How can you make your characters and themes show a fear of the unknown?

Characters with Flaws and Unpreparedness

Even though the main characters are intelligent and skilled, they are often caught off guard by the monsters’ speed, strength, and sheer terror. Part of this is because the characters are rash and interested, and part of it is because of the psychological stress they feel when they start to notice things that don’t make sense.

Most of the time, the main characters don’t have much time to study and get ready, so they try to make fun of the enemy’s skills, size, speed, and strength. The character’s fear sets the right, frantic tone for all experiences. More importantly, it makes the reader feel like the character is even smaller and less powerful than the cosmic force they’re up against.

Use humanity’s failure.

This theme is often echoed in the narratives of the best non-fiction adventure books, where the human spirit is tested against the vastness of the natural world. The pointlessness of being alive is a common theme in cosmic horror. Therefore, Ghostwriting Founder use magical figures to show these themes, but in the end, they point out how empty and pointless life is in the real world.

Best Cosmic Horror Genre

The Impossible

This concept is at the heart of cosmic horror and is similarly explored in our discussion of American Horror Story Season 11. More than straight violence and gore, the genre is based on the idea that aliens, marine, or subterranean creatures do terrible things to their victims that are hard to imagine. Even though there is violence in the cosmic horror books and the main characters are in real danger, the “big picture” idea of the story often makes the reader fear things worse than death.

In a Lovecraftian story, a character’s violent death can be seen as a blessing. There are worse choices, like having one’s foot pulled into a terrible world or to the very edge of the universe, far from anything human or familiar.

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The Lovecraftian horror genre comprises stories that are both scary and hard to understand. First, it takes monsters and mysteries from the deep roots of tales and myths in almost every culture. Then, it adds a sci-fi layer by explaining the story’s organic, chemical, and biological parts with scientific facts.

The out-of-this-world parts of the plot, like alternative worlds. Also, aliens who can travel across huge distances in space make it possible to get to the heart of people’s fears.

The Mix of Folk Horror and Body Horror

The term “folk horror” means that a horror story is based on a folk tale, while “body horror” means that a person turns into a monster in the story. H.P. Lovecraft’s monsters can often change the mind and body through how they affect the human brain.

Even better, he blends these changes into a folk-based story, giving magical stories, people, animals, and events a cosmic tone.

Loose Ends

Cosmic horror stories often have abrupt finishes that leave a lot of questions unanswered and have big-picture and often crazy meanings. Since only a little effort was put into finishing the story, it is only as finished as it needs to be to end the character’s trip.

The other important thing that abrupt finishes do is never give the reader a real sense of closure or emotional relief. So, the Author website left the reader with a strong sense of fear, dread, intellectual curiosity, and joy. The reader has little choice but to look for more of Lovecraft’s writing, which every writer wants.

What is scary about cosmic horror?

  • The unknown: The fear of the unknown is at the heart of cosmic horror. What’s hiding in the darkness? What does the world keep hidden? This unease and dread can make people feel uneasy and scared.
  • The setting: An excellent cosmic horror story will have a strong sense of place, whether it’s scenery from another world or a dark, scary city. It makes the reader feel uneasy and helps them get into the story.
  • The characters: cosmic horror books are often about people trying to stay sane in the face of terrible things. No matter what, it’s horrifying and powerful to read.
  • Themes: Cosmic horror often deals with crazy people, death, and the fact that we exist. These things can be horrifying, and they all make great material for scary stories. In general, cosmic horror is usually very dark and scary. It makes the person feel uneasy, which can be very scary.
    • Style of writing: Atmosphere and setting are often used in cosmic horror to make the reader uneasy. It means the writing is often very detailed and makes you feel something. 
  • The scares: Cosmic horror can be terrifying because it is so dramatic. 

Key Characteristics and Profound Details

Element of Cosmic Horror Description Writing Tips
The Unknown and Unfathomable Central to cosmic horror is the fear of the unknown and unknowable forces beyond human understanding. Incorporate elements that defy human comprehension, emphasizing the vast and mysterious nature of the universe.
Otherworldly Settings Settings often include otherworldly landscapes or eerie, unfamiliar environments. Create vivid, immersive settings that evoke a sense of otherness and unease.
Human Insanity and Frailty Characters in cosmic horror confront unimaginable horrors that challenge their sanity and humanity. Develop characters who gradually unravel under the weight of cosmic terrors, highlighting human vulnerability.
Themes of Insignificance Themes often revolve around the insignificance of humanity in the face of vast, indifferent cosmic forces. Weave in existential themes that question the place of humans in the cosmos.
Lovecraftian Influences The genre is heavily influenced by H.P. Lovecraft’s works, featuring incomprehensible beings and ancient horrors. Draw inspiration from Lovecraftian motifs, but infuse your own creativity to modernize and personalize them.
Melding of Horror and Sci-Fi Cosmic horror blends elements of science fiction with traditional horror, leading to a unique genre blend. Use scientific concepts to ground the horror in a semblance of reality, enhancing the terror.
Ambiguous and Open Endings Stories often conclude with open or ambiguous endings that leave room for interpretation and lingering unease. Craft endings that are not fully resolved, leaving readers with a lasting sense of dread and wonder.



The whole point of cosmic horror books is to make people feel uneasy and scared. The best way to do this is to think about what you don’t know or can’t know. What’s hiding in the darkness? What does the world keep hidden?

Use setting and mood to make people feel uneasy. A good cosmic horror story will have a strong sense of place, whether it’s scenery from another world or a dark, scary city.

Also, people in cosmic horror stories often have difficulty staying sane in the face of something terrible. Either portray characters already losing their minds or gradually drive them mad as the plot develops.

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