Stephen King Is A Sci-Fi Icon

By Nikola Pajtic | Published

Stephen King Netflix

Stephen King might not be the first name to pop into mind when discussing science fiction greats. He is the undisputed master of horror, creating nightmares that linger long after you have read the last page of his literary work or seen the last scene of his many adaptations. However, past these nightmarish tales, Stephen King has a rich portfolio of sci-fi stories under his pen, which makes him an icon of the sci-fi genre.

The Running Man

Stephen King’s The Running Man is a perfect example of a sci-fi dystopia. The story throws us into a nightmarish 2025 where Ben Richards is forced to compete in a deadly televised game show to save his family in a totalitarian America. The novel has everything a horror story from King should have, but it also offers aspects of sci-fi

Under The Dome

under the dome

If you dive deeper into Stephen King’s work, you will find Under the Dome, a prime example of a sci-fi tale. A mysterious dome traps a small town, turning it into a pressure cooker of fear and paranoia. A hint at an extraterrestrial experiment is a major sci-fi topic in the novel.

With a dash of suspense and horror of its own kind, Stephen King once again proves he can weave sci-fi elements into his work. 


Then, we have the science fiction horror thriller novel from 1980, Firestarter. This one proves that King isn’t just limited to dystopian futures as Firestarter explores a more personal kind of sci-fi horror, as it tells the story of a young girl, Charlie McGee, with the ability of pyrokinesis.

The Jaunt And The Tommyknockers

The king of horror has written over 200 short stories, and The Jaunt stands out with its sci-fi elements. 

It is a futuristic tale of a utopia where teleportation is a daily and instant activity. Humans have used the technology known as Jaunting to colonize the Solar System. However, behind it lurks a horror story showing how a sci-fi setting teleports us into madness. 

Moreover, Stephen King dived into true sci-fi horror with the novel The Tommyknockers, inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s short story The Colour Out of Space. A buried spaceship unearthed by people of a small town releases invisible gas that grants people telepathy powers and a limited form of genius. From this point on, The Tommyknockers becomes a chilling horror film that blends classic sci-fi concepts. 

The Dark Tower

While horror may be Stephen King’s bread and butter, he hasn’t shied away from sci-fi stories. Even better, he always adds his signature horror and suspense into these novels, proving to be a master storyteller across genres. 

It would be a crime not to mention his magnum opus, the Dark Tower book series, which incorporates sci-fi, fantasy, and Western elements. While the series does lean towards fantasy, it has alternate reality, advanced technology, and a battle between good and evil that transcends dimensions. 

While you won’t find green men invading Earth in King’s work, his sci-fi is a different kind of alien encounter. Stephen King’s genius lies in taking familiar sci-fi topics and infusing them with his signature psychological horror.