I'll admit it, due to my age and the inability of my sisters and I to agree on anything, especially a TV show, I was a late comer to The X-Files, but thanks to Netflix and the acceptable practice of binge watching, I've become obsessed. When I heard that a reboot was happening, though, I couldn't have been more ecstatic, because the truth is that a sci-fi nerd like myself loves spending her time watching shows or reading books like The X-Files.
One of the best parts of The X-Files — aside from the will-they-won't-they romance of Mulder and Scully — was the shows versatility. Though it's considered a science fiction show, The X-Files is so much more than UFOs, alien abductions, and wild conspiracy theories, though those are some of the greatest parts. It's a detective show, a thrilling suspense, and a dramatic romance all wrapped up in a paranormal activity and questionable government activity. It's exciting and scary, and deeply philosophical. It's the kind of show that makes you wonder: The truth is out there, but do I really want to know it?
1. Holy Cow by David Duchovny
When Mulder writes a book, The X-Files fans will read it, good or bad. Luckily for us, David Duchovny's Holy Cow is more than good — it's hilarious, entertaining, and smart, much like the author himself. An adult novel in the form of a pseudo-children's book, Holy Cow brings you along on an animal adventure lead by the pop-culture loving, wise-cracking cow, Elsie, as she and her friends try and find their place in the screwed up world we live in. A laugh-out-loud novel with a deeper message, Holy Cow should be on every X-Files fan's shelf.
2. Lightless by C.A. Higgins
From debut sci-fi author C. A. Higgins comes Lightless, a gripping page-turner with enough suspense and drama to keep X-Files fans entertained. While aboard the military spacecraft Anake, computer scientist Althea has developed a deep emotional bond with the craft's electronic system — a bond that is challenged and questioned when terrorists take control of the system. Action-packed and intense, Lightless will keep your pulse racing in between new episodes of The X-Files.
3. The Scam by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
One of the things that makes The X-Files so great is the contrast between Mulder and Scully's belief systems, as well as their undeniable chemistry, which is something you can get out of The Scam. The fourth book in the Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg series Fox and O'Hare, The Scam is a hilarious and sometimes outrageous novel about two people who could not be bigger opposites — one, an FBI agent and the other, a famous con man — trying to work together to take down a violent criminal ring without killing each other in the process. A light and entertaining read, this series is perfect for anyone on Team Sculder.
4. A Love Like Blood by Marcus Sedgwick
One of the ongoing plot lines that make The X-Files so compelling is Mulder's quest to find out the truth about his sister's abduction. Marcus Sedgwick's A Love Like Blood will captivate you with the same kind of search for answers, only this time the question isn't about aliens and government conspiracies. Instead, protagonist Charles Jackson spends years haunted by the unknown after he witnesses a man drinking the blood of a murdered woman and does nothing to intervene. A dark and twisty novel about revenge, consequences, and the need for the truth, A Love Like Blood is a horror novel that will scare the pants of of readers, even X-Files fans who are used to being terrified.
5. Inferno by Dan Brown
If The X-Files doesn't make you paranoid enough already, Dan Brown's Robert Langdon series will. Inferno, the fourth book in a world of secrets, cover-ups, and centuries old conspiracies, draws readers into yet another story filled with mystery, riddles, and, of course, plenty of danger.
6. A Dream of Ice by Gillian Anderson
If you're going to read a book by Mulder, it's only right you pick one up by Scully, as well. The second in Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin's Earthend Saga, A Dream of Ice is a paranormal thriller that combines ancient myths, modern science, and the realm of the unknown to create an exciting, heat-thumping read worthy of X-Files fans' attention.
7. The X-Files: Goblins by Charles Grant
When you've exhausted every episode on Netflix, when you've watched and re-watched The X-Files movie too many times, don't panic, because there is still a way to get more of your favorite show: The X-Files novels. Based on the show itself, Goblins and it's fellow X-Files literature is the perfect read for die-hard fans and true believers.
8. Stranger Things Happen: Stories by Kelly Link
All of Kelly Link's writing has that eerie, mysterious, and even creepy tone that makes reading her books (and watching The X-Files) late at night so hard. Her debut collection, Stranger Things Happen, includes 11 stories — shall we say episodes? — including magic, mystery, and yes, even horror, but most importantly, a whole lot of heart.
9. Snowden by Ted Rall
I can't say for sure, but I imagine that if Mulder and Edward Snowden ever met, they would get along just fine, and you'd understand why if you read Ted Rall's Snowden. A biographical graphic novel about the infamous whistleblower, Snowden explores the life and work of the controversial figure as well as the bigger questions about privacy and security facing Americans today. Darkly comical, you might find it hard to believe the facts in this colorful book aren't something out of an X-Files conspiracy.
10. The Eerie Silence by Paul Davies
As you've learned from years of watching The X-Files, people who believe in aliens are generally seen as crazy, unstable, or just plain stupid, but world renowned scientist Paul Davies challenges that notion with his book, The Eerie Silence. A fresh perspective on the Search of Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), Davies's book questions the way scientists are conducting their research and challenges the widely accepted ideas about alien life. A challenging read, The Eerie Silence is a great book for anyone interested in the study of life outside of Earth.
11. The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones
While I love the overarching narrative of The X-Files, some of its best episodes were the "monster of the week" ones featuring terrifying creatures of the unknown. If you too enjoy the horror and the terror of the show, you'll love Stephen Lloyd Jones's The String Diaries, a terrifying, suspenseful novel about a family and the monster that's haunted them for centuries. A riveting, action-packed read that blends horror, mystery, and family saga, The String Diaries is a standout from this debut author.