Is Stranger Things A Book? Bad News For Those Hoping To Find Easy Spoilers…
How lucky are we that Stranger Things is a massive success? A series that manages to borrow some of the best techniques and tropes from 80's cinema while managing to tell its own unique story of such high quality doesn't come along every season, and hopefully, a flurry of similarly inspired labors of love will follow in its wake. However, no copycat will be able to generate as much hype as the promised Season 2 of Stranger Things. It may not be long before the second season premieres in 2017, but the wait will certainly feel long. Curious fans might even find the wait too long and start scouring for spoilers in any source material they can find – Is there a Stranger Things book that will predict what happens in Season 2?
Stranger Things itself pulls a lot of references from science-fiction and horror literature, down to its already iconic title sequence. However, fans going to used bookstores looking for old 80's paperbacks of Stranger Things will end up very disappointed – Stranger Things is a television original, which is great news for casual watchers but a real bummer for any fans hoping to be the Stranger Things equivalent of a Game Of Thrones book reader.
While there may not be a Stranger Things book series to help predict the future of the show, that doesn't mean the show is immune to an educated prediction of what's to come. The best way to guess is to familiarize yourself with authors that work within the same genre and may have inspired the show. Here are just a few authors to check out to get an idea of what's coming in Season 2 of Stranger Things.
Without a doubt the largest influence on Stranger Things, Stephen King didn't earn the title of "Master of Horror" by accident. King's books range from post-apocalyptic (The Stand) to fantastical (The Dark Tower series), but where King excels is the portrayal of supernatural occurrences against a small town. Books like Salem's Lot and Pet Sematary explore how small towns come together and fall apart when the abnormal interrupts their otherwise normal lives. No book of his is a larger influence on Stranger Things than It, about a group of children taking down a malevolent supernatural force. Perhaps Season 2 of Stranger Things may take a page out of It's playbook and resume the action a few decades later after the monster's return?
While and obvious reference point for Stranger Things, there's no denying that Neil Gaiman's influence on fantasy and horror played a large role in certain aspects of Stranger Things. The Monster feels like a design pulled right from the pages of Gaiman's opus, The Sandman comic book series, and many of the scenes about the characters trying to make sense of the occurrences and what is happening to their town are reminiscent of novels like The Graveyard Book and The Ocean At The End Of The Lane. If Season 2 takes any inspiration from Gaiman, expect to be spending a lot more time in the Upside Down.
Brian K. Vaughan
Brian K. Vaughan may be more of a contemporary than an influence on Stranger Things, but there's no denying that these two work within the same territory. Vaughan is one of the most prolific comic book writers working today, having written everything from space operas (Saga) to an animal-fronted escape story that also provides a commentary on was (Pride of Baghdad) but there's one thing that Vaughan does better than anyone else in comics that shares DNA with Stranger Things – writing teenaged characters. Vaughan's Runaways follows a group of superpowered teenagers and is so beloved that it's becoming Marvel's next TV project, and his current project Paper Girls is basically Stranger Things with an all-female lead cast. Part of what makes Stranger Things works so well is its well-written children and teenage characters, and it's easy to imagine that Vaughan may have influenced characters like Nancy, Steve, and the beloved Barb.
It would likely be impossible to list all the authors that may have influenced Stranger Things, and even more difficult to list all the books that are treading similar ground to Stranger Things – although we try our best to recommend post- Stranger Things reading. While fans looking for spoilers to Stranger Things may have to settle for picking up on similar genre tropes to predict where the show goes next, it will surely be more satisfying in the long run as all fans of the show will have the chance to be equally surprised when Stranger Things returns in 2017.
Image: Curtis Baker/Netflix