I was thinking back through the books I’ve read in the past few years (quite a few, though not nearly as many as I would have liked) and it occurred to me that THE TERROR by Dan Simmons would probably appeal to a lot of gamers.
I got it for Christmas a couple of years ago and read it right away, enjoying it immensely. It is a fictional account of the fate of the real-world arctic expedition of HMS Terror and HMS Erebus in 1845. The two ships were searching for the Northwest Passage, became trapped in the ice, and the ultimate fate of the ships and the crews is still mostly a mystery.
Here’s the Publisher’s Weekly write-up:
Hugo-winner Simmons brings the horrific trials and tribulations of arctic exploration vividly to life in this beautifully written historical, which injects a note of supernatural horror into the 1840s Franklin expedition and its doomed search for the Northwest Passage. Sir John Franklin, the leader of the expedition and captain of the Erebus, is an aging fool. Francis Crozier, his second in command and captain of the Terror, is a competent sailor, but embittered after years of seeing lesser men with better connections given preferment over him. With their two ships quickly trapped in pack ice, their voyage is a disaster from start to finish. Some men perish from disease, others from the cold, still others from botulism traced to tinned food purchased from the lowest bidder. Madness, mutiny and cannibalism follow. And then there’s the monstrous creature from the ice, the thing like a polar bear but many times larger, possessed of a dark and vicious intelligence. This complex tale should find many devoted readers and add significantly to Simmons’s already considerable reputation.
Apparently there’s a Cthulhu campaign based on a search for the lost expedition called Walker in the Wastes.
I really enjoyed the novel and am hoping to listen to it on audiobook in the near future. If you’re looking for something to read this summer, maybe the reading about the deep cold these guys found themselves trapped in will help keep you cool.
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I’ve added a note on this to my About page (such as it is).