As discussed by you, the loyal SF Signal readers. Some liberties have been taken with the term ‘SF’ to allow horror and or fantasy threats.
I present the Top 27 Coolest SF Threats, in no particular order, although multiple nominations are listed first….
- Everyone’s favorite Elder Being, Cthulhu.
- The risen Dead from Peter F. Hamilton’s Night’s Dawn trilogy.
- The Bersekers from Fred Saberhagen’s Berserker series of books. Similarly, the machine race from Gregory Benford’s Galactic Center novels.
- The eponymous Aliens from the Aliens series of movies.
- A rogue AI – Scott Westerfeld’s Risen Empire books, Colossus: The Forbin Project and from Karl Schroeder’s Ventus.
- The planet Endurium in the classic PC game, Starflight.
- The Inhibitors from Alastair Reynold’s Revelation Space books.
- The planet eater from the Star Trek episode, The Doomsday Machine.
- The wandering superstring from Stellvia Of The Universe.
- The blast front from the exploding core of the galaxy from Larry Niven’s Known Space stories.
- The grey goo from Greg Bear’s Blood Music.
- The Yuzon Vong from the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
- Galactus, from The Fantastic Four comics.
- The Grendel from Legacy Of Heorot.
- Larry Niven’s version of the Kzinti.
- The Reavers from Firefly/Serenity.
- A more personal threat here, the poison gel packs used to ‘motivate’ people in Gibson’s Neuromancer.
- How can we forget God, in the movie Time Bandits?
- The Jain from Neal Asher’s Polity Universe.
- The Prime aliens in Peter F. Hamilton’s Commonwealth books (Pandora’s Star, Judas Unchained).
- The Hypotheticals from Charles Wilson’s Hugo winning Spin.
- The Omega Clouds from Jack McDevitt’s Engine Of God series.
- The ‘Dust’ from Pullman’s His Dark Materials series.
- The Shadows from Babylon 5.
- The Triffids from The Day Of The Triffids.
- The Death Star, from Star Wars.
- The Blight from Vinge’s A Fire Upon The Deep.
So there you have it, some of the coolest threats faced by characters and/or societies in SF/Fantasy/Horror. It’s a nice list and I must say I have actually seen or read about all of these before, so nothing I hadn’t encountered before. I recommend reading/watching any of the above listed books/movies if you haven’t already!