Screenshot from Love Death + Robots season 3. Design by the author.

Speaking of the pure insanity that was ‘Love Death + Robots,’ the adult animated anthology series wrapped up its season 3 with critical acclaim. And it did so as recently as May of this year.

What does it mean for someone who is addicted to the show?

You might have to wait a little longer for the next season.

But waiting for something so satisfying, trippy, and divine at the same time? Well, not that easy, is it?

Sure, you can tune in for other series. However, the sheer range of storytelling that Love Death + Robots spoiled us with will be tough to match.

Don’t worry. Here are a few books that will hit you in the right spot.

Kafka on the Shore

by Haruki Murakami

Not just beautiful, though — the stars are like the trees in the forest, alive and breathing. And they’re watching me.

Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

The story unfolds itself from two distinct perspectives.

On the one hand, you have Kafka. The teenage protagonist, desperate to flee from his tyrannical father and his family curse he feels doomed to repeat, runs away from home and names himself after his favorite author.

On the other end, there’s this frail old man Satoru Nakata. Due to a mysterious childhood illness, Nakata lost most of his cognitive functions.

No longer can he write, nor can he read. However, to make up for his disability, he can now talk to a superior life form — cats!

Image by Goodreads

While Kafka’s quest to defy his past is weighed down by strange nightmares and the memories of his missing mother and sister, Nakata is on his own journey to investigate a missing cat.

And it only gets stranger from here.

Prophecies come true, portals from different dimensions pop up, fish begins raining from the sky, and the two protagonists’ stories are intertwined. Also, for good measures, there are ghosts and time travel involved.

I mean, why not?

Hollow Kingdom

by Kira Jane Buxton

A creature can be heartbreakingly powerful and loving while also being a destroyer of worlds.

Kira Jane Buxton, Hollow Kingdom

In this terribly underrated tale of a dystopian future, we follow S. T. (short for Shit Turd), a domesticated crow (whose sarcasm is sharper than his beak) dealing with a zombie apocalypse in Seattle.

Life was good for S.T. with his electrician owner Big Jim and his loving but witless pet dog Dennis. Enjoying the perks of humanity, the chatty crow saw itself more as a part of humanity than the natural world.

Image by Goodreads

However, things soon changed when, out of nowhere, one of Big Jim’s eyeballs fell out of his eye socket.

From that point on, slowly but steadily, Big Jim’s health started deteriorating to the point of no return.

As it forced S. T. to venture out from his cozy lifestyle, taking the dog with him, he found neighboring humans eating each other alive.

Thus, the craziness begins.

Also, I can’t say what’s funnier, the book’s snarky humor: or the fact that it came out in 2019, just a year before the pandemic. Talk about life imitating the art.

SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror

from Cohesion Press

There are all sorts of monsters, Mister Crowley. Not all of them cast spells or have fangs.

Jonathan Maberry, SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror

Multiple episodes from ‘Love Death + Robots’ like Suits (Season 1, Ep 4), Sucker of Souls (Season 1, Ep 5), and The Secret War (Season 1, Ep 18) come from Cohesion Press’ SNAFU anthology series.

And if you are a fan of those episodes, it’s only logical that you might want to explore more. So here it is.

Love Death + Robots
Image by Goodreads

In this particular volume, you will find a total of sixteen short stories written by the likes of Jonathan Maberry, Weston Ochse, Greig Beck, and James A. Moore.

From a world full of sea creature worshippers on the misty island to the old Russian church with an ancient Lovecraftian beast fallen from the sky, this book guarantees a wild ride.

Riders to the Sea

by John Millington Synge

They’re all gone now, and there isn’t anything more the sea can do to me.

John Millington Synge, Riders to the Sea

Riders to the Sea is a one-act play set in the Aran Islands to the west of Ireland. The gem of a tragedy is the product of the Irish Literary Renaissance movement.

In a typical man v. nature conflict, this play pits the islanders against the sea. But there’s a catch.

Because of the harsh conditions and infertile soil, the island is unsuitable for farming. So, for a living, the islanders have to depend on the sea.

However, the sea is so turbulent that people lose their lives regularly. It has gone to a point where the islanders have refused to learn to swim, as instead of saving their lives, it would only prolong their suffering.

Image by Books Way

The protagonist of the play, an elderly Maurya, has one by one lost all five of his sons as well as their father and her husband to the sea by the time the story begins. In fact, the dead body of the last son to die is yet to be discovered.

All it leaves her with is her elder daughter Cathleen, her younger daughter Nora, and her youngest son, Bartley.

Bartley, the only man of the house, has to set out to the sea to take care of the family. However, as soon as he leaves for the shore, Maurya has a vision of him dying the same day.

It sets the central conflict of the story as we get to explore more of human nature faced with indifferent and, at the same time, relentless forces beyond our control.

Robot Dreams

by Isaac Asimov, Ralph McQuarrie (Illustrator)

Often, one compensates by playing an instrument, or going hiking, or joining some club. In other words, one creates a new type of society, when not working, in which one can feel more at home.

Isaac Asimov, Robot Dreams

Yes, in an article about similar content to Love Death + Robots I’m yet to talk about the robots. Well, I have been saving it for the last. And guess what! It’s going to be worth it. Robot Dreams is a collection of 21 sci-fi short stories by none other than Isaac Asimov.

Image by Goodreads

Okay, let me come clean about something. From the title, it might seem like all the stories here will include robots.

Well, that’s not the case.

Out of these twenty-one stories, only four of them are robot stories, while five others are Multivac (a special kind of supercomputer) stories.

It covers a far broader spectrum. Yet, despite packing so much variety in themes and narrative, Asimov never lets the quality dip.

It is one of the rarest short story collections that aren’t mixed bags.