“Blackout” is a horror novel by Guy N. Smith, published in 1988. Known for his ability to craft chilling and suspenseful narratives, Smith takes readers on a journey through chaos and fear in this novel.

Plot Summary

Prepare for a bone-chilling odyssey through the annals of time, crafted by a master of horror. Set in a secluded hunting lodge in the vast expanse of the American Midwest, this gripping tale unfolds as a family braces themselves for the onslaught of a devastating storm. Little do they know, their journey will take a harrowing turn into the depths of the unknown.

As the tempest rages outside, the family seeks refuge within the confines of the lodge. When morning breaks, they emerge to find the once-sturdy structure deteriorated, permeated by a sinister and pervasive stench that hangs heavy in the air. Shockingly, their surroundings bear witness to the passage of time itself, as if they have been transported to a bygone era.

Outside, their station wagon lies in ruins, corroded by an unseen force, its tires reduced to tatters. The forest that once surrounded them now stands as a haunting testament to the ravages of time, its once-vibrant foliage withered and aged beyond recognition.

As the family grapples with the inexplicable horrors unfolding around them, they are thrust into a nightmarish realm where the boundaries between past and present blur, and the very fabric of reality begins to unravel. With each passing moment, they find themselves ensnared in a web of dread and uncertainty, forced to confront the unfathomable mysteries lurking in the shadows.

This spine-tingling narrative masterfully combines elements of psychological suspense and supernatural terror, keeping readers on the edge of their seats until the final, heart-pounding conclusion. A testament to the author’s unparalleled skill in crafting tales of terror, this chilling journey through time will leave you breathless and haunted long after the last page is turned.

Themes and Style

  • Societal Breakdown: The novel explores the fragility of societal structures and how quickly civilization can descend into chaos when these structures fail.
  • Survival Horror: The story focuses on the primal instincts of survival, depicting the lengths to which people will go to protect themselves and their loved ones.
  • Human Nature: “Blackout” delves into the darker aspects of human nature, examining how crisis situations can bring out both the best and worst in people.


“Blackout” received mixed reviews from readers and critics. Some praised the novel for its gripping premise and intense depiction of a society in collapse. The sense of urgency and suspense created by the blackout scenario was particularly appreciated. However, some critics felt that the character development and plot resolution were not as strong as they could have been.

Author Background

Guy N. Smith (1939-2020) was a prolific British author best known for his horror fiction. Over his career, he wrote more than 100 novels, often focusing on themes of supernatural terror, environmental horror, and societal collapse. His works, including the well-known “Crabs” series, have garnered a dedicated following among horror enthusiasts.


“Blackout” stands as an example of Smith’s ability to take a high-concept premise and explore its horror potential. While it may not be as famous as some of his other works, it continues to be of interest to fans of disaster and survival horror narratives.

Overall, “Blackout” is a tense and thrilling novel that combines elements of societal collapse with horror, showcasing Guy N. Smith’s skill in creating unsettling and thought-provoking scenarios. The book captures the fear and desperation of a world without power, where the true horror lies not just in the darkness, but in what humans are capable of when the lights go out.