Though my tastes are migrating, for a very long time I have been extremely interested in fiction that explores epistemic uncertainty. Epistemology is the philosophy of how we get knowledge of the world. It basically started with Descartes, who tried to get down to what he could know for sure. He eliminated everything except himself through a thought experiment that boils down to: you can't be sure that you're not dreaming.
You can't be sure you're not in a coma. You can't be sure that you're not in a computer simulation of the past. So you can't be sure of anything.
I love horror where a person loses the ability to trust their senses and their logic. The world starts going weird, and all of a sudden you're frozen, because you no longer know how to interact when cause-and-effect goes out the window. We get a pathetic amount of information from our senses, and consciousness is basically a self-checking program attached to a cause-and-effect processor, and if you've read abnormal psychology books, you know how easily it can go haywire.
Lots of people enjoy this type of horror and scifi, but I think I like it extra super much because of a weird disorder that I have: night terrors.
There are two types of night terrors. There's panic attacks at night that awaken people with a big adrenaline rush and the feeling that they're being attacked. A lot of the time this is caused by a buildup of carbon dioxide in the blood that creates a primal, reflexive response to drowning. I don't have this type.
I have the type where, for the first hour of the night, my body isn't always paralyzed. I have nightmares with my eyes open. I see spiders and snakes and attackers lurking in corners. I often fear that something is going to stab me through my mattress.
So I take a small dose of klonopin every night to dull my thoughts during that dangerous first hour. I first got medicated after nearly breaking my foot on my metal bedframe when I caught it with my heel while trying to stomp snakes. It's good that I'm medicated. Men have accidentally killed spouses and children while having a night terror. I got this condition from my mom, who is a small woman. My dad has funny stories about her charging him. I, however, am a 6'6 heavyweight kickboxer, and it would be very easy for my stories to not be funny. I once couldn't figure out how to open the bedroom door when I was convinced I was being attacked, so I knocked through it. The door stayed closed, and I pushed the entire frame out of the wall in one piece.
Anyway, it's a weird feeling, not being able to trust your senses. I can often remember the night terrors if I'm woken up out of them, and so it goes contiguously into my "sane" consciousness. It's like a short taste of severe schizophrenia.
Luckily, between the medication, keeping my stress low, and not playing video games or watching spider documentaries right before bed, I don't have night terrors too often anymore. I used to go through long stretches of having night terrors every night.
Ummm...and that's one reason I like horror.