The best “what if” books that will have you thinking “WTF”

William M. Hayes Author Of Save Him
By William M. Hayes

Who am I?

I love reading and writing "what if" stories. When I came up with the idea for my book, I thought, that's one whopper of an idea. Then I thought, how the heck will I pull this off? An elite military unit sent back in time to when Jesus walked the earth. And one of the members of the unit decides to save Christ. With that crazy concept, the result is my book Save Him, which has won seven writing awards as I write this. As a kid, I always tried to tell the best stories around the campfire, and I guess that's what I'm still trying to do now.

I wrote...

Save Him

By William M. Hayes,

Book cover of Save Him

What is my book about?

Save Him is a seven-time award-winning what-if novel that leaves readers on the edge of their seats.

The book involves a brilliant scientist who accidentally discovers time travel while working from a military base on a project designed to save wounded soldiers in the field. His sister, a nun, tells him that she has received a message from God telling him to go back in time to save Jesus from the cross. Crazy right? I love what-if novels and I’ve gone out of my way to give this one the biggest wow factor possible.

The books I picked & why

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The Road

By Cormac McCarthy,

Book cover of The Road

Why this book?

What if the world as we know it came to an end? And what if you had a child to care for in this new merciless land? I'd just become a father when I picked up this book after hearing all the buzz about the novel. A story about a father and son traveling through an apocalyptic world: I read it in one night. The story is heartbreaking and unforgettable. And that's what great stories are supposed to do—they make you feel and bring out unexpected emotions. Author Cormac McCarthy is a master of doing just that.


By Bob Springett,

Book cover of Bones

Why this book?

What if the remains of Jesus Christ were discovered? What would happen to everyone involved in the archaeological discovery? And this premise is what makes for such an enticing read when it comes to Bones by Bob Springett. Everyone involved from a scientific, religious, and even a political point of view would have clashing opinions if the news got out about such a discovery. And Springett sets up all these scenarios amazingly. A terrific story by a very gifted author.

The Outsider

By Stephen King,

Book cover of The Outsider

Why this book?

What if a thing could replicate a living person and cause havoc on humans in a doppelgänger body? As with most King stories, you get the chills and thrills here. However, what readers don't talk enough about with King are his characters and why we care about them. And he's in top form here in not rehashing characters as some authors do—they are so unique and on point. 

A vintage King story. Very good.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

By Max Brooks,

Book cover of World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

Why this book?

What if the next war in the world was against zombies? Did the book World War Z spark the interest again in zombie books, movies, and television series? Maybe. An agent from the United States government begins to gather information after the zombie plague. I really got into the narrative regarding the agent and the flashbacks—great premise and execution by author Max Brooks.

One Second After

By William R. Forstchen,

Book cover of One Second After

Why this book?

What if an EMP attack brought the world back to primitive times? How will people survive and interact? The story starts fast, and then it takes its time to reel you in—and it does. How people change and the circumstances to keep loved ones alive are depicted gracefully and horrifically by author William R. Forstchen. Such a good read. And the book will make you think about what it would be like if the world went dark.

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