Return to the main page [[UncannyValley here]].
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!!Examples

* The villainous Gray Agents of Sean Cullen's ''Literature/HamishX'' series of novels are described as being deep down in the Valley.
* Name-checked in the ''MercyThompson'' novels. Mercy describes the vampire Marsilia as being in the UncannyValley, as she's unnaturally stiff and still and her facial expressions look like she tried to learn them from a book.
* This trope is all but {{lampshaded}} with regard to [[FrankensteinsMonster the creature]] in ''Literature/{{Frankenstein}}'', who may be the UrExample. As described in the book, the creature looked much closer to human in ''Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus'' than he does in most of his film incarnations. In the book, the eponymous doctor believes his monster to be a work of art before he animates it, but once it lives and moves, he sees how horrible and inhuman it looks.
* Eldar are described this way in the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' novel ''[[Literature/GreyKnights Hammer of Daemons]]''. The disgust is even InUniverse.
* The Vord Queen in ''Literature/CodexAlera'' ''tries'' to act human and look like a CuteMonsterGirl, but mostly just succeeds in making everyone, even Invidia, want to hide under a bed somewhere.
* The queen of TheFairFolk in the Literature/{{Discworld}} book ''Discworld/TheWeeFreeMen'' is described as looking subtly wrong, because she's too perfect-looking to be human. It turns out her entire body is just an illusion of what she wants the viewer to see.
-->Look at her eyes. I don't think she's using them to see you with. They're just beautiful ornaments.
** In understanding the quotation, keep in mind that the rules of Discworld specify that nothing can ''ever'' change the appearance of its eyes by changing shape or appearance otherwise, including the gods. But, if they aren't actually used for seeing, ''then they aren't eyes at all'', are they?
** Same with the Discworld/LordsAndLadies, notably during the Queen's confrontation with Magrat when her glamour starts to [[GlamourFailure fail]].
* Paolo Bacigalupi apparently has a ''[[AuthorAppeal fetish]]'' for girls who fall into this category. The most blatant is the titular character of ''The Wind-Up Girl'', so called because she walks in a jerky manner like a wind-up toy. In-story, this is considered remarkably beautiful, but it's somewhat difficult to visualize how this could avoid falling into the Valley in real life. In-story, it sometimes does. It was also a deliberate design feature to make sure that the main character and others like her couldn't be mistaken for unmodified humans.
* The human-animal things in ''Literature/TheIslandOfDoctorMoreau'' by Creator/HGWells. Just reading about those things is disturbing. Reading about how they're created even more so, as Wells goes into just enough detail about the processes to be even more freaky.
* ''Literature/AFireUponTheDeep''. The female human protagonist is watching a transmission from her homeworld, which has been taken over by an alien with god-like powers. She can clearly see that the human being used as a puppet/mouthpiece is acting strangely, but the aliens with her don't notice anything wrong with him because they're unfamiliar with human body language signals that we notice instinctively.
* The ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series uses the Uncanny Valley to great effect:
** If a character acts odd (for example, Ginny's overall behavior in ''Chamber of Secrets'', or teenage Snape walking in a "twitchy manner that recalled a spider" in ''Order of the Phoenix''), keep your eye on him or her. And then, of course, there is the [[OurZombiesAreDifferent Inferi]], which deliberately invoked this trope (because there is absolutely ''nothing'' right with a walking corpse). The way Voldemort is characterized in [[TheFilmOfTheBook the movie]] also invokes this trope.
** [[CloudCuckoolander Luna Lovegood]] is described as having wide, buggy eyes that she blinks less often than one normally would. It helps to augment her strangeness, though she's also a sympathetic friend of the protagonists.
** Another one would be Ollivander. It's mentioned in his introduction that he almost never blinks and Harry is creeped out by him.
* Played straight in Neal Asher's ''{{Cormac}}'' novels with the Golem androids. Early in the series most Golem androids are absolutely perfect in their humanoid design, with god-like strength and god-like beauty. Humans are usually pretty disturbed by them in their perfection because it makes the androids feel LESS human, since real humans aren't perfect. Furthermore most non-combat Golems have inhibitors which stop them using their joints in impossible directions and from using strength far greater than even an enhanced human. Subverted when later models have purposeful imperfections (moles, limps, idiosyncrasies) to make them feel more human (but are still quite capable of tearing people, and other androids, limb from limb).
* In ''Literature/JaneEyre'', Jane is the only person who recognizes that something is wrong with Mr Mason: "...I like his physiognomy even less than before: it struck me as being, at the same time, unsettled and inanimate. His eye wandered, and had no meaning in its wandering: this gave him an odd look, such as I never remembered to have seen. For a handsome and not unamiable-looking man, he repelled me exceedingly...".
* ''Literature/TheStrangeCaseOfDrJekyllAndMrHyde'': As said by Utterson, Mr. This may be an instance of the characters incorrectly thinking of this trope; they tended to assume there was ''some'' small deformation they just couldn't pinpoint, but the notion that they were just non-visually sensing his evil gains stronger support by the end.
* In ''Literature/GulliversTravels'', it is implied in Part II that Gulliver was found to be off at first by the Brobdingnagians although it can be argued that it completely falls into this trope because unlike most examples, it does not continue.
* Occasionally this trope's effects are felt in Niven's ''{{Ringworld}}'' novels, as the many hominid natives fall short of being HumanAliens. Usually it's the ones that are already creepy (ghouls, vampires) which give people the willies when they move their shoulders more loosely than expected or are found to have too small a skull.
** Also part of the reason our AbusivePrecursors are so, well, abusive. Our social system is horrifically twisted due to its rejection of Protector-stage rulers, and we just ''smell'' so incredibly ''wrong''.
* Played with in the ''Literature/GaeaTrilogy'', in which a race of obviously-nonhuman alien centaurs, for reasons that make sense in context, sport genitalia identical to those of humans. This single feature's similarity invokes the UncannyValley effect ''because'' the rest of the body is so strange.
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's ConanTheBarbarian story "Literature/ShadowsInTheMoonlight", in [[DreamingOfTimesGoneBy Olivia's dream]], even the [[HalfHumanHybrid demigod son]] has an inhuman touch, but when his PhysicalGod father appears:
-->''the alloy of humanity that softened the godliness of the youth was lacking in the features of the stranger, awful and immobile in their beauty.''
* Scott Westerfeld seems to have a talent for creating things that are Uncanny with a capital U.
** The Pretties from the books series ''{{Uglies}}''; they're literally perfect with symmetrical faces and all, and they all look very nearly the same. Then there's the specials who add a whole new level of creepy with their "cold beauty".
** {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''So Yesterday''. A special effects whiz explains that the human face is the hardest thing to animate convincingly because humans spend almost all of their time reading faces. If it's even a tiny bit off, we won't accept it.
* An interesting variation presents itself with Quasimodo in ''Literature/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'':
-->... at last he [Quasimodo] said, shaking his heavy and ill-formed head,--
-->"My misfortune is that I resemble a man too much. I should like to be wholly a beast like that goat."
* Mostly averted in C.L. Moore's story "No Woman Born". When a noted dancer and actress has her brain transplanted into a robot body after an accident that nearly kills her, she is still able to convey the same sense of beauty, grace, and charisma as before, although she needed to practice moving and talking in her new body before presenting herself to the public. The scientists who worked on her new body decided to give her a blank metal face to avoid the almost-but-not-quite human effect and designed the body to be flexible enough to dance as gracefully she could before, and this is justified in that humans rely on auditory and kinesthetic cues such as voice, gait, and personal mannerisms for recognition, not just appearance. [[spoiler:Only at the story's very end, when she lets down her guard for a moment does her voice start sounding flat and robotic, instead of resembling her original body's voice.]]
* The short story ''Stairway to the Stars'' by Larry Shaw, has this concise explanation: "It -- he? -- looked almost like a man, and that only made the difference worse."
* The StarWarsExpandedUniverse gives us Xizor's assistant Guri, a [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots human replica droid]]. [[{{Robosexual}} He assures us she is anatomically correct]]. [[{{Squick}} Let that sink in.]]
** Abeloth can be [[ParanoiaFuel anyone]]. She is Luke's ex-girlfriends. She wants to assimilate Luke as well. But [[GlamourFailure Vestara can see through her disguises]].
* In Rick Griffin's ''Literature/{{Argo}}'', androids are usually designed to look like PettingZooPeople to avoid this trope, so that humans would be less intimidated by them.
* Kellhus from TheSecondApocalypse. He is completely emotionless, lacks any empathy and is utterly, ruthlessly rational. He can manipulate people by perfectly simulating emotions and normal human interaction. However, at one point he makes a mistake with one character. He takes just a split-second too long to respond to a question, during which his face just goes utterly blank and all emotion leaves his eyes before suddenly smiling and continuing with the conversation. The effect is described as extremely disturbing.
* Invoked in ''Jugend Ohne Gott'', a book written during the Nazi regime, about the indoctrination of the children. The main character (their teacher) constantly comments that several of them stare at him blankly, like fish.
* In ThePaleKing, there is something very, ''very'' off about Shane Drinion. His [[SpockSpeak odd speech patterns]], [[TheStoic lack of emotions, facial reactions,]] or [[DoesNotUnderstandSarcasm sense of humor]] make him seem inhuman. There's also the fact that [[spoiler: mosquitoes avoid him, he can levitate if he concentrates hard enough on something, he keeps a perfect record of his conversations, and that he can't leave the room without Keith Sabusawa. None of it is explained.]]
* Why is [[http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_x_qKvKkFBXE/TLKJ_SDgvcI/AAAAAAAAAAU/SynNxbZafnU/S380/Turnabout.jpg this]] cover for the Haddix book Turnabout so creepy, you may ask? If you didn't notice (some won't,) half of the face is young when the other is old, effectively creeping us all out.
* ''Coraline'': Some of the pictures in the novel - especially the [[http://karinlibrarian.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/coraline-other-mother.jpg picture]] of the Other Mother with a bug in her mouth.
* The GMO's and their offspring exhibit a subtle version of this in Jacqueline Carey's ''Literature/SantaOlivia'' and its sequel. For the most part they look normal but its frequently mentioned that when making physical contact for most people there is something subtly wrong and unnerving about them. Their inability to feel fear also means that in some situations their behaviour is off in ways that others find unnerving.
* Literature/RaptorRed's protagonist and main viewpoint character is a female Utahraptor of the Red-Snout species. A rival species, the Yellow-Snouts, evoke an Uncanny Valley reaction in her: their courtship dance is ''almost'' right, but the differences in the motions and in the colour of their snout-band repulse her.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', [[HotWitch Melisandre]] is beautiful, but there is also something ''off'' about her. Most men are too afraid of Melisandre to want to sleep with her. The only one who does sleep with her is only doing it because it's part of a BloodMagic ritual.
* HPLovecraft frequently describes degenerate humans and not-really-humans as looking distinctly off and inherently disturbing, such as the people of Innsmouth, who [[spoiler: have fish-person blood]]. It can be seen as applying this trope, although at least [[HumanoidAbomination in the more extreme cases]] his main idea may be not almost-humanness so much as the inherently disturbing eldritch shining through; if there was more of it, it would just be even more disturbing. On the other hand, Lovecraft had fears of degeneration, of the human being too close to the not-human (in "Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family", this is played as the ultimate horror), which naturally implies a form of this trope.
* [[GodOfEvil Naar]] from ''Literature/LoneWolf'' doesn't really have a true physical form, but the one he favors in his inner sanctum is a grotesque misshapen thing. The trait that shocks Lone Wolf more than the others? [[spoiler:The dark god has the eyes of a man.]]
* In ''TheWitcher''-novels the elves are described in terms that suggest this trope. On one hand they are extremely beautiful in general terms. On the other, at closer inspection their eyes seem unnaturally large, while their teeth seem too small to their mouths, like adults who still have baby teeth, and they also lack the distinct canine teeth. In result, many humans find elves freaky and disturbing-looking, although the actual reasons for the mutual FantasticRacism have a bit deeper causes.
* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', the Myrddraal are some of the most human-looking [[AlwaysChaoticEvil Shadowspawn]] (barring the ''gholam'', which was created to be able to perfectly mimic humans in order to fulfill its function as an assassin, and only turns monstrous when it uses its RubberMan powers). They're also, however, ''the'' most disturbing. It's partly their skin, which is a bit too pale. It's partly the way they move, which is a bit too fluid and makes them look like their joints don't hook up quite right. It's partly the fact that their clothing is always perfectly still, regardless of factors like wind. It's partly their expressions, or lack thereof- Myrddraal never smile and rarely show any emotion that isn't cold-blooded sadism, and there's no noticeable variation in personality between individuals. Oh, and when they lower the hoods of their {{Black Cloak}}s, it becomes obvious that [[EyelessFace they don't have eyes, just smooth skin where eyes should be]]... but they can still see. Taken all together, they're far more horrifying than the traditionally monstrous [[OurOrcsAreDifferent Trollocs]].
* Shapechangers pretending to be humans have this effect in ''Literature/ThePowerOfFive''. Of the few that are mentioned, not a single one has maintained their deception for any length of time: One lets his disguise slip when he meets Scarlett, the other has a freakishly round head, one can't speak, one doesn't notice cutting his own thumb off, and one doesn't notice an enormous insect crawling over his eye. The best impersonation so far has been "Audrey Cheng", and even it gave the game away when it forgot to eat. Scarlett rumbled it when she realized the only time she had ever seen "her" express hunger was looking at a fishmonger's slab.
* The dolls in ''Literature/TheDollmaker'' appear human (to varying degrees), but they are consistently described, in both appearance and action, as disturbingly other.
* In ''Literature/ThoseThatWake'', Man in Suit evokes this trope, leaving the characters confused and frightened by their inability to describe him.
* [[Literature/TheSpaceTrilogy Perelandra]] feature the Un-Man, who is essentially an animated corpse, but he gets even more creepy when you think about what it is that's animating him.
* ''BreakingDawn'' features an unintentional usage of this trope. Renesmee is clearly meant to be cute and endearing, but there is something very disturbing about a child, an infant even, acting in such an unchildlike manner. It's disturbingly easy to imagine that she really is a monster.