Dark Stars, edited by John F.D. Taff, is a tribute to horror’s longstanding short fiction legacy, featuring 12 terrifying original stories from today's most noteworthy authors, with an introduction by bestselling author Josh Malerman and an afterword by Ramsey Campbell.
Created as an homage to the 1980 classic horror anthology, Dark Forces, edited by Kirby McCauley, this collection contains 12 original novelettes showcasing today’s top horror talent. Dark Stars features all-new stories from award-winning authors and up-and-coming voices like Stephen Graham Jones, Priya Sharma, Usman T. Malik, Caroline Kepnes, and Alma Katsu, with seasoned author John F.D. Taff at the helm. An afterword from original Dark Forces contributor Ramsey Campbell is a poignant finale to this bone-chilling collection.
Within these pages you’ll find tales of dead men walking, an insidious secret summer fling, an island harboring unspeakable power, and a dark hallway that beckons. You’ll encounter terrible monsters—both human and supernatural—and be forever changed. The stories in Dark Stars run the gamut from traditional to modern, from dark fantasy to neo-noir, from explorations of beloved horror tropes to the unknown—possibly unknowable—threats.
It’s all in here because it’s all out there, now, in horror.
- National print and online publicity campaign
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- ARC Sweepstakes and Promotions on Goodreads and NetGalley
- Major #DarkStars Digital Marketing Campaign, Author Guest Posts, Social Media Promotions, and Sweepstakes
- Tor.com Promotions including Excerpts and Review
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- Active on Instagram: @JohnF.D.Taff
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 25 members
The book is called Dark Stars and they mean it, because these are some of the brightest stars writing in the horror genre today. Although there can be some chilling gore, like a man running himself through a sewing machine and another who happened to be a cannibal. (Is cannibalism a thing? The last book I read had a cannibal. Or is it my taste in books?) And, there are upholsterers in two different stories who come to bad ends. Moral: Do not take up upholstery as a hobby or occupation. It doesn't end well. My favorite was Alma Katsu's story, The Vampire's Familiar, because I like a little humor in my horror. Although there is violence and gore in all the stories, after all it is horror, these stories longer than "kill them fast and weep" horror and more literary than most horror. But, this is a good thing because the genre doesn't get much respect but with people like Stephen Graham Jones writing literary horror, the academics are starting to notice. All are different, all have unexpected elements, one called Calwalla by Usman T. Malik is so atmospheric that I felt like I was smelling the incense and seeing the sites at a festival in Pakistan. Since the festival turns out to have a grisly end, the feelings that I was there were intense. I felt like a had to rinse the ashes off me when I was finished. If you want a quick slash and burn, these are not quickies, but if you enjoy a slow burn with beautiful writing between the blood, you'll like Dark Stars.
I'll admit it. I am a horror movie fanatic (sorry, Mom!). Like, Scream is one of my comfort movies. Despite what I like now, growing up, I wasn't allowed to watch the movies that give you the creeps, so I made up for it by reading the stories that had the same effect. When I saw the description for Dark Stars: New Tales of Darkest Horror, I couldn't wait to read through the stories within. Folks, I was not disappointed. Each author creates a completely engrossing world, so realistic that you feel like you're trapped with the potential victims. I feel like this book isn't especially fast-paced, but what part of the horror genre really falls in that category? I loved that this collection features both big-name and lesser-known authors, as it allowed me to discover new writers to devote all my time and energy to reading. This anthology is not for the faint of heart, but you don't walk into a scary movie expecting it to be family-friendly. John Taff did a fantastic job of editing this collection, and Josh Malerman's introduction is not to be missed. There are so many different plots that any fan will find a story to choose as a favorite. Trigger Warnings for Dark Stars: gore, cannibalism, stalking, and more. Overall rating: 4.75/5 (rounded to 5) Dark Stars will be available for purchase on November 2nd. Be sure to add it to your Goodreads shelf and see where it's available to buy. Also, be sure to check out John F.D. Taff’s website! I was lucky enough to be able to read this Advanced Reader's Copy through my partnership with NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
I loved this anthology. It was full of such a diverse group of authors across a wide array of horror sub genres. It was a quick read and incredibly enjoyable.
"Dark Stars" is the perfect book for horror movie junkies or readers who can't get enough of terrifying stories. This anthology is dark, literary, intelligent, and full of gems. It is also incredibly easy to read, in part due to the adrenaline that rushes through you as you turn each page. I believe newcomers to the genre will also enjoy this collection because it offers a wide array of stories from the best up-and-coming horror authors! This was an incredibly diverse read and I loved every second of it. Highly recommend.
This is an outstanding collection of horror stories, ranging from body horror to psychological horror. With stories from Stephen Graham Jones, Priya Sharma, Usman T. Malik, Caroline Kepnes, and Alma Katsu, the collection has tales reminiscent of M. R. James and James Hynes as well as new takes on old lore, including vampires and wendigo. I loved the brilliance with which these stories have been crafted, never showing the reader too much until just the right moment, letting the reader understand what's going on before a protagonist does, or making breakneck--almost literally--twists that surprise, delight, and horrify.
The stories in Dark Stars are great examples of how vast the range of horror can really be. Every story gave me something to sit and think about, and even had me going back to re-read a few. This is a brand-new anthology featuring some of the biggest names in horror right now. The featured authors in Dark Stars are: Caroline Kepnes, Ramsey Campbell, Priya Sharma, Livia Llewellyn, Stephen Graham Jones, Chesya Burke, Alma Katsu, John F.D. Taff, Gemma Files, Josh Malerman, Usman T. Malik, and John Langan. All who provide horror stories that go beyond the scares. I usually pick up an anthology when I see that an author I like is being included and the bonus is getting to read from other authors I might not be familiar with. With this anthology, though, all of the authors are big names in horror or dark fantasy. I usually keep horror anthologies to read a short story between books. This is an anthology I could sit and read the stories back to back without it getting repetitive because it isn’t a themed anthology. Each story is completely its own. My personal favorite stories from this anthology include: Chesya Burke’s “Trinity River Blues”, Gemma Files’s “The Sanguintalist”, John Langan’s “Enough for Hunger and Enough for hate”, Josh Malerman’s “Mrs. Addison’s Nest”, and Usman T. Malik’s “Challawa”. All of these authors continue to push the boundaries of what is considered horror and also how it can be every bit as literary and academic as other genres. I would recommend this anthology to people who love horror, of course, but also anyone who enjoys deep short stories that pack a lot to mull over.