by Ellen Datlow, ed.
Available Format(s): Trade Paperback and eBooks
This fiendish anthology, complied by the horror genre’s most acclaimed editor, drags you into the twisted minds of modern literary masters at their fiendish best. Visionary storytellers fill this collection of tales lyrical and strange, monstrous and exhilarating, horrific and transformative.
*A sweetly vengeful voice on the radio calls a young soldier out to join a phantom patrol.
*A hotel maid who threw her newborn child from a fourth-story window lingers in an interminable state.
*An intern in a paranormal research facility delves deeply into the unexplained deaths of two staff members.
*A serial killer plans his ultimate artistic achievement: the unveiling of an extremely special instrument in a very private concert.
At once familiar and shocking, these riveting stories will haunt you long after you put down your book and turn out the light.
Ellen Datlow is one of the best-known editors of science fiction, fantasy, and horror working in the field today. She was the fiction editor of OMNI from 1981–1998 and has since edited the online magazines Event Horizon and Sci Fiction. Her many anthologies include Naked City; Snow White, Blood Red; Blood and Other Cravings; and Poe. Datlow has won five Hugo Awards, eight Locus Awards, three Bram Stoker Awards, two Shirley Jackson Awards, and nine World Fantasy Awards.
Praise for Darkness
“This diverse 25-story anthology is a superb sampling of some of the most significant short horror works published between 1985 and 2005. Editor extraordinaire Datlow (Poe) includes classic stories from horror icons Clive Barker, Peter Straub, and Stephen King as well as SF and fantasy luminaries Gene Wolfe, Dan Simmons, Neil Gaiman, and Lucius Shepard. The full diversity of horror is on display: George R. R. Martin’s ‘The Pear-Shaped Man’ about a creepy downstairs neighbor, and Straub’s ‘The Juniper Tree,’ which chronicles a drifter’s sexual molestation of a young boy, exemplify horror’s sublime psychological power, while Barker’s ‘Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament’ and Poppy Z. Brite’s ‘Calcutta, Lord of Nerves’ are audaciously gory masterworks. This is an anthology to be cherished and an invaluable reference for horror aficionados.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Darkness promises to please both longtime fans and readers who have no clue what ‘splatterpunk’ was supposed to mean.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Make sure you are in a safe place before you open it up.”
—New York Journal of Books
“Datlow is a high-calibre anthologist.”
—Innsmouth Free Press
“About as close to horror perfection as any fan could ask for in an anthology.”
—Choate Road Horror Blog
“Eclectic…a complete overview of some of the best horror stories published in the last
“I can’t recommend this book highly enough and no, that’s not just the rabid fanboy inside me talking. This is my serious critic’s voice. I know it doesn’t translate well in the written word, but trust me. I give my highest recommendation for this book.”
Visit the Ellen Datlow website.
“Hunger: An Introduction” by Peter Straub
“Anna” by F. Paul Wilson
“Cargo” by E. Michael Lewis
“Eenie, Meenie, Ipsateenie” by Pat Cadigan
“Hunger: A Confession” by Dale Bailey
“Delta Sly Honey” by Lucius Shepard
“Nothing Will Hurt You” by David Morell
“The Ammonite Violin (Murder Ballad #4)” by Caitlín R. Kiernan
“Haunted” by Joyce Carol Oates
“The Have-Nots” by Elizabeth Hand
“Closing Time” by Neil Gaiman
“Mr. Fiddlehead” by Jonathan Carroll
“The Fooly” by Terry Dowling
“The Wall” by Paul Walther
“The Pennine Tower Restaurant” by Simon Kurt Unsworth
“Distress Call” by Connie Willis
“The Horn” by Stephen Gallagher
“Everybody Goes” by Michael Marshall Smith
“Transfigured Night” by Richard Bowes
“Hula Ville” by James P. Blaylock
“The Bedroom Light” by Jeffrey Ford
“Specral Evidence” by Gemma Files
“Where Angels Come In” by Adam L. G. Nevill
“Two Houses” by Kelly Link
“This anthology of 24 previously published dark fantasy and horror stories, edited by the ever-adept Datlow (Blood and Other Cravings), explores a variety of situations in which people encounter literal or figurative specters from beyond. Some feature the ghosts of lovers or spouses wronged, while others give readers a powerful lens through which to view the evil people can do here on Earth, as in the gut-wrenching ‘Cargo’ by E. Michael Lewis. The theme is interpreted quite loosely and in varied ways, although many of the stories—such as the atmospheric opener, Pat Cadigan’s ‘Eenie, Meenie, Ipsateenie,’ and Adam L. G. Nevill’s tense ‘Where Angels Come In’—hinge on anxieties relating to children in peril. Even so, the collection flows smoothly, capturing the pleasantly shivery dread of a round of ghost stories told by a fire, with only a few hiccups or sour notes (the most sour being Richard Bowes’s deeply unpleasant “Transfigured Night”). Solid entries by Neil Gaiman, Caitlín R. Kiernan, and Joyce Carol Oates capture the mood perfectly and will thrill fans of the eerie.”
“[Hauntings is] apt to entertain and disquiet the horror fans.”
—SF Site, featured review
“Datlow once again proves herself as a master editor. Her mission to broaden readers’ concepts of what a haunting can be is nothing short of a success, and the twenty-four stories on display run the gamut from explicitly terrifying to eerily familiar. Readers who wish to be haunted themselves should not miss this one. Highly recommended.”
“That delicious sense of tantalization, of maybe and what if, impelled me through page after page, encountering intriguing characters, spine-shivering settings, and bits and pieces (sometimes literally…of corpses)….”
“A book that must surely be an early contender for any and every Best Anthology award going this year.”
“Award-winning horror editor Ellen Datlow offers readers a skillfully crafted, captivating collection with Hauntings, an anthology of twenty-four reprinted ghostly tales from the last 25 years of horror literature.”
“Twenty four tales in all spanning the years 1983 through 2012, Ms Datlow has assembled a formidable community of eminent genre artists working at the very heights of their literary powers to create this outstanding dark fantasy anthology. This is the best of the best–don’t miss it!”
—The Tomb of Dark Delights