The Cutting Room: Dark Reflections of the Silver Screen

Ellen Datlow, ed.

The credits have rolled, but the lights are still off. Something is lurking on the other side of the screen. What happens after the closing credits and before the lights go out? These award-winning, bestselling authors will take you to the darkest depths of the theater.


The Cutting Room: Dark Reflections of the Silver Screen

by Ellen Datlow, ed.

ISBN: 9781616961671

Published: October 2014

Available Format(s): Trade Paperback and eBooks

The credits have rolled, but the lights are still off. Something is lurking on the other side of the screen. There are dark secrets, starving monsters, and haunted survivors who refuse to be left on the cutting room floor. But that’s okay, right? After all, everybody loves the movies…. Here are twenty-three terrifying tales, dark reflections of the silver screen from both sides of the camera. James Dean gets a second chance at life—and death. The Wicked Witch is out of Oz and she’s made some unlucky friends. When God decides reality needs an editor, what—and who—gets cut? These award-winning, bestselling authors will take you to the darkest depths of the theater and beyond.

A Kirkus Excellent Horror Read for October

“This themed anthology revolves around the idea that the separation between what is real and what we see on film is not as clear as we’d like to think it is. What if, for example, the Wicked Witch of the West didn’t stay in Oz? What if James Dean got a second chance at life? These are just some of the weird-but-cool ideas explored in this tempting volume of stories from renowned editor Ellen Datlow, who collects 23 scary tales by the likes of Peter Straub, Genevieve Valentine, Robert Shearman, Laird Barron and more.”

A Publishers Weekly Book of the Week

STARRED REVIEW “Superstar editor Datlow makes no missteps in this reprint collection of dark tales involving movies and moviemaking. The one original piece, Stephen Graham Jones’s “Tenderizer,” is a haunting exploration of tragedy on both a personal and national level. A.C. Wise’s “Final Girl Theory,” about a cult film that’s an “infection, whispered from mouth to mouth in the dark,” is disturbing and gory without fetishizing its horrors. Kim Newman’s brilliant “Illimitable Dominion” tells an alternate history of Edgar Allen Poe, Roger Corman, and American International Pictures that’s particularly suited to film buffs who will probably spot the (initially) subtle changes to the time line. Film critic and author Genevieve Valentine provides both an entertaining story (“She Drives the Men to Crimes of Passion!”) and an enlightening introduction, while even Douglas E. Winter’s “Bright Lights, Big Zombie”—the literary target of which has long faded—still holds up reasonably well. Strong stories by Gary McMahon and Gary A. Braunbeck, as well as poems by Lucy A. Snyder and Daphne Gottlieb, are also worth noting, but really, the entire volume is outstanding.”
Publishers Weekly

“This collection of 23 stories should appeal to fans of horror and SF primarily, though noir and hard-boiled-mystery readers should feel welcome too…. Definitely worth checking out.”

 “It’s pretty much a given that an Ellen Datlow anthology will at least be good, if not great… ‘The Cutting Room’ is no exception.”

“Horror cinephiles and bibliophiles will have extra cause to rejoice this Halloween: The Cutting Room, a literary anthology, is an October treat.”

“When Datlow’s name is on the cover, however, you know the collection will contain the highest quality writing and arranging…. The Cutting Room is a major success.”
Ensuing Chapters

“I personally feel that short fiction is the ideal format for horror and dark fantasy literature and the theme of film/film-making is absolutely brilliant and Datlow collects a very nice assortment.  This collection is highly recommended.”
Looking for a Good Book

The Cutting Room is a ton of fun….”

“Horror stories about the cinema in some capacity. There was no way I wouldn’t like this book, regardless of whether I was a horror and film buff or not. Datlow’s pretty much the master of the anthology, and it shows here.” —LitReactor‘s favorite reads of 2014

Ellen Datlow is one of horror’s most acclaimed editors. She was the fiction editor of OMNI for nearly twenty years, and edited the magazines Event Horizon and Sci Fiction. Her many anthologies include the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror series;  Snow White, Blood RedLovecraft’s Monsters; and Darkness: Two Decades of Modern Horror. Datlow has won multiple Hugo, Bram Stoker, Locus, and Shirley Jackson awards. She has received several lifetime achievement awards, including a World Fantasy Award—her tenth—in 2014. Datlow lives in New York City.

Praise for Ellen Datlow

“The field’s leading anthologist.”
Washington Post on The Best Horror of The Year, Volume 6

Praise for Hauntings

“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.”
Publishers Weekly

“[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.”
Arkham Digest

“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.”
Black Static

“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.”
Rue Morgue

“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

 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
twenty years.”
SF Site

“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.”

True Review

Visit the Ellen Datlow website.

Introduction by Genevieve Valentine
Preface by Ellen Datlow

"The Cutter" by Edward Bryant
"The Hanged Man of Oz" by Steve Nagy
"Deadspace" by Dennis Etchison
"Cuts" by F. Paul Wilson
"Final Girl Theory" by A. C. Wise
"Lapland, or Film Noir" by Peter Straub
"The Thousand Cuts" by Ian Watson
"Occam’s Ducks" by Howard Waldrop
"Dead Image" by David Morrell
"The Constantinople Archives" by Robert Shearman
"each thing I show you is a piece of my death" by Gemma Files & Stephen J. Barringer
"Cinder Images" by Gary McMahon
"The Pied Piper of Hammersmith" by Nicholas Royle
"Filming the Making of the Film of the Making of Fitzcarraldo" by Garry Kilworth
"Onlookers" by Gary A. Braunbeck
"Recreation" by Lucy A. Snyder
"Bright Lights, Big Zombie" by Douglas E. Winter
"She Drives the Men to Crimes of Passion!" by Genevieve Valentine
"Even the Pawn" by Joel Lane
"Tenderizer" by Stephen Graham Jones
"Ardor" by Laird Barron
"Final Girl II: the Frame" by Daphne Gottlieb
"Illimitable Dominion" by Kim Newman

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