Darkness

Darkness: Two Decades of Modern Horror

Ellen Datlow, ed.

This sophisticated, scary anthology collects the best horror fiction published between 1984 and 2005, one of horror’s most innovative eras. These exceptional stories, hand-picked by horror-expert editor Ellen Datlow, are tales of the subtly psychological, the unpredictably mischievous, and the disturbingly visceral.

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Darkness: Two Decades of Modern Horror

by Ellen Datlow, ed.

ISBN: 9781892391957

Published: 2010

Available Format(s): Trade Paperback and eBooks

This sophisticated, scary anthology collects the best horror fiction published between 1984 and 2005, one of horror’s most innovative eras. These exceptionally diverse stories, hand-picked by horror-expert editor Ellen Datlow, are tales of the subtly psychological, the unpredictably mischievous, and the disturbingly visceral.

Here are classics, such as horror master Stephen King’s “Chattery Teeth,” the tautly drawn account of a traveling salesman who unwisely picks up yet another hitchhiker; Peter Straub’s eerie “The Juniper Tree,” describing a man whose nostalgia for the movies of his childhood leads to his stolen innocence; and George R. R. Martin’s sinister “The Pear-Shaped Man,” in which a young woman encounters a neighbor who likes her a bit too much.

Whether you grew up on Clive Barker’s Books of Blood; Joyce Carol Oates’s “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”; Neil Gaiman’s Sandman; or are newly discovering Stephen King’s son, breakout author Joe Hill; there is something here for everyone who enjoys being more than just a little bit scared.

“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.”
Hellnotes.com

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

Praise for Hauntings

“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)….”
Hellnotes

Visit the Ellen Datlow, ed., website.

“Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament” by Clive Barker
“Dancing Chickens” by Edward Bryant
“The Greater Festival of Masks” by Thomas Ligotti
“The Pear-Shaped Man” by George R. R. Martin
“The Juniper Tree” by Peter Straub
“Two Minutes Forty-Five Seconds” by Dan Simmons
“The Power and the Passion” by Pat Cadigan
“The Phone Woman” by Joe R. Lansdale
“Teratisms” by Kathe Koja
“Chattery Teeth” by Stephen King
“A Little Night Music” by Lucius Shepard
“Calcutta, Lord of Nerves” by Poppy Z. Brite
“The Erl King” by Elizabeth Hand
“The Dog Park” by Dennis Etchison
“Rain Falls” by Michael Marshall Smith
“Refrigerator Heaven” by David J. Schow
“———” by Joyce Carol Oates
“Eaten (Scenes From a Moving Picture)” by Neil Gaiman
“The Specialist’s Hat” by Kelly Link
“The Tree Is My Hat” by Gene Wolfe
“Heat” by Steve Rasnic Tem
“No Strings” by Ramsey Campbell
“Stitch” by Terry Dowling
“Dancing Men” by Glen Hirshberg
“My Father’s Mask” by Joe Hill