Announcing Dark Stars, a Horror Anthology Edited by John Taff

Dark Stars, a new anthology of horror novelettes edited by John Taff, will be published by Nightfire in October 2021!

Dark Stars is a tribute to horror’s longstanding short fiction legacy, featuring 12 terrifying novelettes from today’s most noteworthy authors, edited by Bram Stoker Award-nominee John F.D. Taff, with an introduction by bestselling author Josh Malerman (Bird Box).

Created in the tradition of the 1980 horror classic anthology Dark Forces edited by Kirby McCauley, this collection features all original novelettes showcasing the top talent in the horror field today, with a committed line-up of stories from both established names and up-and-coming voices. Dark Stars is not themed, allowing each author to write their very best horror story, unhampered by the need to conform to any unifying tropes.The committed contributors to Dark Stars are:

  • John F.D. Taff (Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of The End in All Beginnings and The Fearing)
  • Josh Malerman (Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of Bird Box)
  • Priya Sharma (Shirley Jackson Award-winning author of Ormeshadow)
  • Stephen Graham Jones (Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Mapping the Interior and The Only Good Indians)
  • Alma Katsu (Bram Stoker Award finalist and Locus Award-winning author of The Hunger)
  • Usman T. Malik (Bram Stoker Award-winning and Nebula Award-nominated author)
  • Caroline Kepnes (New York Times bestselling author of You, and Hidden Bodies)
  • Chesya Burke (over 100+ published short stories in horror & dark fantasy)
  • Livia Llewellyn (multi-Shirley Jackson Award-nominated author)
  • Gemma Files (Shirley Jackson Award-winning author of Experimental Film)
  • John Langan (Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Fisherman)
  • Ramsey Campbell (Multiple World Fantasy and Bram Stoker Award-winning author) 

Here’s what Kelly Lonesome, senior editor at Nightfire, has to say about Dark Stars:

“I’m so thrilled to be working with John and this incredible line-up of contributing authors on such an exciting tribute to horror’s short fiction tradition. Dark Stars is truly an inclusive anthology, showcasing the most talented voices of horror today. This collection is perfect for both readers who have already devoured the horror canon, and those beginning to explore its haunted corners! Dark Stars will get you in the Halloween spirit, coming to shelves in October 2021.”

And from John Taff:

Dark Forces was a seminal horror anthology for me, as it was for a lot of readers.  It introduced people to the wide—and deep!—swath of writers working in the field at that moment.  It let readers know that horror was more than a dark alley genre.  It could be soaring and literary, as well as down in the bloody gutters.  I thought, forty years on, that no single work had really done that since.  

Dark Forces set out to prove that horror could be literary, and it succeeded in its mission.  So, I didn’t feel the need to address that.  What I want to show in Dark Stars is its vast range, the huge canvas that horror can paint on.  I want to highlight the diverse voices that are writing horror today, reshaping it, widening its path, making it their own.

As a writer, range is important to me.  I wanted to show off the range of this genre to readers who may never have considered it before. Yes, horror can be literary.  That’s important.  But what’s even more important to me, especially now, is that we show just how expansive horror is as a genre.  That horror can push more boundaries than just about any other genre and do it in ways other genres simply can’t… or don’t. With Dark Stars, I want to say to readers, ‘Expand your horizons, not just about what horror can be, but what horror is.'”


Photo: Deborah L. Taff

John F.D. Taff is a multiple Bram Stoker Award-nominated author with more than 30 years’ experience, 100-plus short stories and five novels in print. Little Deaths was named the best horror collection of 2012 by HorrorTalk. Jack Ketchum called his novella collection, The End in All Beginnings, “one of the best novella collections I’ve read,” and it was a finalist for a Stoker Award in 2014. A short story from his latest collection Little Black Spots, “A Winter’s Tale,” was a finalist for a Stoker in 2019. His serial novel The Fearing was released in 2019 to critical acclaim. A coming-of-age novel He Left will be published by Grey Matter Press in 2020. Look for more of his work in anthologies such as The Seven Deadliest, Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories, Shadows Over Main Street 2 and Behold: Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders. Taff lives in the wilds of Illinois with three pugs, two cats and one long-suffering wife.

Dark Stars will hit shelves in October 2021!



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