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.
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.
Dark Stars features all-new stories from the following award-winning authors and up-and-coming voices: Chesya Burke, Ramsey Campbell, Gemma Files, Stephen Graham Jones, Alma Katsu, Caroline Kepnes, John Langan, Livia Llewellyn, Josh Malerman, Usman T. Malik, Priya Sharma, and John F.D. Taff.
Created as an homage to the 1980 classic horror anthology Dark Forces, edited by Kirby McCauley, Dark Stars also features an introduction by Josh Malerman and an afterword from original contributor Ramsey Campbell―a poignant finale to this bone-chilling collection.
Cover art by Jeffrey Alan Love
Cover design by Jamie Stafford-Hill
JOHN F.D. TAFF is a Bram Stoker Award short-listed dark fiction author with more than 25 years experience, and more than 100 short stories and seven novels in print. He has appeared in Cemetery Dance, Eldritch Tales, Unnerving, Deathrealm, Big Pulp, and One Buck Horror. Recent anthology contributions include The Seven Deadliest and I Can Hear the Shadows. Taff’s novella collection, The End in All Beginnings, was called one of the best novella collections by Jack Ketchum and was a Stoker Award Finalist.
Praise for Dark Stars
“Taff has curated some of the most dynamic horror fiction anthologies in recent years, and his newest is a healthy mix of established horror legends and newcomers.” ―Booklist, STARRED review
“A fabulous collection of heady, inventive, and scary-as-hell novelettes written by many of my favorite horror writers. They’ll become your favorites too, if they aren’t already.” ―Paul Tremblay, author of Survivor Song
“Dark Stars provides not only an image of where horror is now, but a roadmap of where horror is going.” ―Brian Evenson, author of The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell
“A perfect snapshot of modern horror fiction and an essential showcase for its many voices, Taff’s Dark Stars is to this generation what Kirby McCauley’s seminal Dark Forces was to mine.” ―Brian Keene, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rising
“As soulful as it is disturbing, these stories linger like smoke long after the reading is done. An absolute treat.” ―Gemma Amor, Bram Stoker Award nominated author of Dear Laura
“This collection of suspenseful horror resonates deeply, haunting the soul on many levels.” ―Brom, author of Slewfoot
“Dark Stars is a … gripping, thought-provoking collection, which showcases the tremendous talent of the writers, and the stylistic and thematic variety of contemporary horror fiction. An anthology that shows why literature that is drawn to the dark side of human experience will never die.” ―Indrapramit Das, author of The Devourers
“Featured here are rubies strung on wire ― or droplets of blood suspended in air ― each story crafted by one of the best horror and suspense authors writing at the top of their games. This anthology left me in awe.” ―John Hornor Jacobs, author of A Lush and Seething Hell
“John F.D. Taff has gifted us with a collection of stories that takes in the vast expanse of the horror genre today and guides our eye toward the furthest corners of the cosmos, where these twelve brand-new celestial forms wait to take shape in our nightmares.” ―Clay McLeod Chapman, author of Whisper Down the Lane
“Taff gathers a galaxy of horror geniuses whose engrossing, unsettling stories unveil every empty place inside us….An essential anthology for 21st century horror.” ―Hailey Piper, author of The Worm and His Kings
“Strange and sinister, uncanny and unforgettable, Dark Stars is an absolute must-read. With an utterly stellar lineup of today’s best horror authors, this is one anthology you don’t want to miss.” ―Gwendolyn Kiste, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rust Maidens