Created as an homage to the 1980 classic horror anthology, Dark Forces, edited by Kirby McCauley, this collection contains 12 original novelettes showcasing today’s top horror talent. Dark Stars features all-new stories from award-winning authors and up-and-coming voices like Stephen Graham Jones, Priya Sharma, Usman T. Malik, Caroline Kepnes, and Alma Katsu, with seasoned author John F.D. Taff at the helm. An afterword from original Dark Forces contributor Ramsey Campbell is a poignant finale to this bone-chilling collection.
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.
I was so excited to see this anthology – I’m a fan of several of the featured authors. Having their short stories bundled together was such a treat.
As with any collection, I liked some of these stories better than others. My favorites included the following: All the Things He Called Memories by Stephen Graham Jones. This is a horror story set during Covid when a couple are quarantined together. It has a creepy, slow madness that gradually seeps into your bones.
The Familiar’s Assistant by Alma Katsu – I’m always a vampire fan, but this was more about the new familiar (as it’s adequately titled) and his relationship with the current familiar. Let’s just say he has aspirations.
Mrs. Addison’s Nest by Josh Malerman – The line between dreams, reality, and the past are blurred as four friends try to determine the difference. I enjoyed the nod to Christopher Nolan’s Memento.
I admit some of the stories I didn’t get. They were confusing or ended abruptly, and I shrugged and moved on to the next one. Maybe they were just over my head.
This is an eclectic mix of horror and thriller authors that is sure to appeal to fans of those genres. I settled in with some favorites as well as discovered some new ones.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.