DARK STARS: NEW TALES OF DARKEST HORROR

So, I’m editing this new anthology of stories.

A few years ago, my pal Josh Malerman (he of Bird Box and Malorie) had this idea. No one had really put together an anthology to follow up on that seminal ’80s antho DARK FORCES, edited by Kirby McCauley. This book has stories from people like Joyce Carol Oates and Isaac Bashevis Singer and Kind and Robert Bloch and Ramsey Campbell and Stephen King. It was a profoundly influential horror anthology to both the genre as a whole, and to my 17-year-old self, just starting to explore horror beyond E.A. Poe.

Why not, we figured, try to put together an antho to honor that book, fill it with some of the best horror authors out there, really show the diverse range of horror available to readers? Well, that’s just what we did. And Tor/Nightfire bit on it. So on November 2, 2021, DARK STARS: NEW TALES OF DARKEST HORROR edited by John F.D. Taff will be released.

Inside are 12 novelettes (read: longer short stories) from some of the best voices out there. We have:

Foreword and “Mrs. Addison’s Nest” by Josh Malerman (Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of Bird Box)
“Papa Eye” by Priya Sharma (Shirley Jackson Award-winning author of Ormeshadow)
“All the Things He Called Memories” by Stephen Graham Jones (Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Mapping the Interior and The Only Good Indians)
“The Familiar’s Assistant” by Alma Katsu (Bram Stoker Award finalist and Locus Award-winning author of The Hunger)
“Challawa” by Usman T. Malik (Bram Stoker Award-winning and Nebula Award-nominated author)
“The Attentionist” by Caroline Kepnes (New York Times bestselling author of You, and Hidden Bodies)
“Trinity River’s Blues” by Chesya Burke (over 100+ published short stories in horror & dark fantasy)
“Volcano” by Livia Llewellyn (multi-Shirley Jackson Award-nominated author)
“The Sanguintalist” by Gemma Files (Shirley Jackson Award-winning author of Experimental Film)
“Enough for Hunger, Enough for Hate” by John Langan (Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Fisherman)
Afterword and “A Life in Nightmares” by Ramsey Campbell (Multiple World Fantasy and Bram Stoker Award-winning author)

And an Introduction and “Swim in the Blood of a Curious Dream” by John F.D. Taff (Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of The End in All Beginnings and The Fearing)

Here’s the cover:

Awesome, huh? It’s by Jeffery Alan Love (jeffreyalanlove.com).

Dark Stars is available for pre-sale now at Amazon.

More information soon!


The Fearing: Blood & Brimstone Kickstarter Now Live!

I started writing The Fearing, oh, I dunno, in like 2011 or 2012. Got about 40 pages in, then it was like slogging through thick mud. I’d write a little, go away, write a little, etc. Rinse, repeat. Deb hounded me (well, just a little) about when I would finish the book. Well, cut to 2018, and I finished it. Yay me! Grey Matter picked it up, split it into four novellas, and released it serially in 2019.

More yay me!

It was met by some brisk sales, lots of hand wringing between the release of each of the four books, and some critical acclaim. Mother Horror (Sadie Hartmann) even called it “the story of the century.” Wow.

Then it was over, and as happens, life went on.

Last year before the holidays closed in, I was contacted by Matt Corley of Saturday Morning Scenarios about the idea of translating The Fearing into a role-playing game (RPG). I was intrigued. And the more we talked, the more we thought that it might be could to write a new Fearing novella.

So I did. The Fearing; Blood & Brimstone sits nicely in the continuum of The Fearing, broadening the story of Tim Jacoby and Tam Washington. But it does so in a way that you don’t even have to have read the rest of The Fearing. Blood & Brimstone can be a reader’s introduction to the entire world. They can then go back and read the larger work. No prob. Or you can enjoy it having already read the larger work. Either way, it works fine.

Matt’s going to fold the metaphysics of The Fearing into a larger horror RPG, with a launch point of next Spring. But we thought we’d launch the novella early, with a Kickstarter that is active now through Oct. 9.

The Fearing: Blood & Brimstone will be released in signed hardcover, softcover and digital edition. And man are the production values high. From cover art by the wonderful Francois Vaillancourt to interior, four-color illustrations by equally wonderful Stefan Koidl. From slick, heavy paper to great layout, this book is wonderful.

And the Kickstarter goal is low. We did that on purpose to be able to over-deliver. And we will, I’m confident of that.

But it’s moving a little more slowly than we might have hoped here on Day 3. Sure, we’re at almost 40% of the goal already, but as I mentioned it was a low threshold.

So take a minute to look at the Kickstarter page:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/saturdaymorning/the-fearing-blood-and-brimstone-by-john-fd-taff

Pledge an amount for the reward you want. There are even easy international options for people who have the good sense not to live in the U.S. these days.

I want to see this succeed, not just for my own fragile ego (of course!), but also because Matt does such an effing good job, I want him to continue to do this.

So, go, get a book or three. And watch for more information on the RPG portion of this, which I am sure will start to trickle out soon.

Support independent publishing!


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