Darkness: Two Decades of Modern Horror

Edited by Ellen Datlow

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.


“A superb sampling of some of the most significant short horror works […] This is an anthology to be cherished and an invaluable reference for horror aficionados.”

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Datlow is a high-calibre anthologist and DARKNESS is another in a long line of books assembled by her that I would recommend.”

Silvia Moreno-Garcia, author of Mexican Gothic

“This collection’s range of subjects and forms of storytelling gives us enough quality to be added to your summer reading list.”

New York Journal of Books

“DARKNESS promises to please both longtime fans and readers who have no clue what ‘splatterpunk’ was supposed to mean.”

San Francisco Chronicle

“Eclectic […] a complete overview of some of the best horror stories published in the last twenty years.”

SF Site

“A great collection of terror tales spaninng the last twenty years […] I loved every one of them […] I give my highest recommendation for this book.”


“About as close to horror perfection as any fan could ask for in an anthology.”

Choate Road Horror Blog

Awards & Accolades