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Dark Forces (Gran Super Terror)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  2,405 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
Dark Forces
Edited by Kirby McCauley

Featuring stories from Stephen King, Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol
Oates, Ramsey Campbell, Charles L. Grant, Richard & Richard Christian
Matheson, and over a dozen other masters of the genre!

In 1980, Kirby McCauley assembled a landmark horror anthology that set the
benchmark for the genre. That book was Dark Forces, and w
...more
Kindle Edition, 25th Anniversary Edition, 568 pages
Published (first published 1980)
More Details... edit details

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Graham
Nov 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, anthology
I adore horror anthologies, especially the ones that were released between the 1960s and 1980s - so when I saw this massive volume from Kirby McCauley, I had to have it. I'm glad I did. McCauley uses pretty much all the talent from the 1980 horror scene to deliver a rousing, frightening anthology that rarely disappoints.

First off, the not-so-good efforts. THE BINGO MASTER by Joyce Carol Oates is a distinctly non-horror effort that tries to be different and succeeds in being boring. It has no pla
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Marvin
Jun 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autographed, horror
Published in the 80s, Dark Forces is occasionally referred to as the "Dangerous Visions" of the horror genre. While that may be stretching it, this is one of the definitive anthologies in horror. There are 23 contributors from Stephen King to Theodore Sturgeon to an illustrated story by Edward Gorey to Isaac Bashevis Singer. There is a story by Gahan Wilson proving he is just as good a writer as a cartoonist. Some of the standouts include "The Late Shift" by Denneis Etchison, "Where the Summer E ...more
Susan
Dec 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Horror/Stephen King fans
Recommended to Susan by: My hubby
Shelves: horror, anthology
From time to time my hubby and I read a story together. Last night I was in the mood for a horror story and Graham is sharing STEPHEN KING's The Mist with me. I have to say that so far I'm loving it...

The Mist was everything a horror story should be - I LOVED it!

Here's snippet from Graham's review of The Mist the last story in the anthology.
...The best story in the volume is saved until last - Stephen King's THE MIST. This novella is essentially a survivors-under-siege scenario involving the
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Mark
Sep 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Yes, Stephen King's "The Mist" drew me in but every story kept me longer. From Dennis Etchison's "The Late Shift" (the first time I'd read his work) to "Children Of The Kingdom" by T.E.D. Klein - and touching on everyone from Bloch to Campbell to Matheson in between - this is simply a terrific collection.
Debbie
Dec 10, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Horror fans
Shelves: horror
This anthology offers some truly frightening tales from masters of the genre like Stephen King and Robert Bloch to some unexpected contributors such as Isaac Bashevis Singer and Theodore Sturgeon. One of my favorite stories is Children of the Kingdom by T.E.D. Klein. It offers up a view of NYC and the 1977 blackout that provides chills.
Jack
Dec 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'80s horror. Unbeatable.

Really - maybe it's the teeth cutting or something, but many of these stories are literary, well paced, and complex. I peruse horror and slip-stream anthologies on a regular basis, and I have to say that this collection is one of the best I've ever had the pleasure of reading. An equivalent: McSweeney's Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories.
Charles
Jun 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Simply one of the best overall anthologies of horror fiction out there. Contains great stories by Bradbury, Karl Wagner, Etchison, and others, and the novella "The Mist" by King, which is one of the best things he ever wrote.
Alissa
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were a couple stories in this book that I didn't care for but I enjoyed most of them. Stephen King's The Mist was my favorite and actually one of my favorites of anything he's written so far. Recommended.
Gef
Nov 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories, horror
When I was on a real tear a couple years ago, reading as much short fiction in a summer as I could, this anthology was recommended to me more than a couple of times. Had I not already been swamped with a line-up of collections and anthologies to read at the time, I would have added this one to the pile sooner. Now, having read it, I see that I should have made it a priority.

Dark Forces is not only a truly entertaining book from front to back, but serves as a valuable time capsule for its time, h
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Chip Howard
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In my first go-round with this anthology back in the '80s, I did something that probably a lot of others did too--I bypassed the roughly 20 stories it offered at the front and made a beeline for the back of the book to gobble up the Stephen King story. What can I say--back then, the guy's fiction was like candy to me.

Jump forward roughly 30 years to my second go-round, and I've had a different, and more enriching, experience this time. Published in 1980, before the horror genre's big boom (and
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Elegant Elbow
Jul 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in the heat of the summer, waiting for the bus. I had checked it out from the public library. Some of the stories stayed with me for so long that I eventually had to go out and find a copy of it. I love the horror collections from the '80s -- not splatter punk, and still very much influenced by the original Rod Serling Twilight Zone series.
Zach
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, horror
Original stories commissioned by the editor, the all-star horror agent of the 1970s and 1980s, this was a historically important representation of the horror field around 1979. Nothing too groundbreaking takes place here, but the stories are good-to-great for the most part, and several have gone on to become modern classics. As always, not enough women, and no non-white authors.

The Mist • (1980) • novella by Stephen King
After an incredible storm, the titular mist rolls across a small New Englan
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France-Andrée
Oct 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthology, horror
This book really deserved to be celebrated in a 25th anniversary edition. The quality of the stories included in this anthology is remarkable. I would not give less than 3 stars to any stories and there's a couple in there that are 5 stars for sure.

I'm not gonna comment on every short-story, but here is a little words on each of my favorites :

The anthology starts with a bang with a little gem called : Late Shift by Dennis Etchison. A little intriguing and the twist at the end was worth the read;
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Olethros
-Otra muestra de diferentes gustos y tendencias en el asunto hace más de treinta años.-

Género. Relatos.

Lo que nos cuenta. Recopilación de relatos que trabajan distintas categorías de horror, irregulares en alcance y con pocas gemas, por lo que podríamos decir que ofrece un grado de satisfacción general por debajo del que ofreció “El gran libro del terror” (aunque en su defensa hay que decir que fueron las ediciones en español las que los relacionaron de cierta manera cuando en realidad, en las e
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Olethros
-Otra muestra de diferentes gustos y tendencias en el asunto hace más de treinta años.-

Género. Relatos.

Lo que nos cuenta. Recopilación de relatos que trabajan distintas categorías de horror, irregulares en alcance y con pocas gemas, por lo que podríamos decir que ofrece un grado de satisfacción general por debajo del que ofreció “El gran libro del terror” (aunque en su defensa hay que decir que fueron las ediciones en español las que los relacionaron de cierta manera cuando en realidad, en las e
...more
Erik
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a nice read in 80's horror. Most of the stories are 2.5-3 star types, but "The Mist" and "Traps" really stood out as 5 star plus stories. It shows once again just how good Mr. King is a writing quality horror back in the day, as "The Mist" might be one of his best stories period.

This is a perfect collection to read to fill short windows of reading time, as the stories are compact and satisfying. Overall, I give this a 4 star rating on the pair of exceptional stories above which would h
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Kevin Lucia
Jun 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent, diverse cross-section of horror and dark fantasy.
Pam
Sep 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The definitive horror anthology from the 80's, and let's face it, horror has been on the decline since then, so let's just say it's a definitive horror anthology.
Brian O'daniel
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent horror anthology. This is one of my favorite collections. I've probably read it at least five times over the years.
Kwirebaugh
Nov 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I remember most about this book is King's "The Mist". It was when I was in college that I read this and thought it was good enough to be a movie and they made it into one this year!
Nicola Mansfield
I am currently (re)reading Stephen King's works in chronological order and noticed "The Mist" was the next official title on the list. It first appeared in this collection, then later went on to be slightly edited and included in King's own collection "Skeleton Crew". So I was quite pleased to find this 1980 collection of horror stories by some well-known authors now available on ebook and eagerly purchased a copy for the opportunity to read King's original version of this masterpiece.

Overall, T
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Jim Cunningham
Sep 06, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a decent collection of short stories. Better than most. I’m a bit biased against it from the start because I generally don’t care for short stories because they tend to, largely, be unfinished work, the seeds for something the author thought might become a novel or miscellaneous doodads they couldn’t get published. And I feel that’s partially true of these (though, there are some real gems in here).

I only read about 2/3rds of these and, some of those, I skipped to the end or stopped half
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Rob
May 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh. An OK collection of shorts at best. King's "The Mist" by far the stand-out in this collection. Overall rating of 2/5. My rating for each entry:
1. The Late Shift - 2/5
2. The Enemy - 1/5
3. Dark Angel - 3.5/5
4. The Crest of Thirty-six - 1/5
5. Mark Ingestre: The Customer's Tale - 2/5
6. Where the Summer Ends - 3.5/5
7. The Bingo Master - 3/5
8. Children of the Kingdom - 2.5/5
9. The Detective of Dreams - 1/5
10. Vengeance Is. - 2/5
11. The Brood - 3/5
12. The Whistling Well - 3/5
13. The Peculiar Demes
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Donna Minyard
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this collection.

I don't want to give out any spoilers, but I was truly glad to read The Mist. For those who have seen the movie, you'll know why I prefer, at least the ending of The Mist , in written form. I would highly recommend this collection. I liked all of the stories included.
Elaine
Sep 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Average short horror stories, of course the King is engrossing to me, but this got an extra star because it included Edward Gorey
Beth Roberts
Oct 13, 2012 rated it liked it
I think my tastes have changed. I used to read horror almost exclusively when I was younger. Somewhere in the time it's taken me to raise two kids, I guess my love of the stuff has waned.

I was excited to read this book. Cemetery Dance Publications is an excellent publishing house. I've read many of their publications and enjoyed their magazine for a long time. Granted, I read the Kindle version of this book, so I don't know how nice the "real world" publication is, but judging from what I know o
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James Adams
Yes, this is a reread, but...
This is flat-out one of the greatest horror anthologies of all time. It isn't perfect, of course, no book is, but this is damn good, and it has several stories that have become horror classics. It also introduced me to several authors who now number among my favorites. So of course I reread it on occasion, at least in part, though this may be my first full return.
As with any anthology, there are highs and lows, and those will, to some extent, change according to tast
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Joe
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Mist" by Stephen King stands out as the best contribution to the collection by far. I have to admit it surprised me as I had never really given his material much of a shot before reading this collection. I can't really say it was scary. However, it was tense, engrossing, and very realistic...well realistic at least in terms of the characters and how people would react in such a situation. If I were to just provide a rating for "The Mist," it would probably be either 4.5 or 5 stars. However, ...more
Tero Kuittinen
Oct 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably the most effective horror anthology of the past century. It's anchored by the tour de force King novella. In "The Mist" he is at the peak of his powers, delivering a nearly novel-length story of bleak, existential dread with vivid descriptions of alien monstrosities and great, fresh Maine characters. This is the King of "Pet Sematary" or "Firestarter" - brisk, precise and innovative. The anthology also captures Charles L. Grant at his peak with the wonderfully morose small town story "A ...more
Jaksen
Nov 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of these stories were wow, creepy, got a shudder reading it. (I read some at night under one light in a house surrounded by wind and rain. Sometimes you gotta have the atmosphere. The lights even flickered once.) But others were so psychological, they went right over my head. I'd finished reading and go okay, that was scary? Perhaps in 1980? No, no matter the year, and I'd be disappointed.

Like so many kinds of literature, some stories do not stand up well to the test of time. Which is sad,
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Kirby McCauley (1941-2014) was a New York City literary agent and editor.

He attended the University of Minnesota and became a literary agent in the 1970s, soon building a successful agency and representing authors such as Stephen King, Roger Zelazny, and George R.R. Martin, who credits him with helping to launch his writing career. In 1975, McCauley chaired the first World Fantasy Convention.

He di
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