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Dark Forces: New Stories of Suspense and Supernatural Horror
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Dark Forces: New Stories of Suspense and Supernatural Horror

(Gran Super Terror)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  2,717 ratings  ·  70 reviews

The Late Shift by Dennis Etchison
The Enemy by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Dark Angel by Edward Bryant
The Crest of Thirty-six by Davis Grubb
Mark Ingestre: The Customer’s Tale by Robert Aickman
Where the Summer Ends by Karl Edward Wagner
The Bingo Master by Joyce Carol Oates
Children of the Kingdom by T. E. D. Klein
The Detective of Dreams by Gene Wolfe
Vengeance Is. By Theodore
Hardcover, 551 pages
Published August 29th 1980 by Viking Adult (first published August 1980)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,717 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Nov 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: anthology, horror
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
Jun 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, autographed
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 ...more
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
OK, the details here are a bit fuzzy, but bear with me ...

Sherman: Set the Wayback Machine to, um, sometime in the very early 1980s. I'm in either junior high or early high school; a friend of mine has given me a copy of Stephen King's The Dead Zone and I like it very, very much -- so much so that I go out and read every other King book I can lay hands on (which, at that point, is pretty much the classic run: Carrie, 'Salem's Lot, The Stand, The Shining and Night Shift). Shortly thereafter, as
Jun 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 10, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Dec 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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.
Dec 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
'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.
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.
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, short-stories
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
Nov 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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,
Chip Howard
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Elegant Elbow
Jul 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Kevin Lucia
Jun 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent, diverse cross-section of horror and dark fantasy.
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;
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
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!
A decent collection of horror stories. Some were terrific, so only so-so.
David Agranoff
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror-anthology
One of the single greatest horror collections ever released. Classic must read stuff right here.
Sep 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
An excellent horror anthology. This is one of my favorite collections. I've probably read it at least five times over the years.
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.

This is a collection of solid, if not spectacular, horror stories put out in 1980. I had only read two of them before: "Where the Summer Ends" by Karl Edward Wagner and "A Touch of Petulance" by Ray Bradbury. The former, I only remembered because of the kudzu, and because I read it in a much better anthology (which collection I hope to remember and find again some day). The latter was probably my favorite in this book, though the horror is rather oblique.

I was sick on a few days of reading this
Jan 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This anthology has been called the horror answer to Dangerous Visions, which had me intrigued, as I generally enjoy horror more than straight science fiction. However, I don’t think as a whole it rose quite to the same level. Fewer of the stories here have stuck with me like many from Dangerous Visions. That other anthology series had an explicit goal of being boundary-pushing, shocking, and memorable.

I think it would be fairer to call this a horror primer. This seemed to provide a broad
Jim Cunningham
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
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
That was a rollercoaster and a half with good stories, bad stories and horror stories that take horror to another level.

My favourites were Dark Angel (the ending is fabulous), Mark Ingestre: The customer's tale (interesting take on a well told tale), The Brood (creeped the hell out of me), Where the Stones Grow (interesting and weird); The night before Christmas (classical tale with a grisly and gothic feel), The stupid Joke (so different; illustrated but very poignant), Where there's a will
May 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
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
Donna Minyard
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Lora Kempka
Oct 30, 2019 rated it liked it
In the air about this anthology. Some stories were really good; others, not so much. It's worth a read and worth more than the two dollars I paid for it at the Harnett Co. library sale--especially since it's signed by Ray Bradbury! But a few of the stories ended in ways that made me wonder what the hell just happened. Is that It? Really? Pfft.
Sep 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Average short horror stories, of course the King is engrossing to me, but this got an extra star because it included Edward Gorey
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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.

“As a boy I’d been afraid of the dark—or, more specifically, of monsters. I knew they only inhabited the world of movies, but sometimes in the dark it would occur to me that I, too, might be performing, all unwittingly, in a movie, perhaps even in the dread role of victim. There were two things movie victims never did, at least (alas) in my day: they never swore, and they never uttered brand names. Knowing this, I’d hit upon an ingenious way to keep my courage up. Whenever I was forced to brave the darkness, whether in the cellar or the attic or even my own room, I’d chant the magic words “Fuck” and “Pepsi-Cola” and I knew that I’d be safe.” 1 likes
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