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Screams from the Dark: Ellen Datlow's Terrifying New Anthology

Are you afraid of the dark?

Screams from the Dark: 29 Tales of Monsters and the Monstrous by Ellen Datlow

The work of the legendary horror editor Ellen Datlow has consistently paved a new path through the darkness and delights of horror. In her latest anthology, Screams from the Dark: 29 Tales of Monsters and the Monstrous, Datlow has manifested a wide range of truly monstrous tales. With 29 stories rounding out the collection, there’s really no holding back—and a quick look at the table of contents reveals a truly original taste of the untold horrors that await within its pages.

But who might you encounter in the anthology? We poured over the names of the authors lurking within and have compiled a few pointers and pieces to start with as you get prepped for some truly frightening screams in the dark. These authors are just the tip of the terrifying iceberg of this highly anticipated horror anthology.

Related: 9 Horror Short Story Collections to Keep You up at Night

Screams from the Dark: 29 Tales of Monsters and the Monstrous by Ellen Datlow

Screams from the Dark: 29 Tales of Monsters and the Monstrous

By Edited by Ellen Datlow

Cassandra Khaw

Cassandra Khaw horror author
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  • Photo Credit: Cassandra Khaw

Last year Khaw’s novella, Nothing But Blackened Teeth, commanded readers’ attention with the author’s innovative and raw take on a haunted house narrative. They deftly set things up as a bunch of friends looking to find the perfect venue for a nightmarish party, and wedding. Of course, the spirits of the house aren’t on board with these events.

Khaw has astonishing range, which can be glimpsed across many of their short stories published online across different publications. One story, “These Deathless Bones”, delves into both cosmic horror and the many enchantments of a fairy tale about a mother who resents and perhaps downright despises her stepchild that just so happens to be prince. Khaw ensures it’s never what you think, and like all their stories, often leads readers into unexpected corners.

Read an interview with Cassandra Khaw

A. C. Wise

AC Wise Horror author
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  • Photo Credit: Steve Schultz

The author of both The Ghost Sequences and her debut novel, Wendy, Darling, A.C. Wise has been publishing some of the most memorable and ghastly fiction for years. In the novel, Wise turns her attention to the Peter Pan tale, opting to revamp it from the ground up. Here we see Wendy as an older and more experienced, having long since spent her time in Neverland. The ingenious twist? Peter Pan needs a new Wendy, one that can fill the classic role of "the love interest."

In Wise’s horror short story collection, The Ghost Sequences, Wise demonstrates that same deft hand with stories like the vastly odd yet enchanting (and always, always, always, haunting) story, “Harvest Song, Gathering Song,” which tells the tale of an archeologist who discovers an artifact that causes odd effects to the human body. There’s also “Final Girl Theory,” which you can find via audiobook online, which asks the question, what goes on after the ending credits and the lights go off?

Related: No Books Left Behind: 7 Underrated Horror Books of 2021

Indrapramit Das

photo of Indrapramit Das
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  • Photo Credit: David Evans

A master of cross-genre fiction, Indrapramit Das has published numerous stories with publications like Strange Horizons and Tor.com. His novel The Devourers is about an outcast that stumbles upon shapeshifters, werewolf-like beings that prey on humans. But this is no typical werewolf narrative. Das blurs the lines between the trope to explore societal roles and stigmatization, gender and identity.

His story, "Breaking Water", can be found at Tor.com. What should be a typical bath in the waters of Hooghly River results in the discovery of a dead body. Like something akin to River’s Edge, the protagonist does not want anything to do with it. However, it seems the dead has plenty to do to him, returning from the dead.

Kristi DeMeester

Kristi Demeester Horror Author

You should know DeMeester’s work from her irresistible and stunning novel, Such a Pretty Smile, a complexly layered novel about a serial killer named The Cur who seemingly swoops in and kills young 13-year-old girls. Through twin perspectives of a daughter and a mother, the novel examines the societal standards and expectations of being a woman. 

She’s also a master of the short story, with a collection, Everything That’s Underneath, that is a venerable demonstration of her versatility across both narrative and voice, with stories that explore the dysfunctions of our daily lives, families, and desires. DeMeester writes like she’s seen into the darkest depths of human oddity and knows just how far we can fall.

Ian Rogers

Ian Rogers Horror Authors
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  • Photo Credit: Ian Rogers

Rogers’ work has combed some of the darkest of domestic corners and has resulted in an impressive range of stories, including “The House of Ashley Avenue,” which was optioned by none other than Sam Raimi for development with Netflix. The novelette was included in his debut collection Every House Is Haunted, which was structured around the rooms of a house and proceed to dig into the uncanny nature of our would-be normal lives. 

A must-read novelette entitled “Shards” is available via eBook and also free to read over at Tor.com. It’s a delectable story about a group of friends that venture into the woods to a rented cabin for what should be a weekend getaway. Marcie, the only one in the group that is single, opens a trap door and finds a device that seemingly entrances her into attacking her friends. Defending themselves from their suddenly sadistic friend, they are left with a massacred body and a whole slew of problems.

Related: 13 Haunting Books for Fans of Doctor Sleep

Screams from the Dark: 29 Tales of Monsters and the Monstrous by Ellen Datlow

Screams from the Dark: 29 Tales of Monsters and the Monstrous

By Edited by Ellen Datlow