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Flight or Fright edited by Stephen King and Bev Vincent

Fasten your seatbelts for an anthology of turbulent tales curated by Stephen King and Bev Vincent. This exciting new anthology, perfect for airport or airplane reading, includes an original introduction and story notes for each story by Stephen King, along with brand new stories from Stephen King and Joe Hill.

Stephen King hates to fly.

Now he and co-editor Bev Vincent would like to share this fear of flying with you.

Welcome to Flight or Fright, an anthology about all the things that can go horribly wrong when you’re suspended six miles in the air, hurtling through space at more than 500 mph and sealed up in a metal tube (like—gulp!—a coffin) with hundreds of strangers. All the ways your trip into the friendly skies can turn into a nightmare, including some we’ll bet you’ve never thought of before… but now you will the next time you walk down the jetway and place your fate in the hands of a total stranger.

Featuring brand new stories by Joe Hill and Stephen King, as well as fourteen classic tales and one poem from the likes of Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, Roald Dahl, Dan Simmons, and many others, Flight or Fright is, as King says, “ideal airplane reading, especially on stormy descents… Even if you are safe on the ground, you might want to buckle up nice and tight.”

Book a flight with Cemetery Dance Publications for this terrifying new anthology that will have you thinking twice about how you want to reach your final destination.

Praise for Flight or Fright:

“This entertaining anthology of horror, mystery, and literary tales about aircraft (most reprinted) will have the reader thinking twice about flying… Standouts include the two original stories: King’s ‘The Turbulence Expert,’ a perfectly tense tale about a mysterious group that prevents aircraft crashes though unusual means, and Joe Hill’s ‘You Are Released,’ made terrifying by its proximity to reality: it follows the crew and passengers on a 777 en route to Boston, who learn that North Korea has just nuked Guam and other countries are retaliating. This is a strong anthology full of satisfying tales.”
—Publishers Weekly

“An expertly compiled collection of tales that entertain and scare. New stories by Stephen King and Joe Hill, the almost universal fear of flying trope, classic stories….this book really does sell itself. And sells it very well as the first printing is already sold out and it hasn’t shipped yet…this is a great intro to horror collection. The mixture of classic authors with new masters and a common trope that is scary but not necessarily gory or based on a supernatural monster, will lure in readers, many of whom might not consider themselves horror readers.”

A Note from Stephen King on the origins of Flight or Fright:
Well, we were sitting around at dinner before a screening of The Dark Tower in Bangor, and there were a lot of people who’d flown in for the big night. I mentioned that I hated flying, and the conversation turned to various airplane stories, some scary and some funny. I said there had never been a collection of flight-based horror stories, although I could think of several (including the Matheson and the Conan Doyle, which are in the book) about the terrors of flight. I said someone ought to do the book. Rich Chizmar said, “I would, in a heartbeat.” It took more than one heartbeat, but Flight or Fright is now a book. Bev Vincent, that incredible polymath, agreed to team with me as co-editor, and now the book—including several new stories, one by me and one by my son, Joe Hill—is an actual fact. Bev and I think it would make ideal airplane reading, especially on stormy descents.

A Note from Bev Vincent on the origins of Flight or Fright:
I was sitting next to Rich Chizmar in a Bangor restaurant when Steve came up to us with this idea for an anthology of horror stories involving flying. The fact that we were across the street from Bangor International Airport was especially apropos. Steve and I dug deep to come up with this collection of stories—some of them I’d read before but many of them I hadn’t. It was a delight to find tales by some of my favorite authors that fit the loose theme and also to be introduced to several new-to-me writers who had published some chilling tales. Then there’s the new stories by Steve and Joe Hill, both of which are terrific and disturbing contributions to this sub-genre. I spent 24 hours total on two flights to and from Japan while working on this project and I spent a lot of time…a LOT of time…thinking about all the things that might go wrong when I was 35,000 feet up hurtling through space at 500 mph in a torpedo with wings. Is it a little twisted that we hope this anthology makes a lot of other people equally nervous the next time they board a flight?


From passengers and cargo, to unexpected and unwanted visitors on a plane, to Zombies or a Gremlin, and a plane flying through something comparable to The Stand setting, all the mystery, terror, and the supernatural at 20000 feet to 34000 feet and decreasing.

There is splendid reading awaiting, some tales thrilling and have you hooked in with great anticipation of what will happen next.

Holidays over for most, all flying one needs to do could be over, good timing for reading these tales before the next flight out and months away from any newly founded anxieties left, due to some tales staying with the reader long after shelving this book.

Diablitos by Cody Goodfellow:
Terror awaits at 34000 feet in a bank vault like vessel of transport, the guide, the conjurer of this ride into horrific circumstances does the job well, his prose evoking visceral transformations and destructions, vividly maybe one of the best now after a second read in this collection.
If you have never read his work and there is more this is just a little peak into the creation of Cody Goodfellow’s terrible doings.

This anthology is a great opportunity to read two great classic chilling tales, one may had never read, from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Richard Matheson. Within, there are plenty new authors to read of and enjoy, seek out and take further and have under your reading radar and there is new material to submerge oneself in from two well seasoned short story writers, Stephen King and Joe Hill.


The Horror of The Heights by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“This world of ours appears to be separated by a slight and precarious margin of safety from a most singular and unexpected danger.”

“I have seen the beauty and I have seen the horror of the heights – and a greater beauty or greater horror than this is not within the ken of man.”

Nightmare at 20’000 feet by Richard Matheson

“Here he was, he thought; twenty-thousand feet above the earth, trapped in a howling shell of death, moving through polar night toward -”

“Wilson sat riven to his chair, incapable of response. Time stopped and lost its meaning. Function and analysis ceased. All were frozen in an ice of shock. Only the beat of heart went on-alone, a frantic leaping in darkness. Wilson could not so much as blink, dull-eyed, breathless, he returned the creature’s vacant stare.”

Table of Contents:
Introduction by Stephen King
Cargo by E. Michael Lewis
The Horror of the Heights by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Nightmare at 20,000 Feet by Richard Matheson
The Flying Machine by Ambrose Bierce
Lucifer! by E.C. Tubb
The Fifth Category by Tom Bissell
Two Minutes Forty-Five Seconds by Dan Simmons
Diablitos by Cody Goodfellow
Air Raid by John Varley
You Are Released by Joe Hill
Warbirds by David J. Schow
The Flying Machine by Ray Bradbury
Zombies on a Plane by Bev Vincent
They Shall Not Grow Old by Roald Dahl
Murder in the Air by Peter Tremayne
The Turbulence Expert by Stephen King
Falling by James Dickey
Afterword by Bev Vincent


This is from an episode of The Twilight Zone, have a guess what story.