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When Things Get Dark Edited by Ellen Datlow

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About When Things Get Dark


A collection of new and exclusive short stories inspired by, and in tribute to, Shirley Jackson.

Shirley Jackson is a seminal writer of horror and mystery fiction, whose legacy resonates globally today. Chilling, human, poignant and strange, her stories have inspired a generation of writers and readers.

This anthology, edited by legendary horror editor Ellen Datlow, will bring together today’s leading horror writers to offer their own personal tribute to the work of Shirley Jackson.

Featuring Joyce Carol Oates, Josh Malerman, Paul Tremblay, Richard Kadrey, Stephen Graham Jones, Elizabeth Hand, Cassandra Khaw, Karen Heuler, Benjamin Percy, John Langan, Laird Barron, M. Rickert, Seanan McGuire, and Genevieve Valentine.



Reviews will magically appears once read in the year of 2024




The past gone but never dead, memories good or bad, one Randall Xerxes Vance opens up his past for the reader with what partaken one last day on Lake Terror in ’68.
Lake Terror which was really Lake Terron and as he tells:
“The Vance clan’s holy trinity: Christmas; IBM Family Day; and the annual summer getaway at a cabin on Lake Terron.
We made our final pilgrimage the year before Armstrong left bootprints on the Moon.
Lake Terron—or Lake Terror, as we affectionally called it—gleamed at the edge of bona fide wilderness. Why Lake Terror? Some joker had altered the N on the road sign into an R with spray-paint and it just stuck. Nights were pitch black five paces beyond the porch. The dark was full of insect noises and the coughs of deer lurching around in the brush.”

Frailties and complexities within the raw present, Randall’s buried past reanimating finding its ground and running its course with the shifting of the time within new fears and traumas.
One was fond of photography of wild animals, but the reader may come to ponder that the lens may have been turned now with reader more to inward hidden animal.
There was a game taught by father Tiptoe, that this reader has had it hand at setting traps and surprises for others in his youth and one can associate with the fear and surprise that can be sprung upon a victim. This game had rules but no not like that of dear Dexter, if you was thinking so, one whose father taught many a thing.
Randal says, “..a game called Tiptoe Dad taught me. A variation of ambush tag wherein you crept behind your victim and tapped him or her on the shoulder or goosed them, or whatever…The victim must be awake and unimpaired.”
Despite this game and his learnings of survival with it and the moulding of a man he says this made him with time: “..I’m a tad jumpy. You could say my fight or flight reflex is highly tuned.”
He battles with many things, the older him, and mentions:
“nightmares ensued; and creepy-crawly memories surfaced.”
“the beginning of a rough, emotional ride: insomnia; nightmares when I could sleep; and panic attacks. It felt like a crack had opened in my psyche. Generalized anxiety gradually worked its claws under my armor and skinned me to raw nerves. I committed to a leave of absence, pledging to conduct an inventory of possible antecedents.”
There is the case of dear Aunt Vicki she is quite a soul, a kin with a talent, and not the fake kind, as she goes to expound on, she can perform ‘hypnotic regression’ and ‘communed with friendly spirits.’
These souls with things buried all on Lake Terron, Lake Terror, Vicki enlightening the scene where eyes don’t see.
The author builds the character Randall imbuing the reader with a sense of care, he reels you on with great crafting with the what and how of the story with dread and the uncanny and a want to understand all that is contained within.



About Ellen Datlow

Ellen Datlow has been editing science fiction, fantasy, and horror short fiction for forty years as fiction editor of OMNI Magazine and SCIFICTION. She currently acquires short stories and novellas for In addition, she has edited about one hundred science fiction, fantasy, and horror anthologies, including the annual The Best Horror of the Year series, The Doll Collection, Mad Hatters and March Hares, Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, and Final Cuts: New Tales of Hollywood Horror and Other Spectacles.
She’s won multiple World Fantasy Awards, Locus Awards, Hugo Awards, Bram Stoker Awards, International Horror Guild Awards, Shirley Jackson Awards. Datlow was recipient of the 2007 Karl Edward Wagner Award, given at the British Fantasy Convention for “outstanding contribution to the genre,” was honored with the Life Achievement Award by the Horror Writers Association, in acknowledgment of superior achievement over an entire career, and honored with the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award at the 2014 World Fantasy Convention.