Dark Cities by Christopher Golden

Dark Cities

An anthology of horror stories in urban settings whether back alleys, crumbling brownstones, gleaming high-rise towers, or city hall. Terrifying urban myths, malicious ghosts, cursed architecture, malignant city deities, personal demons (in business or relationships) twisted into something worse virtually anything that inspires the contributors to imagine some bit of urban...

Title:Dark Cities
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1785652664
Number of Pages:400 pages

Dark Cities Reviews

  • Pamela Scott

    Dark Cities is a great collection of contemporary horror stories. I love it. I thought every story was great. The stories are not what you traditionally think of as horror stories, but the tales are dark and sinister. I loved every one. The stories are dark sinister and creepy as hell. I’ll think twice about walking along through city streets at night after reading these. I must confess I had bit of a Buffy fan-girl when I read Amber Benson’s story (she pl

    Dark Cities is a great collection of contemporary horror stories. I love it. I thought every story was great. The stories are not what you traditionally think of as horror stories, but the tales are dark and sinister. I loved every one. The stories are dark sinister and creepy as hell. I’ll think twice about walking along through city streets at night after reading these. I must confess I had bit of a Buffy fan-girl when I read Amber Benson’s story (she played Tara in case you didn’t know). I loved every story but the ones that unsettled me the most were In Stone, What I’ve Always Done, The Maw and The Stillness. I’d highly recommend this collection.

  • Andrea

    This has some absolutely excellent short stories in not all of which are blatantly horror but a rather strong stomach is required to get past the first story which does involve a form of bestiality.

    The final story by M.R Carey is however brilliant and really the sort of thing to stop you sleeping at night.

    Of course some stories were a tad mediocre but this being a short story collection it's easy enough to flip past the ones that aren't holding your interest or even just plow through them as no

    This has some absolutely excellent short stories in not all of which are blatantly horror but a rather strong stomach is required to get past the first story which does involve a form of bestiality.

    The final story by M.R Carey is however brilliant and really the sort of thing to stop you sleeping at night.

    Of course some stories were a tad mediocre but this being a short story collection it's easy enough to flip past the ones that aren't holding your interest or even just plow through them as none are more than 20 minutes reading long.

  • Paul

    (I freely admit to some bias as my story "The Society of the Monsterhood" is in this anthology)

    Very cool collection of horror/dark fiction set in cities. Nathan Ballingrud's story "The Maw" kicked my ass, dragged me out into the city square, and then kicked my ass some more. Ow.

  • Craig

    Sometimes I read anthologies from front to back, first to last as they appear. Other times I skip around, picking out the authors I know I like and then going back to pick up the ones that are new to me or that I haven't been overly impressed with previously. Luckily, this time I indulged in the cherry-picking peripatetic style, reading the stories by Maberry and McGuire, Burke and Benson, Green and Golden (sometimes alliteration happens, what can you do?), Lebbon and Lansdale & Landsdale, f

    Sometimes I read anthologies from front to back, first to last as they appear. Other times I skip around, picking out the authors I know I like and then going back to pick up the ones that are new to me or that I haven't been overly impressed with previously. Luckily, this time I indulged in the cherry-picking peripatetic style, reading the stories by Maberry and McGuire, Burke and Benson, Green and Golden (sometimes alliteration happens, what can you do?), Lebbon and Lansdale & Landsdale, first, and then the others. If I would have read the first story first I would have tossed the book aside and never finished it; it's an awful, offensive piece, but the other eighteen stories are pretty good. There are nice, understated, very British pieces from Helen Marshall and the famous Ramsey Campbell; a funny recursive story by Sherrilyn Kenyon; a good kids/monsters story by Paul Tremblay; a very moody family story by Cherie Priest, a good short punchy tale by Tananarive Due, etc., etc. My favorite was a unique story by Nathan Ballingrud, though I really did enjoy reading the whole lot... after page fifty-six, that is.

  • Mark Smith-briggs

    It's near impossible to give anthologies five stars but this one got close. There are some truely amazing yarns in this one, led by Scott Smith and Nick Cutter. Not every story hit the mark - but it was more of a personal taste thing than a quality factor - but more than often they did. Consistently very good, often great, this is one hell of a ride.

  • The Grim Reader (Beavisthebookhead.com)

    Christopher Golden has assembled some A-grade writers for this anthology of speculative tales that sees horrors lurking deep within the city streets. I do like a themed anthology, and when authors such as Tim Lebbon, Jonathan Maberry, Joe R. Lansdale Kealan Patrick Burke and Seanan McGuire are included, it’s safe to say that I’m keen to explore the dark places their characters inhabit . I jumped around a little with this anthology, reading stories in a completely random order. I Don’t know why I

    Christopher Golden has assembled some A-grade writers for this anthology of speculative tales that sees horrors lurking deep within the city streets. I do like a themed anthology, and when authors such as Tim Lebbon, Jonathan Maberry, Joe R. Lansdale Kealan Patrick Burke and Seanan McGuire are included, it’s safe to say that I’m keen to explore the dark places their characters inhabit . I jumped around a little with this anthology, reading stories in a completely random order. I Don’t know why I did this as I don’t usually, but after the first couple of entries I started story hopping!

    The first story is odd. No other way to describe it. Scott Smith’s novelette features talking dogs, beastiality and buckets of blood as a one night stand turns into something much more sinister. Hugely original and weird, I dug it to Hell and the anthology is off to a fine start. Tim Lebbon is one of my favourite writers and his story about a city that assimilates those that wander during the evening is both clever and unnerving. This is one of my absolute favourites in the anthology. It’s brilliant and very unusual.

    A couple of bumps in the road with Helen Marshall’s story being one and Ramsey Campbell’s the other. Both didn’t really do much for me at all. Well-written? yes! but ultimately left me feeling a little deflated after a strong start. Similarly with the Lansdale story…it was just okay for me, I was expecting a little more I think and it didn’t set the pulse racing at all. So I continued, enjoying tales by M.R. Carey and Scott Seigler. The Seigler tale in particular is dark and kind of depressing, but very original and I liked it a lot. Grit by Jonathan Maberry is great, I mean can this guy write a bad short story? It follows a supernatural path with a fixer-type asked to investigate a disappearance. This guy uses the blood of the victims as ink for his tattoos, which in turn provides a sort of psychic link to them. Very dark, dirty and grimy, I loved it.

    Elsewhere, Paul Tremblay’s The Society of the Monsterhood is pretty good but it was The Maw by Nathan Ballingrud that really worked for me with its desolate imagery and morbid atmosphere. Strong stories by Kealan Patrick Burke (another writer that never fails to deliver), Christopher Golden (who also edited the book) and Seanan McGuire follow. The final entry by Nick Cutter is stellar. It’s called The Crack and tells of a frustrated parent that can’t take anymore of his infant child’s crying. Why does the child only cry when he is alone in his room? Is it something to do with the malevolent crack in the wall and the strange noises? The crack in the wall grows ever bigger and so does the father’s frustrations in this uncomfortable but excellent story. This is a great tale to finish the anthology on. Horror should make you feel uneasy and the father’s thoughts about his child make for difficult reading. Top marks!

    Overall, the calibre of the writers on offer means this ought to be a great read, and it is to a large extent. A couple of stories didn’t set my world on fire, but when it’s good, it’s very, very good indeed. Lebbon, MaBerry, Ballingrud and Cutter go home with top honours, but you may enjoy some of the other stories more. Mileage always varies with anthologies. As the title suggest, Dark Cities is pretty grim reading and may not be for everyone. There are many different voices and styles here that worked well for me and I have no reservation in recommending this book whatsoever.

    4/5 poorly lit streets from the Grim Reader.

  • Alex (Alex Can Read)

    TW: bestiality, rape

    I have to seriously question the thought process of Christopher Golden in choosing to put The Dogs as the first story in this anthology. I question why it was even included in the anthology, but if it were to be included, it should not have been the first story. Yes, this is a horror anthology, but that story alone made me put the book down and walk away. It took me over a week to talk myself into picking it up again to skip to the short stories from authors I already know I

    TW: bestiality, rape

    I have to seriously question the thought process of Christopher Golden in choosing to put The Dogs as the first story in this anthology. I question why it was even included in the anthology, but if it were to be included, it should not have been the first story. Yes, this is a horror anthology, but that story alone made me put the book down and walk away. It took me over a week to talk myself into picking it up again to skip to the short stories from authors I already know I like/trust. Why? Because The Dogs features a very graphic bestiality/rape scene. I was suspicious of the story as soon as the MC was revealed to be a sort-of sex worker. I should have stopped reading then. The first story in an anthology sets the tone, and the tone The Dogs set was unpalatable.

    I skipped forward. The short story Dear Diary was good. Amber Benson's entry was interesting but very short. Seanan McGuire's story was creepy and sad. I did not read the other stories in this anthology, especially Golden's own, because I couldn't trust that the other authors wouldn't cross lines I am uncomfortable with, and in putting The Dogs first, Golden showed me that I can't trust him. This may be a shame. I may be missing out on some excellent short stories by other authors in this collection. I'll never know.

  • Alan Baxter

    This anthology plays with a great theme and has some cracking stories in it. Not all of them worked for me, a couple of real misses, though taste is arbitrary, of course. But the good ones are outstanding and make the cover price worthwhile. Standouts for me included stories by Nathan Ballingrud, Cherie Priest, Paul Tremblay and Christopher Golden. I'm always leery of an editor including a story in their own anthology, but Golden's is one of the best in this book. Dark, urban, gritty, noirish ho

    This anthology plays with a great theme and has some cracking stories in it. Not all of them worked for me, a couple of real misses, though taste is arbitrary, of course. But the good ones are outstanding and make the cover price worthwhile. Standouts for me included stories by Nathan Ballingrud, Cherie Priest, Paul Tremblay and Christopher Golden. I'm always leery of an editor including a story in their own anthology, but Golden's is one of the best in this book. Dark, urban, gritty, noirish horror of every kind, I really enjoyed this book.

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