The Dark Country cover


Dennis Etchison

The book that launched the small press horror boom in the 1980s, The Dark Country is arguably the most influential horror collection of the past two decades.

Moody and experimental, Dennis Etchison's early stories explore a surreal terrain that has more in common with the paranoid world of Philip K. Dick than it does with traditional horror.

Etchison has been called "the most original horror writer in America " and "the finest writer of psychological horror this genre has produced".

The title story, "The Dark Country," won the British Fantasy Award in 1981 and the World Fantasy Award in 1982 -- the only time a single work has received both honors.

Featuring a new introduction by Ramsey Campbell.


“Dennis Etchison ay well be the finest writer of psychological horror this genre has seen.”

— Karl Edward Wagner

“The best short story writer in the field today, bar none.”

—Charles L. Grant

“Dennis Etchison ... is perhaps America’s premier writer of horror short stories.”

—Douglas Winter, Fantasy Newsletter

“Dennis Etchison is the finest writer of short stories working in this field, and the rest of us ought to learn from him.”

— Ramsey Campbell


*****Work that will last
In an era when "horror" has come to mean an endless proliferation of cheap, badly written supermarket paperbacks, Etchison's work is like a glimpse into another realm where "horror" can be synonomous with "literature". These stories display real craft, and feel as if they're actually _about_ something. They're not just about gruesome deaths and perverse cruelty, they're about real people; they sometimes surprise by being about compassion and love. And in place of the simple stomach-churn lesser authors settle for, Etchison wants to disturb you; you may find yourself still getting a chill three days after reading one of these gems. Etchison is one of the few contemporary writers in this genre who has the potential to stand the test of time.

— A reader from North Hollywood, CA
(off, August 17, 2000)

*****A gripping collection ...
A collection of excellent short- (average of 20 pages per story) stories of horror in which the suspense climaxes in the last paragraph. I found out about this writer from the intro in Stephen King's "Danse Macabre." A must for fans of short-length horror.

— from St. Petersburg, Florida
(from, October 8, 1997)
This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

**** Etchison Makes A Terrific Showing
Etchison gives us a great show with this first collection of his short stories. ... "You Can Go Now" is worth the price of the book and then some. It is a beautifully horrible piece of horror fiction. "You Can Go Now" is a story I have read and reread many times since I picked up this book a few years ago. If you have not read it, please get this book. This story, alone, more than makes up for any misses Etchison has in this collection. But then he gives us other great stories like "We Have All Been Here Before" (which has an amazing twist worthy of O. Henry), "The Late Shift" (you'll never look at the convenient store clerk the same way again), and "The Pitch" (be very careful before you get that slicer dicer and pealer the salesman makes seem so attractive).

Etchison gives us a very original brand of fiction, a mix of King here, a dash of Bradbury there, and sprinkled with a bit of Clive Barker ever so subtly. Ever writer of fiction can miss the mark, but few can hit it right on the bullseye. To find a collection like this, it's worth the bad apples you have to go through.

— netchild, from Lubbock, TX. United States
(from, January 9, 2001)
This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

ISBN 1-930235-04-6
$17.95 U.S.

6" x 9" trade paperback
216 pages

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Cover art and design ©2000 Lydia C. Marano
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