‘In Darkness, Delight: Fear the Future’: a genuinely terrifying horror/dystopia collection

July 6, 2022

TITLE: In Darkness, Delight: Fear the Future
EDITORS: Andrew Lennon & Evans Light
GENRE: Horror/Sci-fi/Dystopian
PAGES: 350pg
PUBLISHER: Corpus Press

Tomorrow is coming whether you’re ready or not . . .

Twenty-two strikingly original tales of terror from Bram Stoker Award®-winners, bestselling authors, genre stalwarts and rising stars.

Be warned: these are not science fiction stories with a dash of dread. These are visions of the horrifying futures that may await us all.

Includes Emmy-winning, New York Times bestselling author and world-famous magician Penn Jillette’s delightfully wicked short story “The Pain Doctor,” which was adapted for a hit sci-fi anthology television series and is available here exclusively for the first time in book format.

Humankind’s greatest fear is and will always be the unknown, dreading whatever gruesome horrors tomorrow may bring. The pain of the past is nothing when the worst is yet to come. The only thing you know for certain: it’s going to end badly.

In Darkness, Delight is an original anthology series revealing the many facets of modern horror — shocking and quiet, pulp and literary, cold-hearted and heart-felt, weird tales of spiraling madness alongside full-throttle thrillers. Open these pages and unleash all-new terrors that consume from without and within.

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Perhaps my favorite genre mash-up of all time is when an author brings horror and sci-fi together, so when I found out that there was going to be an entire anthology devoted to this combination, I was instantly sold — and I’m so glad that I checked it out, because Fear the Future has now become one of my favorite anthologies of all time.

There are a lot of stories in this collection, so I’m not going to review each and every piece individually, but it’d be a shame not to at least tell you about my favorites! These are all of the stories I rated most highly, in order of appearance:

• We Have Names, Too by Michelle Muenzler
This is perhaps the least specifically horror story of my favorites, but it was beautiful and fascinating, following an AI sex worker who gets dragged into a couple’s spat.

• Shoulda Read the Fine Print, Blanche by Ben Lawrence
This story is literally one of my favorite short stories of all time and I’ve thought about it constantly since reading it. It’s a darkly humorous look at a woman who is medically immortalized and lives to regret it.

• The Pain Addict by Penn Jillette
Before reading this, I didn’t even know Penn Jillette wrote stories, but this was fantastic. A man develops an invention that allows him to literally feel another person’s pain, which leads to incredible advances in medical treatment, but the process turns sour when his selfish motives get in the way.

• The Sluggie Rebellion by William Meikle
Given how much I despise slugs and most similar creatures, I didn’t expect to find this as humorous or entertaining as I did, but I’m a sucker for “medical advances gone wrong” as a theme and this was a particularly unique, fun take on it.

• Seeking Harmony with the Infinite by Evans Light
This story is a full-blown dystopian nightmare that is so easy to imagine coming true, it unsettled me to my core. Humanity truly is its own worst enemy.

• Billy Campbell’s Bones by Jason Washer
This was one of the most messed up stories in the collection for me, between its mixture of body horror and how much it reminded me of a sadly common real-world scenario of neglect, but the ending had me literally grinning from ear to ear as I watched it unfold. Absolutely delightful.

• Survival is an Act of Selfishness by Frank Orfto
I only have one trigger, and this story took it to a place I’d never thought of before, but I’m glad I was able to read it regardless because it was incredible and downright horrifying. It features a future where evils are contained to a digital world only children can enter, and let me just say that I would not do well as a parent in this future.

• And the Winner Is…? by Sheldon Higdon
Because they strike a chord that unnerves me so much, I have a morbid obsession with dystopian premises involving methods to “cull” over-population, and I can’t say I’ve ever seen it done quite like this. It reminded me slightly of the Capitol in The Hunger Games, but darker.

While these were my favorite 5-star reads from the collection, I genuinely enjoyed almost the entire anthology and had very few low ratings to offer. The theme was cohesive throughout each installment and none of the stories felt out of place, and I gathered a long list of new-to-me authors whose works I’ll be seeking out more of. All in all, if you enjoy horror and sci-fi together, I can’t recommend Fear the Future enough!

Thank you to the publisher & Erin Al-Mehairi for the review copy! All thoughts are honest and my own.

content warnings →

dystopian societies, downfall of governments, medical trauma, body horror, imprisonment, child loss/illness/death, self-harm/suicide, school shootings, torture, cancer/terminal illness, war, failing eco-systems

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More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

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