Author, Editor, Publisher

The Dark Forces Special Edition from Lonely Road Books

Probably the best thing about running Lonely Road Books was landing my dream project to launch the press: Dark Forces: The 25th Anniversary Special Edition edited by Kirby McCauley.  This special edition was limited to a 300 copy Limited Edition and a 26 copy Lettered Edition.

Why was this a dream project?  Simple: Dark Forces was the first horror anthology I read as a kid and it made quite the impression!  Also, I feel like you should make a statement about your goals and ambitions when you launch a press.  Dark Forces certainly did that, in my opinion.

In case you’ve never seen the Lonely Road Books special edition, here are some photos.  I’ve included my original mass market paperback to give you some idea of the size of these books.

Dark Forces
Lettered Edition, Limited Edition, paperback

Dark Forces
Limited Edition, Lettered Edition

Dark Forces Limited Edition In Traycase
Limited Edition

Dark Forces Limited Edition With Traycase
Limited Edition

Dark Forces Limited Edition Outside Traycase
Limited Edition

Dark Forces Limited Edition Outside Traycase
Limited Edition

Dark Forces Limited Edition and Lettered Edition binding
Lettered Edition, Limited Edition

Lettered Edition frontispiece by Bernie Wrightson
Bernie Wrightson Frontispiece for the Lettered Edition

Dark Forces Lettered Edition With Traycase
Lettered Edition

Lettered Edition
Lettered Edition


  1. David Wesley Aiken

    BJF —

    Also remember the original mass paper editon…believe I had it at one time.
    Did Kirby McCauley have a say in any of the 25th Dark Forces formatting: title font, tome size, etcetera? …and a 26 copy Lettered Edition. Why 26?

  2. Brian James Freeman

    Kirby didn’t give direct input on the design of the edition, but he did write a new afterword.

    26 or 52 copies is pretty standard for a deluxe Lettered Edition, and this one certainly could have sold 52 copies, but I thought it would be smart to make the first Lettered Edition from LRB as scarce as possible!

  3. Peter Flynn

    I have the limited edition of Dark Forces, 25th anniversary. If you have the book, you can tell it was put together with a lot of thought in mind. What a great first book release for LRB. Brian will LRB be doing an other anthologies in the near future?

    • Brian James Freeman

      Hi Peter! Maybe…! We have The Strain (at the printer as of this week) and the rest of that trilogy to finish up first, plus Douglas Clegg’s book… but I’ve always thought it would be fun to put together a big new, original anthology of modern horror stories!

  4. Ty Schwamberger


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