I'll start a new topic about dark fantasy, because I've been a fan of dark fantasy and dark fantasy flavoured speculative fiction for a long time.
Dark fantasy is a sub-genre of fantasy fiction that combines fantasy and horror elements. (Fantasy books which contain dark happenings and a heavy dose of gloomy atmosphere are often called dark fantasy books, but not all of them are dark fantasy.)
The reason why I like dark fantasy so much is that dark fantasy is often more gritty, interesting and challenging than normal fantasy. I've noticed that dark fantasy authors tend to address difficult themes with dark fantasy elements and have courage to write about almost anything, which is great, because these authors bring freshness to speculative fiction.
Such authors as Celia S. Friedman and Glen Cook are masters of dark fantasy flavoured speculative fiction, but there are also other excellent authors: Anne Bishop, Jacqueline Carey, Alan Campbell, Clive Barker etc.
Several horror authors write interesting dark fantasy. In my opinion Laird Barron, Richard Gavin and Livia Llewellyn have excelled in writing wonderfully weird and nuanced horror stories, which are partly dark fantasy. I recently read Donald Michael Platt's A Gathering of Vultures, which made a huge impression on me, because the author managed to combine dark fantasy and horror elements in an entertaining way.
H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and Robert E. Howard are classic masters of dark fantasy. All three authors have written excellent fantasy, dark fantasy and horror stories.
I think it's interesting that several new authors have begun to use dark fantasy elements in their books. For example, Courtney Schafer's fantastic The Shattered Sigil trilogy and Anthony Huso's amazing The Last Page duology contain delicious dark fantasy elements. Mark Lawrence also uses quite a lot of dark fantasy elements in his gritty books.
Paul Meloy's The Night Clock (
, November 2015) is an intriguing and well written dark fantasy novel with horror and science fiction elements. I highly recommend it to readers who enjoy reading interesting stories and good prose.