Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Sixteenth Annual Collection

Ellen Datlow (Editor), Terri Windling (Editor)
Authors (Various)

Four Stars


The critically acclaimed and award-winning tradition continues with another stunning collection, including stories by Kelly Link, Kim Newman, Corey Marks, Eric Schaller, M. Shayne Bell, Helga M. Novak, Terry Dowling, Michael Libling, Zoran Zivkovic, Bentley Little, Carlton Mellick III, Brian Hodge, Conrad Williams, Tom Disch, Melissa Hardy, Joel Lane, Nicholas Royle, Tracina Jackson-Adams, Karen Joy Fowler, Jackie Bartley, Peter Dickerman, Ramsey Campbell, Adam Roberts, Robert Phillips, Jay Russell, Luis Alberto Urrea, Margaret Lloyd, Stephen Gallagher, Robin McKinley, Haruki Murakami, Theodora Goss, Kathy Koja, Lucy Taylor, Elizabeth Hand, Kevin Brickmeier, Sharon McCartney, Susan Power, Don Tumasonis, Nan Fry.

Rounding out the volume are the editors' invaluable overviews of the year in fantasy and horror, Year's Best sections on comics, by Charles Vess, and on anime and manga, by Joan D. Vinge, and a long list of Honorable Mentions, making this an indispensable reference as well as the best reading available in fantasy and horror.

My Review
I've always liked short stories. They are a great way to fit in a good read when reading time is limited or you just want a tasty morsel you can finish quickly. The whole problem with them is balance. Considering I grabbed this by mistake, thinking it was a fantasy, sci fi mix and not horror, it turned out a lot better and more balanced than a lot of anthologies I have read.

That might have to do with the editors. Datlow and Whitling have done not only a fine job of selecting the authors but also which of their stories were included in this volume. While not all were my cup of tea I can say that the majority of the writers managed to convey the mood they wanted in a short amount of time.

A couple of my favourites were represented, such as Gaiman and Murikami, but I've also discovered a few new authors that I've had on to read lists but now will now get bumped up the list a lot faster. China Mieville, Jeffrey Ford and Brian Hodge come to mind.

It's odd because I've already forgotten the misses in this book and can only remember the hits. Maybe that says something about the calibre of writing. A must read on Halloween night!

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