The Best Horror Of The Year
- Night Shade Books
- Publication Date:
- 01 May 2012
- Anthologies (non Poetry)
Showing 1-4 out of 4 reviews.
This is as good a collection of horror as you’re going to get. The book starts with Stephen King and ends with Peter Straub, and the authors in between are no slouches, either. There was only one story I didn’t like (Straub’s ‘The Ballad of Ballard and Sandrine’) and that’s not because it’s a bad story; it’s just not a style I care for. The stories are all over the map in terms of style; Margo Lanagan’s ‘Mulberry Boys’ is set in a sort of alternate world, a sort of fantasy/horror cross; Littlewood’s ‘Black Feathers’ rather reminded me of Bradbury; Laird Barron’s story put me in mind of Algernon Blackwood and I don’t think that was just because the name of the story is ‘Blackwood’s Baby’. Some are set in cities; some in the remote woods. This collection shows us horror in every setting. The one that I found the most unsettling was ‘The Moraine’ by Simon Bestwick, where a husband and wife get trapped on a mountainside by heavy fog, only to discover that it’s not just the exposure to cold they need to worry about. The horror in that one comes from a direction that one would never think of and, yes, we do have areas of moraine on the hill on the back of the property… It’s not often I find an anthology that is so even in quality all the way through. I highly recommend this one!
An interesting cacophony of short horror stories everywhere from the “I don’t understand” weird kind to the “I don’t want to go to sleep” terrifying kind. Examples of some of the stories that stood out to me are: The Moraine by Simon Bestwick, two hikers confront a fatal mist, The Show by Priya Sharma, a television medium who realizes her skills are not what she thought they were, Final Girl Theory by A.C. Wise, a fan who meets a starlet from a notorious horror B film that makes you rethink what really happens in those films, Omphalos by Livia Llewellyn, a family with disturbing secrets goes camping, Dermot by Simon Bestwick, the odd little man who helps the Special Needs Police Unit, and Final Verse by Chet Williamson, a singer/songwriter who finds out the frightening final verses of an old mysterious song.Of course there are several more stories in the book that I haven’t mentioned that may be more appealing to others, but no matter which ones you prefer, I recommend you not read the book at night while you are alone. The stories are certain to stay with you for a long time.Thank you to Night Shade Books and NetGalley for giving me this opportunity to review this book.
A terrific collection of short horror. It’s really difficult to go wrong with any book containing stories by Stephen King, Laird Barron, and Peter Straub. However, my favorite was Final Verse by Chet Williamson, who I was unfamiliar with before reading this. I can’t wait to read more of his stuff. Likewise, both Anna Taborska’s Little Pig and Brian Hodge’s Roots and All were stellar. A first-rate collection for any fan of horror.
Ellen Datlow has edited lots of wonderful anthologies over the year. Her influence in the areas of fantasy and horror know no bounds. She's smart, a good reader, and she chooses well - all great qualities in an editor.I'm sort of back and forth with horror. I love it in so many ways, yet it's so difficult to find horror that's worth reading (or horror movies worth seeing, frankly). Everything's gotten so obvious and much has descended to the level of torture porn and that just doesn't draw me in. I want something more, something different, something surprising, stuff that skitters in the night, Elder Gods, dumb decisions, and creepiness. I've most recently found more of that in horror comics than in straight horror, but when I saw this Datlow anthology, I thought it would be a good place to find some scary stories. And I was right.Just about all the stories in this anthology are worth reading. As with all collections some stories stand out more to some readers than other stories, but these are all of high quality and introduced me to a new writer whose novel I just read and reviewed, David Nickle.Let's talk about the short stories that really stood out for me. First there is Stephen King who has some kind of deranged genius in his head who knows how to tell a story and how to scare the crap out of you without being predictable or cliched. He's also a good writer, particularly as a writer about childhood. I love that. His story in this collection is "The Little Green God of Agony" and it is all about what you're willing to do for money, what money can and cannot buy you, and just how much you may have to sacrifice to relieve pain (real or imagined).I also enjoyed "Stay" by Leah Bobet, an intelligent modern exploration of the Wendigo mythos. Wendigos appear in the mythology of many different Native American tribes, particularly those who speak Algonquin. Wendigos are evil cannibalistic spirits who can possess human beings turning them into evil cannibalistic people. Anyone with any knowledge of them knows that they are terrifying. "Stay" deftly leverages this mythology within a modern day town of Dene. It's fascinating, reads very real, and also scared the crap out of me.I'd never read Laird Barron before, but now I'll be looking for him. Let me say that I am not a huge Lovecraft fan, although I do like the Lovecraft mythos. I just can't read the man himself - his writing makes me cringe. Laird Barron's story, "Blackwood's Baby" is set within a Lovecraftian mythos, but also hearkens back to old stories about rich gentlemen and their safaris - playing at hunting for trophies - and their guides. This was a wonderful, engrossing story that rang lots of literary referential bells for me and definitely made me want more of Mr. Barron's words.Lastly, there is "Looker" by David Nickle. This is a story about a man who meets a woman who is covered in eyes - yes, literal working eyes. Romance and bad things ensue. This was a very difficult story for me to read because it was just so damned creepy and this creepy ickyness juxtaposed with its gorgeous writing made want to sleep with lights on. I was very fortunate after reading this to get an opportunity to read and review Mr. Nickles' new novel, <i>Rasputin's Bastards</i>, and do an author Q and A with him and I am now a big fan.My one criticism of this book is that the first 10 percent of it is devoted to an entirely too detailed and long-winded rundown of other horror that's worth reading that didn't make the anthology or sources for horror or just lists and lists and lists. A few pages of this would have been a nice addition, but it takes up so much room at the beginning of the book that I honestly almost didn't read any of these stories and that would have been a pity.Overall, great horror stories. I'm happy to have read them - they restore my faith in the genre.
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