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The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror : Fourteenth Annual Edition Hardcover – August 20, 2001

3.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The 14th volume of the critically acclaimed Year's Best Fantasy and Horror anthology series is a 556-page behemoth combining 44 of the best stories and eight of the best poems from 2000. Editors Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling provide long, thorough, and insightful summaries of their fields, horror and fantasy, respectively. If that isn't enough, the anthology includes Edward Bryant's detailed and evenhanded "Fantasy and Horror in the Media: 2000," Seth Johnson's concise and knowledgeable "Comics: 2000," and James Frenkel's "Obituaries: 2000."

The stories and poems in this volume are as strong as the title claims; a few are very good, and most are excellent. The contributors include literary greats like John Crowley, Harlan Ellison, and Louise Erdrich; genre giants like Ramsey Campbell, Charles de Lint, and Tanith Lee; acclaimed young-adult authors like Francesca Lia Block and Jane Yolen; excellent foreign authors better known in their native countries, like Australia's Terry Dowling and Bolivia's Claudia Adria'zola; and terrific new talents like Susanna Clarke, Andy Duncan, and Kelly Link.

With a volume this massive, it is difficult to describe all the stories, or even representative examples of the many different subgenres. Here are summaries of two selections from each editor:

In Louise Erdrich's tragicomic tall tale "Le Mooz," a prideful Ojibwa woman wrecks her marriage after a moose hunt goes awry. In Kathe Koja's chilling and startling "At Eventide," a serial killer tracks down the woman artist who escaped him and sent him to prison. "The Man on the Ceiling," a metafiction by Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem, is a brilliant, moving, autobiographical exploration of the physical, emotional, and creative lives of two writers. In Susanna Clarke's witty, beautifully written fantasy of manners, "Mr. Simonelli or the Fairy Widower," a poor, handsome young priest learns his new parish overlaps Faerie, discovers a shocking ancestral secret, and makes covert marriage proposals to five beautiful sisters.

The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror is a great and generous collection, perfect for most, but not all, horror and/or fantasy fans. It includes both supernatural and nonsupernatural horror, but it doesn't have anything for the "splatterpunk" fan. Also, while the horror selections are drawn from both genre and nongenre publications, most of the fantasy selections are taken from nongenre magazines, anthologies, and other sources. If you want fantasy drawn largely or exclusively from genre sources, and particularly if you want only heroic/adventure/sword-and-sorcery fantasy, then you should skip the entire Year's Best Fantasy and Horror series. Those subgenres make no appearance in this volume, and have never had much of a presence in this series; it's as if only magic realism, fairy tales, and mythic/folkloric fantasy of a rather sensitive, measured, and grown-up sort need apply (even when it's young adult fiction). Also, extreme, graphic horror may be out of fashion, but its raw, adolescent energy will doubtless reappear in future volumes of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror whenever great graphic-horror stories are published. --Cynthia Ward --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

There are other annual "best" collections of fantasy and horror combined, but this long-running series of short fiction and poetry, with exhaustive summations of both fields for the year 2000, tops them all. Editors Datlow and Windling have scoured not only magazines and anthologies devoted to these genres but also general and small-press publications. So a handful of mainstream authors pop up (Louise Erdrich, Stewart O'Nan, etc.), along with a host of American and British writers familiar to genre fans (Ramsey Campbell, Harlan Ellison, Tanith Lee, Neil Gaiman, etc.). If few of the more than 50 eclectic stories and poems are outstanding, they are all worthy. More sketches than tales are Steve Resnic Tem and Melanie Tem's fantastical "The Man on the Ceiling" and Greer Gilman's poetic "Jack Daw's Pack." Jack Dann's "Marilyn" proves the film star should be given a moratorium. Fine folk tales by Erdrich, Claudia Barbosa Nogueira and Nalo Hopkinson demonstrate the value of brevity. Jack Ketchum is painfully and unusually poignant in a brief story of loss, "Gone," while Campbell satirically points up the inadequacies of specialty publishers in "No Story in It." And the late Howard Wandrei's tale of jealousy and revenge, "George Is All Right," is as creepy as they come. This anthology is an essential volume for anyone who values quality in fantasy and horror today.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


Product Details

  • Series: Year's Best Fantasy & Horror
  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (August 20, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312275412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312275419
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.9 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,854,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on April 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror is always exactly that.I pick up this anthology every year because everything Datlow and Windling edit i am guaranteed to like. I am a devotee of both genres,so sometimes I have come across the stories elsewhere(like in their fairy-tales-rewritten-for adults series)but they are always ones i would enjoy rereading.I'm never able to put these down until i'm completely finished,and then im sorry there wasn't more.Highlights of this issue include "At Eventide" by Kathe Koja,and "Granny Weather" by Charles De Lint.
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Format: Paperback
I got this collection for the Harlan Ellison story, "Incognita, Inc.". Beautiful story, especially if you're a fan of cartography.
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By A Customer on January 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have to confess embarrassment here. 14 and 13 got mixed up, perhaps on Amazon, perhaps just in my head. This review is of 13.
I felt this was one of the weakest volumes of this anthology yet.
I read these as much for the introduction, giving the "state of the industry" and recommending books, as for the stories. I was disappointed therefore that that section in this volume was very short and few books were mentioned. I've read some of the recommended books and found them to be of low quality, making me wonder if the editors had really read them. On the other hand, though I haven't checked publication dates, I'm pretty sure some good work came out in 2000 that was not mentioned.
On to the stories: The editors of this series consistently make an effort to scour the globe for the "best" fantasy and horror stories. I rarely like their more exotic findings, since literature in translation (not to mention kooky magic realism without plot) tends not to work for me. This edition seemed to have more translated and out-of-left-field stories than others, which weakened it for me. Overall, the quality of the stories seemed rather low, particularly in the area of horror, though there was one nice story about a haunted house.
Standouts here are Gilman's incomprehensible but gorgeously poetic folktale story and a wonderful novella by John Crowley based on a selkie ballad. Nalo Hopkinson's story, despite a rather unsupported character twist, also is worth reading.
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Format: Paperback
A great way to sample the best old and new writers in the fantasy and horror genres. As with previous annual anthologies in the series, Datlow and Windling have pulled together a great collection, all stories drawn from books, chapbooks, and magazines published in the year 2000. The stories come from all over the globe, wherever weird stories are published in an English-language edition--Canada, USA, England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia. Besides a sampling of the best stories, there are wrap-ups of the year in both genres (fantasy & horror), necrology of persons related to the fields, overviews of magazines, ezines, books, movies, recordings, personalities, and so much more, including the titles, authors, and sources of the stories which made Honorable Mention but didn't get in. A cornucopia of information on horror and fantasy in the Year 2000. No mistake this volume is the size and weight of a seminarian's study Bible; it is the bible of the two genres, and a bargain for the money.
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