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The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2008: 21st Annual Collection (Year's Best Fantasy & Horror) Paperback – Bargain Price, September 30, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The 40 selections in this exemplary anthology from Link and Grant (the fantasy half) and Datlow (the horror half) reflect virtually every hue of the fantasy/horror palette: urban fantasy in Jeffrey Ford's The Drowned Life and Karen Joy Fowler's The Last Worders; traditional supernatural horror in Paul Walther's Splitfoot and Terry Dowling's Toother; modern folk fantasy in Elizabeth Hand's Winter's Wife and Eileen Gunn's Up the Fire Road; and cosmic terror fiction in Laird Barron's The Forest and Don Tumasonis's The Swing. A handful of stories involve child abuse and abduction, of which Lisa Tuttle's Closet Dreams is the most horrifying. The front matter's snapshot summaries of the past year's yield in fantasy, horror, comics, mixed media and music are a small and invaluable book unto themselves. (Oct.)
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Top customer reviews
I had no idea I liked fantasy writing 'til I started reading this series for the horror stories.
Get every edition you can find.
The last year for YBF&H. A shame.
Here are some of my notes:
The Forest by Laird Barron - feels like you have to be high to appreciate it
The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate by Ted Chiang - an Egyptian fable about a Gate of Years which transports you 20 years into a fixed future - I really liked this one
Rats - by Veronica Schanoes - a familiar, darkly modernized fairy tale .. with rats - I liked this one too
The Swing by Don Tumasonis - where a swing appears to swallow up young girls - I liked this one, but it was one of those reads where you really need to pay attention to catch all of the nuances
My two favorites:
The Fiddler of Bayou Teche by Delia Sherman - about a girl named Cadence with white skin, hair, and pink eyes who was found in the swamp by loup-garous (werewolves) and raised by Tante Eulalie, a woman with many gifts, including healing, in her self-imposed swamp exile. Cadence eventually finds herself in a battle with a fiddler who can "fiddle the Devil out of Hell."
Winter's Wife by Elizabeth Hand - In Shaker Harbor, ME, Roderick Gale Winter, much beloved by his neighbors, including 15-year-old Justin, takes a wife from Iceland (Vaia). In Roderick's house, huldu folk reside as carvings in the beams of the house. When the King's Pines, three majestic pines near the water, are threatened by a wealthy and selfish area developer, strange happenings abound.
I love collections like these, and as I said before, reading this one made me put the others on my to-buy list. If you like fantastically dark tales, this is probably a collection you'll want too.
BOOK RATING: 4.5 out of 5 stars