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The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Seventh Annual Collection Hardcover – August, 1994
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror annuals are always a treat; read this one and The Year's Best Science Fiction Sixteenth Annual Collection edited by Gardner Dozois and you'll have a fairly complete overview of speculative fiction from 1998 as well as hours of great reading.
Datlow and Windling, renowned for crossing genre boundaries, gather stories and poems from mainstream magazines, literary journals, and Internet zines. There are vampires, a Lovecraft homage, enchanted birds and animals, shapeshifters, adult fairy tales, ghosts, and even a hunted muse. The best are Byatt's sensuous, enchanting "Cold"--about an ice princess who marries a glass-blowing desert prince--and Straub's novella, "Mr. Clubb and Mr. Cuff" (which won the Stoker award for Best Long Fiction in 1999), a black comedy of revenge gone awry. The reference material includes each editor's review of the year's best novels, collections and anthologies, magazines, related nonfiction, children's books, and art. There's also a roundup of 1998's film, television, and dramatic offerings by Ed Bryant, a brief essay on comics by Seth Johnson, and obituaries by James Frenkel.
It's an invaluable source of introductions to authors you might not otherwise try, plus thought-provoking observations on fantasy in all its guises. You may not get to a convention this year, but if you've read Datlow and Windling, you'll know what a good one is like. --Nona Vero --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Twelve years of taking the pulse of literary horror and fantasy fiction haven't dulled Datlow and Windling's discrimination. The latest volume in their acclaimed series is a cornucopia of treats harvested from a wide assortment of trade and specialty press publications (including e-zines) issued in the U.S. and abroad. Though the editors split space evenly, Datlow's 11 solo horror picks run long, the better to accommodate their atmospherics and meticulously orchestrated chills. Peter Straub's "Mr. Clubb and Mr. Cuff," an arch revenge thriller of Dickensian style and scope, is one of several stories that give old-fashioned horrors a contemporary twist. Modern terrors get their due in Dennis Etchison's "Inside the Cackle Factory," a flicker of Hollywood noir, and John Kessel's brilliant "Every Angel Is Terrifying," a sequel to Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" that stands on its own as a haunting meditation on failed redemption. Windling's 32 fantasy selections include eight poems and 24 stories that span a variety of story types: dark fantasy in Stephen King's unsettling dream tale "That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French"; magic realism in Kurahashi Yumiko's man-to-animal fable "The House of the Black Cat"; parable in Jorge Luis Borges's brief "The Rose of Paracelsus." Kelly Link, in her wry metafiction "Travels with the Snow Queen," and A.S. Byatt, in her exquisite romance "Cold," show the traditional fairy tale to be alive and well. In addition, three stories were chosen by both editors. Notwithstanding the very different paths horror and fantasy fiction have taken in recent years, this indispensable anthology proves that a well-told tale can enthrall readers regardless of genre preference.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The following is a complete listing of authors and their included works: Kelly Link, "Travels with the Snow Queen; Steve Duffy, "Running Dogs"; Marisa de los Santos, "Wiglaf"; Susanna Clarke, "Mrs Mabb"; Rick Kennett, "Due West"; Catharine Savage Brosman, "Kokopelli"; Bruce Glassco, "Taking Loup"; Sara Douglass, "The Evil Within"; Larry Fontenot, "Wile E. Coyote's Lament"; Mary Rosenblum, "The Rainmaker"; Michael Marshall Smith, "A Place to Stay"; Lisa Goldstein, "The Fantasma of Q___"; Ralph Salisbury, "Hoopa, the White Deer Dance"; Stephen King, "That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French; Karen Joy Fowler, "The Travails"; Terry Lamsley, "Suburban Blight"; Dennis Etchison, "Inside the Cackle Factory"; Kurahashi Yumiko, "The House of the Black Cat"; John Kessel, "Every Angel is Terrifying"; Neil Gaiman, "Shoggoth's Old Peculiar"; Lawrence Osgood, "Great Sedna"; Sylvia Brownrigg, "The Bird Chick"; Mark W. Tiedmann, "Psyche"; Carol Ann Duffy, "Mrs. Beast"; Jane Yolen, "Become A Warrior"; Norman Partridge, "Blackbirds"; Nick DiChario, "Carp Man"; Delia Sherman, "The Faerie Cony-catcher"; Zan Ross, "At the River of Crocodiles"; Steven Millhauser, "Clair de Lune"; Jorge Luis Borges, "The Rose of Paracelsus"; Peter Straub, "Mr. Clubb and Mr. Cuff"; Michael Blumlein, "Revenge"; Holly Prado, "The Tall, Upheaving One"; Patricia A. McKillip, "Oak Hill"; Christopher Harman, "Jackdaw Jack"; Sarah Corbett, "Dark Moon"; Ellen Kushner, "The Death of the Duke"; Judy Budnitz, "Hershel"; Ray Vukcevich, "By the Time We Get to Uranus"; Kelly Link, "The Specialist's Hat"; Charles de Lint, "Twa Corbies"; Terry Dowling, "Jenny Come to Play"; Ilan Stavans, "Blimunda"; Chana Bloch, "Mrs. Dumpty"; A. S. Byatt, "Cold".
The book opens with Kelly Link's "Travels With the Snow Queen" which I couldn't even finish; I hated it. Link appears again towards the end of the book with "The Specialist's Hat", an absolutely chilling ghost story with a drop-dead scary ending. I couldn't move on to the next story until the next day, because I was turning Link's story over in my mind all night. It was absolutely one of the spookiest stories I've ever read. Sara Douglass offers up the REAL secret behind those Gargoyles on Church roofs in "The Evil Within", a far-fetched but fun Horror tale, and Lisa Goldstein's "The Fantasma of Q____" is an interesting victorian tale with an neat twist at the end. Stephen King's contribution is pretty good; Not his best, but the end makes it worthwhile. One of the book's better tales is Terry Lamsley's "Suburban Blight", where an abandoned building hides a terrifying secret. "Inside the Cackle Factory", by Dennis Etchison, tells us just what happens to all of those washed-up stars we never see on TV anymore. John Kessel's "Every Angel is Terrifying" is a realistic story of escaped killers that takes a mildly fantastic twist at the end; It's extremely well-written, and creepy as hell. As always, there's a Dracula story (Sort of)- It's Mark W. Tiedmann's "Psyche", and it's a keeper. Drac himself is only peripherally involved, but his influence permeates the entire story. Jane Yolen, Norman Partridge, and Michael Blumlein all contribute interesting stories as well. I couldn't get through Christopher Harman's "Jackdaw Jack"- It was just awful. There's another Charles De Lint Newford story, which is excellent as usual, and Terry Dowling's story, "Jenny Come To Play" is just a nasty read; Although they're nothing alike, it has the same feel as "The Silence of the Lambs". And as usual, Terri Windling monopolizes the end of the book with dud stories that I can't get through. Windling tends to favor feminist fantasy stories that are all too much alike; I was actually offended by Carol Ann Duffy's ode to man-hating, "Mrs. Beast"; The less I say about this trash the better. If a man had written such an anti-female story, he'd be finished.
As I said, there are some GREAT stories here, but they're outweighed by the duds, and when one of these stories are bad, they're BAD. I'll read the other two volumes of "Year's Best" that I own, but I'll pass on buying new ones. Windling & Datlow's selections leave a lot to be desired, and I wish they would get a little more daring.....