Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Eleventh Annual Collection (Vol 11) Hardcover – July, 1998
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
The collaborative efforts of Ellen Datlow (horror) and Terri Windling (fantasy) are becoming something of a legend, as year after year they deliver the best horror and fantasy short fiction in a fat (500 double-length pages) anthology that avoids pigeonholes with its mingled, unlabeled sample of the two genres. As in previous years, this volume includes more than 100 pages of summaries about the year 1997 in horror and fantasy publishing, horror and fantasy in the media, and comics. The fiction includes 18 stories and 8 poems with just Terri Windling's initials, and 18 stories and 1 poem with Ellen Datlow's initials, with some (presumably dark fantasy) that are tagged by both.
Even more than usual, Ellen Datlow's horror selections introduce a remarkable variety of types of stories. One of the best tales is Molly Brown's "The Psychomantium," about a mirror that allows alternative time lines to intersect, creating double fates for the characters. "The Skull of Charlotte Corday" (photos included) by Leslie Dick takes an essayistic approach to a famous female assassin and some creepy details in the history of sexual surgery. Douglas Clegg's "I Am Infinite, I Contain Multitudes" is a striking body-horror tale that was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award. Christopher Harman, P.D. Cacek, Joyce Carol Oates, and Vikram Chandra contribute old-fashioned ghost stories. Gary Braunbeck's "Safe" is reminiscent of the best of Stephen King in its portrayal of realistic horror in a small town. Michael Chabon's "In the Black Mill" more than proves that Lovecraftian horror can transcend shallow pastiche. And other horror notables--such as Michael Cadnum, Christopher Fowler, Caitlín Kiernan, Stephen Laws, Kim Newman, Norman Partridge, and Nicholas Royle--make appearances.
Terri Windling's selections include familiar fantasy names such as Peter Beagle, Charles de Lint, Karen Joy Fowler, and Jane Yolen, and famous genre-crossers such as Ray Bradbury, Howard Waldrop, and Jack Womack. She also provides welcome space for fantasy poetry--charming pieces with images of the Trickster Coyote, Sheela Na Gig, and a mermaid, and titles like "Coffee Jerk at the Gates of Hell." The Pulitzer Prize-winning Steven Millhauser contributes an enchanting tale that originally appeared in the New Yorker. Other tales are inspired by an intriguing range of sources: Gulliver's Travels, Marilyn Monroe, the Scottish legend of the Sineater, the art of glass blowing, Aztec myth, and ancient Jewish lore.
There's no better way to take in the best of these two genres, both for the great selections and the ample pointers to 1997's novels, magazines, art, movies, and comics that you may not have heard about. --Fiona Webster
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
It was delivered quickly and other than the dust cover being a bit tattered the book is in good shape.
My favorite by far was Safe by Gary A Braunbeck. This story was about a shooting and its ramifications and it actually made me cry - a rare thing with her story. This is horrible remember for a long time.
Another good story was Mbo by Nicholas Royale, which was about an African vampire type creature that preys off tourists.
The Psychomantium by Molly Brown was about a woman who becomes trapped in an alternate universe after looking into a mirror.it is also a powerful story.
In the Black Mill is another one of my favorites - it's set in a small town where a young college professor is conducting an archaeological dig learning about an extinct ride that seemed to have no religion, but which apparently practiced human sacrifice. All of the men in the town seem to work at a mill, but the college professor cannot get any information about what is made there. All he knows is that many people in the town are missing parts of their bodies - limbs, fingers, feet, etc. - and these accidents are attributed to the mill. The story has a very powerful ending.
Wild Horses by the ever talented Charles de Lint is about a woman who possesses a magical set of cards, similar to tarot cards, which show the holder what they want to know. The story revolves around a young woman's search for her brother.
I Am Infinite, I Contain Multitudes was another very good story - prisoners in a mental hospital for the criminally insane are offered a way to escape their confinement by an old man who was also a prisoner - but of course there is a catch.
Bucket of Blood capitalized it tells the story of two friends on a road trip who encounter danger after one of the finds a discarded quarter and uses it to when thousands of dollars in gambling. The quarter's owner wants the money - and he'll stop at nothing to get it.
Dust Motes is the story of a woman who is dying of cancer and encounters ghosts in a library. The idea was good but I found the means to release the ghosts to be problematic.
The Crawl by Stephen Laws tells the harrowing story of a couple that encounter a supernatural evil that stalks them on the roadway.
Kinyo no fun tells the story of a gay couple who are terrorized by a man with the power to invade another's body.
The Last Song of Sirit Bayar is a tale set in the distant past were traveling musician plays magical music. The story is told from the point of view of a young girl who accompanies him
There were many other good stories in this book, and only a few stories that I didn't like. I recommend it.
If this were just another run-of-the-mill anthology series, the disappointment would not be severe, but the combination of this series' wonderful past, its hefty price tag, and the relative difficulty of finding it in your local bookstore, result in an experience that woefully fails to meet the reader's expectations.
Gone are several of the names that have appeared in past issues, and that readers have come to expect: Michael Marshall Smith, Tanith Lee, etc. Certainly the editors are to be commended for attempting to introduce newer or lesser-known authors, but many of these are, judging from the works represented here and to put it as kindly as possible, better left unknown. And certain redoubtable (but assuredly over-exposed) names continue to appear: Jane Yolen, Ray Bradbury and Joyce Carol Oates, for instance. I was thrilled to see Kim Newman here, however, even in a co-authored piece, and that piece is, not surprisingly, the one standout in the collection.
Unlike past editions, this one does not contain any stories that absolutely grip your imagination and won't let go. Past editions had at least one such story, and often several!
This year, the editors seem to have favored oblique stories whose point is deliberately elusive or vague -- hey, I'm all for challenging your readers, but I sense the smell of ripoff here. The writers seem less subtle than lazy, and the stories, while sometimes well-written and charming in style, are vague, shallow exercises in fluff.
And what are the editors doing culling from the New Yorker, for heaven's sake? Not once but several times! I thought this was supposed to represent the best of non-mainstream fiction. On the other hand, some of the small-press and 'zine collections are so poor that perhaps you can hardly blame them -- except that they certainly have the resources to do better.
The good news: as usual, the opening "summations" are useful and enjoyable, always worth at least a fraction of the price of admission.
Spend your money on the previous editions and keep away from this one. Or, support a much-needed horror fanchise by buying ANY anthology edited by Stephen Jones. Datlow and Windling have lost their right to your hard-earned dough. END
If anyone wants to find out what's going on in the fiction of the fantastic and of terror, they need look no further than Year's Best Fantasy & Horror 11th Annual Collection. Ellen Datlow and Terry Windling should get some kind of exalted place in fictiondom for their method of selecting an eclectic group, not based on some bestselling names that no longer produce interesting prose or dazzling stories, but based purely on the stories and poems at hand.
The Charles de Lint and Stephen Laws stories stood out for me, too. Where else can you get this variety of great short fiction? I miss Karl Edward Wagner's Best Of collections also, but Datlow and Windling, as an editorial team, are number one in my book.
Don't hesitate. Grab this one while it's available. If you're a devoted reader of these genres, then you can do no better; if you're a writer, see what's getting noticed these days. There are a lot of talents here I'd never read before that really shine.