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The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Twelfth Annual Collection (No. 12) Paperback – July 30, 1999

3.9 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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

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.
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Product Details

  • Series: Year's Best Fantasy and Horror
  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (July 30, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312206860
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312206864
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.7 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,915,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on April 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
Good collection of stories, though there seems to be a bit more horror than usual, and the inclusion of a couple of stories in which I was hard-pressed to find any fantastic or horrific elements at all. As usual, the poetry selections are the weakest in the bunch, with the delightful exception of Marisa de los Santos' "Wiglaf". My favorites from this collection: "That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French" by Stephen King [I'm not a big King fan, but i was pleasantly surprised by this excellent little tale]; "The Faerie Cony-catcher" by Delia Sherman [its ending was not unexpected, but delightful all the same]; and "Cold" by A.S. Byatt [typical Byatt. for those unaquainted with A.S. Byatt, I can only say.. beautiful]. Terri Windling's Fantasy Summation for 1998 is useful as always.
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.
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Format: Paperback
This edition is the best I've read yet! All the stories had some sort of magic element. They were all smart and well written.
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By A Customer on September 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
624 pages packed with the best of the best! It's like having all of your best friends at one party! Guaranteed sleepless nights. This book is a must for anyone who enjoys good horror. I also recommend, Steward's--"Tales of Dirt, Danger, and Darkness" a new fresh, up and coming author.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great installment in an always-strong anthology collection. Standout stories by Fred Chappell, Karl Edward Wagner and S.P. Somtow. Would recommend to any lover of genre fiction, not just fantasy and horror.
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By A Customer on August 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
There are some fine stories in here, but as usual Ellen Datlow lets intra-genre politics inform her summary of the horror field. Once again, she refuses to acknowledge that authors like Bentley Little even released a book this past year (which he did--the brilliant social commentary THE STORE), and goes on and on praising lesser lights who have not offended her. The stories are worth reading, though.
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Format: Paperback
This is actually one of the better "Years Best" that I've read so far. Again, I skimmed right past Windling & Datlow's Summations- They go on waaayyyy too long, as usual. Also as usual, Fantasy Editor Terri Windling monopolizes the bulk of the book with her choices. Horror Editor Ellen Datlow does get some payback, though: One of her choices, Peter Straub's "Mr. Clubb and Mr. Cuff", runs in excess of 50 pages. The titular duo is memorable, but the story goes on too long, and the style it's written in is difficult to stick with. The end is worth it, though.
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.
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