The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Fifteenth Annual Collection

The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Fifteenth Annual Collection

by Ellen Datlow
     
 

For more than a decade, readers have turned to The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror to find the most rewarding fantastic short stories. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling continue their critically acclaimed and award-winning tradition with another stunning collection of stories. The fiction and poetry here is culled from an exhaustive survey of the field, nearly

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Overview

For more than a decade, readers have turned to The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror to find the most rewarding fantastic short stories. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling continue their critically acclaimed and award-winning tradition with another stunning collection of stories. The fiction and poetry here is culled from an exhaustive survey of the field, nearly four dozen stories ranging from fairy tales to gothic horror, from magical realism to dark tales in the Grand Guignol style. Rounding out the volume are the editors' invaluable overviews of the year in fantasy and horror, a new Year's Best section, on comics, by Charles Vess, and on anime and manga, by Joan D. Vinge, and a long list of Honorable Mentions, making this an indispensable reference as well as the best reading available in fantasy and horror.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"There are other annual 'best' collections of fantasy and horror combined, but this long-running series . . . tops them all . . . All essential volume for anyone who values quality in fantasy and horror today."—Publishers Weekly (starred)

"A rich, inventively written collection . . . not to be missed."—Kirkus Reviews

"As always, The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror is the most broadly literate . . . and the most varied of all the genre annuals."—Locus

"The most extensive and reliable guide to the field available."—Realms of Fantasy

Publishers Weekly
"Best" is a subjective judgment, but there's no question that for each of the past 15 years Datlow and Windling have assembled an excellent anthology of richly rewarding imaginative literature. Their harvest of horror and fantasy for 2001 is a bumper crop of 49 stories and poems, many from sources that won't be familiar to the average reader and some from newcomers whose promise bodes well for the future of both genres. As in years past, certain themes cut across genre boundaries and explode notions of horror and fantasy as separate literary forms. Shapeshifters are present in Charles de Lint's upbeat "Trading Hearts at the Half Kaffe Cafe," where they teach a lesson about trust in a romantic relationship, and in Susan Palwick's haunting "Gestella," where they crystallize the sense of estrangement in a deteriorating marriage. Ursula K. LeGuin's "The Bones of the Earth," written in the classic high-fantasy style, and S.P. Somtow's "The Bird Catcher," which features a legendary serial killer, are both moving coming-of-age parables. Intimations of realities beyond comprehension dominate Anthony Doerr's "The Hunter's Wife," a transcendent meditation on the consolations of mortality, and Caitl!n Kiernan's "Onion," which brilliantly suggests a universe of chaotic cosmic horrors through the dysfunctional lives of people who have seen but not understood them. Enhancing the mix are top-flight tales by Steve Rasnic Tem, Kelly Link, Elizabeth Hand and Gregory Maguire, and Michael Chabon's "The Dark God of Laughter," a metaphysical mystery that ranks as one of the year's most refreshingly uncategorizable stories. Without question, this book is mandatory reading for lovers of weird and fanciful fiction. (Aug. 21) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This collection is short on fantasy and long on horror--with special emphasis on sadomasochism, which, in the hands of an author like Kathe Koja, can result in a darkly illuminating story about sexual fantasies sometimes better left unrealized. Not all writers are so gifted, however. Grant Morrison gives us an offensive story about a blind heroine who is urinated upon and slashed with a razor before being clamped to a ``Chair of Final Submission.'' But Datlow and Windling, who edited the earlier volumes in this series, offer entertaining fare as well, including several appearances by good old-fashioned vampires. K. W. Jeter's aged monster has needs that promise to make his daughter's life a horror for all eternity, while Jane Yolen pens a touching tale of a young girl whose love allows her undead mother to go to her eternal rest. Also included are some enjoyable new turns on famous characters, including Peter Pan, Robin Hood and Santa Claus. Deserving of special mention are Nancy Willard's magically real tale of a man who returns from the dead to retrieve his pets and Robert Holdstock and Garry Kilworth's suspenseful, literate tale of an archeologist on the trail of immortality. (Aug.)
VOYA - Alison Kastner
The editors present a veritable feast of fantasy and horror, some of which readers will relish, and others of which, in the grand tradition of the genres, may turn stomachs. Gems such as Charles DeLint's Crow Girls, the story of a woman in crisis who is inexplicably moved by a chance encounter with two enigmatic girls, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez's reminiscences of Surinam in Caribe Magico, make the collection one worth having. As in past years, the editors give a taste of a wide variety of styles, from the magic realism of Patricia Preciado Martin's Plumas to the B-movie horror style of Terry Lamsley's Walking the Dog. Those who have enjoyed rewritings of fairy tales will be drawn to Tanith Lee's The Reason for Not Going to the Ball, in which the "wicked stepmother" exonerates herself in a letter to the now-grown Cinderella. Jane Yolen's story The House of Seven Angels, about a rabbi who studies in the company of angels, begs to be read aloud. The summations of the year in fantasy and horror will make this a useful tool for those offering reader's advisory. Other chapters include "Horror and Fantasy in the Media" and "Obituaries." VOYA Codes: 3Q 3P M J S (Readable without serious defects, Will appeal with pushing, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Library Journal
Myths and legends, fairytales and folklore, nightmares and dreams imbue the mundane with touches of magic while illustrating essential aspects of human nature. This annual anthology, the 13th in the series, explores those enchanting influences and gracefully demonstrates how the terms fantasy and horror encompass a range of creative writing from the "high" literary to the underrated comic. (Neil Gaiman's Sandman comics are more thought-provoking than most best sellers.) As usual, the editors begin with summaries of the past year in fantasy and horror in publishing, movies, and other media. Stressing the understanding of "interstitial" literature--works that cannot be pigeonholed to a single genre and that consists of much of imaginative writing--the editors then present a variety of short stories and poems portraying wonders that are funny, subtle, lyric, and dreadful. Many are written by such accomplished and well-known authors as Ursula K. Le Guin, Gaiman, Charles de Lint, and Steve Resnic Tem. This volume of all-around high-quality storytelling is highly recommended to imaginations of all shapes and sizes.--Ann Kim, "Library Journal" Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Realms of Fantasy
"The most extensive and reliable guide to the field available."
Tampa Tribune
To those who appreciate fantasy�this book is priceless.
Kirkus Reviews
Splendid by an any measure, whether as fantasy, horror, or simply memorable prose, this fat sheaf of the year's best is distinguished by two standout stories: "The Hunter's Wife," originally published in Atlantic Monthly and also included in author Anthony Doerr's first book, The Shell Collector (2002), is set in a wild Montana valley. It tells of a hunting guide married to a magician's assistant who one day finds that her palm can read the last visions of dying or even dead humans, animals, fishes, and insects. Doerr's astounding prose sings with hyperreal poetic detail and registers every physical object with the palps of a naturalist. Second in merit is Wonder Boy Michael Chabon's "The God of Dark Laughter" (from The New Yorker), a supernatural police procedural whose weird setting in Yuggogheny County echoes both Lovecraft and Faulkner. Chabon's prose rises above most other entries in the collection, though many are brilliant, including: Jeffrey Ford's compelling "The Honeyed Knot," June Considine's "To Dream of White Horses" (great first paragraph!), Marion Arnott's "Prussian Snowdrops," Gene Wolfe's "Queen," Carol Emshwiller's "The Project," and Caitlin R. Kiernan's "Onion." Editors Datlow and Windling provide their usual absorbing summation of the year's best fiction; new to the annual are similar assessments for horror and fantasy comics (by artist Charles Vess) and for anime and manga (by Joan D. Vinge). Seth Johnson offers "Swimming in the Mainstream Comics," while James Frankel surveys the Great Parallel World Beyond in "Obituaries: 2001." Treasure abounding.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312290696
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
08/24/2002
Series:
Year's Best Fantasy and Horror Series, #15
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
672
Product dimensions:
9.06(w) x 11.66(h) x 1.64(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Ellen Datlow is the acclaimed editor of such anthologies as Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers (with Terri Windling), Lethal Kisses, Off Limits, and Endangered Species, and has won the World Fantasy Award six times. She lives in New York City.

Terri Windling won the Mythopoeic Award for her first adult novel, The Wood Wife. She had edited numerous books and anthologies, including The Essential Bordertown and Silver Birch, Blood Moon, the most recent in a series of contemporary fairy-tale anthologies, edited with Ellen Datlow. She divides her time between Devon, England and Tucson, Arizona.

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