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



M. T. Anderson, Laird Barron, Simon Bestwick, Simon Brown, Stepan Chapman, Douglas Clegg, D. Ellis Dickerson, Terry Dowling, Andy Duncan, Jean Esteve, John Farris, Mélanie Fazi, Jeffrey Ford, Christopher Fowler, Stephen, Gallagher, Theodora Goss, Elizabeth Hand, Alice Hoffman, Shelley Jackson, John Kessel, Margo Lanagan, Tanith Lee, Bentley Little, Elizabeth A. Lynn, Gregory Maguire, China Miéville, Richard Mueller, Joyce Carol Oates, Frances Oliver, Chuck Palahniuk, ...

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M. T. Anderson, Laird Barron, Simon Bestwick, Simon Brown, Stepan Chapman, Douglas Clegg, D. Ellis Dickerson, Terry Dowling, Andy Duncan, Jean Esteve, John Farris, Mélanie Fazi, Jeffrey Ford, Christopher Fowler, Stephen, Gallagher, Theodora Goss, Elizabeth Hand, Alice Hoffman, Shelley Jackson, John Kessel, Margo Lanagan, Tanith Lee, Bentley Little, Elizabeth A. Lynn, Gregory Maguire, China Miéville, Richard Mueller, Joyce Carol Oates, Frances Oliver, Chuck Palahniuk, Tina Rath, Philip Raines and Harvey Welles, M. Rickert, Anna Ross, Alison Smith, R.T. Smith, Peter Straub, Lucy Sussex, Catherynne M., Valente, Greg Van Eekhout, Conrad Williams

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
The 18th annual collection of the year's best fantasy and horror -- which encompasses the crème de la crème of published short work from the year 2004 -- includes more than 40 stories by genre luminaries China Miéville, Peter Straub, Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Hoffman, Terry Dowling, and Jeffrey Ford, to name a few.

Noteworthy selections include Stepan Chapman's "Revenge of the Calico Cat," a brilliantly surreal story set in an afterlife of sorts for stuffed toys where drunken teddy bears beat the stuffing out of their pink bunny wives and plush lavender octopuses wielding straight-edge razors transport balls of black opium for double-crossing Mob bosses; and Simon Bestwick's "A Hazy Shade of Winter," a masterfully metaphorical tale about organized religion that pits a "sharp-toothed" atheist and a demon against a lynch mob of true believers on Christmas Night. "Hunting Meth Zombies in the Great Nebraskan Wasteland" by John Farris explores a future fallen America where killing methamphetamine addicts isn't just legal -- it's a sport. Tanith Lee's "Speir-Bhan" delves into Celtic myth with a haunting story about a trio of demonic sisters who, on every full moon, feast on the flesh of unwary humans. Chuck Palahniuk's "Guts," about the sexual exploits of ignorant teenage boys, is arguably the most disgusting story ever written.

Neil Gaiman stated it perfectly when he said of the highly acclaimed annual Year's Best Fantasy and Horror collection: "Year in, year out, it's always essential reading." Enough said. Paul Goat Allen
Publishers Weekly
The 18th volume in Datlow's well-regarded series continues to take the pulse of contemporary fantastic literature with intriguing results, but without Terri Windling, Datlow's co-editor through volume 16, some of the fantasy selections, chosen by Small Beer publishers Link and Grant, fail to conjure the elusive magic all great fantasy needs. Luckily, Datlow's more seasoned eye has discovered enough chilling horror to make the anthology a must-buy. Culled from author collections, literary and trade magazines, anthologies and online sources, the 44 stories and poems reflect a distinctly global flavor and avoid traditional tropes and topics. The standouts include haunting selections from such well-known authors as Peter Straub (two prose selections), Alice Hoffman, Christopher Fowler, Chuck Palahniuk, China Mieville, John Farris, Douglas Clegg, Joyce Carol Oates, John Kessel and Gregory Maguire. Exceptional contributions from lesser-known talents include M lanie Fazi's "The Cajun Knot," Shelley Jackson's "Here Is the Church," M. Rickert's "Cold Fires" and Terry Dowling's "Clownette." (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Horror expert Datlow teams with fantasy writers Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant to present forty-four notable stories and poems published in 2004. The crossover between horror fiction and fantasy is considerable, with a number of stories-for example, Stepan Chapman's masterful but thoroughly unpleasant The Revenge of the Calico Cat or Tanith Lee's Speir-Bahn-falling into both genres, dealing as they do in the uncanny. Other stories are clearly of one camp or the other, with Melanie Fazi's The Cajun Knot representing traditional horror, or Elizabeth A. Lynn's The Silver Dragon presenting a classic fantasy. The collection as a whole represents a broad range of writing styles, all challenging and demonstrating the eclectic and varied nature of the field. Detailed front matter, written by such luminaries as Joan D. Vinge and Charles de Lint, presents summations of both horror and fantasy in 2004, fantasy and horror in the media, comics and graphic novels, anime and manga, fantasy and horror in music, and obituaries. A list of stories receiving honorable mentions is appended after the body of the book. This collection is notable, excellent for reading either cover to cover or browsing, and one that can serve to introduce readers to the work of authors whose work bends both stylistic and narrative boundaries. It is recommended for larger collections. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M J S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults). 2005, St. Martin's, 477p., $25 and Trade pb. Ages 11 to Adult.
—Ann Welton
From the Publisher
Praise for The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror

Seventeenth Annual Collection

“Datlow (the horror half) teams with new coeditors (who assume the fantasy detail once handled by Terri Windling) and the series doesn’t skip a beat in quality, delivering forty-three stories and poems published in 2003 that illustrate modern fantasy’s breadth and variety...proof that the best fantastic fiction is modern mythmaking at its finest.”

—-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Link and Grant’s good taste in outré setups, stylistic and formal adventurousness, and ambiguity shows in these challenging selections.”


Praise for The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror

Sixteenth Annual Collection

“This sixteenth incarnation of their award-winning anthology series shows fantasy and horror fiction to be alive, well and accessible in an impressively broad array of venues...delectably varied in theme and approach.”

—-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A diverse collection of fiction and poetry…The stories constitute an entertaining, eerie mixture of creepiness and suspense.”


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312341947
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2005
  • Series: Year's Best Fantasy and Horror Series, #18
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 608
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Ellen Datlow is the acclaimed editor of such anthologies as Blood Is Not Enough, Little Deaths, Alien Sex, Vanishing Acts, and The Dark. She has won the Hugo Award for Best Editor once, the World Fantasy Award seven times and the International Horror Guild award for The Dark. She and Terri Windling also won the Bram Stoker Award for The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Thirteenth Annual Collection. She currently edits fiction for SCIFI.COM.

Kelly Link and Gavin Grant started Small Beer Press in 2000. They have published the zine Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet (“tiny but celebrated”—-The Washington Post) for seven years.

Kelly Link's first collection of short stories, Stranger Things Happen, was selected as a Best Book of the Year by Salon, Locus, and The Village Voice. Stories from the collection have won the Nebula, Tiptree, and World Fantasy Awards. Her most recent short stories have appeared in The Dark and The Faery Reel. She recently published Magic for Beginners, and when she isn’t writing, she edits the anthology Trampoline.

Originally from Scotland, Gavin Grant regularly reviews fantasy and science fiction. Publications where his work has appeared include Scifiction, Strange Horizons, The Third Alternative, and Singularity.

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Table of Contents


Summation 2004: Fantasy, Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant

Summation 2004: Horror, Ellen Datlow

Fantasy and Horror in the Media: 2004, Edward Bryant

Comics and Graphic Novels: 2004, Charles Vess

Anime and Manga: 2004, Joan D. Vinge

Fantasy and Horror in Music: 2004, Charles de Lint

Obituaries: 2004, James Frenkel

"The Oakthing," Gregory Maguire

"Horton's Store," R.T. Smith

"Rite of Spring," Margo Lanagan

"Zora and the Zombie," Andy Duncan

"The Changeling," Theodora Goss

"Revenge of the Calico Cat," Stepan Chapman

"Frozen Charlottes," Lucy Sussex

"Reports of Certain Events in London," China Miéville

"House of Ice," Jean Esteve

"Restraint," Stephen Gallagher

"The Baum Plan for Financial Independence," John Kessel

"Dancing on Air," Frances Oliver

"Cold Fires," M. Rickert

"And the Sear Shall Give Up Its Dead," Richard Mueller

"A Trick of the Dark," Tina Rath

"The Bad Magician," Philip Raines and Harvey Wells

"Speir-Bhan," Tanith Lee

"Hunting Meth Zombies in the Great Nebraskan Wasteland," John Farris

"Guts," Chuck Palahniuk

"Water Babies," Simon Brown

"Mr. Aickman's Air Rifle," Peter Straub

"We Find Things Old," Bentley Little

"Wonderwall," Elizabeth Hand

"Postcretaceous Era," D. Ellis Dickerson

"Watch and Wake," M.T. Anderson

"The Oracle Alone," Catherynne M. Valente

"A Night in the Tropics," Jeffrey Ford

"Clownette," Terry Dowling

"Stripping," Joyce Carol Oates

"Seven Feet," Christopher Fowler

"Singing My Sister Down," Margo Lanagan

"Bulldozer," Laird Barron

"These Various Methods of Brightness," Anna Ross

"The Cajun Knot," Mélanie Fazi

"Tales from the City of Seams," Greg van Eekhout

"The Specialist," Alison Smith

"Here is the Church," Shelley Jackson

"The Witch of Truro," Alice Hoffman

"Lapland, or Film Noir," Peter Straub

"What Her Mother Said," Theodora Goss

"The Owl," Conrad Williams

"The Silver Dragon," Elizabeth A. Lynn

Honorable Mentions: 2004

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2005

    Great anthology

    , $19.95 ISBN: 0312341946 This forty-four story anthology runs the vast gamut within the fantasy and horror sub-genres. All the contributions are good (duh- or else why select them), but the pure horror entries seem overall stronger than the fantasy or cross-genre hybrids (sort of like two interlocking Venn circles). The authors are a who¿s who of the two genres as some of the most highly regarded writers have contributed short stories though the tome as in previous compilations introduces the reader to new scribes that appear to have quite the future. Overall the collection is a tribute to 2004 as a powerful year and well worth reading over a few weeks but keep in mind that the horror selections are better than the solid fantasy tales with those being the ones that fans will reread.............. Harriet Klausner

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