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

Overview

This acclaimed series, winner of numerous World Fantasy Awards, continues its tradition of excellence with scores of short stories from such writers as Michael Bishop, Edward Byrant, Angela Carter, Terry Lamsley, Gabriel Garcia Marquex, A.R. Morlan, Robert Silverberg, Michael Swanwick, Jane Yolen and many others. Supplementing the stories are the editors' invaluable overviews of the year in fantastic fiction, Edward Bryant's witty roundup of the year's fantasy films, and a long list of Honorable Mentions — all of...

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Overview

This acclaimed series, winner of numerous World Fantasy Awards, continues its tradition of excellence with scores of short stories from such writers as Michael Bishop, Edward Byrant, Angela Carter, Terry Lamsley, Gabriel Garcia Marquex, A.R. Morlan, Robert Silverberg, Michael Swanwick, Jane Yolen and many others. Supplementing the stories are the editors' invaluable overviews of the year in fantastic fiction, Edward Bryant's witty roundup of the year's fantasy films, and a long list of Honorable Mentions — all of which adds up to an invaluable reference source, and a font of fabulous reading.

The annual excellence that has garnered this series two consecutive World Fantasy Awards and a windfall of critical acclaim continues in an impressive new anthology. Comprehensive in its coverage of the year in horror and fantasy, this collection features works by Ellen Kushner, Pat Cadigan, Jane Yolen, and dozens of others.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
If you read one anthology of fantastic fiction this year, it has to be this one. Datlow and Windling have shown, over this past decade, that they have an unerring eye for the fantastic that is at once literate and accessible, which is no mean feat. I particularly liked the Wrede and the McKillip, but almost all of the stories are worthy of note. Highly recommended.
—Michelle West
From the Publisher
"This anthology proves to be a cornucopia of the fantastic...Like its predecessors, this volume lives up to the boast of its title."

Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

 

"Indispensable."

Booklist

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 Caitlin 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
You can't improve on the "best," but as the editors of this landmark anthology series show in its most recent volume, you can find fresh new angles from which to present it. For the first time ever, they have selected an essay, Douglas Winter's "The Pathos of Genre," and this incisive critique of the limits of genre branding subtly calls attention to how Datlow and Windling's fiction and poetry selections usually resist simple categorizing. Many of their best picks from 1999 willfully bend, blend and move beyond expected genre materials: Tim Lebbon's "White," a horror and SF cross-stitch, uses B-movie imagery to explore the behavior of people confronted with ecological apocalypse. Kim Newman, in "You Don't Have to Be Mad," grounds a caustic horror satire of modern business mores in set pieces appropriated from television espionage programs of the 1960s. Michael Marshall Smith, in "Welcome," and Charles de Lint, in "Pixel Pixies," conjure alternate fantasy worlds with the most unlikely of talismans--a computer. Neil Gaiman, one of six authors represented by more than one contribution, places both a horror and a fantasy tale: "Keepsakes and Treasures: A Love Story," a nasty bit on the death of romance, and "Harlequin Valentine," a darkly funny fantasy. There are more than a few modern fairy tale variants, but even these show a refreshing range of styles and approaches, notably Patricia McKillip's "Toad," a delightful deflation of the frog prince's tale. The usual generous survey essays by Datlow, Windling, Ed Bryant and Seth Johnson only enhance the volume's reputation as indispensable reading for the year. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 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
This collection of over 40 stories and poems includes selections by Charles de Lint, Jane Yolen, K.W. Jeter, Fred Chappell, and others as well as essays on the state of fantasy and horror in 1991. Recommended for most libraries' anthology collections.
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: 9780312132194
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/1995
  • Series: Year's Best Fantasy and Horror Series , #8
  • Edition description: Eighth Annual Collection Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 644
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Ellen Datlow is a winner of two Bram Stoker Awards, seven World Fantasy Awards, and the Hugo Award for Best Editor. In a career spanning more than twenty-five years, she has been the long-time fiction editor of Omni and more recently the fiction editor of SciFi.com. She has edited many successful anthologies, including "Blood Is Not Enough," "A Whisper of Blood," and, with Terri Windling, "Snow White, Blood Red" and the rest of their Fairy Tales series. She has also edited the "Year's Best Fantasy and Horror" series, "The Green Man," and, for younger readers, "The Wolf at the Door" and "Swan Sister," Ellen Datlow lives in Manhattan.

Terri Windling divides her time between Tucson, Arizona and Devon, England.

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