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The Century's Best Horror Fiction Volume Two

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In celebration of the new millennium, Cemetery Dance Publications has commissioned a spectacular two-volume anthology project under the editorship of noted author and historian of the horror genre, John Pelan. John will be selecting one story published during each year of the 20th Century (1901-2000) as the most notable story of that year -- all 100 stories will then be c In celebration of the new millennium, Cemetery Dance Publications has commissioned a spectacular two-volume anthology project under the editorship of noted author and historian of the horror genre, John Pelan. John will be selecting one story published during each year of the 20th Century (1901-2000) as the most notable story of that year -- all 100 stories will then be collected in The Century's Best Horror Fiction. The ground rules are simple: Only one selection per author. Only one selection per year. Two huge volumes, one hundred authors, one hundred classic stories, over 700,000 words of fiction -- history in the making!


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In celebration of the new millennium, Cemetery Dance Publications has commissioned a spectacular two-volume anthology project under the editorship of noted author and historian of the horror genre, John Pelan. John will be selecting one story published during each year of the 20th Century (1901-2000) as the most notable story of that year -- all 100 stories will then be c In celebration of the new millennium, Cemetery Dance Publications has commissioned a spectacular two-volume anthology project under the editorship of noted author and historian of the horror genre, John Pelan. John will be selecting one story published during each year of the 20th Century (1901-2000) as the most notable story of that year -- all 100 stories will then be collected in The Century's Best Horror Fiction. The ground rules are simple: Only one selection per author. Only one selection per year. Two huge volumes, one hundred authors, one hundred classic stories, over 700,000 words of fiction -- history in the making!

30 review for The Century's Best Horror Fiction Volume Two

  1. 5 out of 5

    Squire

    This second volume of editor John Pelan's high-concept horror anthology is as exceptional as the first. Covering the years for 1951 to 2000, Pelan again provides short, but illuminating notes before each story about his reasons for the selections he made as well as the stories and authors he has a personal relationship with. More here than in the first volume, the reader understands how the horror genre developed into its 21st century incarnations. Highly recommended for every fan of the horror g This second volume of editor John Pelan's high-concept horror anthology is as exceptional as the first. Covering the years for 1951 to 2000, Pelan again provides short, but illuminating notes before each story about his reasons for the selections he made as well as the stories and authors he has a personal relationship with. More here than in the first volume, the reader understands how the horror genre developed into its 21st century incarnations. Highly recommended for every fan of the horror genre. For me, the most memorable story in Volume II was the stunning 1993 selection: The Family Underwater by Lucy Taylor. Other favorites include The Altar by Robert Sheckley, The Aquarium by Carl Jacobi, Sticks by Karl Edward Wagner, Stephen by Elizabeth Massie, The Box by jack Ketchum, The Autopsy by Micheal Shea (which makes King's Survivor Type look like a children's story) and Fritz Leiber's Jamesian ghost story Horrible Imaginings. The only one that didn't seem up to snuff was the Lansdale story--okay, but it paled in comparison to every other selection. Here's the TOC for Volume II: 1951: Russell Kirk — Uncle Isiah 1952: Eric Frank Russell — I Am Nothing 1953: Robert Sheckley — The Altar 1954: Everil Worrell — Call Not Their Names 1955: Robert Aickman — Ringing the Changes 1956: Richard Wilson — Lonely Road 1957: Clifford Simak — Founding Father 1958: Robert Bloch — That Hell-Bound Train 1959: Charles Beaumont — The Howling Man 1960: Fredric Brown — The House 1961: Ray Russell — Sardonicus 1962: Carl Jacobi — The Aquarium 1963: Robert Arthur — The Mirror of Cagliostro 1964: Charles Birkin — A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts 1965: Jean Ray — The Shadowy Street 1966: Arthur Porges — The Mirror 1967: Norman Spinrad — Carcinoma Angels 1968: Anna Hunger — Come 1969: Steffan Aletti — The Last Work of Pietro Apono 1970: David A. Riley — The Lurkers in the Abyss 1971: Dorothy K. Haynes — The Derelict Track 1972: Gary Brandner — The Price of a Demon 1973: Eddy C. Bertin — Like Two White Spiders 1974: Karl Edward Wagner — Sticks 1975: David Drake — The Barrow Troll 1976: Dennis Etchison — It Only Comes Out at Night 1977: Barry N. Malzberg — The Man Who Loved the Midnight Lady 1978: Michael Bishop — Within the Walls of Tyre 1979: Ramsey Campbell — Mackintosh Willy 1980: Michael Shea — The Autopsy 1981: Stephen King — The Reach 1982: Fritz Leiber — Horrible Imagings 1983: David Schow — One for the Horrors 1984: Bob Leman — The Unhappy Pilgrimage of Clifford M. 1985: Michael Reaves — The Night People 1986: Tim Powers — Night Moves 1987: Ian Watson — Evil Water 1988: Joe R. Lansdale — The Night They Missed the Horror Show 1989: Joel Lane — The Earth Wire 1990: Elizabeth Massie — Stephen 1991: Thomas Ligotti — The Glamour 1992: Poppy Z. Brite — Calcutta Lord of Nerves 1993: Lucy Taylor — The Family Underwater 1994: Jack Ketchum — The Box 1995: Terry Lamsley — The Toddler 1996: Caitlín R. Kiernan — Tears Seven Times Salt 1997: Stephen Laws — The Crawl 1998: Brian Hodge — As Above, So Below 1999: Glen Hirshberg — Mr. Dark's Carnival 2000: Tim Lebbon — Reconstructing Amy

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Volume Two was just as good as the first volume - 50 authors/50 stories covering the 2nd half of the 20th century. The only problem with both volumes is that there are a lot of other horror writers I wasn't as familiar with I now have to add to my reading list. Volume Two was just as good as the first volume - 50 authors/50 stories covering the 2nd half of the 20th century. The only problem with both volumes is that there are a lot of other horror writers I wasn't as familiar with I now have to add to my reading list.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tzu-Mainn Chen

    This anthology of horror picks a single "best" horror short story or novella for every year between 1951 and 2000, with each author only allowed a single representation. Taken as a historical study it's pretty fascinating how the notion of horror changes over decades; even more so when you see an occasional outlier whose early year belies a modern sensibility. Unfortunately I don't think the editor's tastes quite match mine (or perhaps I'm getting too old to be frightened by the things that terri This anthology of horror picks a single "best" horror short story or novella for every year between 1951 and 2000, with each author only allowed a single representation. Taken as a historical study it's pretty fascinating how the notion of horror changes over decades; even more so when you see an occasional outlier whose early year belies a modern sensibility. Unfortunately I don't think the editor's tastes quite match mine (or perhaps I'm getting too old to be frightened by the things that terrified me as a kid). Although some of the selections are excellent - "Calcutta, Lord of Nerves" and "The Box" come to mind - most of them elicited little more than a shrug or a yawn. I remember reading "Year's Best" anthologies back in the '90s, and there are many stories from back then that still stick in my mind, far more than most of the ones in this anthology. Again, that may just be a matter of taste, and perhaps I should be glad that this book didn't bring back the sleepless nights of my younger years. Still, I can't help but feel disappointed that the bulk of the stories in this book did not inflict the little deaths that I remember from the tales of my past.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ebenmaessiger

    “That Hell-Bound Train,” by Robert Bloch (1958): 7.5 - An ultimately shallow tale, and a famous one at that. One nonetheless perceives the connections between the two: like the workman’s ditty framing the story, Bloch’s largely smuggled in a folk tale in horror clothes, as evidenced by the flattened “horror”, the breezy narrative development, the moral message of the immoral tale, and the demotic affectations of style and substance. Take from those what you will, but it creates a certain constrai “That Hell-Bound Train,” by Robert Bloch (1958): 7.5 - An ultimately shallow tale, and a famous one at that. One nonetheless perceives the connections between the two: like the workman’s ditty framing the story, Bloch’s largely smuggled in a folk tale in horror clothes, as evidenced by the flattened “horror”, the breezy narrative development, the moral message of the immoral tale, and the demotic affectations of style and substance. Take from those what you will, but it creates a certain constrained spectrum of quality control — as hard to rise above a certain level as it is to fall below it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Corinne

    The book is about 866 pages and has 50 stories. Read: ~Lucy Taylor - The Family Underwater - 5 ~Karl Edward Wagner - Sticks I read this in The Mammoth Book of Zombies - 5 ~David A. Riley - The Lurkers in the Abyss - 1 ~Gary Brandner - The Price of a Demon - 2 ~Dennis Etchison - It Only Comes out at Night - 1 ~Elisabeth Massie - Stephen - 4 Liked until the end which I find unmemorable in comparison to the beginning. ~Thomas Ligotti - The Glamour - DNF ~Poppy Z. Brite - Lord of Nerves - 1 ~Jack Ketchum - Th The book is about 866 pages and has 50 stories. Read: ~Lucy Taylor - The Family Underwater - 5 ~Karl Edward Wagner - Sticks I read this in The Mammoth Book of Zombies - 5 ~David A. Riley - The Lurkers in the Abyss - 1 ~Gary Brandner - The Price of a Demon - 2 ~Dennis Etchison - It Only Comes out at Night - 1 ~Elisabeth Massie - Stephen - 4 Liked until the end which I find unmemorable in comparison to the beginning. ~Thomas Ligotti - The Glamour - DNF ~Poppy Z. Brite - Lord of Nerves - 1 ~Jack Ketchum - The Box - 2 - Glad I read it so I can understand when it's being referenced to but can't say I enjoyed it. ~Caitlin R. Kiernan - Tears Seven Times Salt - 2 ~Terry Lamsley - The Toddler - 2 2016 Read ~Come by Anna Hunger - 1* 2018 Read ~Stephen King - The Reach (AKA Do the Dead Sing?) - 2* ~Elisabeth Massie - Stephen - 4* 2nd reading, I like until the end which I find unmemorable in comparison to the beginning. Read twice 2015, 2018. ~Robert Bloch - The Hell-Bound Train - 4* Life lesson weaved into a horror story. awesome. ~Michael Shea - The Autopsy DNF. I dnf'd this story in another anthology also but so many people like it so I tried again but still couldn't finish it. To-Read ~Stephen Laws - The Crawl - (pub 1997)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brian Sammons

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gavin Cox

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andy Blacet

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Wright

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ksenia

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michael Joseph Schumann

  12. 5 out of 5

    Eric

  13. 4 out of 5

    L J Field

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  15. 5 out of 5

    J. P. Wiske

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jeannie Sloan

  17. 5 out of 5

    John Walsh

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mavis 69 420 666

  19. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

  20. 5 out of 5

    D. E.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kristie

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jovany Agathe

  23. 5 out of 5

    PNJ

  24. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  25. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  26. 5 out of 5

    John Bruni

  27. 5 out of 5

    Zach

    Man, I've got a lot of reviews to write. Man, I've got a lot of reviews to write.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lee Howman

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jeff VanderMeer

  30. 5 out of 5

    Karen Wood

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