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

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For more than a decade, readers have turned to The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror to find the most rewarding fantastic short stories. The critically acclaimed and award-winning tradition continues with another stunning collection, including stories by M. T. Anderson, Laird Barron, Simon Bestwick, Simon Brown, Stepan Chapman, Douglas Clegg, D. Ellis Dickerson, Terry Dowling For more than a decade, readers have turned to The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror to find the most rewarding fantastic short stories. The critically acclaimed and award-winning tradition continues with another stunning collection, including stories by 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, and Conrad Williams. Rounding out the volume are the editors’ invaluable overviews of the year in fantasy and horror, and sections on comics, by Charles Vess, on anime and manga, by Joan D. Vinge, on media, by Ed Bryant, and on music, by Charles de Lint. With a long list of Honorable Mentions, this is an indispensable reference as well as the best reading available in fantasy and horror.


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For more than a decade, readers have turned to The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror to find the most rewarding fantastic short stories. The critically acclaimed and award-winning tradition continues with another stunning collection, including stories by M. T. Anderson, Laird Barron, Simon Bestwick, Simon Brown, Stepan Chapman, Douglas Clegg, D. Ellis Dickerson, Terry Dowling For more than a decade, readers have turned to The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror to find the most rewarding fantastic short stories. The critically acclaimed and award-winning tradition continues with another stunning collection, including stories by 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, and Conrad Williams. Rounding out the volume are the editors’ invaluable overviews of the year in fantasy and horror, and sections on comics, by Charles Vess, on anime and manga, by Joan D. Vinge, on media, by Ed Bryant, and on music, by Charles de Lint. With a long list of Honorable Mentions, this is an indispensable reference as well as the best reading available in fantasy and horror.

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

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bogdan

    Nothing trully impressive here. There are some good ones, but nothing that will blow up your mind. Quite regular stuff. Like I said I don't understand what this volume has that had convinced its readers to offer it an Award for Best Anthology. Booring!!! Even Laird Barron's story isn't something spectacular. Nothing trully impressive here. There are some good ones, but nothing that will blow up your mind. Quite regular stuff. Like I said I don't understand what this volume has that had convinced its readers to offer it an Award for Best Anthology. Booring!!! Even Laird Barron's story isn't something spectacular.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Colin

    The good far outweighs the bad in this volume; some of the stories were are-you-fucking-kidding-me terrible (Chapman's Calico Cat story - WTF) but standout stories far outweigh the bad ones - M. T. Anderson, Tanith Hall, and Laird Barron immediately jump to mind in the awesome column. Minor Gripes: 1. I'm no genre noodnik, but I don't think a woman's Cough Syrup induced hallucination counts as fantasy, however entertaining. 2. One story per author, please! 3. Poetry? Shenanigans. The good far outweighs the bad in this volume; some of the stories were are-you-fucking-kidding-me terrible (Chapman's Calico Cat story - WTF) but standout stories far outweigh the bad ones - M. T. Anderson, Tanith Hall, and Laird Barron immediately jump to mind in the awesome column. Minor Gripes: 1. I'm no genre noodnik, but I don't think a woman's Cough Syrup induced hallucination counts as fantasy, however entertaining. 2. One story per author, please! 3. Poetry? Shenanigans.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Juushika

    The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Eighteenth Annual Collection collects the best (as determined by the editors) short fiction of both genres in 2004, using wide definitions of the genres in order to build a diverse, quality collection. Introductions of middling quality summarize the year in fantasy, horror, and related media, but the bulk of the book is 44 short stories and poems which span paranormal horror to imaginary world fantasy. For a change, the horror selections are the volume's stre The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Eighteenth Annual Collection collects the best (as determined by the editors) short fiction of both genres in 2004, using wide definitions of the genres in order to build a diverse, quality collection. Introductions of middling quality summarize the year in fantasy, horror, and related media, but the bulk of the book is 44 short stories and poems which span paranormal horror to imaginary world fantasy. For a change, the horror selections are the volume's strength; some of the fantasy is quite good, but there are too many duds. All in all, a successful installment in the series, but the fantasy selections want for Windling's keener eye. Recommended. It takes too long for this installment to warm up: the first few selections, both fantasy and horror, are either over the top or unremarkable. Miéville's "Reports of Certain Events in London" is the tenth selection and the turning point. A unique, haunting story in its own right, the overall quality of the selections that follows is an improvement. There are still some disappointments, but a number of the stories and poems in this installment are wonderful, most of them in the second half of the volume: along with Miéville's story, Palahniuk's "Guts," Oates's "Stripping," Lanagan's "Singing My Sister Down," Eekhout's "Tales from the City of Seams," and Smith's "The Specialist" were my favorites. Unusual for the Year's Best Fantasy and Horror series (at least what I've read of it so far), many of the volume's better selections are horror. Link and Grant are competent but not exceptional editors, and their selections are likewise; the fantasy selections wants for Windling's influence. But Datlow is in top form, or perhaps it was a good year for horror: for a change, her selections are generally strong and sometimes exceptional. Accompanying the stories are 2004 overviews in fantasy, horror, and related media. Link and Grant's opinionated overview is unremarkable, Datlow's overview is as always overlong and undiscriminating, and the media summaries are lengthy, informal, and often stray from their fantasy/horror purview. Nevertheless the volume can be a useful resource: skim the overviews, or draw author names from your favorite short stories, and you may discover new writers and new texts to read. All in all, this eighteenth volume is a fairly successful installment of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror series. Some selections are distinct disappointments, but the overall quality is middling to high and the handful of wonderful selections make the volume worthwhile on the whole. I recommend it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    The Calico Cat will definitely stay with me, as will the Meth Zombies and the Cajun eternity knot.(John Farris, Malanie Fazi) Zora's zombie was just annoying, and I have to admit that I didn't like the Pinkerton story all that much. (Andy Duncan, Bulldozer/Laird Barron) Maguire's "Oakthing" was a pleasant surprise, and will last in my memory. Greg van Eekhout's "Tales from the City of Seams" was really a cheat since it was a bunch of vignettes and not a single story, but I enjoyed it/them very m The Calico Cat will definitely stay with me, as will the Meth Zombies and the Cajun eternity knot.(John Farris, Malanie Fazi) Zora's zombie was just annoying, and I have to admit that I didn't like the Pinkerton story all that much. (Andy Duncan, Bulldozer/Laird Barron) Maguire's "Oakthing" was a pleasant surprise, and will last in my memory. Greg van Eekhout's "Tales from the City of Seams" was really a cheat since it was a bunch of vignettes and not a single story, but I enjoyed it/them very much. MT Anderson's "Watch and Wake" was definitely well-written, but his novel Thirsty made MUCH more of an impression on me. Two standouts: "Singing my Sister Down" by Margo Lanagan and "Water Babies" by Simon Brown. Both just eerie and chilling enough to stick with me for a long time, and just normal and human enough that I kinda wish I were an alien instead.

  5. 5 out of 5

    John

    Sorry for virtually the same review on whole anthology set I own a trade sized paper back. I started this anthology with the 5th Annual and I loved it so much I started collecting the whole set by signing up for pre-orders with the book store. What sets this anthology apart from many others is that I always find two or three gems within its pages, many liked stories and very few I have to force myself through. More importantly, from those people I have noted who read these anthologies too, they say Sorry for virtually the same review on whole anthology set I own a trade sized paper back. I started this anthology with the 5th Annual and I loved it so much I started collecting the whole set by signing up for pre-orders with the book store. What sets this anthology apart from many others is that I always find two or three gems within its pages, many liked stories and very few I have to force myself through. More importantly, from those people I have noted who read these anthologies too, they say the same thing. I rated this whole anthology based on the variety of the stories within, how many people seem to report finding the same ratio of gems & well received stories. I am happy to own this whole anthology and keep them in excellent shape, no matter how many times I have read them.

  6. 4 out of 5

    C

    This was one of the better collections I have read in the series. The editors still managed to include one story which couldn't be classified in either genre by even the most generous reader but overall there was alot of good stuff. Stories I liked in particular were: "A Hazy Shade of Winter", by Simon Bestwick "Revenge of the Calico Cat", by Stepan Chapman (one of my two favorites in theis volume) "Dancing on Air". Frances Oliver "The Bad Magician", by Phillip Raines and Harvey Welles "Postcretaceous This was one of the better collections I have read in the series. The editors still managed to include one story which couldn't be classified in either genre by even the most generous reader but overall there was alot of good stuff. Stories I liked in particular were: "A Hazy Shade of Winter", by Simon Bestwick "Revenge of the Calico Cat", by Stepan Chapman (one of my two favorites in theis volume) "Dancing on Air". Frances Oliver "The Bad Magician", by Phillip Raines and Harvey Welles "Postcretaceous Era" by D. Ellis DIckerson "The Specialist", by Alison Smith (my other favorite in this volume)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kirsty

    It's a good thing these books are so chunky, because there's always stuff I love and hate in them. The stories by Douglas Clegg, M. Rickert, Greg Van Eekhout and Joyce Carol Oates were all incredible. The Oates, in particular, has stuck with me - I don't think I've ever read anything so short and so intense. However, many of the other stories were forgettable. It's a good thing these books are so chunky, because there's always stuff I love and hate in them. The stories by Douglas Clegg, M. Rickert, Greg Van Eekhout and Joyce Carol Oates were all incredible. The Oates, in particular, has stuck with me - I don't think I've ever read anything so short and so intense. However, many of the other stories were forgettable.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Shelly Willey

    They should still be publishing these anthologies. I have found wonderful authors through tse books!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

    Definitley some stories taht were so-so, but others were great. I reread "Revenge of the Calico Cat" as soon as I finished it because it stuck with me so much. Definitley some stories taht were so-so, but others were great. I reread "Revenge of the Calico Cat" as soon as I finished it because it stuck with me so much.

  10. 5 out of 5

    bluetyson

    isbn,original

  11. 5 out of 5

    DJ

  12. 5 out of 5

    Garth Robert

  13. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  14. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kimberlee Andrews

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Dury

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer *Last Book on the Left*

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  19. 4 out of 5

    Allie

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kay Sundstrom

  21. 4 out of 5

    Renata Bocayuva

  22. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dani

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tim Newton

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mara

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cherie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Megan

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

  30. 4 out of 5

    Simeon Berry

  31. 5 out of 5

    Don

  32. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  33. 5 out of 5

    Annie

  34. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

  35. 4 out of 5

    M—

  36. 5 out of 5

    Yevgenia

  37. 5 out of 5

    Molly

  38. 5 out of 5

    V

  39. 5 out of 5

    Vicwong

  40. 4 out of 5

    Abbey

  41. 4 out of 5

    James

  42. 4 out of 5

    Matt

  43. 5 out of 5

    Christina Wolf

  44. 4 out of 5

    Deedee

  45. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

  46. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

  47. 4 out of 5

    Kat

  48. 4 out of 5

    Erica

  49. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  50. 5 out of 5

    Selcuk

  51. 4 out of 5

    BookDB

  52. 5 out of 5

    Kristeen

  53. 4 out of 5

    Ciarán Williamson

  54. 4 out of 5

    Don

  55. 5 out of 5

    Emily

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