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The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror:…

The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Twentieth Annual Collection (2007)

by Ellen Datlow (Editor), Gavin J. Grant (Editor), Kelly Link (Editor)

Other authors: Nathalie Anderson (Contributor), Lee Battersby (Contributor), Jeanne Marie Beaumont (Contributor), Josh Bell (Contributor), Edward Bryant (Foreword)37 more, Simon Clark (Contributor), Charles de Lint (Foreword), Paul Di Filippo (Contributor), Terry Dowling (Contributor), Jeffrey Ford (Contributor), Ben Fountain (Contributor), James Frenkel (Foreword), Jeannine Hall Gailey (Contributor), Stephen Gallagher (Contributor), Frances Hardinge (Contributor), Christopher Harman (Contributor), Glen Hirshberg (Contributor), William Hope Hodgson (Contributor), Nik Houser (Contributor), Stephen Graham Jones (Contributor), Minsoo Kang (Contributor), Ellen Klages (Contributor), Margo Lanagan (Contributor), Sarah Monette (Contributor), Scott Nicholson (Contributor), Joyce Carol Oates (Contributor), Tim Pratt (Contributor), M. Rickert (Contributor), Benjamin Rosenbaum (Contributor), Christopher Rowe (Contributor), Nicholas Royle (Contributor), Geoff Ryman (Contributor), Brett Alexander Savory (Contributor), John Schoffstall (Contributor), Ira Sher (Contributor), Delia Sherman (Contributor), Jeff VanderMeer (Foreword), Stephen Volk (Contributor), Kaaron Warren (Contributor), Ysabeau S. Wilce (Contributor), Caleb Wilson (Contributor), Gene Wolfe (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (20 2007)

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A collection of the best fantasy and horror short fiction published in 2006.

I always enjoy these anthologies, and this one was no exception. The stories are both literary and entertaining, and there's a good mix of styles. As is usually the case, however, I found that the fantasy selections were strongly weighted in favour of contemporary and/or urban stories, with a few historical pieces thrown in. Are there really so few authors doing good work with traditional fantasy? The few traditional selections were not, to my mind, all that they could have been. They mostly employed dense, difficult language that forced me out of the story as I decoded the author's meaning.

While I found most of the stories enjoyable and thought-provoking while I was reading them, very few jumped out at me this time around. The sole exception was "The Lineaments of Gratified Desire" by Ysabeau S. Wilce. Oddly enough, the story uses the dense, difficult language I mentioned above, but the author makes it work for her. Instead of shunting me out of the story, it forced me further in and kept me involved. The story itself is rather gruesome and cruel, filled as it is with characters who navigate via a very different sort of moral compass, but I found myself utterly entranced by the worldbuilding. I absolutely loved it, and have since sought out more of Wilce's work. She's fantastic.

I definitely recommend the collection as a whole to those who like short fiction. I didn't feel that it was as strong as previous entries in the series, but it was still most definitely worthwhile. ( )
  xicanti | Jun 12, 2009 |
(Amy) Yes, I'm a year behind, but see elsewhere for the laments about books getting lost in the stacks around here...

Anyway. I used to be a real devotee of the YBFH series, and for a while was obsessively collecting back issues. Then I stopped reading it at all for a few years (my poverty relapse, that was), and then forgot about it, and with one thing and another this is the first I've read since the one published in 2002, and therefore the first I've read without Terri Windling.

What I always liked best about the series was the Summation sections at the front, which I would read with pen and paper ready to hand, noting down anything that seemed interesting that I had missed. Well, this year, that was a great big zero. In the years since 2001, I have apparently got much better at keeping track of the year's output on my own, because I'd heard of almost all of it, and just about everything that sounded interesting I had in fact already read. So that was disappointing. (I'm not sure why, though - goodness knows anything that makes me put more books on my to-buy list would be a mixed blessing!)

Also disappointing were the stories themselves. Caveat: I'm not a fan of horror in general (though some horrific fantasy is enjoyable), so in reading these anthologies I've always approached those stories introduced by Ellen Datlow with a bit of hesitation. In this instance, though, an awful lot of the K.L./G.G. stories were highly creepifying in their own right, so by halfway through I was a little uneasy whenever starting a new story. I actively enjoyed five of the nearly 40 stories, of which one I had read previously. The number to which I actively objected was smaller - two or three, maybe - but still, that leaves over 30 stories which left little or no impression, which is still not a terribly good ratio.

I don't regret having read it - a couple of those stories I liked were good enough to make up for the rest, particularly "In the House of the Seven Librarians" - but I'd be reluctant to go out of my way to pick up any more. I might end up buying the one published last year, but then again, I might not. And since there won't be one this year, I have to wonder if I am not alone in this reaction...
(http://weblog.siliconcerebrate.com/zenos-library/2009/01/the_years_best_fantasy_...) ( )
1 vote libraryofus | Feb 19, 2009 |
My favorite thing about this series is the annual wrap-up the editors do for fantasy and horror the previous year. It's a great way to catch up on any good books I might have missed over the year and I've often gone back to pick up a recommendation or two.

In spite of the usefulness of the summaries, the point of the book is to present the best short fiction of the year in horror and fantasy. On the horror side, the stories are excellent, and I generally enjoy them. In most years, though, I find the fantasy selections unsatisfying. The stories lean to the modern fantasy and magical realism side rather than more traditional forms of fantasy. I haven't decided if this lack is due to the editors' taste or a limitation of the catalog available for selection. It's hard for me to believe nobody's writing any stories like Fritz Lieber used to.

The current volume is worth a flip-through, for the annual summary if nothing else. ( )
1 vote drneutron | Jan 5, 2008 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Datlow, EllenEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grant, Gavin J.Editormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Link, KellyEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, NathalieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Battersby, LeeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beaumont, Jeanne MarieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bell, JoshContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bryant, EdwardForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clark, SimonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
de Lint, CharlesForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Di Filippo, PaulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dowling, TerryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ford, JeffreyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fountain, BenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Frenkel, JamesForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gailey, Jeannine HallContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gallagher, StephenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hardinge, FrancesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harman, ChristopherContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hirshberg, GlenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hodgson, William HopeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Houser, NikContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones, Stephen GrahamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kang, MinsooContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Klages, EllenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lanagan, MargoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Monette, SarahContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nicholson, ScottContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Oates, Joyce CarolContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pratt, TimContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rickert, M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rosenbaum, BenjaminContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rowe, ChristopherContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Royle, NicholasContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ryman, GeoffContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Savory, Brett AlexanderContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schoffstall, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sher, IraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sherman, DeliaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
VanderMeer, JeffForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Volk, StephenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Warren, KaaronContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wilce, Ysabeau S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wilson, CalebContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wolfe, GeneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Canty, ThomasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed


Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter by Geoff Ryman

First Kisses From Beyond The Grave by Nik Houser

The Last To Be Found by Christopher Harman

Fourteen Experiments in Postal Delivery by John Schoffstall

Becoming the Villainess by Jeannine Hall Gailey

Persephone and the Prince Meet Over Drinks (in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2007 - DATLOW) by Jeannine Hall Gailey

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312369425, Paperback)

For twenty years this award-winning compilation has been the nonpareil benchmark against which all other annual fantasy and horror collections are judged. Directed first by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling and for the past four years by Datlow and Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant, it consistently presents the strangest, the funniest, the darkest, the sharpest, the most original—in short, the best fantasy and horror.  The current collection, marking a score of years, offers more than forty stories and poems from almost as many sources. Summations of the field by the editors are complemented by articles by Edward Bryant, Charles de Lint, and Jeff VanderMeer, highlighting the best of the fantastic in, respectively, media, music, and comics, as well as honorable mentions—notable works that didn’t quite make the cut, but are nonetheless worthy of attention.
The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror: Twentieth Annual Collection is a cornucopia of fantastic delights, an unparalleled resource and indispensable reference that captures the unique excitement and beauty of the fantastic in all its gloriously diverse forms, from the lightest fantasy to the darkest horror.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:32 -0400)

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