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The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: First Annual Collection (1988)

by Ellen Datlow (Editor), Terri Windling (Editor)

Other authors: Joan Aiken (Contributor), Natalie Babbitt (Contributor), John Robert Bensink (Contributor), John Brunner (Contributor), Steven Brust (Contributor)30 more, Edward Bryant (Contributor), Ramsey Campbell (Contributor), Jonathan Carroll (Contributor), Charles de Lint (Contributor), Harlan Ellison (Contributor), Carol Emshwiller (Contributor), Craig Shaw Gardner (Contributor), Joe Haldeman (Contributor), M. John Harrison (Contributor), Elizabeth S. Helfman (Contributor), Gwyneth Jones (Contributor), Ursula K. Le Guin (Contributor), George R. R. Martin (Contributor), Michael McDowell (Contributor), Alan Moore (Contributor), William F. Nolan (Contributor), Joyce Carol Oates (Contributor), Susan Palwick (Contributor), Kathryn Ptacek (Contributor), David J. Schow (Contributor), Michael Shea (Contributor), Lucius Shepard (Contributor), Delia Sherman (Contributor), John Skipp (Contributor), Craig Spector (Contributor), Lisa Tuttle (Contributor), Douglas E. Winter (Contributor), Patricia Wrede (Contributor), T.M. Wright (Contributor), Jane Yolen (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
285570,503 (3.82)13
This is a collection of fantasy and horror fiction culled from the pages of magazines and original anthologies. The first volume includes Ursula K.Le Guin, Jonathan Carroll, Lisa Tuttle and others and there is a comprehensive summary of the year in fantasy and horror and a survey of screen fantasy.
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» See also 13 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
quality varies
  ritaer | Jun 4, 2021 |
The first volume in what would become The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. Nothing really memorable apart from the Jonathan Carroll story. ( )
  chaosfox | Feb 22, 2019 |
My favourite of the fantasy tales was "Buffalo Gals, Won't You Come Out Tonight", while there were some very unnerving horror stories, with the scariest being "The Pear-Shaped Man", and "Halley's Passing".

The ending of "The Pear-Shaped Man" was a bit confusing, but I think that the Pear-Shaped Man was a psychic vampire who is never satisfied by his prey and feels that they have taken as much from him as he has taken from them. "Halley's Passing" was about another kind of vampire and the ending made it even more frightening than it had been up to that point. A very varied selection of stories. ( )
  isabelx | Feb 27, 2011 |
I read this a long time ago, and remember that I enjoyed a good number of the stories. George R.R. Martin is always entertaining. I also liked the year summations, especially for Horror. ( )
  Ed_Gosney | Jan 21, 2011 |
The very first YEAR'S BEST FANTASY AND HORROR anthology. (The name was changed from the third volume on).

I found it difficult not to compare this first volume to the later editions. While this early volume does have much in common with the later collections, there are some notable differences. The summations, for one, are much shorter, and there are only four of them: Fantasy, Horror, Fantasy and Horror in the Media, and Obituaries. (Later volumes also include essays on comics and graphic novels, manga and anime, and music). The fantasy focus is also rather different. While later collections are heavily weighted towards magical realism and contemporary fantasy, this first volume contains a surprising number of imaginary world stories and retold fairy tales.

Quality-wise, though, there's not much difference between this and the later collections. The stories are thought-provoking and beautifully written, as always. Even when a story didn't particularly grab me, I could appreciate the author's grasp of the craft. Many of these authors also often manage to broaden our concept of genre. If you're looking for fantasy or horror with a more literary bent, you really ought to grab a YBF&H.

There are some real gems herein, too. My personal favourites were: "DX" by Joe Haldeman; "The Snow Apple" by Gwyneth Jones; "Ever After" by Susan Palwick; "The Moon's Revenge" by Joan Aiken; "The Improper Princess" by Patricia C. Wrede; and "Halley's Passing" by Michael McDowell. And then there's "The Hypothetical Lizard" by Alan Moore, which is by far the best of a very good bunch. Even if every other story had been tripe, I'd keep the anthology around for this piece alone. It's a harsh, brutal story and I doubt I could return to it any time soon, but I am so glad I read it.

I highly recommend this collection, and the series as a whole. If you're looking for some good short fiction, this'd be a great place to start.

(A slightly different version of this review originally appeared on my blog, Stella Matutina). ( )
1 vote xicanti | Apr 17, 2009 |
Showing 5 of 5
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Datlow, EllenEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Windling, TerriEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Aiken, JoanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Babbitt, NatalieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bensink, John RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brunner, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brust, StevenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bryant, EdwardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Campbell, RamseyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carroll, JonathanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
de Lint, CharlesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ellison, HarlanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Emshwiller, CarolContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gardner, Craig ShawContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Haldeman, JoeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harrison, M. JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Helfman, Elizabeth S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones, GwynethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Le Guin, Ursula K.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Martin, George R. R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McDowell, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moore, AlanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nolan, William F.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Oates, Joyce CarolContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Palwick, SusanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ptacek, KathrynContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schow, David J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shea, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shepard, LuciusContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sherman, DeliaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Skipp, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Spector, CraigContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tuttle, LisaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Winter, Douglas E.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wrede, PatriciaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wright, T.M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Yolen, JaneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Canty, ThomasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This is a collection of fantasy and horror fiction culled from the pages of magazines and original anthologies. The first volume includes Ursula K.Le Guin, Jonathan Carroll, Lisa Tuttle and others and there is a comprehensive summary of the year in fantasy and horror and a survey of screen fantasy.

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