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

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

Other authors: M. T. Anderson (Contributor), Laird Barron (Contributor), Simon Bestwick (Contributor), Simon Brown (Contributor), Edward Bryant (Contributor)41 more, Stepan Chapman (Contributor), Douglas Clegg (Contributor), D. Ellis Dickerson (Contributor), Terry Dowling (Contributor), Andy Duncan (Contributor), Jean Esteve (Contributor), John Farris (Contributor), Mélanie Fazi (Contributor), Jeffrey Ford (Contributor), Christopher Fowler (Contributor), James Frenkel (Contributor), Stephen Gallagher (Contributor), Theodora Goss (Contributor), Elizabeth Hand (Contributor), Alice Hoffman (Contributor), Shelley Jackson (Contributor), John Kessel (Contributor), Margo Lanagan (Contributor), Tanith Lee (Contributor), Bentley Little (Contributor), Elizabeth A. Lynn (Contributor), Gregory Maguire (Contributor), China Miéville (Contributor), Richard Mueller (Contributor), Joyce Carol Oates (Contributor), Frances Oliver (Contributor), Chuck Palahniuk (Contributor), Philip Raines (Contributor), Tina Rath (Contributor), M. Rickert (Contributor), Anna Ross (Contributor), Alison Smith (Contributor), R. T. Smith (Contributor), Peter Straub (Contributor), Lucy Sussex (Contributor), Catherynne M. Valente (Contributor), Greg van Eekhout (Contributor), Charles Vess (Contributor), Joan D. Vinge (Contributor), Harvey Welles (Contributor), Conrad Williams (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (18)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
215598,968 (4.07)13
"The World Fantasy" award-winning annual series, featuring engaging work by some of the world's most talented authors. Highlights of this edition include works by: John Farris, Margo Lanagan, Jay Russell, and many others. Also included are year-end wrap-ups and the popular comics and manga sections.
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» See also 13 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
"The Hunter's Wife," Anthony Doerr
"The Cowardly Coffin," Marin Sorescu
"In These Final Days of Sales," Steve Rasnic Tem
"To Dream of White Horses," June Considine
"Skin," Charlee Jacob
"Prussian Snowdrops," Marion Arnott
"The Honeyed Knot," Jeffrey Ford
"Timmy Gobel's Bug Jar," Michael Libling
"The God of Dark Laughter," Michael Chabon
"The Adolescence of Orpheus," Kurt Leland
"Trading Hearts at the Half Kaffe Café," Charles de Lint
"Louise's Ghost," Kelly Link
"Fairy Tale Pantoum," Ellen Wernecke
"The Puppet and the Train," Scott Thomas
"Crocodile Lady," Christopher Fowler
"The Barbarian and the Queen: Thirteen Views," Jane Yolen
"Becoming Bird," Bob Hicok
"Sop Doll," Milbre Burch
"Plenty," Christopher Barzak
"The Bones of the Earth," Ursula K. Le Guin
"What the Story Weaves, the Spinner Tells," Terry Blackhawk ( )
  SChant | Apr 27, 2013 |
I feel like I say the same things about every YBF&H anthology, because the same truths always apply. Each installment of the series is chock full of literate, engaging work that challenges the reader's perception of genre. The stories are almost all entertaining, thought-provoking or both. It's the same thing over and over again. You'd think that'd get old after a while, but it doesn't. Not when the quality's this high.

The big difference between #18 and the other volumes I've read, (#'s 1, 15, 16, 17, 19, and 20), is that there aren't as many stories that really jumped out at me. They're all really good, mind, and there's nothing bad about an anthology composed of nothing but uniformly good material, but it would've been nice if there'd been at least one or two spectacular stories in amongst all the durned good ones.

There are a handful that come really, really close. China Mieville's "Reports of Certain Events in London" was entertaining, creepy and elusive. I had a blast with it. I've got to admit, I gave up on PERDIDO STREET STATION because I loathed every one of the characters, but I think I'm falling in love with Mieville's short fiction. I'll have to give him another try one of these days.

I also loved Greg van Eekhout's "Tales From the City of Seams," a series of vignettes set in a modern city with hidden depths. I'd love to read more stories from this strange and fascinating place. Unfortunately, van Eekhout has only published one other such piece, but I'll still look forward to reading some of his other fiction.

Finally, I was pleased to revisit "The Witch of Truro" by Alice Hoffman. I first read it back in 2006 as part of BLACKBIRD HOUSE, Hoffman's collection of interconnected short stories set in and around a New England farmhouse. It made me cry the first time through, and it was the same thing all over again. It's a simple little story, but Hoffman manages to generate such empathy for her characters that it becomes something truly special.

I certainly recommend this. It was a wonderful collection, and I'm very glad I read it.

(This review originally appeared on my blog, Stella Matutina). ( )
  xicanti | May 2, 2009 |
This collection is certainly a year's BEST! It's one of the most satisfying anthologies I've read; but then, Ellen Datlow is a very good editor, especially for anthologies co-edited with Terri Windling. Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant do justice as replacements of Terri Windling for this collection too. While there were a couple of so stories not quite to my taste, I thoroughly enjoyed the rest, and there were several that were just amazing, packed with surprises!

Among those that especially struck me are "Revenge of the Calico Cat" by Stepan Chapman, "Reports of Certain Events in London" by China Mieville, "Guts" by Chuck Palahniuk, "Postcretaceous Era" by D. Ellis Dickerson, "Clownette" by Terry Dowling, "Singing My Sister Down" by Margo Lanagan, and "The Specialist" by Alison Smith.

The anthology as a whole is a delightful package filled with all kinds of fantasy and different sorts of horror. The summations at the beginning of the book are also very informative and interesting. It makes me look forward to reading more wonderful fantasy and horror stories! ( )
1 vote thioviolight | Sep 21, 2007 |
Well, I'm mostly done with it. I've been reading it a story at a time, here and there, since August '06. Excellent as always thus far. ( )
  davidbain | May 3, 2006 |
I pick this up every year, it's always worth it. This year looks great with stories like Zora and the Zombie, which I haven't read, and classics like Night in the Tropics, which I have read.
  BrianO | Sep 8, 2005 |
Showing 5 of 5
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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, M. T.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barron, LairdContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bestwick, SimonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brown, SimonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bryant, EdwardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chapman, StepanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clegg, DouglasContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dickerson, D. EllisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dowling, TerryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Duncan, AndyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Esteve, JeanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Farris, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fazi, MélanieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ford, JeffreyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fowler, ChristopherContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Frenkel, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gallagher, StephenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goss, TheodoraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hand, ElizabethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hoffman, AliceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jackson, ShelleyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kessel, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lanagan, MargoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lee, TanithContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Little, BentleyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lynn, Elizabeth A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Maguire, GregoryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Miéville, ChinaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mueller, RichardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Oates, Joyce CarolContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Oliver, FrancesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Palahniuk, ChuckContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Raines, PhilipContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rath, TinaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rickert, M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ross, AnnaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, AlisonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, R. T.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Straub, PeterContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sussex, LucyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Valente, Catherynne M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
van Eekhout, GregContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vess, CharlesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vinge, Joan D.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Welles, HarveyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams, ConradContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Canty, ThomasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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"The World Fantasy" award-winning annual series, featuring engaging work by some of the world's most talented authors. Highlights of this edition include works by: John Farris, Margo Lanagan, Jay Russell, and many others. Also included are year-end wrap-ups and the popular comics and manga sections.

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