The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Paperback – Feb 1999
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Good horror writers can set up a disturbing situation, then add an extra turn of the screw. The sound of a tree branch tapping the window on a winter night--what if that tree suddenly appeared out of nowhere? The bare scalp and wide eyes of a starving child in Somalia--what if that child began to drain your body in order to stay alive? This ninth volume in the award-winning Best New Horror anthology series is packed with such chilly treasures. Not only does editor Stephen Jones have an admirably discerning eye for the best-written tales in the field, he also introduces American horror readers to topnotch writers from the U.K., such as Simon Clark, Christopher Fowler, and Stephen Laws. And there's humor, too: You'll laugh while you shudder, reading novella-length satires of The Bridges of Madison County and the filmmaking style of Francis Ford Coppola.
No doubt about it--this series is getting better every year. --Fiona Webster
From Publishers Weekly
Offering 19 stories from writers both well and little known, this ninth volume in Jones's award-winning (World Fantasy Award, British Fantasy Award, etc.) series lives up to its title. The remarkably varied fiction, impeccably crafted for the most part, is divided evenly between U.S. and U.K. writers (nine of each, plus one American author who resides in England). Some of the strongest stories offer imaginative twists on traditional tropes. David Schow's hilariously mordant "Dying Words" deals with a writer, zombies and the state of the genre; Doug Winter's deft and quietly dramatic "Zombies of Madison County" also deals with a writer and zombiesAand, perhaps, the state of the world. Both Kim Newman's "Coppola's Dracula" and Brian Hodge's "The Dripping of Sundered Wineskins" feature vampires, but these novellas go in entirely different directions. Hodge's trio of weird sisters takes in a lapsed Irish priest whose destiny is entwined with theirs, while Newman parallels the traditional Romanian Dracula to his latest cinematic incarnation. With "Words," Ramsey Campbell has dark fun in a strange story involving a fantasy fan who becomes a publishing phenomenon and a critic who resists his sway. Chilling reality-based terror is included, as are several tales that slipstream into SF. The knowledgeable, prolific (editor of more than 40 books) and opinionated Jones's 60-page summation of the year in horror, his compendium of useful addresses and a necrology co-authored with Kim Newman are alone worth the book's low cover price. Displaying the vitality of the field, as well as some of its top-flight talent, the book is, like most of its predecessors, a must-have, must-read anthology for horror buffs.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.