The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2007: 20th Annual Collection Paperback – Oct 2 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In the two decades since this venerable series was inaugurated, so many venues have begun to welcome horror and fantasy stories that these dedicated editors play a crucial role in bringing the best new works to fans who don't always read far afield. Trend spotters will note numerous ghost stories in Datlow's horror picks, including Christopher Harman's The Last to Be Found and Stephen Volk's 31/10, supremely eerie exercises in the ghost-hunt-gone-bad vein, and Stephen Gallagher's The Box and Glen Hirshberg's The Muldoon, whose spooks are equal parts psychological and supernatural. Link and Grant's eclectic fantasy picks range from the haunting magical realism of Geoff Ryman's Hugo- and WFA-nominated Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter to the light urban fantasy of Ellen Klages's In the House of Seven Librarians and Jeffrey Ford's blend of whimsy and the macabre in The Night Whiskey. As the line between fantasy and horror blurs, this combined presentation of their exemplars will give readers of both genres much to enjoy, and may even broaden a few horizons. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"This is the anthology to pick up every year if you want to read the best short fiction from the previous year and get overviews of the best fiction, non-fiction, films and video, anime, and music that was released in that year."--Green Man Review
"Long lived and always outstanding." --Science Fiction Chronicle
"A standard that... will be the one to beat in the future." --Locus
Treasures abound here." --Minneapolis Star Tribune
"You can't improve on the "best," but as the editors of this landmark anthology series show in its most recent volume, you can find fresh new angles from which to present it.. . . The usual generous survey essays only enhance the volume's reputation as indispensable for the year."--Publishers Weekly
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Aside from the stories and poems, each edition includes articles on horror, fantasy, media, comics, music, and obituaries for each year that are themselves worth the price of the book. This edition is no exception. The authors cover nearly everything published or released in horror and fantasy in 2006, leaving you with a long reading, listening, and watching list. Hopefully, twenty years is just a start for the Year's Best Fantasy and Horror series.
As usual, the book begins with the state of the genre, written by all of the authors; Datlow covers the Horror side admirably, with the other two editors doing Fantasy. There's also a round up of media (by Edward Bryant), Comics & Graphic Novels (by Jeff VanderMeer), Music (Charles de Lint) and the past year's obituaries (by James Frenkel). This is a really nice overview of the year that was (2006, in this case), with all of these articles highlighting entries that you may have missed and wish to pick up.
Then we get to the stories. As usual, each story has a brief introduction by the editor(s) that picked it, so you can tell right away whether it falls into the Horror or Fantasy genre, though admittedly some of the lines are a bit mixed. Just because the story was originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction doesn't mean that Datlow won't pick it for her list.
The best story in this year's edition is "The Night Whiskey," by Jeffrey Ford (from Salon Fantastique) and it was also one of my favorites from that book as well. The story is about a drink so potent that it leaves people drunk enough to meet up with the dead for a night. It's only consumed once a year by a select (but different) group of people every year. But what happens when one of this year's drinkers brings the dead back with him? This story is powerful and emotional, yet also very quiet. Ford's prose is as good as usual, immersing the reader in this little town that he's created and the characters who are trying to deal with a truly abnormal situation. One of my favorites in the original anthology, it's also near the top this time as well.
While there aren't any truly awful stories in this collection (nor should there be in a "Best of" collection!), there are a few that just didn't do anything for me. Sadly, there were more of those this year than last. For the most part, though, The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror: #20 is an excellent read, full of "more than 250,000 words of the finest fantasy and horror." Unless you have a complete aversion to one of the genres, you'll probably find something in here that you like. If I can like a Horror story, some of you non-fans of Fantasy can give one our stories a try. Who knows? It may just grab you and suck you in.
Of course, everyone will probably have different favorites and there are one or two stories I could have done without, but its a great survey of genre short fiction of 2006.