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The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2008: 21st Annual Collection [Paperback]

Kelly Link , Gavin Grant , Ellen Datlow

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Book Description

Sept. 30 2008 Year's Best Fantasy & Horror

As in every year since 1988, the editors tirelessly scoured story collections, magazines, and anthologies worldwide to compile a delightful, diverse feast of tales and poems.
On this anniversary, the editors have increased the size of  the collection to 300,000 words of fiction and poetry, including works by Billy Collins, Ted Chiang, Karen Joy Fowler, Elizabeth Hand, Glen Hirshberg, Joyce Carol Oates, and new World Fantasy Award winner M. Rickert. With impeccably researched summations of the field by the editors, Honorable Mentions, and articles by Edward Bryant, Charles de Lint and Jeff VanderMeer on media, music and graphic novels, this is a heady brew topped off by an unparalleled list of sources of fabulous works both light and dark.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (Sept. 30 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312380488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312380489
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 15 x 3.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 640 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #905,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"There is no more essential a guide to the glorious fecundity of our imaginative literature in the last two decades." --Clive Barker
“These books define the absolute best contemporary fantasy and horror for me and for a whole generation.” --Holly Black, bestselling author of the Spiderwick Chronicles

About the Author

ELLEN DATLOW, winner of multiple World Fantasy, Stoker, and many other awards, has been fiction editor for OMNI and SCIFI.COM, and many successful anthologies. She lives in New York City. KELLY LINK & GAVIN J. GRANT are publishers of Small Beer Press. Link is the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-winning author of the story collections  Strange Things Happen and Magic for Beginners. They live in Western Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great collection with some wonderful standouts March 13 2011
By Julie A. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
This is a huge omnibus of 36 stories and 7 poems as chosen by Ellen Datlow for works premiering in 2008. With so much to choose from, there are some wonderful standouts and some that just made me go, "Huh?" (luckily, only 3 of them made me do that). I read this throughout February (a story or sometimes two each night before bed), and now I just want all of the collections I don't have yet.

Here are some of my notes:

The Forest by Laird Barron - feels like you have to be high to appreciate it

The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate by Ted Chiang - an Egyptian fable about a Gate of Years which transports you 20 years into a fixed future - I really liked this one

Rats - by Veronica Schanoes - a familiar, darkly modernized fairy tale .. with rats - I liked this one too

The Swing by Don Tumasonis - where a swing appears to swallow up young girls - I liked this one, but it was one of those reads where you really need to pay attention to catch all of the nuances

My two favorites:

The Fiddler of Bayou Teche by Delia Sherman - about a girl named Cadence with white skin, hair, and pink eyes who was found in the swamp by loup-garous (werewolves) and raised by Tante Eulalie, a woman with many gifts, including healing, in her self-imposed swamp exile. Cadence eventually finds herself in a battle with a fiddler who can "fiddle the Devil out of Hell."

Winter's Wife by Elizabeth Hand - In Shaker Harbor, ME, Roderick Gale Winter, much beloved by his neighbors, including 15-year-old Justin, takes a wife from Iceland (Vaia). In Roderick's house, huldu folk reside as carvings in the beams of the house. When the King's Pines, three majestic pines near the water, are threatened by a wealthy and selfish area developer, strange happenings abound.

I love collections like these, and as I said before, reading this one made me put the others on my to-buy list. If you like fantastically dark tales, this is probably a collection you'll want too.

BOOK RATING: 4.5 out of 5 stars
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid anthology, some good stories Nov. 9 2008
By Ginahmk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of several horror anthologies I have read over the years and this one fulfills its mission of providing reviews of fiction/film/media in this genre as well as including a broad array of short stories. The update was sufficient and the stories were of variable quality. There were some outstanding ones that will stay with me a long time...The Swing, England and Nowhere, Sir Hereward, Closet Dreams, but the majority would appeal to those who are really into fantasy. The bone-chilling, sweaty palms stuff is not here. Overall, a solid B read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Last of the Best Jan. 31 2010
By R. G. Heckathorn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Some I like. Some I don't. Some I love. But all well written. Still the definitive collection of the two genres. Having them combined inside the same cover; they complimented one another.
The last year for YBF&H. A shame.
5.0 out of 5 stars So sad to think this is the final anthology Oct. 4 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been enjoying this anthology for the past 16 years, and it breaks my heart a little to know that Ms. Datlow will no longer be assembling this particular collection of wonderful, creepy, and sometimes downright scary tales. I sincerely hope that this anthology will be revived in the not-too-distant future. It is a great loss for those of us who love these genres of short fiction but do not have the time to go fishing through hundreds of journals and short story collections each year to locate the gems.
0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a compendum of short stories Dec 5 2009
By David Beale - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I did't finish the book but I did read most of it and it did live up to expations many of the stories where abslotey gut clenching outhrs where mudane and peacful offen enough the stories turned there where some that seemed to be a spin off of one of the disney classics although it wasent a book that relly grabed youre intrest mainly because the first hundred pages or so was simlar to that of movie credits I would say it's more of a book where you flip through it untile you find a story you liker read maby five more and then a mounth or so later you do the exact same thing over and over again untill you'r fifty somthing and you finaly finish it

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