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

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For more than a decade, readers have turned to The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror to find the most rewarding fantastic short stories. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling continue their critically acclaimed and award-winning tradition with another stunning collection of stories. The fiction and poetry here is culled from an exhaustive survey of the field, nearly four dozen stor For more than a decade, readers have turned to The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror to find the most rewarding fantastic short stories. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling continue their critically acclaimed and award-winning tradition with another stunning collection of stories. The fiction and poetry here is culled from an exhaustive survey of the field, nearly four dozen stories ranging from fairy tales to gothic horror, from magical realism to dark tales in the Grand Guignol style. Rounding out the volume are the editors' invaluable overviews of the year in fantasy and horror, a new Year's Best section, on comics, by Charles Vess, and on anime and manga, by Joan D. Vinge, and a long list of Honorable Mentions, making this an indispensable reference as well as the best reading available in fantasy and horror.


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For more than a decade, readers have turned to The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror to find the most rewarding fantastic short stories. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling continue their critically acclaimed and award-winning tradition with another stunning collection of stories. The fiction and poetry here is culled from an exhaustive survey of the field, nearly four dozen stor For more than a decade, readers have turned to The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror to find the most rewarding fantastic short stories. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling continue their critically acclaimed and award-winning tradition with another stunning collection of stories. The fiction and poetry here is culled from an exhaustive survey of the field, nearly four dozen stories ranging from fairy tales to gothic horror, from magical realism to dark tales in the Grand Guignol style. Rounding out the volume are the editors' invaluable overviews of the year in fantasy and horror, a new Year's Best section, on comics, by Charles Vess, and on anime and manga, by Joan D. Vinge, and a long list of Honorable Mentions, making this an indispensable reference as well as the best reading available in fantasy and horror.

30 review for The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Fifteenth Annual Collection

  1. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    I haven't read this book for years but I was browsing through it and recalled how much I liked (or was affected by) many of the stories. Without rereading the book, these are some of the stories that I would particularly recommend: "Prussian Snowdrops" - Marion Arnott "Timothy Gobel's Bug Jar" - Michael Libling "The Puppet and the Train" - Scott Thomas "Crocodile Lady" - Christopher Fowler "Struwwelpeter" - Glen Hirshberg "Cleopatra Brimstone" - Elizabeth Hand "Grass" - Lawrence Miles "The Bird Catcher" I haven't read this book for years but I was browsing through it and recalled how much I liked (or was affected by) many of the stories. Without rereading the book, these are some of the stories that I would particularly recommend: "Prussian Snowdrops" - Marion Arnott "Timothy Gobel's Bug Jar" - Michael Libling "The Puppet and the Train" - Scott Thomas "Crocodile Lady" - Christopher Fowler "Struwwelpeter" - Glen Hirshberg "Cleopatra Brimstone" - Elizabeth Hand "Grass" - Lawrence Miles "The Bird Catcher" - S. P. Somtow "Black Dust" - Graham Joyce "His Own Back Yard" - James P. Blaylock and especially "Louise's Ghost" - Kelly Link "The Honeyed Knot" - Jeffrey Ford I suspect that if I did reread the book, most of it would then be on this list.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    This hefty tome was given to me by my uncle, who teaches creative writing. The upside of the book is there are probably 25-50 (I honestly forgot to count) different short to medium length stories, plus maybe a half dozen to a dozen poems (and one that falls between the two types so much that it can't be easily classified as either,) and so whether you prefer mythic fantasy, Gothic vampire tales, fables, or tales with a preternatural twist, there will be something in here for you. Some of my favo This hefty tome was given to me by my uncle, who teaches creative writing. The upside of the book is there are probably 25-50 (I honestly forgot to count) different short to medium length stories, plus maybe a half dozen to a dozen poems (and one that falls between the two types so much that it can't be easily classified as either,) and so whether you prefer mythic fantasy, Gothic vampire tales, fables, or tales with a preternatural twist, there will be something in here for you. Some of my favorites included "Scarecrow" "The Puppet and the Train" "Timmy Goebel's Bug Jar," "Annabelle's Alphabet," and "Gestella." Most of the authors (with the exception of Gregory Maguire, author of "Scarecrow,") were authors I was unfamiliar with, and so I took the time to write down the names of my favorites so that next time I'm looking for a new book, I have a new author to try, since many of the authors included in the collection are also novelists, many of whom only have a book or two to their name, so they're not necessarily going to be easy to find unless you know they're out there and can special order them. Another bonus is that the beginning of the book gives an overview of the top novels in different categories within the sci-fi/fantasy realm, with a short entry on each, which is another great guide to finding not just new authors, but specific books you otherwise may have missed. The thumbnail provided is also enough to gauge whether the book is within a subgenre you enjoy or one you avoid like the plague. (For me, if it isn't Pratchett or Tolkien, I avoid wizards like the plague. Wizzards are always fine.) The downside of the book is that, as is the case with any collection of works, is that others are going to miss the mark or simply not be written in a style that you particularly enjoy. This was actually a setback for me because the very first story in the collection was both one of the longest entries and possibly the one I enjoyed least. I started reading it, couldn't get through it, lost interest, and set the whole book aside for a year or more. I picked it back up recently between other novels and skipped to a shorter entry (the shorter entries, by and large, tend to pack a better punch, in my opinion) and then hopped around until I finished the entire lump. So, I encourage any reader who enjoys sci fi, fantasy, horror, or just a good story, well told, to grab a copy, and if the first story doesn't catch your fancy, skip ahead, bounce around, and cherry pick your morsels accordingly.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Juushika

    The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Fifteen Annual Collection collects the best (as determined by the editors) short fiction of both genres in 2001, using wide definitions of the genres in order to build a diverse, quality collection. Introductions survey related novels, anthologies, and media; some of these recommendations are useless, but others are a rich resource. The stories and poems themselves vary in quality, but the standard is high and some stories are a distinct success. It's no surpr The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Fifteen Annual Collection collects the best (as determined by the editors) short fiction of both genres in 2001, using wide definitions of the genres in order to build a diverse, quality collection. Introductions survey related novels, anthologies, and media; some of these recommendations are useless, but others are a rich resource. The stories and poems themselves vary in quality, but the standard is high and some stories are a distinct success. It's no surprise that such a large anthology has its ups and downs, but Datlow and Windling achieve many of their lofty goals. This is a varied and successful collection of short fiction and a promising resource for discovering new authors. I recommend it. Short fiction anthologies and collections are almost always a mixed bag, and this one in particular reaches farther—and is longer—than most collections, so there are plenty of opportunities for failure. But it's a surprising success: there's some underwhelming poetry and some disappointing and odd short stories, but on average the bar is high and the best stories are exceptional. Doerr's "The Hunter's Wife," Arnott's "Prussian Snowdrops," Kiernan's "Onion," Maguire's "Scarecrow," and best of all Palwick's "Gestella," the story of a rapidly-aging werewolf, were among my favorites, and while another reader may have different preferences the best part about this broad collection is that it has something to delight every sort of horror/fantasy fan, and perhaps something new for each reader. Other than a treasure-trove of stories, The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror also serves to expose the reader to new work and new authors. The introductions are lengthy, but useful: Windling is the most succinct in picking her choices for best fantasy novels and anthologies, Datlow is more wordy and less helpful in her horror recommendations, and the surveys of related media, comics, and anime/manga are pretty much useless (and in the final case, laughably so). Still, skim the introductions and remember your favorite authors from the short story collection, and this anthology has the potential to inflate your to-be-read list in record time. All in all, this volume of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror is not perfect, but Datlow and Windling aim high and manage to pull together a surprising amount of enjoyable fiction that includes some true gems and opens the door to finding many more. I recommend it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sir He-Man

    Out of all the stories in this collection, the ones I enjoyed were: The Hunter's Wife - Anthony Doerr The Cowardly Coffin - Marin Sorescu - wonderful magical realism from Romania To Dream of White Horses - June Considine Skin - Charlee Jacob The Honeyed Knot - Jeffrey Ford - Ford is a genius. Timmy Gobel's Bug Jar - Michael Libling - Filled with the unexpected. The God of Dark Laughter - Michael Chabon - Chabon gets me every time. Trading Hearts at the Half Kaffe Cafe - Charles de Lint Louise's Ghost - Out of all the stories in this collection, the ones I enjoyed were: The Hunter's Wife - Anthony Doerr The Cowardly Coffin - Marin Sorescu - wonderful magical realism from Romania To Dream of White Horses - June Considine Skin - Charlee Jacob The Honeyed Knot - Jeffrey Ford - Ford is a genius. Timmy Gobel's Bug Jar - Michael Libling - Filled with the unexpected. The God of Dark Laughter - Michael Chabon - Chabon gets me every time. Trading Hearts at the Half Kaffe Cafe - Charles de Lint Louise's Ghost - Kelly Link Crocodile Lady - Christopher Fowler - If you have never read Christopher Fowler, everything he writes is screenworthy. Don't miss out on him. The Barbarian and the Queen: Thirteen Views - Jane Yolen Sop Doll - Milbre Burch Plenty - Christopher Barzak - American magical realism about the gritty realities of poverty. The Bones of the Earth - Ursula K. Le Guin Onion - Caitlin R. Kiernan - One of my now favorite fantasy stories about alternate universes. Struwwelpeter - Glen Hirshberg - This is probably my favorite story from this collection. It's constantly brimming with the psychological, it's a brilliant retelling of a fairy tale, and alarming on all levels. Hirshberg knows how to tell a great horror story, with characters that are fully sympathetic. Cleopatra Brimstone - Elizabeth Hand The Bird Catcher - S.P. Somtow - There is something about this story that really sticks with you. Fascinating look of a serial killer from a child's perspective in mid 20th century Thailand. Black Dust - Graham Joyce Annabelle's Alphabet - Tim Pratt Queen - Gene Wolfe The Project - Carol Emshwiller - somewhat surreal story from another world that could very well be our own. Compellingly mysterious. Aesculapius in the Underworld - Ryan G. Van Cleave Scarecrow - Gregory Maguire

  5. 4 out of 5

    Vincent Scott

    It was worth it just to read “Where the Woodbine Twineth” by Norman Partridge.

  6. 4 out of 5

    John

    Sorry for virtually the same review on whole anthology set I own a trade sized paper back. I started this anthology with the 5th Annual and I loved it so much I started collecting the whole set by signing up for pre-orders with the book store. What sets this anthology apart from many others is that I always find two or three gems within its pages, many liked stories and very few I have to force myself through. More importantly, from those people I have noted who read these anthologies too, they say Sorry for virtually the same review on whole anthology set I own a trade sized paper back. I started this anthology with the 5th Annual and I loved it so much I started collecting the whole set by signing up for pre-orders with the book store. What sets this anthology apart from many others is that I always find two or three gems within its pages, many liked stories and very few I have to force myself through. More importantly, from those people I have noted who read these anthologies too, they say the same thing. I rated this whole anthology based on the variety of the stories within, how many people seem to report finding the same ratio of gems & well received stories. I am happy to own this whole anthology and keep them in excellent shape, no matter how many times I have read them.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Wardhaugh

    I liked this collection a little better than the previous. More of the stories had depth and meaning. Though there was one that had me hating life for the evil reflected in the story. The story was fantasy/horror, but the evil was all to believable and real. The depression it spiked will take a while to get over. But Huff wrote a beautiful if sad story, and "Annabelle's Alphabet" was an interesting mix of Gorey and Victorian style fairy tales. "Prussian Snowdrops" could have been a historically I liked this collection a little better than the previous. More of the stories had depth and meaning. Though there was one that had me hating life for the evil reflected in the story. The story was fantasy/horror, but the evil was all to believable and real. The depression it spiked will take a while to get over. But Huff wrote a beautiful if sad story, and "Annabelle's Alphabet" was an interesting mix of Gorey and Victorian style fairy tales. "Prussian Snowdrops" could have been a historically accurate WWII tale, horror genre not withstanding.

  8. 4 out of 5

    EAL

    Varied widely in quality. In the interest of avoiding negativity, I'll list some favorites: The Puppet and the Train, Scott Thomas The Bones of the Earth, Usula K. LeGuin Grass, Lawrence Miles Black Dust, Graham Joyce Tom Brightwind, Susanna Clarke Oh, Glorious Sight, Tanya Huff His Own Back Yard, James P. Blaylock Varied widely in quality. In the interest of avoiding negativity, I'll list some favorites: The Puppet and the Train, Scott Thomas The Bones of the Earth, Usula K. LeGuin Grass, Lawrence Miles Black Dust, Graham Joyce Tom Brightwind, Susanna Clarke Oh, Glorious Sight, Tanya Huff His Own Back Yard, James P. Blaylock

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nighteye

    I've only read some of those stories (around 100 pages)and only from the authors that are comming to Loncon august 14-18th. I have read Elizabeth Hand, Tanya Huff and some other authors too. Its a really good collection and from that fact that I don't recognice the most of the authors make it a really intresting read that I will take up again. I've only read some of those stories (around 100 pages)and only from the authors that are comming to Loncon august 14-18th. I have read Elizabeth Hand, Tanya Huff and some other authors too. Its a really good collection and from that fact that I don't recognice the most of the authors make it a really intresting read that I will take up again.

  10. 5 out of 5

    David Melbie

    Bought this sucker that fateful summer (see previous!) all the while thinking I'd get into soon enough. . . . . . little did I know, my own horror was about to begin. Anyway, I love reading short stories of fantasy/horror, and these editors really do know the best. --From A Reader's Journal, by d r melbie. Bought this sucker that fateful summer (see previous!) all the while thinking I'd get into soon enough. . . . . . little did I know, my own horror was about to begin. Anyway, I love reading short stories of fantasy/horror, and these editors really do know the best. --From A Reader's Journal, by d r melbie.

  11. 4 out of 5

    bluetyson

    The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Fifteenth Annual Collection (Year's Best Fantasy and Horror) by Ellen Datlow (2002) The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Fifteenth Annual Collection (Year's Best Fantasy and Horror) by Ellen Datlow (2002)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Spike Anderson

    An ok set, mostly b stories, a few lower. The notable a stories are: the honeyed knot, onion, struwwelper , watch me when I sleep, the tattoo artist, Annabelle's alphabet , gestella, An ok set, mostly b stories, a few lower. The notable a stories are: the honeyed knot, onion, struwwelper , watch me when I sleep, the tattoo artist, Annabelle's alphabet , gestella,

  13. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jes

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tim

  16. 5 out of 5

    Carter

  17. 4 out of 5

    V.S. Holmes

  18. 4 out of 5

    John Devlin

    A weak selection of both Horror and Fantasy.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Jain

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andie

  22. 4 out of 5

    John

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  24. 4 out of 5

    Annie

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mia

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kerri

  29. 5 out of 5

    Emerald

  30. 5 out of 5

    Diane

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