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For more than three decades, Ellen Datlow has been at the center of horror. Bringing you the most frightening and terrifying stories, Datlow always has her finger on the pulse of what horror readers crave. Now, with the tenth volume of the series, Datlow is back again to bring you the stories that will keep you up at night. Encompassed in the pages of The Best Horror of the For more than three decades, Ellen Datlow has been at the center of horror. Bringing you the most frightening and terrifying stories, Datlow always has her finger on the pulse of what horror readers crave. Now, with the tenth volume of the series, Datlow is back again to bring you the stories that will keep you up at night. Encompassed in the pages of The Best Horror of the Year have been such illustrious writers as: Neil Gaiman Kim Stanley Robinson Stephen King Linda Nagata Laird Barron Margo Lanagan And many others With each passing year, science, technology, and the march of time shine light into the craggy corners of the universe, making the fears of an earlier generation seem quaint. But this light creates its own shadows. The Best Horror of the Year chronicles these shifting shadows. It is a catalog of terror, fear, and unpleasantness as articulated by today's most challenging and exciting writers.


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For more than three decades, Ellen Datlow has been at the center of horror. Bringing you the most frightening and terrifying stories, Datlow always has her finger on the pulse of what horror readers crave. Now, with the tenth volume of the series, Datlow is back again to bring you the stories that will keep you up at night. Encompassed in the pages of The Best Horror of the For more than three decades, Ellen Datlow has been at the center of horror. Bringing you the most frightening and terrifying stories, Datlow always has her finger on the pulse of what horror readers crave. Now, with the tenth volume of the series, Datlow is back again to bring you the stories that will keep you up at night. Encompassed in the pages of The Best Horror of the Year have been such illustrious writers as: Neil Gaiman Kim Stanley Robinson Stephen King Linda Nagata Laird Barron Margo Lanagan And many others With each passing year, science, technology, and the march of time shine light into the craggy corners of the universe, making the fears of an earlier generation seem quaint. But this light creates its own shadows. The Best Horror of the Year chronicles these shifting shadows. It is a catalog of terror, fear, and unpleasantness as articulated by today's most challenging and exciting writers.

30 review for Best Horror of the Year: Volume Ten

  1. 5 out of 5

    RJ - Slayer of Trolls

    Includes the following stories (along with my rating for each and some song lyrics that may or may not be insightful or amusing): Better You Believe by Carole Johnstone - 4/5 - coming down the mountain Liquid Air by Inna Effress - 2/5 - be still my heart cuz it's freaking out Holiday Romance by Mark Morris - 2/5 - let me take you far away Furtherest by Kaaron Warren - 2/5 - why you act crazy? Where's the Harm? by Rebecca Lloyd - 2/5 - wind me up and leave me blue Whatever Comes After Calcutta by Dav Includes the following stories (along with my rating for each and some song lyrics that may or may not be insightful or amusing): Better You Believe by Carole Johnstone - 4/5 - coming down the mountain Liquid Air by Inna Effress - 2/5 - be still my heart cuz it's freaking out Holiday Romance by Mark Morris - 2/5 - let me take you far away Furtherest by Kaaron Warren - 2/5 - why you act crazy? Where's the Harm? by Rebecca Lloyd - 2/5 - wind me up and leave me blue Whatever Comes After Calcutta by David Erik Nelson - 4/5 - she's a restless spirit on an endless flight A Human Stain by Kelly Robson - 3/5 - And if you leave me now, you'll take away the very heart of me The Stories We Tell about Ghosts by A.C. Wise - 3/5 - making mama so proud, but your voice is too loud Endoskeletal by Sarah Read - 3/5 - I feel so alone, gonna end up a big ol pile of them bones West of Matamoros, North of Hell by Brian Hodge - 4/5 - tell me tell me tell me your answer Alligator Point by S.P. Miskowski - 3/5 - they just don't write 'em like that anymore Dark Warm Heart by Rich Larson - 3/5 - someday you'll pay the price I know There and Back Again by Carmen Maria Machado - 3/5 - don't you tell me you're full just eat it Shepherd's Business by Stephen Gallagher - 4/5 - I'm gonna watch you shine, gonna watch you grow You Can Stay All Day by Mira Grant - 3/5 - but you see it's not me it's not my family Harvest Song, Gathering Song by A.C. Wise - 4/5 - all your digging for gold, you make me wonder The Granfalloon by Orrin Grey - 2/5 - let's go to the movies Fail-Safe by Philip Fracassi - 4/5 - mama...didn't mean to make you cry The Starry Crown by Marc E. Fitch - 4/5 - cryin' won't help you, prayin' won't do you no good Eqalussuaq by Tim Major - 3/5 - run away, doo doo doo doo doo doo Lost in the Dark by John Langan - 3/5 - you left me alone but do you think I care?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Zach

    Datlow's selections for the best horror stories from 2017. Has a great introduction and overview of the field for the year, and as always she mostly favors atmosphere and tone over gore and shock (thank god). Better You Believe • Carole Johnstone You ever have one of those days where you and your husband run a mountain-climbing business and things go horribly wrong on the descent from Annapurna? Johnstone's ruminations on psychology and the couple's relationship and the uncanny nature of the inhos Datlow's selections for the best horror stories from 2017. Has a great introduction and overview of the field for the year, and as always she mostly favors atmosphere and tone over gore and shock (thank god). Better You Believe • Carole Johnstone You ever have one of those days where you and your husband run a mountain-climbing business and things go horribly wrong on the descent from Annapurna? Johnstone's ruminations on psychology and the couple's relationship and the uncanny nature of the inhospitable heights pay off, but the story falters in conveying the physicality of the action (in terms of blocking and mechanics). It might have been intentional, though. Liquid Air • Inna Effress You ever have one of those days where you go to get a neon sign repaired and strike up a rapport with the craftsman, and meanwhile your husband has totally lost touch with reality and spends his days making and cozying up to terrifying dolls? Hazy and oneiric, and I can't claim to have made much (any?) sense of it. Fun to read if that's your thing, though, and it is indeed my thing, aside from some rather off-the-wall metaphors and similes, for which I find I have less and less patience. Holiday Romance • Mark Morris You ever have one of those days where you return to the beachside site of a meaningful teenage trip with your parents as your marriage dissolves and you're a real sad sack and then pieces of a human body start showing up on the shore, and the police insist after a DNA test that they're yours? Rainy, moody, restrained and Aickmanesque (until it isn't), also put me in mind of Peter Straub's absolutely fantastic "Ballad of Ballard and Sandrine." Cell phones, the bane of the modern horror story, are dismissed with the remark that our protagonist always refused to buy one. Morris is a new name to me and I look forward to finding more of his work. Furtherest • Kaaron Warren You ever have one of those days where you, uh, return to the beachside site of your childhood family vacations, which also happens to be the scene of some mysterious suicides and some wacky neighbors? Survivor guilt and off-putting mannequins and escalating creepiness go a long way, although I thought this one could have used some trimming, being a bit TOO much of a slow burn, but still an enjoyable read. Where's the Harm? • Rebecca Lloyd You ever have one of those days where you return, not to a beach, but to your childhood home so that you and your brother can prepare it for sale after your parents have passed, and the two of you have never really gotten along, and he gets sidetracked with some mysterious women in the nearby woods? A sylvan retelling of C. L. Moore's "Shambleau" with some family drama tossed in the mix, rather awkwardly told. Whatever Comes After Calcutta • David Erik Nelson You ever have one of those days where you're driving through Ohio on a mission of revenge with a mysterious head wound and you come across a group of MAGA sovereign citizen types holding a witch trial? Funnier than I typically like my horror to be, but it works, with a very dry approach to some zany happenings. Alienation and apathy gives way to a lesser (maybe?) evil. A truly odd and engaging sui generis story. A Human Stain • Kelly Robson You ever have one of those days where you're a decadent wastrel haunting the cafes of Paris until a friend lures you to a remote Bavarian estate with the promise of summer employment as an English tutor and then you stumble onto a dark family secret? Like a Djuna Barnes character wandering into a Lovecraft story ("The Rats in the Walls," particularly), but Robson is a vastly subtler author than HPL (who isn't) - here subtle hints slowly build to entirely-unsubtle gore, we get some thoughts on the old ways versus the new and relationships both sexual and familial. A rich story, such that I didn't exactly follow everything that was going on (the wires and the teeth?), but I'm eager to reread this to trace them out. The Stories We Tell About Ghosts • A. C. Wise You ever have one of those days where you're 12 and a little bitter over having to look out for your sickly younger brother while you and your friends play Ghost Hunt on your phones (think Pokemon Go) and, just as those apps blur the line between reality and game, the line between folk tales and reality also gets hazy and then your brother is gone? Writing about children is a dicey proposition, but Wise nails it (as she is wont to do). Likewise child abuse and domestic violence. A great, melancholy work. Endoskeletal • Sarah Read You ever have one of those days where you're an American researcher and you're working with Swiss academics who consider you an interloper as you all study newly exposed Alpine cave drawings and then you find a deeper, more mysterious cave and take no precautions whatsoever in dealing with its contents? There was an interesting kernel here with the paralleling of the protagonist's abnormal height (and associated lifelong self-consciousness) and the bone mutations she unwittingly unleashes, but I never got a clear picture of what was actually happening with said mutations, and even less of what the monster's deal was. West of Matamoros, North of Hell • Brian Hodge You ever have one of those days where you and your bandmates return to your native Mexico for a photo shoot that makes light of things it shouldn't and then run afoul of a cartel and Santa Muerte and MS-13 and Tezcatlipoca all at once? A great protagonist and an interesting reflection on the "stain" of bloodlust running from Aztec ritual sacrifices through Spanish colonialism to the cartels (at Rancho Santa Elena, specifically, site of a real-world horror), although large sections of this story were bloated with seemingly-endless descriptions of torture and gore. I can admit that it would a difficult to write a rumination on violence without including the violence. Alligator Point • S. P. Miskowski You ever have one of those days where you've fled your abusive husband and holed up in a rundown campground in Georgia along with your two rather bratty daughters? Maybe it isn't so hard to write a rumination on violence without including the violence. A nicely dark, downtrodden story, but, unless I missed something, not one that I would classify as horror. Dark Warm Heart • Rich Larson You ever have one of those days where your husband, a linguist, has just returned from a research trip he left on right after you got married, and you're pregnant, and he's changed, and because this involves the arctic it turns out to be a wendigo story? While the horror elements here are on the stock side, the love story/sacrifice powering the ending are quite effective. There and Back Again • Carmen Maria Machado You ever have one of those days where you're a monster, and your mom feeds you people she's seduced, and once she's gone you have no choice but to continue in her footsteps? Beautiful, evocative flash fiction about predation and revenge and loneliness and agency. I haven't figured out what it has to do with the Hobbit yet (if anything). Shepherd's Business • Stephen Gallagher You ever have one of those days where it's shortly after WW2 and you're a veteran, newly posted to a small island as the local GP, and there's a man dying in the hospital, and his loyal dog hanging around outside, and a recent stillbirth, and everything is clearly building to a horrific climax? A frustrating one - well-written and -constructed (presented as the doctor's recollections years later), and the domestic dramas of the island come to life convincingly, but then the rather Blochian climax just kind of deflated it- not a joke, per se, so much as just making clear that everything else existing in the story was just set dressing. You Can Stay All Day • Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant You ever have one of those days where there's a zombie apocalypse, and you're a zookeeper, but no, there aren't zombie animals, just zombie zookeepers? I don't know, zombies aren't my thing and this rests on the old "humans are weird, but animals make sense" trope and I just read a story by Priya Sharma that covered similar ground much more compellingly. Too much of this was the protagonist figuring out what was going on when it was clear to the reader from jump. Harvest Song, Gathering Song • A. C. Wise You ever have one of those days where you and several other veterans of the American invasions of the Middle East go on a mysterious mission to the arctic to find magical honey? I was thrown by this incongruous setup but, as mentioned above, Wise can be trusted to nail whatever she's reaching for, and this blossoms into a story of horror both cosmic and banal and altogether beautiful and sublime outside of time and space. Like "The Stories We Tell About Ghosts," concerned with the intersecting of multiple stories, suggesting a wider world beyond the specific confines of this narrative. I have to mention that it reminded me of the Futurama episode "The Sting," one of my all-time favorite things. The Granfalloon • Orrin Grey You ever have one of those days where an ex, now a professor, invites you to give a guest lecture on occult structures, and then you tag along with her and some students to break into a local condemned movie theater that just might be a psychomanteum? Focused, like Gemma Files's excellent Experimental Film, on early films breaching the liminal walls between our world and others, but where Files was looking at the film itself Grey is more interested in the audience and the built environment housing their viewing. Nicely moody (suffused with static and emptiness), but more understated than I expected. Probably deserves a reread. Fail-Safe • Philip Fracassi You ever have one of those days where you're 12, and your mom, like many others, is infected with something ("Like vampires or zombies, but real"), and your dad has built a special room to restrain her when the rage comes, with a variety of fail-safes to protect you from her? A very nice one, taking some familiar horror elements in an interesting direction and wrapping a coming-of-age story (which I usually hate!) into a Schrodinger's cat dilemma. The Starry Crown • Marc E. Fitch You ever have one of those days where you're a Yankee and you head to South Carolina to research a folk song and you encounter the remnants of citizens' councils and find that southern white Christianity is a cover for something (more) sinister? "Sticks" plus an indictment of racism plus folk horror plus an examination of a cultural artifact (song) should, in theory, be right up my alley. In practice it was underwhelming, clunky on both prose and structural levels all the way down to a truly groan-worthy ending. Eqalussuaq • Tim Major You ever have one of those days where you're finally reunited with your six-year-old after spending three months away in Baffin Bay as an audio engineer on a documentary, and as you examine your recordings details slowly unfold about your encounter there with a monstrous Greenland shark and the sounds that have followed you home? This kind of slow, after-the-fact unfolding, floating in and out of the past and present, always appeals to me, and when you combine that with the uncanny arctic depths and unsettling noises you have a real winning formula. Also tinnitus, just to make it really hit close to home. Lost in the Dark • John Langan You ever have one of those days where you're John Langan, author and professor at a real SUNY school, and you write a story narrated by John Langan, journalist and professor at a fictional SUNY school, who's interviewing an old student on the tenth anniversary of a cult classic horror movie she made, suspiciously reminiscent of the Blair Witch Project, perhaps fictional, a remake/reworking of a previous documentary she attempted to make, not fictional(?), and it's Halloween, and what is fiction, anyway? A chunk of this story is (fantastically) presented as the IMDB summary/discussion of the best scenes of the movie. Absolutely masterful.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆

    SO much better than last years. The first two stories I didn't like and the long one in the middle, the one set in Mexico, I didn't like either, but the rest were okay. Nothing I'd consider scary but I was able to read them through. Some had the annoying open ending BS I hate (cop out) and there was only one zombie story (thank gawd.) There were some quite creative ones like the honey one. Overall, decent stories. I read them all without putting the book down for another in between the stories s SO much better than last years. The first two stories I didn't like and the long one in the middle, the one set in Mexico, I didn't like either, but the rest were okay. Nothing I'd consider scary but I was able to read them through. Some had the annoying open ending BS I hate (cop out) and there was only one zombie story (thank gawd.) There were some quite creative ones like the honey one. Overall, decent stories. I read them all without putting the book down for another in between the stories so pretty decent.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Briggs

    It's been a whole decade since that zombie waved his rotten junk at us from the cover of "The Best Horror of the Year" Volume One. Editor Ellen Datlow has so many titles to her credit that an extra 10 here and there might not be a big deal to her, but I'm impressed. So before I commence to gettin' critical, I'd like to express my appreciation of Datlow for her annual efforts and congratulate all the authors who made the cut (even if I panned your story). Volume 10 boasts, count em!, "almost 20,00 It's been a whole decade since that zombie waved his rotten junk at us from the cover of "The Best Horror of the Year" Volume One. Editor Ellen Datlow has so many titles to her credit that an extra 10 here and there might not be a big deal to her, but I'm impressed. So before I commence to gettin' critical, I'd like to express my appreciation of Datlow for her annual efforts and congratulate all the authors who made the cut (even if I panned your story). Volume 10 boasts, count em!, "almost 20,000 more words" than usual. There's bound to be some good ones. Horror is the only genre I know of that puts publication ahead of professional development. An array of websites and small presses and vanity operations offer aspiring amateurs a portal to reach readers even if their writing skills might need further maturation. What authors gain in easy access to these venues, they tend to sacrifice in editorial guidance. Volume 10 opens with a couple of stories that read like products of the genre's amateur/semipro scene, and they could have used some editorial seasoning to improve clarity and narrative flow. Ideally, a horror story builds a mood of escalating tension, sentence by sentence by sentence. If a reader has to stop and reread a sentence and reread it again, then wonder what idea or action the writer was trying to convey, the mood has gone, poof. Call it an occupational hazard, but when I stop reading and start editing, the story has failed. "Better You Believe" needed a slight buff and polish. "Liquid Air" needed another draft or two and several strenuous turns through the editorial wringer. Mark Morris, who's been writing professionally since the British Invasion that trailed Clive Barker in the late '80s, course-corrects with "Holiday Romance." In just a couple of paragraphs, Morris skillfully carries his readers into a melancholic gray gloom of coastal rain and chilly mist, the perfect atmosphere for a tale of spectral visions, creaking doors, lost opportunity, faded love and at least one unregistered guest at an offseason B&B. No one ever heeds the warnings to stay away from the isolated dwelling deep in the woods. In Rebecca Lloyd's "Where's The Harm?" brothers Ross and Eddie discover a family of hirsute harridans observing strange quasi-religious rituals. Eddie is immediately entranced and starts using exotic words such as "blithe"(?). Ross, for some reason, finds the sirens' ankle-length hair utterly terrifying. To me, it felt like Attack of the Crystal Gayles. Lloyd's grammar has not improved a whit since last year's clunker of a story in Volume Nine. Where's the harm? I'm having to edit again, and when I'm not getting paid for it, I get snarky. Public defender Lyle Morimoto is having some kind of miserable day and ventures onto the backroads of Ohio in search of revenge or maybe just some kind of explanation. I hesitate to share many more details of "Whatever Comes After Calcutta." David Erik Nelson's story repeatedly squirms out from under reader predictions, and I'd hate to spoil the wild ride for anybody else. It's a delightfully malicious, noirishly tinged descent into lunacy. The horror comedy is a rare beast in these pages, probably because it's such a difficult mesh to pull off well. One could object to Nelson's broad caricature of the heartland hayseed -- and it's there where his story sadly becomes more easily predictable -- but in these overly sensitized times, a satirist takes his targets where he can find them. Nelson may have picked safe subjects to skewer, but that makes his tale no less amusing, and no less frightening in the end. In A.C. Wise's "The Stories We Tell About Ghosts," a smartphone app aids a group of juvenile ghost hunters, whose glimpse into the afterlife won't be confined to a handheld screen. I can put aside my vehement hatred for cellphones, but this story has enough typos that it might have been written in an all-thumbs text. Wise's story says that before there were smartphones, there were ghost stories. As the tech gets "smarter," why is it that the storytellers get sloppier? Another road trip takes a terrifying turn down the left-hand path in Brian Hodge's "West of Matamoros, North of Hell." Looking for some sinister PR, a rock band in Mexico sets up a photo shoot at a shrine to Santa Muerte, patron saint of the narcotraficantes. Death metal meets death worship in a colonia where desperation makes for strange divinities. As long as they're in the neighborhood and propriety's not a priority, the pilgrims move along to snap some shots at the desert site where one of Mexico's most infamous body dumps was unearthed in 1989. As the band's singer explains, "What they did here opened the gates to Hell and the gates never shut." Horror writers imagine the extreme, but real life keeps outpacing them with regular atrocities that beggar the imagination, that make the fanged supernatural monsters of nightmare positively reassuring. After a series of some of the best Mythos stories since the originals, Hodge presents a novella grounded in a horror that doesn't slither on slimy tentacles but walks among us, that doesn't come from another dimension or the deepest recesses of cosmic space but takes place on our doorstep. As savage as Hodge's story gets, the scary thing is that, guaranteed, there's someone somewhere out there right now putting in the works something so much worse. After finishing Rich Larson's "Dark Warm Heart," I wondered if Canadians are as tired of wendigo stories as Americans are of vampire stories. Mira Grant's "You Can Stay All Day" is just like every other zombie story except it's regularly interrupted, so Grant can wax enthusiastic about tigers like a teenage girl gushing over ponies. Neither story is badly written, they're just familiar almost to the point of being tiresome. In Marc Fitch's "The Starry Crown," a university field researcher digs into the unholy roots of an old hymn down South. "There were several names and incantations." That line could apply to this story as well, and "The Starry Crown" suffers from a similarity to Brian Hodge's "It's All the Same Road in the End," a highlight in these pages last year. I don't imply any kind of plagiarism. Each author wrote his own story. But Hodge is a hard act to follow -- and a more experienced and meticulous craftsman. John Langan gets all meta in "Lost in the Dark" as "John Langan" interviews the director of "a smarter 'Blair Witch Project' " and creator of franchise spook Bad Agatha. There's an unnatural, largely uninterrupted one-woman speech that spoils the air of journalistic authenticity, but Langan delivers an intriguing set-up. Which he proceeds to tromp all over in the middle section of his novella, an exhaustively detailed faux IMDB summary of a faux movie. I have a sweet spot for Halloween-themed stories, and "Lost in the Dark" is fun in stretches, but ultimately, it doesn't quite work. It might for those who enjoy info dumps. On a side note, Langan's idea of an "American Masters" episode devoted to Shirley Jackson is fantastic. Here's hoping life imitates art. Maybe I put too much stock in anniversaries, but I expected much more from "Best Horror" Volume Ten. The writing rarely rises above adequate and is more often distressingly amateurish. Aside from the reliability of Brian Hodge and Mark Morris and the discovery of David Erik Nelson, there's not a lot to get excited about in Volume Ten. It was part of my Halloween reading, along with anthologies and collections from the '80s, '90s and 2000s (some edited by Datlow). Such comparative reading makes it easy to track the decline of literary standards over the decades. Kirby McCauley had a reputation for wild parties. Karl Edward Wagner was known to imbibe in immense quantities. Stephen King has written about blackouts. Yet the groundwork got done. The subjects agreed with their verbs. The words were spelled correctly. "Affect" was a verb, and "effect" was a noun. The dependent clauses were tucked away neatly in their proper places. How is it that Stephen King unconscious produced cleaner copy than today's crop of would-be scary scribes? There's potential here but very little polish. Which would be fine in an anthology of promising voices of tomorrow but disheartening in a collection of what's supposed to be the best, most accomplished fiction of the past year. Premature publication does beginning authors no favors. As in a classroom where the teacher passes out indiscriminate A's, no one learns anything. I don't wish to discourage anyone with ambitions for a writing career. On the contrary, I encourage everyone to find an honestly critical gimlet eye to provide constructive feedback to build those skills and fulfill that ambition. And, Night Shade Books, I implore you: Invest in a decent copy editor. Don't let another decade end in disappointment.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    This is the newest volume of Ellen Datlow's long-running anthology of great horror stories from the previous year. This year is particularly good. While most anthologies offer up at least one story I don't like, I enjoyed all of the ones in this volume. There were only stories I enjoyed and stories I loved. A few of my favorites: "A Human Stain" by Kelly Robson "Shepherd's Business" by Stephen Gallagher "The Stories We Tell About Ghosts" by A.C. Wise "Fail-Safe" by Philip Fracassi "The Starry Crown" b This is the newest volume of Ellen Datlow's long-running anthology of great horror stories from the previous year. This year is particularly good. While most anthologies offer up at least one story I don't like, I enjoyed all of the ones in this volume. There were only stories I enjoyed and stories I loved. A few of my favorites: "A Human Stain" by Kelly Robson "Shepherd's Business" by Stephen Gallagher "The Stories We Tell About Ghosts" by A.C. Wise "Fail-Safe" by Philip Fracassi "The Starry Crown" by Marc E. Fitch Recommended for horror buffs who want a better idea of what's going on in short horror fiction.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alan Baxter

    Datlow’s annual Year’s Best series is consistently good, if possible getting better every year. I suppose that simply reflects the continuously increasing quality of short horror fiction being written today. This latest volume is outstanding.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Logan Noble

    Another incredible collection of stories assembled by the legendary Ellen Datlow. You'd be hard pressed to find a better bang for your buck than this collection. Another incredible collection of stories assembled by the legendary Ellen Datlow. You'd be hard pressed to find a better bang for your buck than this collection.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jeff McIntosh

    Ellen Datlow is a widely respected editor in the fields of horror/dark fantasy.....I just finished reading the 10th volume in the series. The first section of the book - Summation - is always interesting, and provides details of books/magazines/etc that I missed and might want to read. The 10th volume contains fiction originally punished in various platforms in 2017. As with all anthologies - there are stories the reader prefers over others...stories that contain a genuine frisson of fear...a deli Ellen Datlow is a widely respected editor in the fields of horror/dark fantasy.....I just finished reading the 10th volume in the series. The first section of the book - Summation - is always interesting, and provides details of books/magazines/etc that I missed and might want to read. The 10th volume contains fiction originally punished in various platforms in 2017. As with all anthologies - there are stories the reader prefers over others...stories that contain a genuine frisson of fear...a delight in the terrors of the darkness and unknown...or, more succinctly stated - some stories are better than others. I enjoyed "Where's the Harm?", "Whatever Comes after Calcutta", "The Stories We Tell About Ghosts" (a personal favorite), "Dark Warm Heart", "There and Back Again", "Shepard's Business", and "You Can Stay All Day". Among the stories that made me say "wtf" was "Eqalussuag"....made no sense to me... Next up - "The Winter People".

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kate (Looking Glass Reads)

    Review to come

  10. 5 out of 5

    Philip Athans

    Some really good stuff here. I particularly liked "Dark Warm Heart" by Rich Larson, "There and Back Again" by Carmen Maria Machado, and "Fail-Safe" by Philip Fracassi. Some really good stuff here. I particularly liked "Dark Warm Heart" by Rich Larson, "There and Back Again" by Carmen Maria Machado, and "Fail-Safe" by Philip Fracassi.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Collin Henderson

    Anthologies in general take me longer to finish than a regular novel since the ebd of each story is such a good stopping point. Novels you wanna read for hours. Anthologies you wanna read a little at a time or suffer the whiplash effect of so many different styles and authors. Anyways, let's go through this uneven collection one at a time. Better you Believe by Carole Johnstone- a hike up mount Everest goes wrong as it is wont to do for so many who attempt it. Not a strong opener. The action is h Anthologies in general take me longer to finish than a regular novel since the ebd of each story is such a good stopping point. Novels you wanna read for hours. Anthologies you wanna read a little at a time or suffer the whiplash effect of so many different styles and authors. Anyways, let's go through this uneven collection one at a time. Better you Believe by Carole Johnstone- a hike up mount Everest goes wrong as it is wont to do for so many who attempt it. Not a strong opener. The action is hard to grasp and relate to if you aren't familiar with climbing and as a whole the story isn't really anything to write home about. It eventually becomes a weird love triangle type thing. Survival stories have never been my thing, but this one in particular feels pretty weak. Liquid Air by Inna Effress- a woman whose husband is suffering from an unknown condition that makes him extremely child like has an affair with a repairman. This one is moody in a few spots but on the whole not particularly memorable or engaging. One of the ones I had to reread the ending to for the purposes of this review. Holiday Romance by Mark Morris- a man returns to the vacation spot he went to when he was younger and meets a mysterious and seductive woman that is more than she appears. Like the previous story this one is very moody but is a kuch stronger piece. The ending in particular is memorable if only for how gruesome and confusing it is. Left me with more questions than answers but it's suitably spooky. Furtherest by Kaaron Warren- a man recounts his experiences throughout his life at a vacation spot where haunted sand dunes lure people to their death. This was a very slow burn story, filled with coming of age angst and good old fashioned camp fire spookiness. It's entirely unnerving and one of my favorites in the collection. Where's the Harm? By Rebecca Lloyd- a very strange story about two brothers fixing up their parent's old house in hopes of seeling it. Only one brother becomes transfixed by women who live in the woods in a seemingly abandoned home. This one is super weird and maybe a touch too long but it's also very memorable and creepy. Not sure how well it works as a narrative strictly speaking but its odd jumble of elements and motifs make it stand out from the rest. Whatever Comes After Calcutta by David Erik Nelson- a man sets out to find his wife and her lover after he is shot in the head but along the way encounters a group of rednecks hanging a woman they believe to be a witch and who they blame for multiple attrocities they've committed. From a pure writing and narrative standpoint, this is THE BEST story in the anthology. It uses an extremely dry and sometimes dark sense of humor to give its protagonist a dark and twisted arc. It's not my personal favorite, but it's extremely entertaining and horrific in equal measure and plays with expectations well. A Human Stain by Kelly Robson- a woman is hired to teach English to a young German boy but soon discovers some nasty secrets about the family who lives in the mansion. This one has a few decent parts, mainly with its hideous imagery near the end, but the details of the plot faded as soon as I finished it. The Stories We Tell About Ghosts by AC Wise- another coming of age tale, this time about a group of kids who play a Pokemon Go! type game where you collect ghosts. Only the lines between the game and reality blur as the relationship between the protagonist and their brother becomes more and more strained. Filled with delightfully nasty ghost stories, thick with atmosphere, and a pitch perfect setting that captures the turbulence of being a kid, this is MY FAVORITE story in the bunch. It's dark and heart breaking and I loved every second of it. Endoskeletal by Sarah Read- a woman makes an archeological discovery that starts to physically change her. On paper this sounds like my thing, but everything about the execution feels meh. The transformstive elements needed more description and the monster feels like a vague idea rather than a true threat. Very disappointing. West of Matamoros, North of Hell by Brian Hodge- a shock rock band is captured by a Mexican death cult on a photo shoot for their new album. This is the nastiest in the book, with long scenes of death and torture. The arc feels a touch vague, though with a particularly ambiguous ending that I'm unsure if it works or not. Nasty and effective, but maybe not the tightest narrative. Alligator Point by SP Miskowski- a woman is on the run from her abusive husband with her kids and makes a gruesome discovery. Another one whose details faded as soon as I was done with it. Dark Warm Heart by Rich Larson-A woman's husband starts acting strange after a trip. Yet another that was so meh I forgot about the major details. Something something wendigo. There and Back Again by Carmen Maria Machado- a very short and strange piece about a cannibal being captured by the sibling of one of their victims. I don't even have much to say about it besides that it's fine but not a huge standout. Shepherd's Business by Stephen Gallagher- a doctor arrives in town and becomes involved with a grieving mother who recently lost her child in birth. This one is bloated, with a lot of unnecessary details clouding the main plot. But it does summon up a truly horrific image by the end. You Can Stay All Day by Mira Grant- essentially the beginning to a zombie apocalypse in a zoo. Nothing special about this. It's fine but doesn't really feel fresh or interesting. Zombie stories these days are tough to do while still feeling relevant and this just made me shrug. Harvest Song, Gathering Song by AC Wise- the second story by this author, this concerns a group of soldiers recovering a honey that makes one feel no pain. Filled with surrealist descriptions and borderline Lovecraftian themes, but it didn't hit me like their other story did. The Granfalloon by Orrin Grey- a group of film buffs check out a local abandoned theater and make a weird discovery. Understated to a fault. It has a few spots of Dark ideas but it feels on the whole underwhelming. Fail Safe by Philip Fracassi- a young boy watches day in and day out as his mother "turns" and is studied by his father. Another zombie story, and another shrug. Has an ending that can be considered dark but didnt hit as hard as it could have. The Starry Crown by Marc E Fitch- a student tries to uncover the origin of an altered southern hymn and makes a dark discovery. Has a nasty ending but also doesn't feel particularly important or relevant. Eqalussuaq by Tim Major- a woman takes haunted audio recordings from a rare species of shark and it begins to have adverse effects on her kid. Not a bad idea, but didn't really rock my world either. Lost in the Dark by John Langan- most of the stories here are forgettable but it does end on a fairly strong note. A college professor does a report on a movie people thought was found footage horror but is actually part documentary. An interesting story about mystery and the unknown and how fiction can warp facts. Not the best here but better than a lot of what came before. I feel as though I'm being generous with this rating and its mostly because I liked the good stories here so much. Most of the stories, though, feel disposable. Do with all this what you will.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Zeke Gonzalez

    I was pretty hesitant about a “Best of 2017” horror anthology and only picked up The Best Horror of the Year: Volume Ten because it was put collected & edited by Ellen Datlow. And I’m glad I did! A few of the stories in this collection didn’t quite do it for me, but every single story was very written & had significant purpose and heft. There’s an extremely broad range of horror sub-genres in this collection: zombie outbreak, supernatural, gothic, survival, cosmic, small-town, and much more. Rev I was pretty hesitant about a “Best of 2017” horror anthology and only picked up The Best Horror of the Year: Volume Ten because it was put collected & edited by Ellen Datlow. And I’m glad I did! A few of the stories in this collection didn’t quite do it for me, but every single story was very written & had significant purpose and heft. There’s an extremely broad range of horror sub-genres in this collection: zombie outbreak, supernatural, gothic, survival, cosmic, small-town, and much more. Reviews for the individual stories can be found in my reading progress and my particular favorites were: A Human Stain by Kelly Robson; The Stories We Tell About Ghosts by A.C. Wise; Harvest Song, Gathering Song by A.C. Wise; The Starry Crown by Marc E. Fitch; and Lost in the Dark by John Langan. I can’t wait to go pick up Volume Eleven & see what great short horror I missed last year!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mena Caj so

    Better you believe, the climbing on a mountain conjures ghosts Liquid Air, a woman thinks about her life married to a sick man Holiday romance, a man goes back to the same place he used to vacation in his childhood Furtherest, the dunes behind gather secrets and reach out to do harm Where's the harm? Two brothers go to renovate their childhood home when they encounter a group ow women who have been in the same town all along. A Human Stain, a young woman becomes the governess of a boy in an ancien Better you believe, the climbing on a mountain conjures ghosts Liquid Air, a woman thinks about her life married to a sick man Holiday romance, a man goes back to the same place he used to vacation in his childhood Furtherest, the dunes behind gather secrets and reach out to do harm Where's the harm? Two brothers go to renovate their childhood home when they encounter a group ow women who have been in the same town all along. A Human Stain, a young woman becomes the governess of a boy in an ancient castle. They don't tell her whose boy is it. Whatever comes after Calcutta, a lawyer finds out about his wife's affair and then he encounters someone that can help. West of Matamoros, a rock group is kidnapped by followers of Santa Muerte The stories we tell about ghosts, a big brother plays an app game chasing ghosts with his friends, while his little brother follows. He says they can stop anytime he's scared. Endoskeletal, a scientist discovers a paleotitic tomb with tortured remains in it. Alligator point, a mother takes a trip with her daughters after committing a crime. There and back again, a creature seeks food. Shepherd business, a rural doctor learns of the ways of the shepherds while attending the mother of a stillborn. You can stay all day, a zombie outbreak begins while Cassandra works at the zoo Harvest song, gathering song, there is a cave with honey that transforms anything that comes across it and a group of broken soldiers are tasked to find it. Fail-safe, a boy on the verge of manhood participates in the ritual of caring for his mother's transformations. The granfalloon, a group of people search for the origins of a mystic building, whose owner disappeared The starry crown, an anthropologist travels south, searching for the origins of a particular song that dates back from emancipation times. Eqalussuaq, a sound technician comes back from Greenland to her song, after an encounter with something otherworldly. Lost in the dark, a film writer sits down to talk about the true origins of her horror movie. I loved a lot of these stories. I had a lot of fun with Whatever comes after Calcutta, it was really original and interesting. Lost in the dark, someone must make a series or movie about it. A human stain made me think for a while, and I grew up more disturbed. Shepherd bussines was really cool, but I wouldn't call it horror, though if it happened to me, I'd me horrified. With some, like Where's the harm and There and back again, I wanted more. It was a very small glimpse of an enormous universe but hey, if something like this happened I wouldn't have answers either. The only reason I'm not giving it five stars it is because most stories dwell with the same monsters, same horror places. I love this anthology series because a solid third of the stuff is different, but with others you can see it coming from miles.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    4.5 stars. Every story in here is excellent as you might expect given the title, but some didn’t land with me, as you also might expect from any anthology. Still, one can’t deny the quality of the writing throughout. Standouts for me were: “Where’s the Harm?” by Rebecca Lloyd, “The Stories We Tell About Ghosts,” by A.C. Wise, “West of Matamoros, North of Hell,” by Brian Hodge, “Harvest Song, Gathering Song,” by A.C. Wise, “The Starry Crown,” by Marc E. Fitch, and “Lost in the Dark,” by John Lang 4.5 stars. Every story in here is excellent as you might expect given the title, but some didn’t land with me, as you also might expect from any anthology. Still, one can’t deny the quality of the writing throughout. Standouts for me were: “Where’s the Harm?” by Rebecca Lloyd, “The Stories We Tell About Ghosts,” by A.C. Wise, “West of Matamoros, North of Hell,” by Brian Hodge, “Harvest Song, Gathering Song,” by A.C. Wise, “The Starry Crown,” by Marc E. Fitch, and “Lost in the Dark,” by John Langan. Best story of the year from this volume? “Lost in the Dark,” by John Langan. This is one of the scariest stories ai have ever read. Deeply unnerving and not one to read at night. I would love to see this one made into a film or a limited series. Meta, terrifying, and oddly moving.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Todd Howell

    Can't give this more than a 3. Poor editing choices in this one. Certainly there are some good ones here but I would say more bad than good. It is rare that I am glad that is book is over, or when I think reading it is a chore but, in this volume, both were felt by me. If you love horror stories and collect them I would recommend getting it for the goods it contains "What's the harm" is one of them. I listened to the audio version of this and no reader really stood out as excellent, but I would sa Can't give this more than a 3. Poor editing choices in this one. Certainly there are some good ones here but I would say more bad than good. It is rare that I am glad that is book is over, or when I think reading it is a chore but, in this volume, both were felt by me. If you love horror stories and collect them I would recommend getting it for the goods it contains "What's the harm" is one of them. I listened to the audio version of this and no reader really stood out as excellent, but I would say they were all well read. Overview: The stories that didn't live up to snuff for me just didn't feel all that like horror. Interesting stories to be sure but they just didn't thrill me in the slightest.

  16. 4 out of 5

    David Thirteen

    This collection has lots of good stories and several great ones. Although, as with most collections, what will appeal to any given reader is a bit of a throw of the dice. The stories on offer here are a solid and broad representation of what was happening in horror in 2017 and I’d read a fair amount of them before. I may have wished that a few more of my favorites made the cut, but my only real complaint is that the proofreading seemed uneven with some stories being riddled with typos and others This collection has lots of good stories and several great ones. Although, as with most collections, what will appeal to any given reader is a bit of a throw of the dice. The stories on offer here are a solid and broad representation of what was happening in horror in 2017 and I’d read a fair amount of them before. I may have wished that a few more of my favorites made the cut, but my only real complaint is that the proofreading seemed uneven with some stories being riddled with typos and others being completely free of them. My guess is that with these being reprints, we’re seeing the uneven editing of a multitude of publishers. This is definitely a volume that’s worth picking up. Any horror lover is bound to find many stories to enjoy.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Des Lewis

    As I say, a telling coda, my thoughts on this book further crystallised with what I said about the previous story. As ever, another mighty book channelled by its own correlator, here as editor…with substantive written material by her about the Horror genre in 2017 in addition to the separate fictions that she chose to represent it. Hyper-Imaginative mind-altering Literature, as well as Horror genre, I say. They are always each other, when good. Lost in the dark, is finding yourself. The detailed As I say, a telling coda, my thoughts on this book further crystallised with what I said about the previous story. As ever, another mighty book channelled by its own correlator, here as editor…with substantive written material by her about the Horror genre in 2017 in addition to the separate fictions that she chose to represent it. Hyper-Imaginative mind-altering Literature, as well as Horror genre, I say. They are always each other, when good. Lost in the dark, is finding yourself. The detailed review of this book posted elsewhere under my name is too long or impractical to post here. Above is one of my observations at the time of the review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Stanley

    This is the first of Ellen Datlow's 'Best Horror' series I've read and I was very impressed with the quality and consistency throughout. While there were a few glimpses of familiar tropes (zombies, a wendigo), the stories proved that, with thoughtful characters and settings, these could still feel fresh. And yes, I'm looking forward to exploring the other books in the series - fingers crossed they're all this good. This is the first of Ellen Datlow's 'Best Horror' series I've read and I was very impressed with the quality and consistency throughout. While there were a few glimpses of familiar tropes (zombies, a wendigo), the stories proved that, with thoughtful characters and settings, these could still feel fresh. And yes, I'm looking forward to exploring the other books in the series - fingers crossed they're all this good.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Eldee

    Many of the stories are very formulaic, leaning too heavily on common tropes. Normally I think Ellen Datlow is better at weeding out these types of junior high campfire tales, but overall this collection was a miss.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Leone

    I enjoy Ellen Datlow's "Year's Best Horror" anthologies. I find a lot of new authors to follow. This anthology seems a little uneven with few stories, so far (I'm half through), really standing out. My favourite is Brian Hodge's novelette "West of Matamoros, North of Hell". I enjoy Ellen Datlow's "Year's Best Horror" anthologies. I find a lot of new authors to follow. This anthology seems a little uneven with few stories, so far (I'm half through), really standing out. My favourite is Brian Hodge's novelette "West of Matamoros, North of Hell".

  21. 5 out of 5

    Snorre L

    Not really scary at all. DNFed halfway through.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Laine

    final story was memorable. some of the others not so much.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Bish

    Most of the stories are super wordy and just strange rather than horrific.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jheurf

    Such a disappointment. I read Volume 11 first and that one was amazing. Volume 10 feels like weak sauce compared to it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Roxie (tokenfemale)

    DNF - I just can't even.... Guess I am done with horror novels for good. Sounded intriguing, atmosphere was cool on a couple, but all in I was bored out of my mind. DNF - I just can't even.... Guess I am done with horror novels for good. Sounded intriguing, atmosphere was cool on a couple, but all in I was bored out of my mind.

  26. 5 out of 5

    David Erik Nelson

    Excellent, excellent collection (and not just b/c it includes yours truly).

  27. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Great stories! Alligator Point by S.P. Miskowski is definitely the standout for me.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    I was bothered by the too dramatic reading style of one of the narrators.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Antony Wong

  30. 5 out of 5

    Fayenator

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