The five volumes of Ellen Datlow’s “The Best Horror of the Year” are some of the my favorite collections of short stories, not only because of the high quality of the selected tales, but also because of the excellent work done with the cover artwork. All the five volumes published so far have an unsettling artwork on their covers, something that suits perfectly the mood of the content, a little element that adds to the uncomfortable feeling inflicted on the reader. The cover artwork of the sixth volume, due to be released on June 3rd, doesn’t come second to the others, as a matter of fact I find this cover the best out of the six so far. As I said I loved the previous covers, the first two made by Santiago Caruso and the next three by Allen Williams, but I believe that the latest, created by Pierre Droal, works even better for this excellent series of anthologies. It is a troubling cover and although it makes me very uneasy it also casts a powerful tempting spell, it is something there that prevents me from averting my eyes despite my anxiety. A great companion for what promises to be another outstanding entry in Ellen Datlow’s series of “The Best Horror of the Year”.
This statement was true when H. P. Lovecraft first wrote it at the beginning of the twentieth century, and it remains true at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The only thing that has changed is what is unknown.
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, edited by Ellen Datlow, chronicles these shifting shadows. It is a catalog of terror, fear, and unpleasantness, as articulated by today’s most challenging and exciting writers.
The best horror writers of today do the same thing that horror writers of a hundred years ago did. They tell good stories—stories that scare us. And when these writers tell really good stories that really scare us, Ellen Datlow notices. She’s been noticing for more than a quarter century. For twenty-one years, she coedited The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and for the last six years, she’s edited this series. In addition to this monumental cataloging of the best, she has edited hundreds of other horror anthologies and won numerous awards, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards.
More than any other editor or critic, Ellen Datlow has charted the shadowy abyss of horror fiction. Join her on this journey into the dark parts of the human heart . . . either for the first time . . . or once again.
“Apports” by Stephen Bacon (Black Static, #36)
“Mr. Splitfoot” by Dale Bailey (Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells, eds. Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, Tor Books)
“The Good Husband” by Nathan Ballingrud (North American Lake Monsters, Small Beer Press)
“The Tiger” by Nina Allan (Terror Tales of London, ed. Paul Finch, Gray Friar Press)
“The House on Cobb Street” by Lynda E. Rucker (Nightmare, June 2013)
“The Soul in the Bell Jar” by K.J. Kabza (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, November/December 2013)
“Call Out” by Stephen Toase (Innsmouth Magazine, #12)
“That Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love” by Robert Shearman (Psycho-Mania!, ed. Stephen Jones, Constable & Robinson)
“Bones of Crow” by Ray Cluley (Black Static, #37)
“Introduction to the Body in Fairy Tales” by Jeannine Hall Gailey (Phantom Drift, #3)
“The Fox” by Conrad Williams (This is Horror chapbook)
“The Tin House” by Simon Clark (Shadow Masters, ed. Jeani Rector, Imajin Books)
“Stemming the Tide” by Simon Strantzas (Dead North, ed. Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Exile Editions)
“The Anatomist’s Mnemonic” by Priya Sharma (Black Static, #32)
“The Monster Makers” by Steve Rasnic Tem (Black Static, #35)
“The Only Ending We Have” by Kim Newman (Psycho-Mania!, ed. Stephen Jones, Constable & Robinson)
“The Dog’s Paw” by Derek Künsken (Chilling Tales: In Words, Alas, Drown I, ed. Michael Kelly, EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing)
“Fine in the Fire” by Lee Thomas (Like Light For Flies, Lethe Press)
“Majorlena” by Jane Jakeman (Supernatural Tales, #24)
“The Withering” by Tim Casson (Black Static, #32)
“Down to a Sunless Sea” by Neil Gaiman (The Guardian.com)
“Jaws of Saturn” by Laird Barron (The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All, Night Shade Books)
“Halfway Home” by Linda Nagata (Nightmare, September 2013)
“The Same Deep Waters as You” by Brian Hodge (Weirder Shadows Over Innsmouth, ed. Stephen Jones, Fedogan & Bremer)