Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Table of contents - "The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2014" edited by Paula Guran

I grew very fond of several collections of year’s best fiction in the recent years. Ellen Datlow and Stephen Jones are veterans of such anthologies and in time their yearly collections proved an important source of excellent reading materials, so there is no wonder that year after year “The Best Horror of the Year” and “The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror” are high on my reading list. Recently I was happy to see being born and to delight in “The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror” and “Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing”, two yearly collections that gathered some of the best Australian and Canadian short stories and highlighted quite a few very interesting and talented writers. Last, but not least, Paula Guran’s “The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror” made its way into my list of preferences, not because it joined a catalog of similar titles, but because it brought into attention of the readers different short stories than the other collections. Of course, all these year’s best collections are subject to personal choices and since reading is an intimate experience for every reader not all the selected stories might seem like the best that were published in a particular year. From my experience, however, each of such collections I enjoyed reading comes pretty close to achieving perfection and every time I was left with a completely satisfactory reading experience. And if Paula Guran’s “The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror” is the last collection I mentioned from my list of favorites it is also the first to announce its 2014 line-up. By the looks of it there are plenty of reasons to support another strong entry in the panoply of year’s best collections.

No matter your expectations, the dark is full of the unknown: grim futures, distorted pasts, invasions of the uncanny, paranormal fancies, weird dreams, unnerving nightmares, baffling enigmas, revelatory excursions, desperate adventures, spectral journeys, mundane terrors and supernatural visions. You may stumble into obsession or find redemption. Often disturbing, occasionally delightful, let The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror be your annual guide through the mysteries and wonders of dark fiction.

Table of contents (in alphabetical order by author’s last name):

“Postcards from Abroad” by Peter Atkins (Rolling Darkness Revue 2013, Earthling Publications)
“The Creature Recants” by Dale Bailey (Clarkesworld, Issue 85, October 2013)
“The Good Husband” by Nathan Ballingrud (North American Lake Monsters, Small Beer Press)
“Termination Dust” by Laird Barron (Tales of Jack the Ripper, ed. Ross Lockhart, Word Horde)
“The Ghost Makers” by Elizabeth Bear (Fearsome Journeys, ed. Jonathan Strahan, Solaris)
“The Marginals” by Steve Duffy (The Moment of Panic, PSPublishing)
“A Collapse of Horses” by Brian Evenson (The American Reader, Feb/Mar 2013)
“A Lunar Labyrinth” by Neil Gaiman (Shadows of the New Sun: Stories in Honor of Gene Wolfe, eds. J. E. Mooney & Bill Fawcett, Tor)
“Pride” by Glen Hirshberg (Rolling Darkness Revue 2013, Earthling Publications)
“Let My Smile Be Your Umbrella” by Brian Hodge (Psycho-Mania!, ed. Stephen Jones, Robinson)
“The Soul in the Bell Jar” by K. J. Kabza (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Nov/Dec 2013)
“The Prayer of Ninety Cats” by Caitlín R. Kiernan (Subterranean Online, Spring 2013)
“Dark Gardens” by Greg Kurzawa (Interzone # 248)
“A Little of the Night” by Tanith Lee (Clockwork Phoenix 4, ed. Mike Allen, Mythic Delirium)
“The Gruesome Affair of the Electric Blue Lightning” by Joe R. Lansdale (Beyond Rue Morgue: Further Tales of Edgar Allan Poe’s First Detective, ed. Paul Kane & Charles Prepole, Titan)
“Iseul’s Lexicon” by Yoon Ha Lee (Conservation of Shadows, Prime Books)
“The Plague” by Ken Liu (Nature, 16 May 2013)
“The Slipway Gray” by Helen Marshall (Chilling Tales 2, ed. Michael Kelly, Edge Publications)
“To Die for Moonlight” by Sarah Monette (Apex Magazine, Issue #50)
“Event Horizon” by Sunny Moraine (Strange Horizons, 21 Oct 2013)
“The Legend of Troop 13” by Kit Reed (Asimov’s Science Fiction, Jan 2013 / The Story Until Now: A Great Big Book of Stories, Wesleyan)
“Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell” by Brandon Sanderson (Dangerous Women, eds. George R. R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, Tor)
“Phosphorous” by Veronica Schanoes, (Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy, eds. Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, Tor)
“Blue Amber” by David J. Schow (Impossible Monsters, ed. Kasey Lansdale, Subterranean Press)
“Rag and Bone” by Priya Sharma (Tor.com, 10 April 2013)
“Our Lady of Ruins” by Sarah Singleton (The Dark 2, Dec 2013)
“Cuckoo” by Angela Slatter (A Killer Among Demons, ed. Craig Bezant, Dark Prints Press)
“Wheatfield with Crows” by Steve Rasnic Tem (Dark World: Ghost Stories, ed. Timothy Parker Russell, Tartarus Press)
“Moonstruck” by Karin Tidbeck (Shadows and Tall Trees, Vol. 5, ed. Mike Kelly, Undertow)
“The Dream Detective” by Lisa Tuttle (Lightspeed, Mar 2013)
“Fishwife” by Carrie Vaughn (Nightmare, Jun 2013)
“Air, Water and the Grove” by Kaaron Warren (The Lowest Heaven, eds Anne C. Perry & Jared Shurin, Jurassic London)

No comments: