Reviews of Best Horror of the Year:Volume 8

 

The-Best-Horror-of-the-Year-Volume-Eight-Ellen-DatlowEllen Datlow is one of the hardest-working, iconic figures in Horror, Dark Fantasy, and elsewhere. When she speaks well of a certain author, I—by default—make a point to seek out writing by that person. Datlow won, on August 20, a Hugo Award for Best Editor, Short-Form.

Hence number eight in Night Shade Book’s annual compilation, and 20 tales curated from print, online and, perhaps, cobwebbed nowheres isolated in extragalactic gloom. Opening with “Summation 2015,” the editor replays that year’s incredible fertility. These summations are pure gifts highlighting output both well-known and obscure—notepad opportunities aplenty.

What distinguishes Datlow-edited anthologies from most (not all) others is the mix of newer and not-so-new names tilting toward those less known. William Grabowski for Horror Notes. His  full review including his favourites are here.

 

The book opens with a “best of the year” introduction from its editor, Ellen Datlow, my favorite editor of anthologies. I have a love/hate relationship with these intros, especially when they are written by someone whose opinion I hold in such high regard. I love these because I am informed of all the brilliant books/movies/events/etc. that I may have missed out on in the year. I hate these for the exact same reason; everything I don’t have immediately goes on the wish list and it ends up costing me money. It’s bitter sweet. In the case of The Best Horror of the Year: Volume Eight, “Summation 2015” contains about 33 pages of things I need to buy if I haven’t already …Honestly, many people will be tempted to skip this, but don’t. It’s a wonderful breakdown of the past year, and everything that Datlow recommends that I too have read, I’m in full agreement with. The lady really knows her stuff.

Steve Pattee for Horror Talk. For his full review and commemts on his favourite stories are here.

 

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