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A solid B offering and plan to read next year's. What stories? Format: Paperback. Some of these so called "stories" are anything but.
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There are a few of these that are downright nonsensical. They don't give any sense of actually telling a story. They just ramble on in a random direction until you finally reach the "end" which gives about as much closure as an unrequited crush from forty years ago. And of course there are those of you who will try to tell me that I simply don't "get it".
I "get it" just fine. Some of these are trash being paraded around as works of art. I purchased this book in a book store in Dublin beacuse we lack any kind of horror anthologies and horror fiction in general except the novels and collections of Stephen King. I was immediatelyt impressed by the stories and by the new talesnted authors i discovered Simon Strabtza,Neil Gaiman and i think that also Ramsey Campbell to name a few.
The first pages are dedicated to the horror fields in including new releases,conferences,video games and awards. The best story in this anthology according to my opinion was Beneath the Surface Symon Strantza that uses horror elements to describe the anxiety of big urban centers. The only reason why i gave this anthology four stars instead of five is that this anthology also contained several stories that i do not consider as horror at all like Stephen King's New York Time At Bargain Price which is more of an urban fantasy than horror.
Overall Stephen Jones proved to be a great editor. I also started to read volume 21 and i might have written exactly the same when reviewing this volume and purchased vol 19 and the Best of the Best of Best New Horror and i want to purchase the Mammoth Book of Terror the first Jones ever edited if my memory serves me right.
It's tempting to say, with this being the 20th Anniversary Edition, that Best New Horror has reached a new watershed in the quality of its selections - - but in reality that happened last year, with the arrival of newcomers Gary McMahon, Simon Strantzas and Simon Kurt Unsworth two of whom make a reappearance this year. Mark Samuels, too, is a relative newcomer although, remarkably, he actually made his debut in this annual showcase series 5 years ago. If you're scratching your head and saying, "I've never came across any of these names in my local bookstore" then you can be forgiven, for so far these gentleman have only been able to learn their craft within the independent small press publishers alas, few new women writers in recent years are making a name for themselves in modern horror fiction, although one - Allyson Bird - recently won Best Short Fiction Collection for "Bull Running for Girls" from the British Fantasy Society.
Other names in this year's edition, such as Tim lebbon and Sarah Pinborough, will be familiar to readers of Leisure Books' long running horror fiction line. It may, however, come as a surprise to many to know that, despite Leisure's consistent publication schedule and wide distribution, they are in fact an independent publisher This, then, is why Stephen Jones's "The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror" series is so vital even more so given that "The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror" has been put on hiatus while its editors secure a new publisher - although it was gratifying to hear that Ellen Datlow was immediately picked up to do "Best Horror of the Year" for Night Shade Books in the meantime, though unsurprising to note that it was an independent press which is doing so.
This is where most of us first hear of the best of the new writers worth seeking out. Amazingly volume 20 trumps it: volume 18 was one of the series' most cross-genre, boundary-defying installments, featuring writers such as Michael Bishop, Gene Wolfe, Elizabeth Hand and Geoff Ryman, all of whom are well-known for their association with fantasy and science fiction volume 18 sold out of its entire print run within a year in the UK.
Volume 20, however, is the series' most eclectic addition: all horror, yes, but this time our editor seems to be feeling mischievous, with the inclusion of a number of humorous tales, the sly "Feminine Endings" by Neil Gaiman, the delightful "The Pile" by Michael Bishop and the exuberant "The Camping Wainwrights" by Ian R. Then there are the great stories: "Under Fog" by Tanith Lee, describing how a small coastal village survives on the spoils of the ships wrecked upon its shore. Also "The Beginning of Sorrow" by Pinckney Benedict, better known in the literary journals of America's university presses.
As well, of course, as numerous tales by two giants of short fiction, Theodore Sturgeon and Richard Matheson. Volume 20 deserves to make it a hat-trick. Indeed, the publisher showed their support this year by attending the British Fantasy Society's annual gathering, Fantasycon, in the UK for volume 20's advance-publication launch in September, where this reviewer picked up their copy. But, seriously, the genre needs the bright spotlight and shout-out that this series provides, and I personally hope it reaches its 25th Anniversary and - dare we hope? See all 9 reviews. Pages with related products.
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