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The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: No.15 (Year's Best Fantasy & Horror) [Paperback]

Ellen Datlow , Terri Windling

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Book Description

30 Aug 2002 Year's Best Fantasy & Horror
Highly acclaimed for collecting the finest short fiction in fantasy and horror, the world Fantasy Award-winning annual series continues its eclectic and always interesting tradition with this 15th volume. New to this year's collection is a collection of the year's best horror and fantasy comics by award-winning artist Charles Vess, and the year's best anime and manga by award-winning author Joan D Vinge. Highlights of this year's edition include tales from Michael Chabon, Christopher Fowler, Kelly Link and many others, along with the year-end wrap-ups in publishing and movies.

Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Press; 3rd- Annual Collection edition (30 Aug 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312290691
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312290696
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 14.8 x 22.7 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,615,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"There are other annual 'best' collections of fantasy and horror combined, but this long-running series . . . tops them all . . . All essential volume for anyone who values quality in fantasy and horror today."--"Publishers Weekly "(starred) "A rich, inventively written collection . . . not to be missed."--"Kirkus Reviews ""As always, The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror is the most broadly literate . . . and the most varied of all the genre annuals."--"Locus""The most extensive and reliable guide to the field available."--"Realms of Fantasy"

About the Author

Ellen Datlow is the acclaimed editor of such anthologies as "Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers" (with Terri Windling), " Lethal Kisses," " Off Limits," and "Endangered Species," and has won the World Fantasy Award six times. She lives in New York City. Terri Windling won the Mythopoeic Award for her first adult novel, "The Wood Wife." She had edited numerous books and anthologies, including "The Essential Bordertown" and "Silver Birch," " Blood Moon," the most recent in a series of contemporary fairy-tale anthologies, edited with Ellen Datlow. She divides her time between Devon, England and Tucson, Arizona.

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Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on Amazon.co.uk.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Satisfying Entry In The Series 6 Feb 2006
By mantra ben-ya'akova - Published on Amazon.com
I collect this series hungrily. There are always at least 10 stories that excite and amaze me, and I do feel they can honestly be called "the best" of each year. I also buy stacks of other genre anthologies, none of which demonstrate such consistent quality. How there came to be a gap on my shelf where this volume ought to be I'm not sure, but I did find out while shopping for its replacement what others have discovered: it is frustratingly difficult to get an accurate report of the contents of each of these volumes. Of the several well-written and helpful reader reviews, one refers to the 11th edition, another, while begging Amazon to represent it faithfully, nevertheless is clearly misfiled, describing the contents of the 14th. To be sure, even as I snarl and curse my way through the tangle of confusion I salute each reviewer's insights; I only wish their efforts could be properly represented. To help other benighted seekers, I'm suggesting a visit to this site, an extremely valuable and meticulously maintained resource.

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something for everyone 30 Sep 2002
By Scanningtext2002 - Published on Amazon.com
Overall, I enjoyed many of the stories in this anthology. I normally skip the poetry, so I don't have any real comments on them. Many of the stories did seem to slant toward the literary side of the spectrum, with the fantastic elements only subtley present. Still plenty of good stuff here for almost any taste.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 15/2001: The bar is high and some stories are exceptional. Recommended 14/2000: Too many blatant stories. Not recommended 22 April 2009
By Juushika - Published on Amazon.com
(Because Amazon lumps all of these volumes together, this review is split in halves: Fifteen/2001 and Fourteen/2000.)

The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Fifteen Annual Collection collects the best (as determined by the editors) short fiction of both genres in 2001, using wide definitions of the genres in order to build a diverse, quality collection. Introductions survey related novels, anthologies, and media; some of these recommendations are useless, but others are a rich resource. The stories and poems themselves vary in quality, but the standard is high and some stories are a distinct success. It's no surprise that such a large anthology has its ups and downs, but Datlow and Windling achieve many of their lofty goals. This is a varied and successful collection of short fiction and a promising resource for discovering new authors. I recommend it.

Short fiction anthologies and collections are almost always a mixed bag, and this one in particular reaches farther--and is longer--than most collections, so there are plenty of opportunities for failure. But it's a surprising success: there's some underwhelming poetry and some disappointing and odd short stories, but on average the bar is high and the best stories are exceptional. Doerr's "The Hunter's Wife," Arnott's "Prussian Snowdrops," Kiernan's "Onion," Maguire's "Scarecrow," and best of all Palwick's "Gestella," the story of a rapidly-aging werewolf, were among my favorites, and while another reader may have different preferences the best part about this broad collection is that it has something to delight every sort of horror/fantasy fan, and perhaps something new for each reader.

Other than a treasure-trove of stories, The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror also serves to expose the reader to new work and new authors. The introductions are lengthy, but useful: Windling is the most succinct in picking her choices for best fantasy novels and anthologies, Datlow is more wordy and less helpful in her horror recommendations, and the surveys of related media, comics, and anime/manga are pretty much useless (and in the final case, laughably so). Still, skim the introductions and remember your favorite authors from the short story collection, and this anthology has the potential to inflate your to-be-read list in record time. All in all, this volume of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror is not perfect, but Datlow and Windling aim high and manage to pull together a surprising amount of enjoyable fiction that includes some true gems and opens the door to finding many more. I recommend it.

The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Fourteenth Annual Collection collects the best (as determined by the editors) short fiction of both genres in 2000, using wide definitions of the genres in order to build a diverse, quality collection. Largely useless introductions summarize the year in fantasy, horror, and related media, but the bulk of the book is 43 short stories and 11 poems which span paranormal horror to imaginary world fantasy to mythic poems. The stories are a mixed bag, but on the whole a disappointment: some break the mold, but most of these selections are so exaggerated that they lack magic or tension. This series has a laudable goal, but in this installment the editors don't quite reach it. Not recommended.

I so much enjoyed the fifteenth volume of this series that it boggles my mind that I found this fourteenth installment such a slog. Short story collections are usually composed of selection of varying quality, and an anthology this wide-reaching and long has plenty of opportunities for failure--and, unfortunately, in this volume it often does fail. The selections are a mixed bag: Some are wonderful, and Koja's "At Eventide," Grant and Link's "Ship, Sea, Mountain, Sky," Duffy's Circe and Little Red Cap, Adriázola's "Buttons," Gaiman's Instructions, and best of all Greer Gilman's "Jack Daw's Pack," a mythic and dreamlike story of the trials and tribulations of divine avatars, were my favorites. But too often, regardless of genre, these stories are often so blatant--horror exaggerated to empty violence, retold myth which is too obvious, humorous fantasy pushed over the top--that they lose all the magic and tension that can come with subtlety. Perhaps that's a personal preference, but I doubt it. Obvious, exaggerated stories smack of lazy writing, and certainly don't warrant a "best of" collection.

The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Fourteenth Annual Collection still serves a purpose: some selections, like those listed above, break the mold and are in turns understated, haunting, intelligent, or otherwise subtlety and skillfully told. And the volume also functions as a means to encounter new stories and new authors. With such a wide range, pulling from paranormal to psychological horror, from magical realism to urban fantasy, The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror is a broad cross-section of both genres and may expose a reader to all number of new writers or texts. Unfortunately, like the middling quality of the stories themselves, this volume isn't always a good resource: Windling summary of fantasy novels is concise and useful, but Daltow's summary is unnecessarily long and the summations of media and comics often lose sight of their fantasy/horror purview. All told, this fourteenth installment of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror is well-intended but not wholly successful. Other installments prove that the premise can succeed, and such a wide goal as the year's best pulled from broad definitions of two genres is loftly and laudable. But perhaps the pickings were slim, perhaps they had a bad year--for whatever reason, Windling and Datlow don't reach their goals in this fourtheenth installment, and I don't recommend it.
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 15 18 Oct 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This latest edition contains useful discussions of fantasy and horror publications over the last year (2000-1). I've noticed that increasing attention is given to small press items which most readers will have trouble getting their hands on, as well as media, anime, etc. which are of less interest to me. It was disappointing to see that horror novels were just listed, not discussed. Still, the fantasy section described several works that I'll be seeking out.
Stories in this anthology have over the years become increasingly literary and perhaps are not the most accessible examples of the genre. Imagery and style take precedence over plot and character in most of the works reprinted here. Perhaps the best story in the volume was one about a boy who "swallows a faerie", an elegant metaphor for creativity and its repression--I regrettably forget the author but recommend the piece. Also, Norman Partridge contributed a strong work of historical fantasy.
3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Another Year, Another Snooze-Fest.... 7 Jan 2003
By Daniel V. Reilly - Published on Amazon.com
Made it through another one!!! Once again, Fantasy Editor Terri Windling runs roughshod over Horror Editor Ellen Datlow- Windling weighs in with 26 stories, Datlow with 19. (Datlow continues to beat the drum for awful-poetry lovers everywhere, with no less than EIGHT poems...Yuck.)
As usual, the book opens with Windling's interminably long overview on The Year in Fantasy, which is really no more than a list of every book that's come out that year, along with her rambling on and on about "Magical Realism" for what seems like 5000 pages. I read one page, skimmed the rest, didn't miss a thing.
On to Datlow's Year in Horror- Slightly more interesting, but still WAAY too long. Skimmed once again...
Edward Bryant's Horror and Fantasy in the Media overview is interesting reading, but it seems as if Bryant just throws every movie he's seen into the mix. Does "In the Company of Men" really qualify as Fantasy or Horror...? Seth Johnson's Year in Comic Books overview is very interesting, and considering how much Windling drones on, I don't think it would kill them to let Johnson have a few more pages than he does.
On to the stories themselves....There are a LOT of stories that are bad, if not downright AWFUL, in this book, and most of them go on MUCH too long. Among the Awful/Overlong are: The meandering, pointless "The Skull of Charlotte Corday", "It Had To Be You", which would have been cute if had been 20 pages shorter; Charles Grant's head-scratching yawn-a-thon "Riding the Black", ... "In the Fields" was so bad I actually had to skip to the next story; I also couldn't finish Peter S. Beagle's "The Last Song of Sirit Byar"- It seemed like the song had no end.....
It's not ALL bad, though. Standout stories include "Gulliver at Home", which tells of Lemuel Gulliver's time at home between voyages; "I Am Infinite; I Contain Multitudes" has one of the nastiest scenes I've ever read, and packs a hell of a punch; Nicholas Royle's "Mbo" delivers a nasty spin on the Dracula legend; Gary A. Braunbeck's "Safe" is a moving tale of the aftermath of a gruesome mass-murder; "El Castillo De La Perseverancia" is THE weirdest story I've ever read...Mexican Wrestlers vs. Aztec monsters! It's like a Santos movie in print! "Residuals" tells the hidden history of Alien-abduction in America, and Michael Chabon delivers a ripping good H. P. Lovecraft pastiche "In the Black Mill". Christopher Fowler's "Spanky's Back!" is good sick fun, and Stephen Laws' "The Crawl" presents a far-fetched tale of road-rage that still manages to evoke a chill.
While there ARE some worthwhile reads here, the book is more pain than pleasure to read. Proceed at your own risk!
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