Over the last decade or so, I’ve watched the emergence of a new generation of leading anthology editors. Folks like Jonathan Strahan, John Joseph Adams, Rich Horton, Ian Whates, and Jonathan Oliver. These are the editors who are successfully defining the best in the genre, and whose books I order immediately.
And now, I’m very pleased to add Paula Guran to that short list. I sampled the fourth volume of her Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror back in February, and was very impressed. The fifth volume arrived this summer, with an absolutely stellar line up of authors, and I nabbed it the first chance I could.
Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror is the companion volume to The Year’s Best Science Ficiton and Fantasy, edited by Rich Horton and also published by Prime. We covered the 2014 edition of Rich’s series back in July. Together, these two volumes give you a comprehensive catalog of the best genre short fiction of the year.
This year, the book contains fiction from Dale Bailey, Nathan Ballingrud, Laird Barron, Elizabeth Bear, Neil Gaiman, Glen Hirshberg, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Tanith Lee, Joe R. Lansdale, Ken Liu, Brandon Sanderson, Steve Rasnic Tem, Lisa Tuttle, Carrie Vaughn, and over a dozen others.
It draws from the finest magazines in the field, including Clarkesworld, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Lightspeed, Subterranean Online, Interzone, Apex Magazine, Asimov’s SF, Strange Horizons, and Tor.com, and top-notch anthologies like Fearsome Journeys, Shadows of the New Sun: Stories in Honor of Gene Wolfe, Clockwork Phoenix 4, Dangerous Women, Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells, and many others.
Here’s the book description.
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.
And here’s the complete table of contents.
“Postcards from Abroad,” Peter Atkins (Rolling Darkness Revue 2013)
“The Creature Recants,” Dale Bailey (Clarkesworld, Issue 85, October 2013)
“The Good Husband,” Nathan Ballingrud (North American Lake Monsters)
“Termination Dust,” Laird Barron (Tales of Jack the Ripper)
“The Ghost Makers,” Elizabeth Bear (Fearsome Journeys)
“The Marginals,” Steve Duffy (The Moment of Panic)
“A Collapse of Horses,” Brian Evenson (The American Reader, Feb/Mar 2013)
“A Lunar Labyrinth,” Neil Gaiman (Shadows of the New Sun: Stories in Honor of Gene Wolfe)
“Pride,” Glen Hirshberg (Rolling Darkness Revue 2013)
“Let My Smile Be Your Umbrella,” Brian Hodge (Psycho-Mania!)
“The Soul in the Bell Jar,” K. J. Kabza (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Nov/Dec 2013)
“The Prayer of Ninety Cats,” Caitlín R. Kiernan (Subterranean Online, Spring 2013)
“Dark Gardens,” Greg Kurzawa (Interzone #248)
“A Little of the Night,” Tanith Lee (Clockwork Phoenix 4)
“The Gruesome Affair of the Electric Blue Lightning,” Joe R. Lansdale (Beyond Rue Morgue: Further Tales of Edgar Allan Poe’s First Detective)
“Iseul’s Lexicon,” Yoon Ha Lee (Conservation of Shadows)
“The Plague” Ken Liu (Nature, 16 May 2013)
“The Slipway Gray,” Helen Marshall (Chilling Tales 2)
“To Die for Moonlight,” Sarah Monette (Apex Magazine, Issue #50)
“Event Horizon,” Sunny Moraine (Strange Horizons, 21 Oct 2013)
“The Legend of Troop 13,” Kit Reed (Asimov’s Science Fiction, Jan 2013)
“Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell,” Brandon Sanderson (Dangerous Women)
“Phosphorous,” Veronica Schanoes, (Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy)
“Blue Amber,” David J. Schow (Impossible Monsters)
“Rag and Bone,” Priya Sharma (Tor.com, 10 April 2013)
“Our Lady of Ruins”, Sarah Singleton (The Dark 2, Dec 2013)
“Cuckoo,” Angela Slatter (A Killer Among Demons)
“Wheatfield with Crows,” Steve Rasnic Tem (Dark World: Ghost Stories)
“Moonstruck,” Karin Tidbeck (Shadows and Tall Trees)
“The Dream Detective,” Lisa Tuttle (Lightspeed, Mar 2013)
“Fishwife,” Carrie Vaughn (Nightmare, Jun 2013)
“Air, Water and the Grove,” Kaaron Warren (The Lowest Heaven)
We’ve covered several terrific anthologies from Paula Guran over the last few years, including:
The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Novellas 2015
The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2015
The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2014
The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2013
New Cthulhu 2
New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird
Season of Wonder
See why she’s rapidly becoming one of my favorite editors?
The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2014 was edited by Paula Guran and published June 17, 2014 by Prime Books. It is 575 pages, priced at $19.95 in trade paperback and $6.99 for the digital edition. The cover art is by Fer Gregory. Get more details or order a copy directly from the Prime Books website.