I love these Mammoth anthologies. Because they’re mammoth! You can curl up with them for an entire weekend. Or use them as a stepladder to get to those dishes in the top cupboard. They have countless uses around the house.
Stephen Jones’ latest, The Mammoth Book of Halloween Stories, arrived earlier this month, and it looks like an essential fall purchase. It’s 528 pages of new and reprint stories from Ramsey Campbell, Steve Rasnic Tem, Joe R. Lansdale, Helen Marshall, Angela Slatter, Neil Gaiman, Storm Constantine, Alison Littlewood, Robert Silverberg, Michael Marshall Smith, Adrian Cole, Christopher Fowler, Scott Bradfield, Robert Shearman, and a dozen more — plus a spooky new poem by Jane Yolen.
Here’s the complete Table of Contents.
“Introduction: When Churchyards Yawn”
“October in the Chair” – Neil Gaiman (Conjunctions: 39, The New Wave Fabulists, 2002)
“Reflections in Black” – Steve Rasnic Tem
“The Halloween Monster” – Alison Littlewood
“The Phénakisticope of Decay” – James Ebersole
“Memories of Día de los Muertos” – Nancy Kilpatrick (Dead of Night #8, Fall/Winter 1993)
“Fragile Masks” – Richard Gavin
“Bone Fire” – Storm Constantine
“Queen of the Hunt” – Adrian Cole
“The October Widow” – Angela Slatter (The Spectral Book of Horror Stories, September 2014)
“Before the Parade Passes By” – Marie O’Regan
“Her Face” – Ramsey Campbell
“A Man Totally Alone” – Robert Hood
“Bleed” – Richard Christian Matheson (Dark Terrors: The Gollancz Book of Horror, 1995)
“The Ultimate Halloween Party App” – Lisa Morton
“The Folding Man” – Joe R. Lansdale (Haunted Legends, September 2010)
“I Wait for You” – Eygló Karlsdóttir
“Dust Upon a Paper Eye” – Cate Gardner
“Not Our Brother” – Robert Silverberg (Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone Magazine, July 1982)
“The Scariest Thing in the World” – Michael Marshall Smith
“The Nature of the Beast” – Sharon Gosling
“The Beautiful Feast of the Valley” – Stephen Gallagher
“In the Year of Omens” – Helen Marshall (Fearful Symmetries, May 2014)
“The Millennial’s Guide to Death” – Scott Bradfield
“White Mare” – Thana Niveau
“Pumpkin Kids” – Robert Shearman
“Lantern Jack” – Christopher Fowler (The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror: Volume 23, October 2012)
“Halloween Treats” – Jane Yolen (poem)
Jones is a very chatty editor, which is one of the things I like about him. Each of the stories here has a lengthy and entertaining introduction, usually with a fascinating tidbit or two. Here’s a few paragraphs from his intro to “October in the Chair,” in which Neil Gaiman relates how the story was intended to be a collaboration with Harlan Ellison.
The Mammoth Book anthology series must include nearly a hundred books by now, covering topics from New Sudoku, Roaring Twenties Whodunnits, Cover-Ups, Haunted House Stories, Time Travel SF, Prison Breaks, Hollywood Scandals, and Westerns to Shark Attacks and Best New Erotica. Editors include Mike Ashley, Martin Greenberg, Trisha Telep, Maxim Jakubowski, Marie O’Regan, Jon E. Lewis, Denis O. Smith, and many others.
To tell the truth I’m kinda confused about how the Mammoth series started, and who owns the name — if anyone. Can I publish The Mammoth Book of Awesome Sword and Sorcery Stories that are Awesome? Why not? No single publisher seems to have a copyright on the name, and Mammoth anthologies have appeared from Robinson/Running Press, Carroll & Graf, Prime Books, Skyhorse Publishing, and probably others.
Ah well. It’s all part of the mystery and allure of Mammoth Books. We’ve covered more than a few over the last few years, including:
The Mammoth Book of Dracula, edited by Stephen Jones (Running Press)
The Mammoth Book of the Mummy, edited by Paula Guran (Prime Books)
The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu edited by Paula Guran (Robinson/Running Press)
The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk, edited by Sean Wallace (Running Press)
The Mammoth Book of Steampunk Adventures edited by Sean Wallace (Running Press)
The Mammoth Book of Warriors and Wizardry, edited by Sean Wallace (Running Press)
The Mammoth Book of Steampunk, edited by Sean Wallace (Running Press)
The Mammoth Book of Awesome Comic Fantasy edited by Mike Ashley (Carroll & Graf)
The Mammoth Book of Halloween Stories was published by Skyhorse Publishing on September 4, 2018. It is 528 pages, priced at $14.99 for both the trade paperback and digital editions. The cover was designed by Brian Peterson.
See all our recent New Treasures here.