We’re almost at the end of our 2018 coverage of the annual crop of Year’s Best anthologies, and today’s title has traditionally been one of the highlights — Undertow Publication’s Year’s Best Weird Fiction.
The series is edited by Undertow publisher Michael Kelly, side-by-side with a different guest editor every year. Past editors have included Laird Barron, Kathe Koja, Simon Strantzas, and Helen Marshall. This year it’s Robert Shearman, author of the celebrated collections Remember Why You Fear Me (2012) and They Do the Same Things Different There (2014), and a man who’s shown up in more than his fair share of Year’s Best anthologies himself.
This is a book I highly anticipate every year, but the arrival of this one is bittersweet because it’s also the last. There’s a lot of reasons why a publisher might discontinue a series, but my guess in this case is that Undertow has been growing rapidly — its releases this year include Priya Sharma’s All the Fabulous Beasts, Simon Strantzas’s Nothing Is Everything, and the beautiful hardcover magazine The Silent Garden: A Journal of Esoteric Fabulism — and the sales for Year’s Best Weird Fiction just don’t justify all the work it takes. It’s sad to see, but these are the kinds of decisions a thriving small press has to make.
In the meantime, we still have this year’s brand new volume to enjoy (and if you haven’t checked out the previous ones, you have a lot more than that). Here’s the complete table of contents for Volume Five, including stories by Brian Evenson, Alison Littlewood, Carmen Maria Machado, Helen Marshall, Paul Tremblay, and others — including Chavisa Woods’s Shirley Jackson Award-winning novelette “Take the Way Home That Leads Back To Sullivan Street.”
“Live Through This” by Nadia Bulkin
“Flotsam” by Daniel Carpenter
“The Narrow Escape of Zipper-Girl” by Adam-Troy Castro
“The Unwish” by Claire Dean
“Worship Only What She Bleeds” by Kristi DeMeester
“The Second Door” by Brian Evenson
“When Words Change the Molecular Composition of Water” by Jenni Fagan
“The Convexity of Our Youth” by Kurt Fawver
“Corzo” by Brenna Gomez
“The Mouse Queen” by Camilla Grudova
“You Will Always Have Family: A Triptych” by Kathleen Kayembe
“The Anteater” by Joshua King
“Curb Day” by Rebecca Kuder
“The Entertainment Arrives” by Alison Littlewood
“The Rock Eater” by Ben Loory
“Eight Bites” by Carmen Maria Machado
“The Way She is With Strangers” by Helen Marshall
“The Possession” by Michael Mirolla
“Skins Smooth as Plantain, Hearts Soft as Mango” by Ian Muneshwar
“House of Abjection” by David Peak
“Disappearer” by KL Pereira
“Red Hood” by Eric Schaller
“Something About Birds” by Paul Tremblay
“Take the Way Home That Leads Back To Sullivan Street” by Chavisa Woods
Our previous coverage of the series includes:
Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Volume One, edited by Laird Barron and Michael Kelly
Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Volume Two, edited by Kathy Koja and Michael Kelly
Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Volume Three, edited by Simon Strantzas and Michael Kelly
Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Volume Four, edited by Helen Marshall and Michael Kelly
Alien Rats, Apocalyptic Nightmares, and a Horror Worse Than Ghosts: Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Volume One, a review by James McGlothlin
Here’s the Tables of Contents for the other major Best of the Year 2018 volumes from Neil Clarke, Jonathan Strahan, Gardner Dozois, John Joseph Adams, Paula Guran, Jane Yolen, Michael Kelly, David Afsharirad, and others.
The Best Science Fiction of the Year, Volume Three edited by Neil Clarke (Night Shade Books, April 3, 2018))
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume Twelve, edited by Jonathan Strahan (Solaris, April 17, 2018))
The Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF, Volume 4, edited by David Afsharirad (Baen, June 5, 2018)
The Best Horror of the Year Volume Ten, edited by Ellen Datlow (Night Shade, June 12, 2018)
The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Fifth Annual Collection, edited by Gardner Dozois (St. Martin’s Griffin;, July 3, 2018)
The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2018, edited by Rich Horton (Prime, August 7, 2018)
Nebula Awards Showcase 2018, edited by Jane Yolen (Pyr, August 7, 208)
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018, edited by N.K. Jemisin and John Joseph Adams (Mariner Books, October 2, 2018)
The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2018, edited by Paula Guran (Prime, October 16, 2018)
The Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Volume Five, edited by Robert Shearman and Michael Kelly (Undertow, October 16, 2018)
Next up: The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018, edited by N.K. Jemisin and John Joseph Adams, which will round out the list for the year.
Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Volume Five was published by Undertow Publications on October 16, 2018. It is 422 pages, priced at $28.99 in hardcover, $17.99 in trade paperback, and $4.99 for the digital edition. The cover is by Aron Wiesenfeld. Get all the details at the Undertow website — and try a subscription to receive all their 2018 books at a great price.
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