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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Best Horror of the Year, Volume Six edited by Ellen Datlow

Horror fans rejoice! The latest installment of the Best Horror of the Year is out now. From haunted houses and weird science to old fashioned revenge with a twist, The Best Horror of the Year, v 6 features an all new and unique collection of horror shorts sure to satisfy fans of every facet of the genre!

I don't envy editor Ellen Datlow's task in putting together this collection. Sure it must be a fantastic job having to comb through oodles and oodles of genre shorts but I'd imagine narrowing it down to a workable collection must be quite difficult. And yet she has managed to do so, producing a collection that highlights original shorts published throughout 2013. Here's a full list of the stories and a very, very brief nutshell description for you:

"Apports" by Stephen Bacon, a revenge tale with a supernatural twist
"Mr. Splitfoot" by Dale Bailey, two Spiritualist sisters and one unspeakable crime
"The Good Husband" by Nathan Ballingrud, a husband who will do anything for his wife
"The Tiger" by Nina Allan, a man recently freed from prison comes face to face with a new evil.
"The House on Cobb Street" by Lynda E. Rucker, an eerie twist on the haunted house tale
"The Soul in the Bell Jar" by KJ Kabza, a tale of mad science
"Call Out" by Steve Toase, a vet is faced with a creature he's only heard about in legends
"The Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love" by Robert Shearman, a bizarre tale of love and punishment
"Bones of Crow" by Ray Cluley, an incredibly bizarre tale of discovery and loss
"Introduction to the Body in Fairy Tales" by Jeannine Hall Gailey, a poem
"The Fox" by Conrad Williams, in which a family vacation takes a dark turn
"The Tin House" by Simon Clark, the crimes of a family's past are never forgotten
"Stemming the Tide" by Simon Stranzas, a chilling tale about what lives beneath the surface of still waters
"The Anatomist's Mnemonic" by Priya Sharma, a fetish becomes an obsession
"The Monster Makers" by Steve Rasnic Tem, a family with an odd talent
"The Only Ending We Have" by Kim Newman, a strange tale featuring a "cameo" by Hitchcock himself
"The Dog's Paw" by Derek K√ľnsken, a story in which shame has become a very visible punishment
"Fine in the Fire" by Lee Thomas, a brother's past suffering becomes a present day horror
"Majorlena" by Jane Jakeman, military horror!
"The Withering" by Tim Casson, a Victorian ghost story - of a kind
"Down to a Sunless Sea" by Neil Gaiman, Gaiman's twist on a classic Grimm tale
"Jaws of Saturn" by Laird Barron, the stuff of nightmares
"Halfway Home" by Linda Nagata
"The Same Deep Waters as You" by Brian Hodge, Innsmouth!

Some of my favorites include: Brian Hodge's tale - love, love, loved this one. Hodge, by the way, is an author I've only really just discovered (through anthologies!) and I have to say I am incredibly impressed by his work; "The Soul in the Bell Jar" by KJ Kabza was a fabulously creepy story with more than just a little hint of gothic undertone; Lynda E. Rucker's "The House on Cobb Street" because I love a good haunted house story and THIS is a good haunted house story; and "Jaws of Saturn" which is completely weird and probably NOT the best story to read at bedtime - also my first time reading Barron but I already have the collection this story originally appeared in in my TBR.

For information on the each story's original publication, check out this post on Ellen Datlow's website.

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