The Best Horror of the Year
An Air Force Loadmaster is menaced by strange sounds within his cargo; a man is asked to track down a childhood friend... who died years earlier; doomed pioneers forge a path westward as a young mother discovers her true nature; an alcoholic strikes a dangerous bargain with a gregarious stranger; urban explorers delve into a ruined book depository, finding more than they anticipated; residents of a rural Wisconsin town defend against a legendary monster; a woman wracked by survivor's guilt is haunted by the ghosts of a tragic crash; a detective strives to solve the mystery of a dismembered girl; an orphan returns to a wicked witch's candy house; a group of smugglers find themselves buried to the necks in sand; an unanticipated guest brings doom to a high-class party; a teacher attempts to lead his students to safety as the world comes to an end around them...
What frightens us, what unnerves us? What causes that delicious shiver of fear to travel the lengths of our spines? It seems the answer changes every year. Every year the bar is raised; the screw is tightened. Ellen Datlow knows what scares us; the twenty-one stories and poems included in this anthology were chosen from magazines, webzines, anthologies, literary journals, and single author collections to represent the best horror of the year.
Legendary editor Ellen Datlow (Poe: New Tales Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe), winner of multiple Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards, joins Night Shade Books in presenting The Best Horror of the Year, Volume One.
The 18 scary stories that Datlow (Supernatural Noir) has selected as the best of 2011 hint at even worse horrors lurking beyond the fringes of their narratives. In "The Little Green God of Agony," Stephen King profiles an exorcist and faith healer who purports to give physical form to pain. In "Final Girl Theory," A.C. Wise tells of a cult horror film that triggers a grim collective fantasy in the minds of its viewers. Peter Straub's "The Ballad of Ballard and Sandrine" achieves a Twilight Zone type of unease through disorienting shifts of time and place. In "The Show," Priya Sharma works a creepy variation on the classic horror theme of the "sham" spirit medium whose skills prove genuine. The variety of concepts and styles on display, and Datlow's comprehensive introduction, will please horror readers of all stripes.