A doctor makes a late-night emergency call to an exclusive California riding school; a professor inherits a mysterious vase... and a strange little man; a struggling youth discovers canine horrors lurking beneath the streets of Albany; a sheriff ruthlessly deals with monstrosities plaguing his rural town; a pair of animal researchers makes a frightening discovery at a remote site; a sweet little girl entertains herself... by torturing faeries; a group of horror aficionados attempts to track down an unfinished film by a reclusive cult director; a man spends a chill night standing watch over his uncle's body; a girl looks to understand her place in a world in which zombies have overrun the earth; a murderous pack of nuns stalks a pair of Halloween revelers...
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 seventeen stories 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 (Lovecraft Unbound, Tails of Wonder and Imagination), winner of multiple Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards, joins Night Shade Books in presenting The Best Horror of the Year, Volume Three.
Fans of both subtle horror and explicit gore will find something to enjoy in this uneven anthology of 24 stories. Unsurprisingly, the best work comes from some very familiar names. In "Down to a Sunless Sea," Neil Gaiman demonstrates that less is more, presenting a devastating narrative in just three pages. Kim Newman's "The Only Ending We Have" imagines what could have happened to Janet Leigh's body double in Psycho when her life ends up paralleling that of Marion Crane's. In contrast, Simon Clark's "The Tin House," about a house built by profiteers from the slave trade, is predictable, an attribute that is the antithesis of terror. Datlow deserves credit for eschewing the clich d staples of the genre, but that choice does not automatically translate into a memorable collection.