The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Eighth Annual Collection

edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

St. Martin's Griffin

Review by Wendy Kosak

This massive book seemed somewhat magical. I read and read and read, yet every time I picked it up there was another story I hadn't seen before. For a while I thought I would never get to the end. Finally, one day, I realized that I had read it all.

What can you say about the collection of the Year's best? All the stories are great. There are interesting essays on the field of fantasy. I guess I can only find one comment. I wished that they gave a little warning for the horror stories. I'm not a great fan of horror -- mostly because a single story can leave me 'creeped out' for a week. There was nothing worse to be skimming what I thought was a fantasy story and suddenly find myself in a horror tale.

One story, "Giants in the Earth" by Dale Bailey, I couldn't finish. I got as far as the coal miner grasping the sleeping angel by the wing and placing the hacksaw in place to cut it off.

Another story, "The Box" by Jack Ketchum, I finished but wished I didn't as the narrator watches his family starve themselves to death after learning the secret of the box.

My favorite story was "Superman's Diary" by B. Brandon Barker. Poor Superman is suffering from extreme mental problems trying to keep his two identities separate. Luckily for him, Clark Kent's vacation with Lois Lane goes better than expected and it looks like both of him will be better for the trip.

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