The Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror, 2010 Edition

Edited by Paula Guran, Prime (www.prime-books.com), $19.95 trade paper (576p) ISBN 978-1-60701-233-7
With this collection of 39 stories originally published in 2009, Guran (Zombies: The Recent Dead) creates an expansive definition of the genre, ranging from overtly fantastic to (mostly) realistic and from the hilarity of Seth Fried's Pushcart Prize–winning "Frost Mountain Picnic Massacre" to the tender terror of Margo Lanagan's novella "Sea-Hearts." Nods to classics abound: Suzy McKee Charnas's futuristic "Lowland Sea" retells a Poe story of plague, Michael Shea's "Copping Squid" evokes Lovecraft's Cthulhu, Sarah Monette's "White Charles" channels M.R. James, and Catherynne M. Valente's "A Delicate Architecture" revisits the Brothers Grimm. Others play on present-day pop culture, such as Peter Straub's "Variations of a Theme from Seinfeld." Many tales tackle themes of objectification, abuse, and destroyed innocence, cutting straight to the reader's heart. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/29/2010
Release date: 11/01/2010
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