cover image Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, Third Annual Collection

Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, Third Annual Collection

Ellen Datlow. St. Martin's Press, $24.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-312-04447-3

The 48 stories and poems in this third annual collection encompass a wide variety of subjects and styles. Several pieces, such as Dan Daly's ``Self-Portrait Mixed-Media on Pavement, 1988,'' are set in a recognizable time and place but offer a bracing--and sometimes shocking--twist, while others, like Tanith Lee's ``White as Sin, Now,'' create realities far removed from our everyday world. The volume features work by such stalwarts of these genres as Edward Bryant, Jane Yolen and Lisa Tuttle. Of particular note are Joyce Carol Oates's chronicle of the debilitating physical and psychological effects of a nuclear-like holocaust in ``Family''; James Powell's wry account of a murder investigation in Clowntown, where everyone looks literally as if they belong in a circus (``A Dirge for Clowntown''); Steven Millhauser's ``The Illusionist,'' about a magician who conjures people into existence using the power of his mind; and Robert R. McCammon's terrifying version of the end of the world in ``Something Passed By.'' Also included is a summation of the year's fictional and film works in fantasy and horror. Datlow is fiction editor at Omni magazine and Windling is a veteran fantasy editor. (Aug.)