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

The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, Sixth Annual Collection

. Tor Books, $27.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-312-09421-8

This volume, the sixth in this series, is made up of a wide array of international voices--including a welcome contingent of stories by and about women--and combines traditional horror and fairy stories with magical realism and other uses of the supernatural and spiritual. The more than 50 contributions defy generalization, but are highlighted by Craig Curtis's contemporary story of Moby Dick 's heathen Queequeg as a wheeling, dealing, harpoon-carrying Madison Avenue ad executive; Cristina Peri Rossi's telling of a visitation by the Virgin Mary in a land where many mothers' sons have been killed; M.R. Scofidio's piece about a party game/seance gone bad; Grania Davis's tale blending magic and Jewish folk traditions; and Sara Gallardo's imagistic ancient kingdom tale. Datlow and Windling allow the boundaries around the genres to be fluid and open (for instance, several poems are included), producing a provocative volume that works at times as a commentary on itself, expanding the definition of the fantasy/horror anthology. Helpful introductions to individual pieces and their authors and other resources make this volume accessible to new readers of the genre. (Aug.)