The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2008: 21st Annual Collection
, . . St. Martin's Griffin, $35 (458pp) ISBN 978-0-312-38048-9
The 40 selections in this exemplary anthology from Link and Grant (the fantasy half) and Datlow (the horror half) reflect virtually every hue of the fantasy/horror palette: urban fantasy in Jeffrey Ford's “The Drowned Life” and Karen Joy Fowler's “The Last Worders”; traditional supernatural horror in Paul Walther's “Splitfoot” and Terry Dowling's “Toother”; modern folk fantasy in Elizabeth Hand's “Winter's Wife” and Eileen Gunn's “Up the Fire Road”; and cosmic terror fiction in Laird Barron's “The Forest” and Don Tumasonis's “The Swing.” A handful of stories involve child abuse and abduction, of which Lisa Tuttle's “Closet Dreams” is the most horrifying. The front matter's snapshot summaries of the past year's yield in fantasy, horror, comics, mixed media and music are a small and invaluable book unto themselves.
Reviewed on: 08/25/2008