cover image The Best Horror of the Year: Volume Five

The Best Horror of the Year: Volume Five

Edited by Ellen Datlow. Night Shade Books, $15.99 trade paper (464p) ISBN 978-1-59780-474-5

Daltow presents the breadth, vitality, and literary value of the horror genre in this impressive anthology consisting of 28 of the best short stories published in 2012. Almost half of the stories are by women, and they come from the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This anthology does a remarkable job of being multicultural; not only do settings range from Japan to Namibia, but the authors also pay homage to the rich horror literary traditions of these different cultures. All of the stories are perfectly creepy and astoundingly original, demonstrating both how incredible the current horror scene is and its promising future. Some of the most notable pieces include "The Callers" by Ramsey Campbell, "The Magician's Apprentice" by Tamsyn Muir, "Dead Song" by Jay Wilburn, "The Pike" by Conrad Williams, and "Final Exam" by Megan Arkenberg. To top it off, Daltow includes a comprehensive summary of all that was published within the genre in 2012 from notable novels to journals to chapbooks, with short notes on each work, making this book an enjoyable for everyone, die-hard horror fans or literary fiction readers alike. (Sept.)