cover image The Best Horror of the Year: Volume Six

The Best Horror of the Year: Volume Six

Edited by Ellen Datlow. Night Shade, $15.99 trade paper (448p) ISBN 978-1-59780-503-2

Fans of both subtle horror and explicit gore will find something to enjoy in this uneven anthology of 24 stories. Unsurprisingly, the best work comes from some very familiar names. In "Down to a Sunless Sea," Neil Gaiman demonstrates that less is more, presenting a devastating narrative in just three pages. Kim Newman's "The Only Ending We Have" imagines what could have happened to Janet Leigh's body double in Psycho when her life ends up paralleling that of Marion Crane's. In contrast, Simon Clark's "The Tin House," about a house built by profiteers from the slave trade, is predictable, an attribute that is the antithesis of terror. Datlow deserves credit for eschewing the clich%C3%A9d staples of the genre, but that choice does not automatically translate into a memorable collection. (June)