cover image The Best Horror of the Year, Vol. 11

The Best Horror of the Year, Vol. 11

Edited by Ellen Datlow. Night Shade, $15.99 trade paper (432p) ISBN 978-1-59780-972-6

The 25 stories that Datlow has selected as the best short horror fiction of 2018 are impressive in their thematic breadth and tone. At one extreme there are chillers by Kristi DeMeester, Gemma Files, and Eloise C.C. Shepherd that find grist for nightmares in the intimacy of parent/child relationships. At the other extreme are Michael Marshall Smith’s “Shit Happens” and Joe Hill’s “You Are Released,” tales of apocalyptic horror on the seas and in the air. An array of exceptional stories fall in between them, including John Langan’s “Haak” and Siobhan Carroll’s “Haunt,” which build on fantastical elements in the work of Conrad and Coleridge, respectively; Thana Niveau’s “White Mare,” about the survival of macabre primitive customs into modern times; Thomas Olde Heuvelt’s creepy urban legend thriller, “You Know How the Story Goes”; Dale Bailey’s anthropophagus alternate history, “The Donner Party”; and Anne Billson’s shape-shifter shocker, “I Remember Nothing.” Datlow has drawn her selections from a wide variety of sources that even the most dedicated fans may have overlooked, and her comprehensive introductory overview of the year in horror will uncover still more venues for great scares. This is an indispensable volume for horror readers. (Sept.)