Year's Best Fantasy 8
, . . Tachyon, $14.95 (375pp) ISBN 978-1-892391-76-6
Two“Year's Best”anthologies approach the superlative.
Renowned editors Hartwell and Cramer return with an enjoyable anthology that nonetheless never quite convinces you these are really the best stories of 2007. The standout selections, such as Darryl Gregory's “Unpossible,” a lost boy's poignant return to a fantasy world, and Laird Barron's “The Forest,” an exquisitely sinister exploration of a Lovecraftian landscape, are far better than those by bigger names, such as Michael Moorcock's bitter, solipsistic “A Portrait in Ivory” or Elizabeth Hand's paint-by-numbers sword and sorcery story “Winter's Wife.” The predictability of Theodora Goss's can-do princess in “Princess Lucinda and the Hound of the Moon” and Tad Williams's morally ambiguous good guy in “The Stranger's Hands” are balanced by the originality of the sprightly metalibrary in Holly Black's “Paper Cuts Scissors” and Fred Chappell's Vance-like fantasia “Dance of Shadows.” Most readers will enjoy the variety, though aficionados of the genre might be nonplussed at some choices.
Reviewed on: 05/26/2008