Saturday, October 18, 2014

Review: The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 6 edited by Ellen Datlow

Published: June 3, 2014 by Night Shade Books and Imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
Genre: Anthology, Horror
Source: Provided for honest review
Amazon Overview

"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."

This statement was true when H. P. Lovecraft first wrote it at the beginning of the twentieth century, and it remains true at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The only thing that has changed is what is unknown.

With each passing year, science, technology, and the march of time shine light into the craggy corners of the universe, making the fears of an earlier generation seem quaint. But this "light" creates its own shadows. The Best Horror of the Year, edited by Ellen Datlow, chronicles these shifting shadows. It is a catalog of terror, fear, and unpleasantness, as articulated by today's most challenging and exciting writers.

The best horror writers of today do the same thing that horror writers of a hundred years ago did. They tell good stories--stories that scare us. And when these writers tell really good stories that really scare us, Ellen Datlow notices. She's been noticing for more than a quarter century. For twenty-one years, she coedited The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, and for the last six years, she's edited this series. In addition to this monumental cataloging of the best, she has edited hundreds of other horror anthologies and won numerous awards, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards.

More than any other editor or critic, Ellen Datlow has charted the shadowy abyss of horror fiction. Join her on this journey into the dark parts of the human heart . . . either for the first time . . . or once again.

This is a compilation of pretty amazing horror stories.  Since this is an anthology, my review will detour from my usual format.

Overall a great read with great stories.  Some I wish was a little longer and some were just right.  If you are a fan of horror, this is defiantly a good read.  It has a grab bag from all different kind of horror; from supernatural, creatures, killers, you name it there is a story for you!

All the short stories are well written with just the right amount of suspense and horror.  There are plenty of horrifying images this book will bring to your imagination and stay there.    I for one am TERRIFIED of birds.  Well, there is a very creepy story about a freakishly large killer bird.  It just reaffirms my beliefs birds are evil!  I enjoyed almost all the stories.  There were a few that stood out to me.  The Good Husband was probably my favorite.    Very chilling and graphic story A+ stuff!  I enjoyed the Soul in the Bell Jar because it was a ghost/mad scientist story from a new angle.   I also loved the Only Ending We Have a fictional story/character based in reality of Albert Hitchcock’s films.    I liked the fact it took something all horror fans know well and made an interesting and satisfying story.  The stories in this collection include:

"Apports" by Stephen Bacon
"Mr. Splitfoot" by Dale Bailey
"The Good Husband" by Nathan Ballingrud
"The Tiger" by Nina Allan
"The House on Cobb Street" by Lynda E. Rucker
"The Soul in the Bell Jar" by K.J. Kabza
"Call Out" by Stephen Toase
"That Tiny Flutter of the Heart I Used to Call Love" by Robert Shearman
"Bones of Crow" by Ray Cluley
"Introduction to the Body in Fairy Tales" by Jeannine Hall Gailey
"The Fox" by Conrad Williams
"The Tin House" by Simon Clark
"Stemming the Tide" by Simon Strantzas
"The Anatomist's Mnemonic" by Priya Sharma
"The Monster Makers" by Steve Rasnic Tem
"The Only Ending We Have" by Kim Newman
"The Dog's Paw" by Derek K√ľnsken
"Fine in the Fire" by Lee Thomas
"Majorlena" by Jane Jakeman
"The Withering" by Tim Casson
"Down to a Sunless Sea" by Neil Gaiman
"Jaws of Saturn" by Laird Barron
"Halfway Home" by Linda Nagata
"The Same Deep Waters as You" by Brian Hodge

I wouldn’t say there was anything I could point out as bad.  Of course some stories were better than others.  There were even a few I wasn’t really sure what I just read.   But in my opinion the point of short stories are to get your imagination flowing and you create your own conclusions.  And there was a time or two my conclusion was...I am confused.   All in all, this is a solid collection.  I love horror and these stories do the genre justice!


  1. Sounds like some good creepy stuff, Melody! Perfect for this month. ;)

  2. Sounds awesome! I love scary stories and short ones are the best. I always thought Stephen King's short story compilations were among his best work.

  3. Thanks for the great review. Just an fyi that my name is spelled wrong in your header (Datlow) :-)

  4. I love good short horror stories. Sounds creepy!

  5. Awesome! It sounds like a great anthology :D

  6. Oh I'm so sorry! Darned typing dyslexia. I have it fixed. Thanks so much for letting me know!

  7. I agree. Scary shorts can be that much more creepy and mysterious because you don't get a lot of explanation. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  8. I agree! A great read for this season :D


I love comments and read every one of them! Since they are an award in themselves, this is an award-free blog. Thank you though for the consideration!