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The darkness creeps upon us and we shudder, or it suddenly startles and we scream. There need be no monsters for us to be terrified in the dark, but if there are, they are just as often human and supernatural. Join us in this outstanding annual exploration of the year's best dark fiction that includes stories of quiet fear, the utterly fantastic, the weirdly surreal, atmos The darkness creeps upon us and we shudder, or it suddenly startles and we scream. There need be no monsters for us to be terrified in the dark, but if there are, they are just as often human and supernatural. Join us in this outstanding annual exploration of the year's best dark fiction that includes stories of quiet fear, the utterly fantastic, the weirdly surreal, atmospheric noir, mysterious hauntings, seductive nightmares, and frighteningly plausible futures. Featuring thirty-five tales from masterful authors and talented new writers sure to make you reconsider walking in the shadows alone... Instructions for Use • Paula Guran No Ghosts in London • Helen Marshall Fake Plastic Trees • Caitlín R Kiernan The Natural History of Autumn • Jeffrey Ford Great-Grandmother in the Cellar • Peter S. Beagle Renfrew’s Course • John Langan End of White • Ekaterina Sedia Who is Arvid Pekon? • Karin Tidbeck Iphigenia in Aulis • Mike Carey Slaughterhouse Blues • Tim Lebbon England Under the White Witch • Theodora Goss The Sea of Trees • Rachel Swirsky The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury • Neil Gaiman The Education of a Witch • Ellen Klages Welcome to the Reptile House • Stephen Graham Jones Glamour of Madness • Peter Bell Bigfoot on Campus • Jim Butcher Everything Must Go • Brooke Wonders Nightside Eye • Terry Dowling Escena de un Asesinato • Robert Hood Good Hunting • Ken Liu Go Home Again • Simon Strantzas The Bird Country • K. M. Ferebee Sinking Among Lilies • Cory Skerry Down in the Valley • Joseph Bruchac Armless Maidens of the American West • Genevieve Valentine Blue Lace Agate • Sarah Monette The Eyes of Water • Alison Littlewood The Tall Grass • Joe R. Lansdale Game • Maria Dahvana Headley Pearls • Priya Sharma Forget You • Marc Laidlaw When Death Wakes Me to Myself • John Shirley Dahlias • Melanie Tem Bedtime Stories for Yasmin • Robert Shearman Hand of Glory • Laird Barron


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The darkness creeps upon us and we shudder, or it suddenly startles and we scream. There need be no monsters for us to be terrified in the dark, but if there are, they are just as often human and supernatural. Join us in this outstanding annual exploration of the year's best dark fiction that includes stories of quiet fear, the utterly fantastic, the weirdly surreal, atmos The darkness creeps upon us and we shudder, or it suddenly startles and we scream. There need be no monsters for us to be terrified in the dark, but if there are, they are just as often human and supernatural. Join us in this outstanding annual exploration of the year's best dark fiction that includes stories of quiet fear, the utterly fantastic, the weirdly surreal, atmospheric noir, mysterious hauntings, seductive nightmares, and frighteningly plausible futures. Featuring thirty-five tales from masterful authors and talented new writers sure to make you reconsider walking in the shadows alone... Instructions for Use • Paula Guran No Ghosts in London • Helen Marshall Fake Plastic Trees • Caitlín R Kiernan The Natural History of Autumn • Jeffrey Ford Great-Grandmother in the Cellar • Peter S. Beagle Renfrew’s Course • John Langan End of White • Ekaterina Sedia Who is Arvid Pekon? • Karin Tidbeck Iphigenia in Aulis • Mike Carey Slaughterhouse Blues • Tim Lebbon England Under the White Witch • Theodora Goss The Sea of Trees • Rachel Swirsky The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury • Neil Gaiman The Education of a Witch • Ellen Klages Welcome to the Reptile House • Stephen Graham Jones Glamour of Madness • Peter Bell Bigfoot on Campus • Jim Butcher Everything Must Go • Brooke Wonders Nightside Eye • Terry Dowling Escena de un Asesinato • Robert Hood Good Hunting • Ken Liu Go Home Again • Simon Strantzas The Bird Country • K. M. Ferebee Sinking Among Lilies • Cory Skerry Down in the Valley • Joseph Bruchac Armless Maidens of the American West • Genevieve Valentine Blue Lace Agate • Sarah Monette The Eyes of Water • Alison Littlewood The Tall Grass • Joe R. Lansdale Game • Maria Dahvana Headley Pearls • Priya Sharma Forget You • Marc Laidlaw When Death Wakes Me to Myself • John Shirley Dahlias • Melanie Tem Bedtime Stories for Yasmin • Robert Shearman Hand of Glory • Laird Barron

30 review for The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, 2013 Edition

  1. 5 out of 5

    James Reyome

    This is the fourth edition of what has become something of an annual tradition in our house. Of course we always give each other books at Christmas, as if we NEEDED any more books in the house (of course we do.) But somehow Shell always manages to surprise me in one way or another, and a couple of years back it was with a volume of this series. I liked it so much I've been asking for it ever since, and though it actually appears closer to my birthday in August, I always wait till Christmas to en This is the fourth edition of what has become something of an annual tradition in our house. Of course we always give each other books at Christmas, as if we NEEDED any more books in the house (of course we do.) But somehow Shell always manages to surprise me in one way or another, and a couple of years back it was with a volume of this series. I liked it so much I've been asking for it ever since, and though it actually appears closer to my birthday in August, I always wait till Christmas to enjoy it. From my point of view at least, the 2013 collection is is probably the best of the four volumes so far. The selection of the stories is top-notch and though you want to rush through each story, they're all works to savor. There is, though, one problem, and one which has been a consistent glitch with each of the editions. More on that anon. First the high points, and there are many. I really can't fault any of editor Paula Guran's selections. It all starts with Helen Marshall's quietly eerie "No Ghosts in London". Now, the topic matter is Dark Fantasy and Horror, and that leaves a lot of open ground, and from that excellent start we get Caitlin Kiernan's "Fake Plastic Trees", which is one of those tales of science gone awry that sticks with you long afterward. Awesomeness. It just keeps getting better from there and unless I want to cover every story in the book, it's best perhaps to keep it brief and hit the high points. "Iphigenia in Aulis" is a zombie story...kind of, with a 'teacher' in a 'school' and her favorite 'child' as the key characters. Terrific, with an ending Hitchcock could have used very effectively. I can see this one expanded into a film. Neil Gaiman's entry is of the Man who forgot Ray Bradbury, not coincidentally also the title, and it gibes nicely with my own rediscovery of the master. Another awesome (and relatively compact) work. "The Education of a Witch" is just terrific, with another great ending...Ellen Klages will be a name for me to remember. Ditto Jim Butcher, who is pretty big these days. He somehow manages to combine a hard boiled detective, a Sasquatch, and a hot vampire on the Oklahoma campus and makes it all work. And not one but two tales of robots (of a sort) are added, with Ken Liu's "Good Hunting" and Maria Dahvana Headley's "Game". The titles mesh well, and the stories are both superb. If there are high points, I have to give due credit to Terry Dowling, whose "Nightside Eye" is a revelation. Astonishing! And then there is the weirdly wonderful "Armless Maidens of the American West", perhaps the best title in the book, with an oddly touching tale to match. And then there are the two names I have been looking for lately, Joe Lansdale and Priya Sharma. Lansdale gives us an amazingly creepy and claustrophobic story of what happens when the train stops in the middle of nowhere and you get out...and it definitely isn't Willoughby ("Twilight Zone" fans will understand.) Sharma, who somehow manages to bring humor and unearthly emotion to everything I've read by her, does it again with "Pearls", and if tears could turn to pearls, I'd be able to string a nice necklace with them. Beautiful, beautiful. Laird Barron brings it all to a close with his "Hand of Glory", the story of a dark man wrapped up in something much darker than he imagines. A great close to a really great book. And now, the complaint. Again. Why? Why does this happen? To all at Prime Books: It's 2014, gang. Well, okay, it was 2013 when you published this tome. So why? Why are there SO MANY TYPOGRAPHIC ERRORS? WHY? It makes no sense. Do you not hire copy editors? I really hate to use a cliche like this, but it's true: It's not rocket science, folks. There is simply no excuse why a collection this wonderful should contain so damned many missed paragraphs, periods, closed quotes, etc. So many. It's been a problem in these books the past three years, but this year (after a year it seemed to have gotten better) it is just jarring. Please, I beg you, give these works the love they deserve. This would have easily been a five star review if even half the typos would've been fixed. Still. If you can look past the glitches--and you should--this is certainly worthy of your time. Highly recommended.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, 2013 Edition Disclaimer: I won a free copy of this book on GoodReads as a part of the First Reads giveaway program. I’d like to extend my thanks to GoodReads, the editor, and the publisher. “No Ghosts in London” by Helen Marshall. Eh. While it had some cool concepts of ghost traditions, I wasn’t wowed. The sometimes shift to second person was strange here. It was short though, so I didn’t feel bogged down. 2 stars. “Fake Plastic Trees” by Caitlin R. Kiernan. A The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, 2013 Edition Disclaimer: I won a free copy of this book on GoodReads as a part of the First Reads giveaway program. I’d like to extend my thanks to GoodReads, the editor, and the publisher. “No Ghosts in London” by Helen Marshall. Eh. While it had some cool concepts of ghost traditions, I wasn’t wowed. The sometimes shift to second person was strange here. It was short though, so I didn’t feel bogged down. 2 stars. “Fake Plastic Trees” by Caitlin R. Kiernan. A post apocalyptic diary-type short where a girl remembers a particular incident. The ideas behind the “EVENT” and the moved-on world 12 years later were very cool. I’d be interested in a novel set in this world. 4 stars. “The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury” by Neil Gaiman. Intriguing little story. I jumped ahead to read this one because it was Gaiman, and because it was short. That part of the plan backfired a bit, as I had to slow way down to comprehend what was happening. If you pick it up and read the story, that will make sense (even if some of what you read does not). Beautifully written homage to Bradbury. 4 stars. “The Natural History of Autumn” by Jeffrey Ford. Ahh, I liked this one. Full of intrigue and surprises. I really enjoyed the India setting too. Great characters and imagery. 4.5 stars. “Great-Grandmother in the Cellar” by Peter S. Beagle. Another great one. Spooky and weird, and just twisted enough to appeal to my darker side. Don’t mess with Great-Grandmother! 4.5 stars. “Renfrew’s Course” by John Langan. Eh. Didn’t really care for this one. There were a few moments of intrigue, but they were buried. Some drug tripping going on, but it was hard to tell which character was which. 1.5 stars. “End of White” by Ekaterina Sedia. I wanted to like this, as I’ve been curious about the author. But alas, didn’t care for it. It was too abstract to get a hold of. 2 stars. “Who is Arvid Pekon?” By Karin Tidbeck. That was just weird. It started out interesting, but got even more strange by the end. 2.5 stars. “Iphigenia in Aulis” by Mike Carey. This was awesome. Best story so far. It has a nice slow reveal, so I won’t spoil it here. But I was glued to every page. 5 stars. “Slaughterhouse Blues” by Tim Lebbon. This started out with promise, a tale switching between modern time and an event 40 years previous. It got to be pretty out-there by the time the stories converged. 2.5 stars. “England Under the White Witch” by Theodora Goss. I really enjoyed this one. Great alt-history what-if story. 4 stars. “The Sea of Trees” by Rachel Swirsky. Right away, I didn’t think I would like this. The language was a bit off, and it had a dreamy/not-making-sense kind of feel. But I kept on, and decided that I did like it. I cared about the characters, and was intrigued with the direction Swirsky was going with it. 3.5 stars. “The Education of a Witch” by Ellen Klages. Loved it. Of course, I often pull for the villains, so when a little girl came along that did the same, I had to smile. 4.5 stars. “Welcome to the Reptile House” by Stephen Graham Jones. Decent creepy story, but not all that memorable. 3 stars. “Glamour of Madness” by Peter Bell. Eh. Didn’t really get it. 2 stars. “Bigfoot on Campus” by Jim Butcher. This was the one story I’ve read previously, but I read it again while it was here. It was that good. I love all of the Harry Dresden stories, and this was a fine example. 5 stars. “Everything Must Go” by Brooke Wonders. A sale ad for a house interspersed with the backstory of how it became vacant. It started out a cool concept, but got a bit tiring by the end. 3 stars. “Nightside Eye” by Terry Dowling. Cool little story about changing perspective to see what’s hidden. The ending wasn’t fantastic, but the story had good buildup to it. 4 stars. “Escena de un Asesinato” by Robert Hood. Creep-fest. One of those cool stories that deals with art that’s inspired (or created) by the supernatural. 4.5 stars. “Good Hunting” by Ken Liu. A good story I would have like to seen expanded. Liu has some good ideas he could really run with. 3.5 stars. “Go Home Again” by Simon Strantzas. Eh. Not so much. 1.5 stars. “The Bird Country” by K.M. Ferebee. Eh. Not so much either. 1.5 stars. “Sinking Among Lilies” by Cory Skerry. Eh. Only marginally better. 2 stars. “Down in the Valley” by Joseph Bruchac. This was a cool one. American Indian folklore meets the modern age kind of stuff. 3.5 stars. “Armless Maidens of the American West” by Genevieve Valentine. I skipped ahead again to sneak in a short one before bed. This was, well, odd. Good, but odd. Another ghost story with some second person narrative, but this time it worked better than in the Marshall story. It might have been better if expanded. 3 stars. “Blue Lace Agate” by Sarah Monette. Yes. This is the type of story I read an anthology for. I’ll be looking for more stories about Jamie and Mick. 4.5 stars. “The Eyes of Water” by Alison Littlewood. Another good one. Creepy and well paced. 4 stars. “The Tall Grass” by Joe R. Lansdale. This one was short, and felt a little like the idea is overdone (I read Stephen King), but it was well executed and engaging. 4 stars. “Game” by Maria Dahvana Headley. This started out good, but dragged a lot. By the end it wasn’t so bad, though. I can’t help but cheer for the tiger that’s hunted, truth be told. 2.5 stars. “Pearls” by Priya Sharma. An interesting take on Greek mythology. It was short, but effective. 3 stars. “Forget You” by Marc Laidlaw. Another short one, really short. But damn, the imagery was very cool. 3.5 stars. “When Death Wakes Me to Myself” by John Shirley. Another with a cool concept that went on for too long. By the end, I didn’t care. 2 stars. “Dahlias” by Melanie Tem. Sometimes shorter is better. These last few short ones were well done, and this one would probably not have worked as well had it been longer. It was the perfect length for the story being told. 3.5 stars. “Bedtime Stories for Yasmin” by Robert Shearman. I liked this. Kind of a fable, showing how reading at an early age is a good thing. Or should be. “She was frightened of what the story might have let in.” 4.5 stars. “Hand of Glory” by Laird Barron. This is the final tale in the book, and the longest. Oh, gangsters! Capone-era gangsters at that. So it’s an Untouchables with paranormal? Kinda. Anyway, it’s pretty good. 3.5 stars. So now, here’s the tl;dr version of my review: Solid anthology with lots of good dark fantasy tales mixed in with a few clunkers. The nice thing about these kind of books is that when you find a story you don’t like, it won’t be long before it ends and a new one starts. Favorites are the stories by Butcher and Carey. Runners up would be those by Beagle, Ford, Hood, Shearman, Monette, and Klages. A few weren’t great, but they were short enough that I didn’t feel the need to gouge out my eyeballs or anything. Recommended. 3.5 stars overall.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    It started off pretty good, but the further I went in the book, the bleaker, darker & more inhuman the stories became...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kaylee

    Well, I kept track during this so each one will get a tiny review from me. I did not enjoy this anthology overall and am disappointed. I picked this up for two people, however, and they did not: Neil Gaiman and K. M. Ferebee. #1, No Ghosts in London by Helen Marshall: 2 stars. Meh. Did nothing for me. Really didn't like it how randomly switched to her talking to her "best beloved." Just unnecessary. Sad for the concepts but did not move me. #2, Fake Plastic Trees by Caitlin R Kiernan: 1 star. Did Well, I kept track during this so each one will get a tiny review from me. I did not enjoy this anthology overall and am disappointed. I picked this up for two people, however, and they did not: Neil Gaiman and K. M. Ferebee. #1, No Ghosts in London by Helen Marshall: 2 stars. Meh. Did nothing for me. Really didn't like it how randomly switched to her talking to her "best beloved." Just unnecessary. Sad for the concepts but did not move me. #2, Fake Plastic Trees by Caitlin R Kiernan: 1 star. Did not like at all. And it needed more editing. I'm assuming it was meant "girl" instead of "gift" (not the only one, and hey, maybe it was just the eBook version)... Also going from calling the baby "her/she" to "it" was annoying, especially so when in the same sentence. #3, The Natural History of Autumn by Jeffrey Ford: 1 star. So many things ridiculous about this one. Woulda been more annoying without my understanding of basic Japanese words. Most people wouldn't know what ojisan is. It seemed like the creatures should be creepy/scary but the writing was too hard to get into. #4, Great-Grandmother in the Cellar by Peter S. Beagle: 3 star. Most enjoyable so far. I liked the slight creepy edge and how Great-Grandmother was done. How she woke the sister was a nice touch. #5, Renfrew's Course by John Langan: 2 star. Meh. I'm not really sure. I think it had potential. Maybe just the writing style rubbed me wrong... #6, End of White by Ekaterina Sedia: 4 star. By far the most interesting and well written so far. Will probably check out other stuff from this author. #7, Who is Arvid Pekon? by Karin Tidbeck: 2 star. Was interesting concept #8, Iphigenia in Aulis by Mike Carey: 3 stars. Even though it's about children, I enjoyed it and its ending. Had some likeable people which is harder to do with such a short story. #9, Slaughter House Blues by Tim Lebbon: 3 stars. Quick enough. Ended up being better than I thought it would from the writing style. Good length for this one. #10, England Under the White Witch by Theodora Goss, 2 star. Okay enough. Not only did I really not like the switching from story teller mode to the story itself but I really don't like second POV, let alone when it tries to depict me as a child. Nice little moral to the story at the end though. #11, The Sea of Trees by Rachel Swirsky: 3 stars, I guess. Liked more than the other 2 stars anyway. Had some kinda creepy factors... Maybe spellcheck the Japanese if you're going to write it out though. #12, The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury by Neil Gaiman: 3 stars. Went quick enough. Was slightly disappointed here since I picked this up with Gaiman in mind but still enjoy his writing. #13, The Education of a Witch by Ellen Klages: 2 stars. Every part of me wants to give just 1 star but I'm being fair. Story from a child's perspective. Big nope! That aside, not too bad. #14, Welcome to the Reptile House by Stephen Graham Jones: 3 stars. Interesting. Main character is kinda rude but hey, lol. #15, Glamour of Madness by Peter Bell: 1 star. I am so glad this was not longer. Hardest to get through yet. Really did not like the story telling format throughout most of it. Literally in quotations. No thank you! #16, Bigfoot on Campus by Jim Butcher: 4 star. I've read Jim Butcher before and didn't like it (don't remember which) but I enjoyed this and its world. I might take a look at others since this seems to be a part of a series. #17, Everything Must Go by Brooke Wonders: 4 stars. Very interesting piece. I really enjoyed it. #18, Nightside Eye by Terry Dowling: 3 stars. I really liked the concepts here. I would read something by this author again. #19, Escena de un Asesinato by Robert Hood: 3 stars. Very interesting. Liked the ending. #20, Good Hunting by Ken Liu: 4 stars. I've read this one somewhere else too. Enjoyed it then and enjoyed it again. Such a tragedy. But ends well (mostly). #21, Go Home Again by Simon Strantzas: 2 stars. Just not my cup of tea. I prefer some dialogue. #22, The Bird Country by K. M. Ferebee: 4 stars. One of the reasons I picked up this book. She did not disappoint. #23, Sinking Among Lilies by Cory Skerry: 3 stars. Would like to read more of this world. The fight scene could use some work. Probably woulda been better if the story was longer. #24, Down in the Valley by Joseph Bruchac: 2 stars. Meh. Didn't care too much for the writing style. Had a good point though. Ending was kinda amusing. #25, Armless Maidens of the American West by Genevieve Valentine: 2 stars. Don't really have anything to say about this one. Kinda weird...? #26, Blue Lace Agate by Sarah Monette: 4 stars. This was fun, liked the world and characters. They coulda been better but with the word amount... Actually had this author as an option for a book club choice before under her other name. Might go back and read it after this. At least interested in trying out more of her stuff. #27, The Eyes of Water by Alison Littlewood: 4 stars. Interesting. One of the very few with a creepy quality. #28, The Tall Grass by Joe R. Lansdale: 4 stars. Was surprised at how much I ended up enjoying this with the beginning narrative. Probably cuz it switches more into he story than him obviously telling it. Liked the concept #29, Game by Maria Dahvana Headley: 3 stars. Pulled it off. Struggled with the killing tigers but brought it back. #30, Pearls by Priya Sharma: 3 stars. Meh. Interesting enough #31, Forget You by Mare Laidlaw: 4 stars. Short but intriguing. Would like to know more about the woman and the beings of this world. Not the first time I've seen something similar but bet it's different! #32, When Death Wakes Me to Myself by John Shirley: 3 stars. The recall of past selves was rather annoying but enjoyed the rest. #33, Dahlias by Melanie Tem: 1 star. Very long, drawn out first sentence. And they kept going. Was definitely a sign of how it was to be throughout the whole story. #34, Bedtime Stories for Yasmin by Robert Shearman: 2 star. Had a scene that coulda been creepy but... Think it was just the writing style for me. #35, Hand of Glory by Laird Barron: 1 star. Did not enjoy this one bit. And of course it was super long. Forced myself to finish it. If it wasn't the very last story here, I might not have. So there are 35 total stories in here. I just don't agree with the editor's choice for 'dark' and 'horror.' There's a spiel at the beginning of the book about just that and maybe something has been brought up about it before since 2013 isn't the first of these... Most have the same type of story-telling style to them and I think that's why I enjoyed so few of them. It seems that Paula Guran and I don't have the same tastes in books. I hope this helps some people who are on the fence about reading this. I didn't give summaries for each story as well but the full list of story title and names are now here. (It might be on here but just further back than I looked.)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Craig Caustic

    Standouts "Iphigenia in Aulus by Mike Carey: 4.5/5" "Glamour of Madness by Peter Bell: 4.5/5" "Everything Must Go by Brooke Wonders: 4/5" "Nightside Eye by Terry Dowling: 4/5" "Good Hunting by Ken Liu: 4/5" "Blue Lace Agate by Sarah Monette: 4/5" "The Eyes of Water by Alison Littlewood:4/5" "The Tall Grass by Joe Lansdale: 4.5/5" "Game by Maria Dahvana Headley: 4/5" "Pearls by Priya Sharma: 4/5" "When Death Wakes Me to Myself by John Shirley: 5/5" (Best Story) "Hand of Glory by Laird Ba Standouts "Iphigenia in Aulus by Mike Carey: 4.5/5" "Glamour of Madness by Peter Bell: 4.5/5" "Everything Must Go by Brooke Wonders: 4/5" "Nightside Eye by Terry Dowling: 4/5" "Good Hunting by Ken Liu: 4/5" "Blue Lace Agate by Sarah Monette: 4/5" "The Eyes of Water by Alison Littlewood:4/5" "The Tall Grass by Joe Lansdale: 4.5/5" "Game by Maria Dahvana Headley: 4/5" "Pearls by Priya Sharma: 4/5" "When Death Wakes Me to Myself by John Shirley: 5/5" (Best Story) "Hand of Glory by Laird Barron: 4/5" Letdowns "Fake Plastic Trees by Caitlin R. Kiérnan: 2/5" "Renfrew's Course by John Langan: 1.5/5" "Who is Arvid Pekon? by Karen Tidbeck: 2/5" "Forget You by Marc Laidlaw: 1/5" "Dahlias by Melanie Tem: 2/5" Averages out to 3 stars for the whole thing, taking into consideration all of the stories in between that I thought were a little above, below, or just plain average. When it was good, it was really good. When it was bad, it was really bad.

  6. 4 out of 5

    JJacy1

    Having read multiple years of this series I've found them to be a mix of good to great stories the same applies to this one. Having read multiple years of this series I've found them to be a mix of good to great stories the same applies to this one.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Vince Darcangelo

    Faves: Caitlin R. Kiernan, "Fake Plastic Trees" Jeffrey Ford, "The Natural History of Autumn" Karen Tidbeck, "Who is Arvid Pekon?" Tim Lebbon, "Slaughterhouse Blues" Neil Gaiman, "The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury" Stephen Graham Jones, "Welcome to the Reptile House" Joe R. Lansdale, "The Tall Grass" Marc Laidlaw, "Forget You" Faves: Caitlin R. Kiernan, "Fake Plastic Trees" Jeffrey Ford, "The Natural History of Autumn" Karen Tidbeck, "Who is Arvid Pekon?" Tim Lebbon, "Slaughterhouse Blues" Neil Gaiman, "The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury" Stephen Graham Jones, "Welcome to the Reptile House" Joe R. Lansdale, "The Tall Grass" Marc Laidlaw, "Forget You"

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rayne

    I like the characters, I love the plot and everything about this book. Good job writer! If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish it on NovelStar, just submit your story to [email protected] or [email protected]

  9. 4 out of 5

    Albert

    I really love your story, it deserves a lot of audience. If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish it on NovelStar, just submit your story to [email protected] or [email protected]

  10. 4 out of 5

    James

    Some very good stories. I didn't realize when I bought it but it includes the short story that inspired the movie "The Girl with all the Gifts". The story is good and an interesting different take on zombies. The movie of course grafted on a load of unneeded crap to make an action film. Some very good stories. I didn't realize when I bought it but it includes the short story that inspired the movie "The Girl with all the Gifts". The story is good and an interesting different take on zombies. The movie of course grafted on a load of unneeded crap to make an action film.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Pullen

    Good variety. A lot of well written stories.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    I didn't mean to read as much as I did. I'm a bit burned out on anthologies. Some of these I'd read before. Contents: No Ghosts in London - Helen Marshall - Gwendoyn works at Hardwick Hall after her Mom dies. Its resident ghosts are old friends until they get violent. [Not for me.] Fake Plastic Trees - Caitlin Kiernan - The world is ending, thanks to Man. Scientists, companies, colleges, and the like try to solve the problem with nano-assemblers. These mini-bots self-replicate, and all hell breaks I didn't mean to read as much as I did. I'm a bit burned out on anthologies. Some of these I'd read before. Contents: No Ghosts in London - Helen Marshall - Gwendoyn works at Hardwick Hall after her Mom dies. Its resident ghosts are old friends until they get violent. [Not for me.] Fake Plastic Trees - Caitlin Kiernan - The world is ending, thanks to Man. Scientists, companies, colleges, and the like try to solve the problem with nano-assemblers. These mini-bots self-replicate, and all hell breaks loose. Everything (almost) becomes plastic. They begin to evolve. [Interesting] Natural History of Autumn - Jeffrey Ford - Employee takes a holiday in the country with a geisha. An employer tests both of them. Jinmenkin. [Scary.] Great-grandmother in the Celler - Peter S. Beagle - Borbos the Witch-boy enchants a man's sister. The man will do anything to save her, which includes digging up Grandma, who has some power of her own. [Original - Liked it] Renfrew-s Course - John Langan - The Wizard, Renfrew, has a statue in his native Scotland.[Unusual. Sad betrayal.] End of White - Ekaterina Sedia - Didn't read. Who is Arvid Pekon - Karen Tidbeck - An odd business has employees who impersonate others when people call those people. One of the employees begins to get strange calls which have life-changing effects. - [Unusual. OK.] Iphigenia in Aulis - Mike Carey - Prison for special children has one good teacher. Girl growing up there loves her. World has faced an Armageddon of sorts. [Fantastic story. I had read this before, and I was impressed.] Slaughterhouse Blues - Tim Lebbon - A bar becomes a slaughterhouse when someone comes in an opens fire. The story of a weird survivor. [It was short. I didn't care for it.] England Under the White Witch - Theodora Goss - A wintry sorceress becomes Queen of England and starts taking over the world. [Didn't like it much. Not my type.] The Sea of Trees - Rachel Swirsky - Didn't read. The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury - Neil Gaiman - Title tells you everything. Extremely short. Didn't like it. The Education of a Witch - Ellen Klages - Young girl is coming into her powers in nursery school. Maleficent is her hero. [Didn't see the point of it. No real ending.] Welcome to the Reptile House - Stephen Graham Jones - Didn't read. Glamour of Madness - Peter Bell - Didn't read. Bigfoot on Campus - Jim Butcher - Bigfoot's son is only half bigfoot. He goes to college, obviously, and falls in love. His father is concerned, and sends the wizard Harry Dresden to investigate. [The series of short stories about Harry and Bigfoot are some of my favorite. I'd read this before, but liked it enough to read it again.] Everything Must Go - Brooke Wonders - Odd house seems alive. People cross the street to avoid it. [Didn't like.] Nightside Eye - Terry Dowling - Didn't read. Escena de un Asesinato - Robert Hood - Didn't read. Good Hunting - Ken Liu - A demon who steals hearts, a hulijing, has been visiting a local man. The Demonhunter and his son go hunting for her, the fox-woman. All this mixes with steam-punk. [Good story.] Go Home Again - Simon Strantzas - Didn't read. The Bird Country - K. M. Ferebee - Single man with a penchant for killing young men. An angel comes to live in his garden. [Sad, weird, good.] Sinking Among Lilies - Cory Skerry - Didn't read. Down in the Valley - Joseph Bruchac - Didn't read. Armless Maidens of the American West - Genevieve Valentine - Didn't read. Blue Lace Agate - Sarah Monette - The first story, I think, with Jamie and Mick. They are paranormal investigators. [Liked it.] The Eyes of Water - Alison Littlewood - Didn't read. The Tall Grass - Joe R. Lansdale - A train trip, stalled in the night, is the scene for a terrifying incident. [Very good, but scary.] Game - Maria Dahvana Headley - Didn't read. Pearls - Priyz Sharma - An artist with snakes for hair lives a quiet life. A man intrudes. [Loved it.] Forget You - Marc Laidlaw - A very brief story about an unusual relationship, soon forgotten. [OK.] When Death Wakes Me to Myself - John Shirley - A psychiatrist buys a house to open his own practice. A man breaks in, but not to do harm. He has no memories. [Very good story, original.] Dahlias - Melanie Tem - Didn't read. Bedtime Stories for Yasmin - Robert Shearman - Didn't read. Hand of Glory - Laird Barron - Didn't read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kat Dietrich

    The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, 2013 Edition, edited by Paula Guran. Not sure if I'm sick of anthologies, but this one didn't do much for me. Yes, there were some good stories (memorable ones below), but a number of them I just couldn't get through the first page or two -- boring, or just not my cup of tea). Anyway, as it goes: No Ghosts in London by Helen Marshall, about a young woman who works in a large hall haunted by ghosts. Her mom could handle them, but she dies, and they end up being The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, 2013 Edition, edited by Paula Guran. Not sure if I'm sick of anthologies, but this one didn't do much for me. Yes, there were some good stories (memorable ones below), but a number of them I just couldn't get through the first page or two -- boring, or just not my cup of tea). Anyway, as it goes: No Ghosts in London by Helen Marshall, about a young woman who works in a large hall haunted by ghosts. Her mom could handle them, but she dies, and they end up being violent. It was "okay", but the reason I mention it here at all is because it was the lead story, and I wasn't impressed. Maybe that is what put me off this book. Natural History of Autumn by Jeffrey Ford - Rather enjoyed this, a man goes on holiday in Japan and takes a geisha along, but both of them have ulterior motives. Great-grandmother in the Cellar by Peter S. Beagle, a boy digs up his grandmother to save his sister from her boyfriend. A lot of witchery involved. Quite good. Who is Arvid Pekon by Karen Tidbeck - Strange tale of a telephone answering service where the employees impersonate whoever the call is for. Totally enjoyed this one. Iphigenia in Aulis, Mike Carey - Have read this one before, definitely my favorite. Basically small children are being held captive in a military compound, but at first you aren't sure whether it is for their protection, or if they are the somehow dangerous. When taken to the school room they are put in wheelchairs and strapped down so that they can't move a muscle. Great story, great author. Bigfoot on Campus by Jim Butcher. This was my intro to Jim Butcher. I am going to read more! Blue Lace Agate by Sarah Monette - Really good, may look into this author. It is about two investigators of the paranormal. The Tall Grass by Joe R. Lansdale. A train breaks down in the middle of the night, and this guy walks off into the grass and barely makes it back. Good story. Bedtime Stories for Yasmin by Robert Shearman. An overprotective mom reads only the good stories to her little girl, but somebody else is reading the scary ones. Overall, it seemed a long book for a few good stories.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Curt Jeffreys

    The stories in this collection run the gamut from Neal Gaiman's The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury to Jim Butcher's hilarious Big Foot on Campus, touching on points in between. I won't even attempt to review every story here so I'll focus on what I consider to be the true gems in this collection. The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury is a horror tale for our times. The narrator opens his tale with the line I am forgetting things, which scares me. With this simple sentence Gaiman takes us by the hand and The stories in this collection run the gamut from Neal Gaiman's The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury to Jim Butcher's hilarious Big Foot on Campus, touching on points in between. I won't even attempt to review every story here so I'll focus on what I consider to be the true gems in this collection. The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury is a horror tale for our times. The narrator opens his tale with the line I am forgetting things, which scares me. With this simple sentence Gaiman takes us by the hand and leads us through the thoughts and fears of someone going through Alzheimer's or dementia, or maybe something else -- we are never really told -- but that's far from the point. Having your past wiped from your brain, memory by memory, is perhaps the scariest thing a person can face. Our past defines us, our memories make us who we are. If we lose those things where does that leave us? This story is no fantasy - what it describes is all too real, all too common, and that is what scares the crap out of me. Big Foot On Campus - I don't want to give anything away here, so just let me say Harry Dresden is back and in fine form as his usual smart-alecky self. Perhaps one of the creepiest tales in this collection is Robert Shearman's Bedtime Stories for Yasmin. There is nothing more innocuous than a story told to a child as she's being tucked into bed for the night, right? Not in this story. Enough said. You'll have to read it for yourself. The Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror, 2013 lives up to it's title. Recommended.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Fritze

    This one is very difficult to rate and review. Am I rating the quality of the individual stories? The way they flow together? Or the quality of the editing? All of these criteria play a part in my overall opinion of this book. I'll start with the stories. Usually anthologies are, for me, hit and miss. This one, though is consistently high quality. None of the stories are "meh." Some of the stories are merely "good." Most of the stories are "really good." Several are downright "great." So, five s This one is very difficult to rate and review. Am I rating the quality of the individual stories? The way they flow together? Or the quality of the editing? All of these criteria play a part in my overall opinion of this book. I'll start with the stories. Usually anthologies are, for me, hit and miss. This one, though is consistently high quality. None of the stories are "meh." Some of the stories are merely "good." Most of the stories are "really good." Several are downright "great." So, five stars for the writing. My favorite was "Good Hunting" by Ken Liu. I also loved "Education of a Witch" by Ellen Klages and "Game" by Maria Dahvana Headley. Unfortunately, this book is riddled with typos. Seriously, I wanted to throw it across the room several times. I'm not sure if there was one single story in the entire volume that was typo-free. I know it's up to the authors to provide the cleanest manuscripts possible, but every piece of writing needs at least a second set of eyes. The most egregious typo was in the pull-quote of one of the stories. When I got to that passage in the story, I saw how it was supposed to read. I'm not sure how you screw up a cut-and-paste, but I would think that Prime Books has a copy editor on staff. After thinking about how to rate this, I decided that the typos take it down at least a full star. The stories are 4 to 4.5 stars.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Todd Barwick

    The editor did a great job of a)explaining the process for picking out stories, b) explaining how not everyone will not like all the stories, and c) picking out a diverse collection. I really did enjoy reading this book, and just like Paula Guran wrote, some of the stories I enjoyed to varying degrees, and some I did not care for all that much. However, there was maybe one or two stories only that I did not care for, and there were far more stories that I not only loved, but there was one story The editor did a great job of a)explaining the process for picking out stories, b) explaining how not everyone will not like all the stories, and c) picking out a diverse collection. I really did enjoy reading this book, and just like Paula Guran wrote, some of the stories I enjoyed to varying degrees, and some I did not care for all that much. However, there was maybe one or two stories only that I did not care for, and there were far more stories that I not only loved, but there was one story I liked so much that I will be actively searching for more from that author. (I will not name the author as I do not want to sway readers opinions) Suffice it to say, a good book of short stories, in my opinion, is one that you can read and never pick up again. A great book of short stories will include stories that you want to read again and again. This book falls into the great category. What kept me from giving it a five star rating, was the great amount of typos in a few of the stories. Usually I do not notice mistakes, but some were so glaring they detracted from the stories. Go ahead and pick this book up, I am sure you will enjoy it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chrystal Hays

    The stories are well-selected and I liked each one as much as I could. Sadly, the book is badly edited, in that there are such glaring errors, typos, and printing mistakes that not a single story could be read in the state of suspended disbelief that is really necessary for good horror. I mean things like paragraph breaks in the middle of sentences, words hyphenated as if for the end of a sentence, but in the middle of a sentence (bro-ther), letters from one word tacked on to another (cats cratc The stories are well-selected and I liked each one as much as I could. Sadly, the book is badly edited, in that there are such glaring errors, typos, and printing mistakes that not a single story could be read in the state of suspended disbelief that is really necessary for good horror. I mean things like paragraph breaks in the middle of sentences, words hyphenated as if for the end of a sentence, but in the middle of a sentence (bro-ther), letters from one word tacked on to another (cats cratch), words substituted to the point the sentence had to be read many times (at for and), and many more. If I had bought a galley copy or promotional copy, that would be one thing...but this was a new book. I can't believe this went to press without ANYONE noticing all of this. Not sure I want to brave another book in this series. Will be glad to proofread any upcoming editions...some one should have.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Baal Of

    A very nice collection of horror and dark fantasy. This volume definitely leans towards the latter, with only a few of the entries being truly horror in my estimation, but overall, a very solid anthology. There were a couple stories I didn't like at all, and in one case I actually just skimmed it, because it was so fucking boring, but there were plenty more stories I liked to make up for that. I always expect one or two duds in a book like this. I guess I need to start taking notes while reading A very nice collection of horror and dark fantasy. This volume definitely leans towards the latter, with only a few of the entries being truly horror in my estimation, but overall, a very solid anthology. There were a couple stories I didn't like at all, and in one case I actually just skimmed it, because it was so fucking boring, but there were plenty more stories I liked to make up for that. I always expect one or two duds in a book like this. I guess I need to start taking notes while reading, because I can't remember which stories stood out.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    The stories so far are outstanding, but did anyone find the many typos distracting? They even spelled Karin Tidbeck's name wrong in the header on her story. Dialogue not spaced correctly, wrong words used ("gift" instead of "girl.") I tend to over-notice these types of things, but I've never seen such major mistakes in a book before. Besides that, I am really loving it :-)! The stories so far are outstanding, but did anyone find the many typos distracting? They even spelled Karin Tidbeck's name wrong in the header on her story. Dialogue not spaced correctly, wrong words used ("gift" instead of "girl.") I tend to over-notice these types of things, but I've never seen such major mistakes in a book before. Besides that, I am really loving it :-)!

  20. 4 out of 5

    John

    What need I say? If you like horror and dark fantasy, this is a must read! The story quality was consistently excellent, as it always is with this series. I recommend that you not only buy this book, but every one from previous years! : )

  21. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin

    The book is a good representation of different authors. Positive for having that. I read the authors that I like the work the most than went from there trying to find the stories that would make me think twice about being in a dark room after I read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Such great stories. Gaiman's was my favorite. But a lot of other author's surprised me as well. Some I did not care for, but that's beside the point. Some author's I have never even heard of that I will now track down. I enjoyed the introduction Paula Guran wrote about instructions for use. Such great stories. Gaiman's was my favorite. But a lot of other author's surprised me as well. Some I did not care for, but that's beside the point. Some author's I have never even heard of that I will now track down. I enjoyed the introduction Paula Guran wrote about instructions for use.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Took a while Got to admit I was impressed I don't normally read anthologies but I bought this two years ago read half and finally came back it was a game changer I think I will read more anthologies now Took a while Got to admit I was impressed I don't normally read anthologies but I bought this two years ago read half and finally came back it was a game changer I think I will read more anthologies now

  24. 5 out of 5

    Enock I I.

    Gripping stories. The stories that moved me were those by Jim Butcher, Ken Liu, Joe R. Lansdale, Marc Laidlaw, Robert Hood.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Fuller

    None of the stories did anything for me. I quit about halfway through.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Will

    Really good collection. None of the stories were bad and the good ones were great. I will check out other years of this anthology.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alexandre Frenette

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

  30. 5 out of 5

    Freja Nielsen

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