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The Giant Book Of Best New Horror

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Comprising: Pin by Robert R. McCammon No Sharks in the Med by Brian Lumley ...To Feel Another's Woe by Chet Williamson The Horn by Stephen Gallagher A Short Guide to the City by Stephen Gallagher The Last Day of Miss Dorinda Molyneaux by Robert Westall The Eye of the Ayatollah by Ian Watson Alive in Venice by Cherry Wilder Blanca by Thomas Tessier The Man Who Drew Cats by Michael Ma Comprising: Pin by Robert R. McCammon No Sharks in the Med by Brian Lumley ...To Feel Another's Woe by Chet Williamson The Horn by Stephen Gallagher A Short Guide to the City by Stephen Gallagher The Last Day of Miss Dorinda Molyneaux by Robert Westall The Eye of the Ayatollah by Ian Watson Alive in Venice by Cherry Wilder Blanca by Thomas Tessier The Man Who Drew Cats by Michael Marshall Smith The Last Feast of Harlequin by Thomas Ligotti Snow Cancellations by Donald R. Burleson True Love by K.W. Jeter Firebird by J.L. Comeau Cedar Lane by Karl Edward Wagner Mort au Monde by D.F. Lewis Negatives by Nicholas Royle Bad News by Richard Laymon On the Town Route by Elizabeth Hand Ma Qui by Alan Brennert Incident on a Rainy Night in Beverly Hills by David J. Schow Impermanent Mercies by Kathe Koja 1/72nd Scale by Ian MacLeod The Same in Any Language by Ramsey Campbell His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood by Poppy Z. Brite Our Life in an Hourglass by Charles L. Grant The Braille Encyclopedia by Grant Morrison Those of Rhenea by David Sutton Power Cut by Joel Lane Jane Doe 112 by Harlan Ellison Pelts by F. Paul Wilson On the Wing by Jean-Daniel Breque Where Flies are Born by Douglas Clegg Inside the Walled City by Garry Kilworth The Dead Love You by Jonathan Carroll Chui Chai by S.P. Somtow Where They Gave us Memory by Dennis Etchison Lord of the Land by Gene Wolfe Mister Ice Cold by Gahan Wilson The Original Dr. Shade by Kim Newman


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Comprising: Pin by Robert R. McCammon No Sharks in the Med by Brian Lumley ...To Feel Another's Woe by Chet Williamson The Horn by Stephen Gallagher A Short Guide to the City by Stephen Gallagher The Last Day of Miss Dorinda Molyneaux by Robert Westall The Eye of the Ayatollah by Ian Watson Alive in Venice by Cherry Wilder Blanca by Thomas Tessier The Man Who Drew Cats by Michael Ma Comprising: Pin by Robert R. McCammon No Sharks in the Med by Brian Lumley ...To Feel Another's Woe by Chet Williamson The Horn by Stephen Gallagher A Short Guide to the City by Stephen Gallagher The Last Day of Miss Dorinda Molyneaux by Robert Westall The Eye of the Ayatollah by Ian Watson Alive in Venice by Cherry Wilder Blanca by Thomas Tessier The Man Who Drew Cats by Michael Marshall Smith The Last Feast of Harlequin by Thomas Ligotti Snow Cancellations by Donald R. Burleson True Love by K.W. Jeter Firebird by J.L. Comeau Cedar Lane by Karl Edward Wagner Mort au Monde by D.F. Lewis Negatives by Nicholas Royle Bad News by Richard Laymon On the Town Route by Elizabeth Hand Ma Qui by Alan Brennert Incident on a Rainy Night in Beverly Hills by David J. Schow Impermanent Mercies by Kathe Koja 1/72nd Scale by Ian MacLeod The Same in Any Language by Ramsey Campbell His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood by Poppy Z. Brite Our Life in an Hourglass by Charles L. Grant The Braille Encyclopedia by Grant Morrison Those of Rhenea by David Sutton Power Cut by Joel Lane Jane Doe 112 by Harlan Ellison Pelts by F. Paul Wilson On the Wing by Jean-Daniel Breque Where Flies are Born by Douglas Clegg Inside the Walled City by Garry Kilworth The Dead Love You by Jonathan Carroll Chui Chai by S.P. Somtow Where They Gave us Memory by Dennis Etchison Lord of the Land by Gene Wolfe Mister Ice Cold by Gahan Wilson The Original Dr. Shade by Kim Newman

30 review for The Giant Book Of Best New Horror

  1. 5 out of 5

    Graham

    This horror anthology really lives up to its name: an incredible 41 stories are collected within! It’s bulky and takes a long time to read, but Ramsey Campbell and Stephen Jones are two much-respected editors here in the UK so you know you’re in for a good read. Here’s a breakdown of the contents: PIN by Robert McCammon – short and sickening. NO SHARKS IN THE MED by Brian Lumley – a story of sexual perversion by one of my favourites. ...TO FEEL ANOTHER’S WOE by Chet Williamson – a twist on the vampi This horror anthology really lives up to its name: an incredible 41 stories are collected within! It’s bulky and takes a long time to read, but Ramsey Campbell and Stephen Jones are two much-respected editors here in the UK so you know you’re in for a good read. Here’s a breakdown of the contents: PIN by Robert McCammon – short and sickening. NO SHARKS IN THE MED by Brian Lumley – a story of sexual perversion by one of my favourites. ...TO FEEL ANOTHER’S WOE by Chet Williamson – a twist on the vampire mythos, and well written with it. THE HORN by Stephen Gallagher – absolutely brilliant tale of three travellers trapped in a roadside hut in a snowstorm. This one reminded me of Stephen King’s style a lot. A SHORT GUIDE TO THE CITY by Peter Straub – a travelogue with a twist. Odd and sometimes rewarding. THE LAST DAY OF MISS DORINA MOLYNEAUX by Robert Westall – an excellent modern-day ghost story in the style of M. R. James from a guy bestk known for children’s literature. THE EYE OF THE AYATOLLAH by Ian Watson – about a fighter in Iraq going mad. A bit overwritten, but a mark of the time (early ‘90s). ALIVE IN VENICE by Cherry Wilder – very opaque, but with an atmosphere inevitably reminiscent of DON’T LOOK NOW. BLANCA by Thomas Tessier – very dramatic, very unusual, very effective, this one, and one of the best in the collection. CARNAL HOUSE by Steve Rasnic Tem – hated it, didn’t see a plot. THE MAN WHO DREW CATS by Michael Marshall Smith – Smith’s first story and a real corker. A story of revenge filled with foreboding and doom. THE LAST FEAST OF THE HARLEQUIN by Thomas Ligotti – the author builds up a real Lovecraftian atmosphere and another outstanding effort from an author who can do no wrong. SNOW CANCELLATIONS by Donald R. Burleson – a nightmarish story about a child ‘home alone’. TRUE LOVE by K. W. Jeter – child abuse and cannibalism. Not for the squeamish, and not for me either. FIREBIRD by J. L. Comeau – witchcraft antics and constant gory action. I liked it a lot. CEDAR LANE by Karl Edward Wagner – one of the author’s best, and a truly profound piece of writing. MORT AU MONDE by D. F. Lewis – deliberately vague and not my cup of tea. NEGATIVES by Nicholas Royle – plenty of originality in the story of a man who sees everything in its opposite colour. BAD NEWS by Richard Laymon – very gruesome, but with a ‘50s monster movie style to it, making it one of the author’s better efforts. ON THE TOWN ROUTE by Elizabeth Hand – ice cream delivery in the American backroads. It sounds weird and it is, with a touch of magic and folklore too. MA QUI by Alan Brennert – the story of an American soldier killed in the Vietnam War and his restless spirit thereafter. An extremely spooky, disturbing ghost story, full of originality. Another highlight of this collection. INCIDENT ON A RAINY NIGHT IN BEVERLY HILLS by David J. Schow – an intellectually-charged thriller with much to recommend it. IMPERMANENT MERCIES by Kathe Koja – disorientating and unpleasant. 1/72ND SCALE by Ian Macleod – a ghost story about a haunted model plane. Brilliantly written, and often gruelling, as well as very emotional. THE SAME IN ANY LANGUAGE by Ramsey Campbell – a Greek island populated by lepers is the setting for this, one of the writer’s best. HIS MOUTH WILL TASTE OF WORMWOOD by Poppy Z. Brite – exquisite writing, a heavy gothic ambience, and plenty of artwork in the writing. ONE LIFE IN AN HOURGLASS by Charles L. Grant – more ambiguity that leaves me scratching my head. THE BRAILLE ENCYCLOPAEDIA by Grant Morrison – a shameless derivative of Clive Barker’s THE HELLBOUND HEART (aka the film HELLRAISER). THOSE OF RHENEA by David Sutton – another Greek island, this one covered in ruins invested by nocturnal horrors. Isolated and spooky, this. POWER CUT by Joel Lane – a short and to the point study of urban decay. JANE DOE #112 by Harlan Ellison – straightforward, but with a lot of suspense along the way. PELTS by F. Paul Wilson – gruelling, horrible story of revenge. Very gory this, but with a strong story to go with it too. I liked it. ON THE WING by Jean-Daniel Breque – loneliness in the French countryside. I found it pretty unremarkable. WHERE FLIES ARE BORN by Douglas Clegg – a bit like an old Pan horror story or PET SEMATARY. You wonder what’s going on! INSIDE THE WALLED CITY by Garry Kilworth – the hunt for a killer inside a Hong Kong slum. Amazing and completely terrifying, with depths of originality that many writers can’t achieve. THE DEAD LOVE YOU by Jonathan Carroll – too many twists spoiled this one for me. CHUI CHAI by S. P. Somtow – sleaze on the back streets of Bangkok. A filthy atmosphere and crazed antics that wouldn’t be amiss in RE-ANIMATOR. I liked it. WHEN THEY GAVE US MEMORY by Dennis Etchison – about a TV actor visiting his parents to discover they don’t know him. Psychologically chilly and almost autobiographical. LORD OF THE LAND by Gene Wolfe – historical horror for a writer researching ancient American folklore. Another highlight. MISTER ICE COLD by Gahan Wilson – in which the ice cream man isn’t as innocent as he makes out. Very short and very nasty. THE ORIGINAL DR. SHADE by Kim Newman – comic book culture is the focus of a story full of intrigue and flawless composition.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Vrinda Pendred

    As a woman, I couldn't finish this. I got a quarter of the way through this hefty tome and just had to stop and send it to the charity shop. The intro notes that there is a lot of fresh, new talent in the scene, particularly from female writers...yet only 4 out of 41 tales selected for this collection appear to be by women. The rest are what I have come to see is the usual array of casually misogynistic stories that are unoriginal, unsurprising and leave you wondering why you bothered. What do I m As a woman, I couldn't finish this. I got a quarter of the way through this hefty tome and just had to stop and send it to the charity shop. The intro notes that there is a lot of fresh, new talent in the scene, particularly from female writers...yet only 4 out of 41 tales selected for this collection appear to be by women. The rest are what I have come to see is the usual array of casually misogynistic stories that are unoriginal, unsurprising and leave you wondering why you bothered. What do I mean by casual misogyny? Find me a story that doesn't make comments about women's breast size and link it with her worth (or lack thereof). It was especially pleasant to read about how a woman had small breasts yet was somehow still attractive, like it's a consolation. Even in erotica, written by women, the men aren't described in this way. Yet I come across this sort of thing in literally every collection of horror or sci-fi that I read, alongside unnecessary comments about erections and so forth. Even when a story seems to be going in a decent direction, suddenly they go to a strip joint where the 'women are occasionally distracting', for no reason, with no relevance to the plot. That was in the story that made me give up on this collection. The author wanted me to pity a man who had been taken and killed, and regard him as 'a decent guy', after he'd repeatedly tried to persuade the narrator to buy some child prostitutes. This is in addition to references to child abuse, rape, etc. I'm sure the authors think they're being edgy and topical and depicting modern urban ugliness - but I don't need it in my head, and I don't know why all their minds stay in that place. Horror should move you in some way, make a statement, truly get under the skin and stay with you for days. This collection was, at best, boring - at worst, it made me angry and wonder if this is really how men think. I certainly hope not. It isn't an attitude that needs promoting. I almost feel guilty about passing it on to charity, but at least they'll get some money out of it. If you're female, I would personally recommend avoiding this one. If you're a man with any self-respect, don't endorse this either. The only thing about it that scared me was the thought that anyone decided these stories were acceptable.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jenna Baldwin

    One of the best books of short stories I have ever read . Was very sad when I finished it

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    THE GIANT BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR Edited by Stephen Jones and Ramsey Campbell This giant horror collection has been on my shelf for 20 years. Over that time I’ve read bits and pieces from it, but this year thought it was time to give it a good cover-to-cover re-read. The book collects Jones and Campbells’ selections of the ‘very best’ from the first three volumes of their BEST NEW HORROR series, published in the late 80’s and early 90’s. It is indeed a huge collection, containing 41 stories, rangin THE GIANT BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR Edited by Stephen Jones and Ramsey Campbell This giant horror collection has been on my shelf for 20 years. Over that time I’ve read bits and pieces from it, but this year thought it was time to give it a good cover-to-cover re-read. The book collects Jones and Campbells’ selections of the ‘very best’ from the first three volumes of their BEST NEW HORROR series, published in the late 80’s and early 90’s. It is indeed a huge collection, containing 41 stories, ranging in length from about 2000 words [4 pages] to around 18,000 [32pp] words, and from an eclectic range of authors. The collection gives a needle-sharp reflection of the state of horror at the time. Mostly supernatural horror, or dark fantasy, fills the pages, and there is a certain amount of gory, cinematic action-horror that often typified the era. There is a handful of stories set in more exotic locales [meaning neither the UK or USA], a number of stories using various literary techniques like intertextuality and unreliable narrators, and a set of tales still haunted by the shadow of Vietnam. Each reader will like or dislike different selections, but here are mine. My favourite story in the book, though difficult to choose, is from an author I had not encountered before; Ian Macleod’s ‘1/72nd Scale’ is an excellent story telling of a boy trying to heal the pain of his family after the death of his brother, by building his brother’s unmade Airfix model plane. He becomes close to his brother’s spirit and memory while building the model, and sets in motion a chain of supernatural and weird events. A delightful easy-to-read and compelling story, this is very evocative of childhood, and anyone who grew up in England in the 70’s or 80’s will find much to empathise on. Around a quarter of the stories I would consider excellent or very good. Thomas Ligotti’s ‘The Last Feast Of Harlequin’ and Gene Wolfe’s ‘Lord Of The Land’ are great in different ways, both with a hint of Lovecraftiness. Wolfe’s story tells of a guy collecting mythic stories of the ‘soul-sucker’, while Ligotti’s scholarly story has a narrator investigating pierrot or sad-clown figures in a strange Winter festival in an unusual town. Both tales suggest that reality is just a thin veneer which hides something alien and horrific. Ghosts and hauntings are frequent here; Thomas Tessier’s ‘Blanca’ tells, in measured and impeccable prose, about a bland holiday, night-time visions, and a missing friend. ‘Ma Qui’ by Alan Brennert, which won the Nebula Award, is an inventive and excellent story of ghosts, demons and of belief, and how American G.I.’s that die in the Vietnamese jungles face an afterlife of a different culture. ‘True Love’ by K.W. Jeter is both devastating and memorable with a woman abducting small boys and taking them home to her dying father. This simple plotline very effectively mixes true horror with the supernatural. ‘The Man Who Drew Cats’ was Michael Marshall Smith’s first published story and tells of a mysterious pavement artist. ‘Pelts’ by F. Paul Wilson was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award and is a straight 80’s style horror fest, concerned with the animal fur trade, but delivering delicious horror splat. There were also good [as opposed to outstanding] enjoyable stories here; ‘No Sharks In The Med’ by Brian Lumley is a well-written version of WOLF CREEK set in Greece, and is only slightly overlong. ‘The Horn’ by Stephen Gallagher tells of a supernatural menace in a snowstorm. There is good humour and good writing here, in this tale which I found very indicative of the 1980’s. ‘The Last Day Of Miss Dorinda Molyneux’ by Robert Westall is a good ghost story about a shambling corpse released into the vaults of an abandoned church. It has a slightly slow build-up, but builds to an atmospheric ending. ‘Snow Cancellations’ by Donald R. Burleson is an old favourite of mine. Again, set in a snowstorm, this has at its core an obvious yet genius idea. ‘Those Of Rhenea’ by David Sutton, and ‘The Same In Any Language’ by Ramsey Campbell are both enjoyable ghost-stories set in and around the Mediterranean. Campbell’s story particularly lingers in the memory. ‘The Braille Encyclopedia’ by Grant Morrison, ‘Where Flies Are Born’ by Douglas Clegg’, and ‘The Eye Of The Ayatollah’ by Ian Watson have original but macabre ideas behind them. All three are enjoyable and memorable tales. I enjoyed ‘Impermanent Mercies’ by Kathe Koja, even though it is perhaps the most bizarre in the book. It is very well written and tells the strange story of a dog’s head in a box, ordering people to carry out its evil bidding. Poppy Z. Brite’s ‘His Mouth Will Taste Of Wormwood’ is an elegant and decadant story of thrill-seeking grave-robbers. Occasionally unpleasant, there is flair and style in the prose. Jonathan Carroll’s story ‘The Dead Love You’ is highly readable, about stalkers and being stalked, with some great lines. Carroll likes playing with the readers expectations; take this paragraph half way through; “Are you confused? Good! Stick with me a while longer and you’ll know everything. I could have held all this till the end. But I want you frowning now, knowing something is very wrong with your parachute, even before actually pulling the cord and praying it opens. P.S. It won’t.” ‘Chui Chai’ by S.P.Somtow tells of Frankenstein-like experiments on the streets of Bangkok, while ‘Inside The Walled City’ by Garry Kilworth describes an expedition in a vast soon-to-be-demolished collection of slums in Hong Kong. There are other ok to average stories by Gahan Wilson, Harlan Ellison, Richard Laymon, Nicholas Royle, Karl Edward Wagner, J.L. Comeau, Steve Rasnic Tem, Chet Williamson and Robert R. McCammon. Alas, there are always stories that miss the mark, and everyone’s will be a different set. Personally, here, I was less keen on the work of Peter Straub [unusually], Cherry Wilder, D.F.Lewis, Elizabeth Hand, David J.Schow, Charles L. Grant, Joel Lane, Jean Daniel-Breque, or Dennis Etchison. Neither did I much like ‘The Original Dr.Shade’, a novella by Kim Newman; this won the 1991 Science Fiction Award for Best Short Story, so quite clearly, that shows how much I know. In summation, this is a huge collection which explores many and most of the popular themes in the horror genre, and contains plenty of great reading and clever ideas. There is more than just splat and gore here; there is atmosphere, excellent prose, mystique and wonder, and above all, there is heart; there should always be heart in good horror. Quite simply, anyone with an interest in the genre will find much to like here. 8/10

  5. 4 out of 5

    Annabelle

    "Anyone who is interested in the contemporary horror scene should buy a copy of this book and devour it," says the book's blurb by The Times. I kind of just nibbled away at it. (Realms of Darkness, the anthology I read prior to this--THAT I devoured.) The book does says "NEW" HORROR, after all. And my horror of choice leans toward gothic and Victorian. There are 41 stories here, which I read at random, a habit I have when it comes to anthologies. And I like it that the editors include a short, h "Anyone who is interested in the contemporary horror scene should buy a copy of this book and devour it," says the book's blurb by The Times. I kind of just nibbled away at it. (Realms of Darkness, the anthology I read prior to this--THAT I devoured.) The book does says "NEW" HORROR, after all. And my horror of choice leans toward gothic and Victorian. There are 41 stories here, which I read at random, a habit I have when it comes to anthologies. And I like it that the editors include a short, half-page introduction about the author right before their contribution. I'm listing down 14 titles divided into two sets: Set A lists the titles I liked and which I found impressive, the stories I would read again. Set B has the titles which I liked, but unlikely to reread. Titles are numbered according to preference--top picks first. Set A 1) The Man Who Drew Cats by Michael Marshall Smith - Since I read anthology stories at random, this was one of the last stories I read. Which is fortunate because this is the best story here, in a class of its own. It blew me away with its Norman Rockwell imagery, conversational narrative, and tight, tidy plot. Smith is said to have written this, his first short story, in a day. Which makes it even more admirable. From hereon, I'll be keeping an eye out for anything by Smith. Set B 1) Ma Qui by Alan Brennert - A morbid, first-person account of life after violent death. It's highly unsettling. And eerily, believable. Great storytelling, and the only reason this isn't listed under Set A is because it's highly unsettling. And eerily, believable! 2) Incident on a Rainy Night in Beverly Hills by David J. Schow - The plot is very eighties, I could actually visualize the two leads in their pastel sports jackets and sock-less loafers as they sipped their whiskeys. 3) Blanca by Thomas Tessier - Graham Greene in The Twilight Zone. 4) Firebird by J.L. Comeau - Gritty police story of Grand Guignol proportions. Neat ending. 5) The Last Day of Miss Dorinda Molyneaux by Robert Westall - A small collection of Westall's tidy ghost stories, which I read a few months back was enough to clue me in to the understated, sometimes amusing ghost stories of Westall. Such as this. 6) The Last Feast of Harlequin by Thomas Ligotti - A Cambridge-educated university professor who moonlights as a clown goes on location to document the local Saturnalia. In Smalltown, USA. Touted as Lovecraftian, but I don't see the parallels. 7) The Horn by Stephen Gallagher - Stephen Gallagher channeling Stephen King of ths 80s. 8) ...To Feel Another's Woe by Chet Williamson - Method acting via the dementor method. 9) Alice in Venice by Cherry Wilder - The story's setting and the characters' circumstances were very Jamesian or Somerset Maugham. Which is what drew me to this. 10) No Sharks in the Med by Brian Lumley - This predictable story was made to be a B movie. Suspense, nothing to do with the supernatural here, folks. 11) Lord of the Land by Gene Wolfe - The kind of plot for Jeepers, Creepers or Creepshow. 12) Pelts by F. Paul Wilson - I enjoyed this train wreck. Should be required reading for PETA members. 13) Bad News by Richard Laymon - This one was hilarious. A hellish, Suburban nightmare.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Hans

  7. 5 out of 5

    James

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lars

  9. 4 out of 5

    Camilla

  10. 5 out of 5

    Pollytipsy

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brendan

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mac Mathghamhna

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michael Pugh

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lissa Hearn

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tara

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ash Penn

  20. 5 out of 5

    Velvetink

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jeannie Sloan

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sam Eiffel

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ulrik Nielsen

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ashok Banker

  25. 4 out of 5

    Darren

  26. 5 out of 5

    Serai Xavier

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mansoor Anwar

  28. 4 out of 5

    John Bruni

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alex Johnstone O’Neill

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michele Davis

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