Friday, October 21, 2016

Bookmonkey vs The Hoard: Post Nine – Year’s Best Horror Series One

All right, I’ll admit I’m a sucker for a great short story, and when it comes to horror, short stories are often the best at delivering the scares, so when I first found a copy of DAW’s Year’s Best Horror volume eight at a used bookstore, I knew I would be adding the series to my ongoing collection.

Over the years I’ve collected eight of the twenty-two volumes published between 1972 and 1994, and although I don’t have the complete run yet, I did manage to find volume one last year and decided this month would be a good one to decide whether or not the series is worth collecting.

Short answer, absolutely.

Long answer, Year's Best Horror Stories: Series One (although missing some of my favourite parts of a good anthology – like an introduction, or bios on the author) collects a number of a pretty great horror fiction from 1972 (a year before Stephen King's first novel, Carrie, was published). The collection includes works by Robert Bloch (Psycho), Richard Matheson (I Am Legend), and Brian Lumley (Necroscope), along with a lot of others. The standouts for me were Matheson's "Prey" wherein a young woman purchases a gift for her boyfriend that moves from curious to terrifying in one night, "Warp" by Ralph Norton, which moves nicely into the Science Fiction/Horror crossover work I find so good in shows like Rick & Morty, and "After Nightfall" by David A. Riley, a Lovecraft-influenced story which looks into why you should always pay attention to local culture.

The book is short, a lot of fun, and definitely going to lead me to finding more of this series.

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