counter create hit The Years Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2017 Edition - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Years Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2017 Edition

Availability: Ready to download

The supernatural, the surreal, and the all-too real . . . tales of the dark. Such stories have always fascinated us, and modern authors carry on the disquieting traditions of the past while inventing imaginative new ways to unsettle us. Chosen from a wide variety of venues, these stories are as eclectic and varied as shadows. This volume of 2017’s best dark fantasy and hor The supernatural, the surreal, and the all-too real . . . tales of the dark. Such stories have always fascinated us, and modern authors carry on the disquieting traditions of the past while inventing imaginative new ways to unsettle us. Chosen from a wide variety of venues, these stories are as eclectic and varied as shadows. This volume of 2017’s best dark fantasy and horror offers more than five hundred pages of tales from some of today’s finest writers of the fantastique—sure to delight as well as disturb . . .


Compare
Ads Banner

The supernatural, the surreal, and the all-too real . . . tales of the dark. Such stories have always fascinated us, and modern authors carry on the disquieting traditions of the past while inventing imaginative new ways to unsettle us. Chosen from a wide variety of venues, these stories are as eclectic and varied as shadows. This volume of 2017’s best dark fantasy and hor The supernatural, the surreal, and the all-too real . . . tales of the dark. Such stories have always fascinated us, and modern authors carry on the disquieting traditions of the past while inventing imaginative new ways to unsettle us. Chosen from a wide variety of venues, these stories are as eclectic and varied as shadows. This volume of 2017’s best dark fantasy and horror offers more than five hundred pages of tales from some of today’s finest writers of the fantastique—sure to delight as well as disturb . . .

30 review for The Years Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2017 Edition

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bill Hsu

    I appreciate Paula Guran's preference for stories that have interesting narrative voices and human dilemmas, even as she alienates legions of conventional horror fans and bids farewell to their cash. I do have severe reservations about the execution of a lot of these stories, despite often intriguing ideas. Random notes: Robert Shearman's "The Swimming Pool Party" is a favorite of mine. Just as stunning the second time, with the perfectly rendered voice, and the genuinely disturbing conclusion. Wo I appreciate Paula Guran's preference for stories that have interesting narrative voices and human dilemmas, even as she alienates legions of conventional horror fans and bids farewell to their cash. I do have severe reservations about the execution of a lot of these stories, despite often intriguing ideas. Random notes: Robert Shearman's "The Swimming Pool Party" is a favorite of mine. Just as stunning the second time, with the perfectly rendered voice, and the genuinely disturbing conclusion. Wow. Steve Rasnic Tem's "The Long Fade into Evening" first appeared in a Ramsey Campbell tribute anthology. I used to love the early Campbell, I see what Tem is trying to do, but that uncanny/abstract Campbell period is so hard to pull off. I don't think Campbell did it consistently, and Tem certainly doesn't show he has the chops here. Eden Royce's "Graverobbing Negress..." weaves a pretty engaging story into its dark historical background. I enjoyed Rebecca Roanhorse's "Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience". (Now that I think about it more, it's maybe a little close to George Saunders' CivilWarLand in Bad Decline and Pastoralia. But the narrator's voice is nicely done.) The dark turn in Katherine Vaz's "Moon, and Memory, and Muchness" caught me totally off-guard. Very nice. Angela Slatter's "The Little Mermaid, in Passing" is light, but again the voice is beautifully done. Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam's "Secret Keeper" appears to be an update of Phantom of the Opera. I think. I've had a lot of trouble with Caitlin Kiernan's work, so I was surprised I enjoyed "The Dinosaur Tourist". Especially considering the multi-page paragraphs. And help me, I'm trying to give Jeffrey Ford's "Witch-Hazel" a fair shot. But why does he insist on including proto-wikipedia entries that have little to do with the story, like:[On witch hazel] It's a shrub that grows natural in the barrens and blossoms right around Halloween. And:Dowsing is the practice of locating things underground [etc etc] Argh. Update: well we seem to be on a slippery slope at this point for my taste. I couldn't get into the Lisa Hannett at all. Then Robin Furth's story is quite the catalog of cliches. I was going to pick a couple relatively innocuous items; then came Sir Henry's ritual for reanimating a dead woman (not really a spoiler, but...): (view spoiler)[ Unbuttoning his fly, Sir Henry withdrew his stiff member and began to stroke it, focusing his mind on the beautiful face of his lady and the lovely skull beneath. He came to climax swiftly, directing his pearly glitter into the mixture. As he buttoned his fly etc etc (hide spoiler)] Sorry! Sorry! (But at least we're assured he rebuttoned his fly afterwards, whew.) Other than Cassandra Khaw's sassy and clever "Don't Turn On the Lights", I can't say the remaining stories did much for me. The last two (Laird Barron's "Swift to Chase" and Kai Ashante Wilson's "The Lamentation of Their Women") were entertaining enough, but not much more than that.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bogdan

    A waste of time!!! I`m guessing that there are two main ideas here to debate, or the 2018 has been a lousy year for the fantasy & horror genre, or Guran has totally lost her touch! A waste of time!!! I`m guessing that there are two main ideas here to debate, or the 2018 has been a lousy year for the fantasy & horror genre, or Guran has totally lost her touch!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marie-Therese

    An uneven collection but one I think is worth reading nonetheless. There are a few genuinely outstanding stories here (Robert Shearman's "The Swimming Pool Party", Simon Avery's "Sunflower Junction", Caitlin Kiernan's "The Dinosaur Tourist", Stephen Graham Jones' "Mapping the Interior" and Maria Dahvana Headley's "The Thule Stowaway") and some very good ones as well ("Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience" by Rebecca Roanhorse, "Children of Thorns, Children of Water" by Aliette de Bodard, An uneven collection but one I think is worth reading nonetheless. There are a few genuinely outstanding stories here (Robert Shearman's "The Swimming Pool Party", Simon Avery's "Sunflower Junction", Caitlin Kiernan's "The Dinosaur Tourist", Stephen Graham Jones' "Mapping the Interior" and Maria Dahvana Headley's "The Thule Stowaway") and some very good ones as well ("Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience" by Rebecca Roanhorse, "Children of Thorns, Children of Water" by Aliette de Bodard, "Graverobbing Negress Seeks Employment"" by Eden Royce, "Moon Blood Red, Tide Turning" by Mark Samuels and "Skins Smooth as Plantain, Hearts Soft as Mango" by Ian Muneshwar), along with some that I find subpar at best (not going to call them out because, really, what's the point). So a mixed bag as these anthologies always are (and likely your taste will be different enough from mine that you'll shuffle these stories around, with the good vaulting to excellence and the excellent descending to merely good and some of the work I find distinctly poor striking your fancy) but at 500 plus pages from an unusually diverse range of writers, there is likely something here for everyone with a taste for horror and/or the dark side of fantastic literature.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michele Amitrani

    This was an interesting collection of dark fantasy short story, the first I read in these genres. There were several typos that made it to the fina version but they did not detract from the overall reading experience. My favourite short story was hands down Red Bark and Ambergris by Kate Marshall. The author was able to build a really interesting story with a really relatable character in a few pages It was deep and it was personal and I really connected with Sarai. I've read the story three time This was an interesting collection of dark fantasy short story, the first I read in these genres. There were several typos that made it to the fina version but they did not detract from the overall reading experience. My favourite short story was hands down Red Bark and Ambergris by Kate Marshall. The author was able to build a really interesting story with a really relatable character in a few pages It was deep and it was personal and I really connected with Sarai. I've read the story three times and learn each time something new. Other notable mentions are Graverobbing Negress Seeks Employment by Eden Royce, The Little Mermaid, in passing by Angela Slatter. the Bride in Sea-Green Velvet by Robin Furth and The Thule Stowaway by Maria Dahvana Headley. I've learned a lot by reading these stories, and my writing style was definitely informed by them. I need more. If you like tales spiced up with darkness, this collection is for you.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    The last time I checked in on this yearly “best of” anthology was in 2016. Why not 2017’s edition, you ask? Because the 2016 entry was a flaming garbage heap of dreck. I came out of that experience with two firm beliefs: 1.) The “horror” part of the anthology’s title was a damned lie, and 2.) Dark fantasy is merely another, more flattering way of describing tepid horror written for the kind of people who say they have to sleep with the lights on after reading a particularly “scary” story–for exa The last time I checked in on this yearly “best of” anthology was in 2016. Why not 2017’s edition, you ask? Because the 2016 entry was a flaming garbage heap of dreck. I came out of that experience with two firm beliefs: 1.) The “horror” part of the anthology’s title was a damned lie, and 2.) Dark fantasy is merely another, more flattering way of describing tepid horror written for the kind of people who say they have to sleep with the lights on after reading a particularly “scary” story–for example, a Goosebumps novel. That hasn’t changed. This anthology still blows, and people who actually like horror should steer clear of it. It seems that even the people (or person) who edited this anthology thought so too, because it’s absurdly typo ridden. Almost like they sped through the job because, like me, they feared the nauseating blend of bullshit fantasy and lukewarm horror would eventually induce a violent case of projectile vomiting. I don’t have the energy or inclination to do a story by story takedown of this awful book. But I will spare a few sentences for Guran’s introduction, which is equally awful, but in a more pernicious way. From the start, Guran launches into a full on assault upon that most loathsome and foul of all monsters–the while male, Eurocentric author. Or, as she actually calls them, the “pale male”. Yes, she says that. Her whole intro is in this vein; no exaggeration on my part. How AWFUL it is that so many speculative fiction anthologies of the past were dominated by these writers, and how WONDERFUL it is that we can now mostly discard the white male in favor of a more DIVERSE selection of writers. How WONDERFUL it is that we can employ our own brand of racism against these types of people, but with no fear of being called out on it! What a liberating feeling that must be! Ok, Paula, there’s some truth to what you’re saying, but let me ask you this: what kind of message are you sending when, after making such a sweeping, polarizing statement, you proceed to unleash upon your reader, from start to finish, such a relentless torrent of suck-ass stories? At the least, it’s safe to say that it’s not the sort of triumphant message you were hoping to send.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Critter Reyome

    Since my wife got my first copy in 2013, I have been following Paula Guran’s “Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror” series. Admittedly it has been a bit uneven, mainly because of the copy editing, which at times has been dreadful. The quality of the stories, however, is not to be questioned, being consistently outstanding. Which is why I can ignore the odd missed comma, the lack of paragraphs, the weird placement of quotations. In fact, this is the only time (well, there will be one other such no Since my wife got my first copy in 2013, I have been following Paula Guran’s “Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror” series. Admittedly it has been a bit uneven, mainly because of the copy editing, which at times has been dreadful. The quality of the stories, however, is not to be questioned, being consistently outstanding. Which is why I can ignore the odd missed comma, the lack of paragraphs, the weird placement of quotations. In fact, this is the only time (well, there will be one other such note) you will read of this in this review. Some, I suppose, will question the choice of stories in this edition. But it’s all very subjective, isn't it? Guran mentions it in her introduction, and it’s already been worried over by some in these reviews. Being a “pale male”, I will mostly skip that, except to say that regarding the choice of works, I APPROVE. Not that she cares, of course, but “dark fantasy” is specifically hard to define. Usually. Read this book and maybe you’ll understand better. This is not your Father’s (or Mother’s, for that matter) horror. Fact is, there’s not much in the way of out-and-out scary stuff here. Creep outs? Oh yes, abundanza, as Mama Celeste used to say. Go ahead, Google that. I’ll wait. Now then. I will cover the high points, and there are many…it was in a Paula Guran book that I was first introduced to Priya Sharma. Used to be I would have to dig through these tomes to get to her stories. This year, she leads off...WITHOUT GETTING A MENTCH ON THE COVER. “The Crow Palace” is a helluva way to start, with a magnificent O’Henry/Hitchcock twist. Loved it. But Paula, please, next year, on the cover? (insert smiley here.) Robert Shearman’s “The Swimming Pool Party” is a gut twister. For those of us who didn’t get such invitations, here is a very real cataloging of the reasons such invites are sometimes NOT to be accepted, and another really, really good ending. Real horror, for those who have to have such things. In Eden Royce’s “Graverobbing Negress Seeks Employment” we read about…well, about a grave robbing negress seeking employment. There is a hint of Big Steve here, a la “Pet Sematary”, but that’s okay. Royce describes the Low Country and its culture brilliantly—having lived there many years ago I can appreciate her work and it brought back a lot of fond memories. Also, I can positively believe that this sort of thing might actually happen. I will be looking for more of Royce’s work, and that’s what I figure collections like this are are meant for. Bra-vo. This is followed by Simon Avery’s “Sunflower Junction”, the story of an obsessed music fan who is perhaps too obsessed. It tucked a bit deeply into my own artistic senses and I came out the other side feeling warm…unusual for such a piece. It worked for me. Then Rebecca Roanhorse presents “Your Authentic Indian Experience®” which takes virtual reality to its next logical extreme, and with every passing year that extreme becomes less extreme. Brilliant, with a great ending. And a trio of really great stories comes to Katherine Vaz’s “Moon, and Memory, and Muchness”. A grieving mother deals with her sadness on the border of madness…it has a potential crusher of a finish that is more sadness than madness, and that’s okay. It’s all about survival, after all. Rebecca Campbell does a take on the Vanishing Hitchhiker mythos in "On Highway 18", which is very nicely done...statues growing out of a field from various planted items is the gist of the aptly-named Ashley Blooms’ tale "Fallow"…also loads of fun with another great ending. We get a whole novella from Stephen Graham Jones, which is really, REALLY gripping, to the point that I almost got in trouble for reading well past my lunch hour at work because I didn’t want to put it down. Well done. And then… …now, I did warn that I would note one more bit of copy editing weirdness, and it is Caitlin Kiernan’s “The Dinosaur Tourist”, which in its thirteen pages (apt count, that) has exactly ONE paragraph break, and incorrectly placed at that. Now having said that, you would think that the reading experience would be completely spoiled, but no! No, not at all, though at some point I must reread this one in an unadulterated format to see if it affects me the same way. It was wonderful, the story winning out, as it should anyway. Great stuff. (ADDENDUM: I follow Paula Guan on Twitter and she informed me that the formatting in "The Dinosaur Tourist" is exactly as Caitlin Kiernan intended. I don't get it, but perhaps it's something like archy and mehitable and you can Google THAT at your leisure too.) As a mammoth fan of F. Paul Wilson’s Repairman Jack I get a lot of exposure to the New Jersey Pine Barrens, so taking a trip there with Jeffrey Ford’s “Witch-Hazel” was a treat. Another terrific story was Robin Furth’s “The Bride in Sea-Green Velvet”, which was not at all what I thought it was going to be and occasionally sickening, but that’s okay. The gross-out and all. This is Dark Fantasy, remember? “Succulents” by Conrad Williams (another writer I will be looking for) is another stomach-turner with a great ending that is still with me, and Aliette de Bobard’s “Children of Thorns, Children of Water” introduces us to a world that she apparently continues in other works…see the “About the Authors” section for more info. More on this anon. We already touched on an urban legend in this collection…well, why not one more? “Don’t Turn On The Lights” by Cassandra Khaw takes that rather tired tale and turns it on its bloody head. Awesome, and does its gruesome work in just five short pages. This is how it’s done, sportsfans. The fiction then comes to a close with two superb tales back to back, with Laird Barron’s “Swift to Chase”, a very different and wholly original retelling of “The Most Dangerous Game”. And then there is Kai Ashanti Wilson’s “The Lamentation of Their Women”, which is not at all what I thought it was going to be. It ends the book on a superlative high note. One further complaint, if I may? I really have very few about this edition, after all. And it is that the aforementioned Kai Ashante Wilson is somehow left out of the Author notes! “INCONCEIVABLE!” And I wanted to know more about him and his work, having just read an amazing story by this storyteller! Fortunately, that’s what the internet is best for, and Tor.com has plenty of info. You’re welcome. These are only the highlights, mind you. The whole collection is quality; perhaps I did not "get" some stories as others might. That's okay. One person's meat is another's poison, you know. That, too, is the point of these "Best Of" books. You're not going to like everything. But again, that's just fine. The thing to remember is, there's a lot of hugely talented folks out there writing a lot of good stuff. If you're lucky, maybe you'll happen upon it in a bookstore or magazine...for the rest of us,well, that's what Paula Guran is for. She has a very distinctive taste in tales, and it just so happens that it comes very close to my own. You may not agree, and no, there’s not a whole lot of shock in this volume. But…DARK FANTASY. Yes. There’s that, and plenty of it. I keep these books for a reason, and I have all of them published so far. Some dark, quiet nights are just perfectly suited for reading this sort of thing, and I can always pick something out I like for enjoyment with a good cup of tea and maybe some Dead Can Dance playing. Here’s hoping there will be another good crop of stories for 2019. More, Paula? Please?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Dean

    Although I did enjoy some of the stories, I couldn't remember them specifically when I read thru some of these reviews. My main reason for only three stars was the abysmal editing in the beginning quarter or so of the book - were these stories turned in by authors without even spell-check on their computers, and then not looked at ever again? It looked like the print on demand books I see. Really distracting, to say the least.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Fatman

    A promising start, 4 stars, dwindled to 2 toward the end. My favorite stories were: "The Crow Palace", by Priya Sharma, "Survival Strategies", Helen Marshall, "The Swimming Pool Party," Robert Shearman, "Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience," Rebecca Roanhorse, "Moon, and Memory, and Muchness", Katherine Vaz, "The Dinosaur Tourist," Caitlin R. Kiernan. Several other stories started out strong, but meandered into meaninglessness toward the end.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sheena

    Quite a mix. Some stories needed to be edited for spelling. Some were fairly excellent. I definitely found 3 or 4 authors of which I'd like to read more.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

    Largely disappointing because so many of the stories felt unfinished.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I liked all of the stories in this collection, but I could have used just one happy ending.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Henry Bemis

    The Crow Palace by Priya Sharma - 3 stars Red Ball and Ambergris by Kate Marshall - 3 stars Survival Strategies by Helen Marshall - 2 stars The Swimming Pool Party by Robert Shearman - 3 stars

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sylvia Ford

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dana Rudko

  15. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  16. 5 out of 5

    Vince Darcangelo

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  18. 5 out of 5

    Christal Van

  19. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Bernard

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jerie

  21. 4 out of 5

    perry slager

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jack Hastings

  23. 4 out of 5

    natasha

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sirensongs

  25. 4 out of 5

    Becky

  26. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Manson

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mayur R. Naik

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

  29. 5 out of 5

    Holley

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lateniteknitter

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.