2004 - The
Year's Best Fantasy and Horror Seventeenth Annual Collection [paperback][hardcover]
* Bram Stoker Award Winner
"The proliferation of specialty
fantasy publications with short runs and low profiles, combined with
the growing pervasiveness of fantasy and horror in mainstream markets
that elude genre enthusiasts, has made this annual culling increasingly
vital for readers who seek the best in fantastic fiction. Datlow (the
horror half) teams with new co-editors (who assume fantasy detail
once handled by Terri Windling) and the series doesn't skip a beat
in quality, delivering 43 stories and poems published in 2003 that
illustrate modern fantasy's breadth and variety. Stephen King is represented
by "Harvey's Dream," an eerie tale of a precognitive dream's disruption
of an ordinary suburban household. Karen Joy Fowler, in "King Rat,"
and Ursula K. Le Guin, in "Woeful Tales from the Mahigul," make suffering
the grist of powerful folk tales. Stories by Michael Swanwick, Neil
Gaiman and Dan Chaon stretch traditional genre themes in intriguing
new directions. Likewise, the one dominant theme that shapes the contents
of this year's volume -- the zeitgeist of a post-9/11 world -- gets
memorably varied treatments from several contributors. Lucius Shepard
conjures ghosts from the ruins of the World Trade Center for a consoling
tale of redemption in "Only Partly Here," while Brian Hodge evokes
an all-consuming evil in the battlefields of Afghanistan in "With
Acknowledgments to Sun Tzu." Wartime paranoia is implicit in two subtly
crafted fables, M. Rickert's "Bread and Bombs" and George Saunders's
"The Red Bow." Like the other selections, these stories are proof
that the best fantastic fiction is modern mythmaking at its finest."
-- Publishers Weekly
Table of Contents
2003: Fantasy -- Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant
Horror -- Ellen Datlow
Media of the Fantastic: 2003 -- Edward Bryant
Comics and Graphic Novels: 2003 -- Charles Vess
Anime and Manga: 2003 -- Joan D. Vinge
Music of the Fantastic: 2003 -- Charles de Lint
Obituaries: 2003 -- James Frenkel
Dean Francis Alfar. "L'Aquilone
du Estrellas (The Kite of Stars)". Strange Horizons
Paolo Bacigalupi. "The Fluted Girl". F&SF 6/03.
Dale Bailey. "Hunger: A Confession". F&SF 3/03.
Nathan Ballingrud. "You
Go Where It Takes You". Sci Fiction 7/16/03.
Laird Barron. "Old Virginia". F&SF 2/03.
Terry Bisson. "Almost Home". F&SF 10-11/03.
Kevin Brockmeier. "The Brief History of the Dead". The
New Yorker 9/8/03.
Scott Emerson Bull. "Mr. Sly Stops for a Cup of Joe". Gathering
the Bones (Tor).
Richard Butner. "Ash City Stomp". Trampoline
(Small Beer Press).
Dan Chaon. "The Bees". McSweeney's
Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales (Vintage).
Peter Crowther. "Bedfordshire". Gathering
Karen Joy Fowler. "King Rat". Trampoline
(Small Beer Press).
Adam Corbin Fusco. "N007-JK1". Borderlands
5 (Borderlands Press).
Neil Gaiman. "A Study in Emerald". Shadows
over Baker Street (Del Rey).
Daphne Gottlieb, "Final Girl II: The Frame," (poem),
Final Girl (Soft Skull)
Theodora Goss. "Lily, with Clouds". Alchemy #1.
Glen Hirshberg. "Dancing Men". The
Brian Hodge. "With Acknowledgements to Sun Tzu". The Third
Nina Kiriki Hoffman. "Flotsam". Firebirds
Shelley Jackson. "Husband". The Paris Review #164.
Kij Johnson. "At
the Mouth of the River of Bees". Sci Fiction 10/7/03.
Stephen King. "Harvey's
Dream". The New Yorker 6/30/03.
Paul LaFarge. "Lamentation over the Destruction of Ur". Politically
Marc Laidlaw. "Cell Call". By
Moonlight Only (PS Publishing).
Ursula K. Le Guin. "Woeful Tales from Mahigul". Changing
Thomas Ligotti. "Purity". Weird Tales #331.
Kelly Link. "The Hortlak". The
Sara Maitland. "Why I Became a Plumber". On
Becoming a Fairy Godmother (Maia Press).
Maureen F. McHugh. "Ancestor
Money". Sci Fiction 10/1/03.
Mike O'Driscoll. "The Silence of the Falling Stars". The
Patrick O'Leary, "Invisible Geese," The Perfect City,"
Stars as Seen from This Particular Angle of Night: An Anthology of
Speculative Verse (Bakka)
Philip Raines & Harvey Welles. "The Fishie". Lady Churchill's
Rosebud Wristlet 6/03.
M. Rickert. "Bread and Bombs". F&SF 4/03.
Benjamin Rosenbaum. "The Valley of the Giants". Argosy
George Saunders. "The Red Bow". Esquire 9/03.
Lucius Shepard. "Only Partly Here". Asimov's 3/03.
Vandana Singh. "The Wife". Polyphony
3 (Wheatland Press).
Michael Marshall Smith. "Open Doors". More
Tomorrows and Other Stories (Earthling Publications).
Michael Swanwick. "King Dragon". The Dragon Quintet
(Science Fiction Book Club).
Steve Rasnic Tem, "Bone," (poem) The Hydrocephalic Ward
Karen Traviss. "The Man Who Did Nothing". Realms of Fantasy
Megan Whalen Turner. "The Baby in the Night Deposit Box".
Jon Woodward, "At the Mythical Beast," (poem), Mister
Goodbye Easter Island (Alice James Books)
This list and links courtesy of
Year's Best at Endicott Studio
Sluice: a site dedicated to The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror series