Another year, another Best New Horror. This, the twenty-seventh volume in the series, maintains the high standard of those that have gone before. It’s a format that will be familiar to anyone who has encountered one of editor Stephen Jones’ collections before: this year it is seventeen stories sandwiched between the review of horror in 2015 and the Necrology (compiled with the aid of Kim Newman) which details those from the vast range of the genre who have died in the same year. Together, both articles span well over 100 pages of the book, but are as fascinating to read as always. Along with a list of useful addresses, this alone would make the book worthy of a place on any horror aficionado’s shelf.
After last year’s volume, we’ve been looking forward to this for some time, and it doesn’t disappoint, with each story being so immersive that it’s difficult to pick out a favourite, whether it be from a familiar name or a more recent writer. The quality of the prose is first rate, ensuring that when one story is finished, the reader will want to begin another; this reviewer couldn’t stop reading until the last page, hooked until the very end, and finding that they could chill even on the hottest of days. Jones has compiled a selection that also showcases the influences and wide appeal of the genre, and readers may care to seek out other writers such as Robert Aickman and H.P. Lovecraft once they have completed this book.
Best New Horror is exactly that, a first class collection of stories that all anthologies – no matter what the genre – should aspire to, a showcase of talented writers who tell stories of fantastical and often terrifying situations, making them feel real through vivid characterisation and scene-setting. Jones’ experience as editor shines through, and his call for unity within the horror community – the family of dark fantasists – is particularly poignant in such troubled times. Another Best New Horror, another essential and inspirational anthology that deserves high praise.
BEST NEW HORROR #27 / AUTHORS: VARIOUS / EDITOR: STEPHEN JONES / PUBLISHER: PS PUBLISHING / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW