Friday, July 18, 2008

Currently Reading: Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Twentieth Annual Collection

I'm currently reading from "The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Twentieth Annual Collection," edited by Ellen Datlow and Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant. I love this yearly collection. I own every volume, and buy it every year as soon as it comes out. What I like about it is that it includes a broad range of stories from both mainstream and genre publications that feature elements of the fantastic, the scary or the horrific. The editor's willingness to go outside traditional genre boundaries gives them a much wider range of stories to select from and allows for an overall higher literary quality than might otherwise be possible. I also enjoy the yearly summations of the different genres and the editor's selections of the best published works in those genres.

If I had any complaint about the series it would be that I often feel like many of the stories chosen reflect an aggressively left-wing, secular, anti-Christian view of the world, (sometimes almost self-consciously so) which is a turn off, as not only do I not share this world-view, but I don't like art, literature, or music of any kind which feels like it has an agenda behind it. Nevertheless, while I don't usually love or even like every story included, I always find some good stuff in these collections.

Right now I'm reading the story "Drowning Palmer" by Sarah Monette. I was inspired to read this particular story because a review on said it was boring and I wanted to see if I agreed. So far I am enjoying the story very much, so I guess I don't agree.


thekid said...

Nice to be able to follow what you're reading. Tried to post a comment a moment ago but it got lost. I asked how Drowning Palmer concluded or if you like the whole thing and I also asked if you've read The Signalman by Dickens? I came across it in a short story collection while up with Anders' parents and enjoyed it immensely.


Gordon Hackman said...


Thanks for leaving a comment here. I always love getting comments from you (hint, hint :)

Did you read my comment on Is that why you asked about the conclusion?

It actually concludes with the two main characters solving the central mystery of the story and then one of them offering with a single sentence the possibility of redemption to a third character who feels that what he has done in the past is beyond forgiveness. I'll tell you the line if you want to know what it is.

Oh, and I like the whole story by the way. It has great atmosphere, is well written and has a great mystery at the center of it. It pulled me in as a story and I also made an emotional connection with it.

I haven't read the Signalman, but I'll put it in my queue of things to read.

thekid said...

Cool! Now I'm intrigued and might try to read the story so don't give me the line yet. You could read the Signalman in 30 minutes I think or at least an hour.

I'm glad you like my comments, you're the one place in cyberspace where I do comment or even look these days.