Anthology Review: The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: 2010 ed. by Paula Guran

The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, 2010 EditionThe Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, 2010 Edition by Paula Guran
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This anthology of the macabre and unsettling started what has now become an annual almanac of horror. I really enjoyed The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror: 2015. This predecessor includes a third more stories, but more is not always better.

Two tales merit top marks. “Lowland Sea” by Suzy McKee Charnas spectacularly brings together modern day slavery and an apocalypse in a work of speculative fiction. The beauty of this piece is in capturing the unique narrative voice of Miriam who witnesses the apocalypse years after her own world has been upended by her enslavement. Norman Prentiss’ “In the Porches of My Ears” is a double tale involving the same characters in all-too-real situations. The first tale embeds subtly if not uneasily before achieving a devastating paradigm shift with the second tale calling every detail of the first into question. It is the epitome of tragic without any elements of fantasy or speculation needed. No horrors other than what life is amply able to provide.

I have many honorable mentions that earned 4-stars:
Bear, Elizabeth–“The Horrid Glory of Its Wings”
Black, Holly–“The Coldest Girl in Coldtown”
Duffy, Steve–“Certain Death for a Known Person”
Laidlaw, Marc–“Leng”
Langan, John–“The Wide, Carnivorous Sky”
Mantooth, John–“The Water Tower”
O’Nan, Stewart–“Monsters”
Sedia, Ekaterina–“Cherrystone and Shards of Ice”
Tem, Steve Rasnic–“The Cabinet Child”

I’ve individually reviewed all of the included short stories and novellas. Also included are:
Dale Bailey & Nathan Ballingrud’s —“The Crevasse”–3 stars
Biancotti, Deborah–“Diamond Shell”–3 stars
Campbell, Ramsey–“Respects”–3 stars
Dinan, Kurt–“Nub Hut”–3 stars
Fried, Seth–“Frost Mountain Picnic Massacre”–3 stars
Kiernan, Caitlin R.–“The Bone’s Prayer”–3 stars
Lanagan, Margo–“Sea-Hearts”–3 stars
Link, Kelly–“The Cinderella Game”–3 stars
McHugh, Maura–“Vic”–3 stars
Monette, Sarah–“White Charles”–3 stars
Pinborough, Sarah–“The Nowhere Man”–3 stars
Roden, Barbara–“The Brink of Eternity”–3 stars
Shepard, Lucius–Halloween Town–3 stars
Smith, Michael Marshall–“What Happens When You Wake Up in the Night”–3 stars
Straub, Peter–“Variations on a Theme from Seinfeld–3 stars
Tremblay, Paul–“Headstone in Your Pocket”–3 stars
Valente, Catherynne M.–“A Delicate Architecture”–3 stars
Armstrong, Kelley–“A Haunted House of Her Own”–2 stars
Atkins, Peter–“The Mystery”–2 stars
Bulkin, Nadia–“Everything Dies, Baby”–2 stars
Davies, Robert–“Bruise for Bruise”–2 stars
Files, Gemma–“The Jacaranda Smile”–2 stars
Houarner, Gerard–“The Other Box”–2 stars
Jones, Stephen Graham–“The Ones Who Got Away”–2 stars
Lansdale, Joe R.–;“Torn Away”–2 stars
McMahon, Gary–“Strange Scenes from an Unfinished Film”–2 stars
Phillips, Holly–“The Long, Cold Goodbye”–2 stars
Shea, Michael–“Copping Squid”–2 stars

[Check out my other reviews here.]

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