A review by spacenoirdetective
Best New Horror 18, by Mark Morris, Richard Christian Matheson, Joel Lane, Geoff Ryman, Stephen Jones, Mark Chadbourn, Michael Bishop, F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre, David J. Schow, Kim Newman, Ramsey Campbell, David Morrell, Jay Lake, Peter Atkins, Gene Wolfe, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Christopher Fowler, Mark Samuels, Don Tumasonis, Glen Hirshberg, Al Sarrantonio, Elizabeth Hand, Lynda E. Rucker, John Gordon, Nicholas Royle


This is a sometimes forgettable collection but looking back, a few really stand out.

Skip right to "They" by David Morrell for my favorite on this list. A really creepy Western bit of horror which I found could really work as a film adaptation. If I could pick any of these to film, it would be that one.

Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter by Geoff Ryman doesn't really come across as horrific so much as fantasy with ghosts in it. But it deserved the award nominations it got. It's a thrill ride of a story.

Houses Under the Sea by Caitlin Kiernan is usually pretty creepy and atmospheric. This is one of her better stories.

Man Who Got Off the Ghost Train by Kim Newman is one of his Diogenes Club stories, this time with a ghost train and a very entertaining set of characters. Think the original British Avengers but much cooler.

Summer by Al Sarrantonio - this is one of those stories I love but also hate. I hate the ending but it was such a clever twist on YA fiction, lulling us into one direction and then ending that on a note both hilarious and sick that I can't help but respect it.

The Saffron Gatherers by Elizabeth Hand - this is one of those stories I didn't like or appreciate until the end. I had to reread it after that. I didn't really care for the seeming elitism of the characters until I realized that the very world those characters came from, a very lofty existence without financial struggle was merely a mirror for the title. It's a fascinating layering, there.

I can recommend all these.