Gavin Grant made an annoucement today to the effect that this year’s YBF&H won’t be published. It seems possible that the series will be revived at some point, but for the moment that’s the end of what I’ve always thought of as the best annual collection of fantastical stories out there.
I eulogise at length, but it should suffice to say that every volume if YBF&H I opened I discovered a writer that was new to me, and that I instantly loved. You really can’t ask for any more than that.
Many thanks to editors Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link, Gavin Grant, and (previously) Terry Windling for going to such great extremes to provide such an eclectic, exciting range of fiction, and to everyone at St Martin’s press for making it happen every year.
6 thoughts on “Sad news about Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror”
Yep, terrible news, it was always one of the essential buys of the year for me, and a treasure trove of new writers and great poems and short stories, apart from the useful “essays” at the start of each volume looking at the year that had passed. Ellen Datlow has said there might be a “Best of the Year” for horror for 2008, and 2009, coming out from Night Shade Books, but that’s not been firmed up yet.
Well that’s something, at least. Fingers crossed.
Although I was always more interested in the Fantasy part rather than the horror.
Damn. It was always on of my favourites.
I need to clean my keyboard.
I think it’s a fair point you make, Neil, about the fantasy side of the collection. Horror has always been better served with the late Karl Edward Wagner editing “The Year’s Best Horror Stories” and Steve Jones’ (also essential) “Best New Horror”, which seems to be on shaky ground as well, and there also seems to be several science fiction “best ofs” on the go, but YBF&SF going is a real loss. You would never get that mix of fiction and poems anywhere else, put together by people who really knew what they were doing.
I used to read a lot of horror, Ian, but for some years I’ve felt it has nothing new to offer me, although I do enjoy the Jones antho when I pick it up. The brilliant thing about YBF&H – apart from the fact that it also included poetry – was that I often had to think very carefully about whether the story I’d just read was horror or fantasy. Which is to say, the book presents “weird fiction” as a spectrum and makes little, if any, distinction. And that’s as it should be, because it not only drops the stigma of labelisation, but it also catches all the things that fall in between and outside. And that’s why, for me, YBF&H was so important, and why it will be missed.
I agree with your last sentence 100%.