The Best Horror of the Year, Vol. 13

Night Shade. Nov. 2021. 456p. ed. by Ellen Datlow. ISBN 9781949102604. pap. $15.99. HORROR
Each year, Datlow, the world’s most acclaimed horror editor, selects the very best in English-language short horror fiction published in print and online from all over the world. The stories must have been published during the previous year, in English. Datlow has a track record of breaking new voices who are now household names, such as Stephen Graham Jones, through these volumes, and this year is no different. While mainstays (such as Jones, Gemma Files, and Nathan Ballingrud) are featured, emerging names (A. C. Wise, Pete Sutton, Thana Niveau, Catriona Ward) make up the bulk of the volume (24 stories, one novella, and one poem). Datlow’s keen editorial eye allows her to craft an anthology that represents the full breadth of the genre and ensures an enjoyable reading experience.
VERDICT An essential purchase for the quality of stories included in the volume, as well as for Datlow’s extensive “Summation” section, in which she recaps the year in awards, key publications, and horror news. Readers will not find a more comprehensive (yet still easily digestible) snapshot of the entire genre anywhere else.
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