Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Book Spotlight: 8 Great Horror Anthologies

Article by Marie Robinson

I have a serious obsession with anthologies. I love to go to used book stores and scour the shelves for rare and excellent horror anthologies! Here are a few of my favorites from my very own book shelf.

THE DARK: NEW GHOST STORIES edited by Ellen Datlow

First of all, everyone should get to know Ellen Datlow if you don't already. She is one of the greatest editors out there and she has a special place in her heart for horror; the book includes an introduction by herself. The theme of this one is obviously ghost stories and all from modern writers. I always have to check out the table of contents and there are few and here that just made me squeal! Jeffery Ford, Tanith Lee, Joyce Carol Oates, Ramsey Campbell and Kelly Link. You can definitely hear the modern voice in this anthology, and although I prefer the classic gothic voice myself, I do like to give myself a dose of the modern every once in a while, and this is the perfect concoction. It was released by Tor, one of my favorite publishers!
AMERICAN GOTHIC TALES edited by Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates (a.k.a. the shit) edited and introduces this collection of gothic horror stories penned by some of the greatest American authors. With 40+ tales, it showcases what it considered to be each others best, or most popular, as far as the horror short story goes. It contains Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown", Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper", Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and Henry James' "The Romance of Certain Clothes". There are a few hard-to-find stories by great authors; I was very excited to see the rare pieces, "A Lovely House" by Shirley Jackson and "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner. There were many tales and authors I had never heard of before, and I had great fun reading this book!

LATE VICTORIAN GOTHIC TALES edited by Roger Luckhurst

Although this collection only has a handful of tales, they are rich, thought-provoking examples of gothic literature.  There are two pieces by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as well as one from Henry James, Oscar Wilde and Rudyard Kipling. What really sealed the deal for me was that this anthology included Arthur Machen's masterpiece "The Great God Pan", an essential piece for serious horror lit fans!

POE'S CHILDREN edited by Peter Straub

These tales are handpicked by living legend himself, Peter Straub, and are what he believes to be the best of the best of the last decade. These are not gore for gore's sake, these are truly terrifying stories, crafted with care by some of the most talented modern writers. The table of contents includes Ramsey Campbell, Kelly Link, and Glen Hirschberg, with, of course, an introduction by Straub, himself.


The "Mammoth Book of..." collection is one of my favorites. Not only do they give dozens and dozens of stories to read, they always pick the best ones! This one is, of course, contains stories about haunted houses, and each one has a fun little introduction and tidbits about the author and possible inspiration of the story. We get haunting tales by regulars like Algernon Blackwood, Charlotte Riddell, Ramsey Campbell, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; there is even the rare piece by Virginia Woolfe. It also has my FAVORITE story by Sheridan Le Fanu "Authentic Narrative of a Haunted House".
HAUNTED LEGENDS edited by Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas

These stories penned by modern writers are inspired by folklore and urban legends around the world. I wrote a review on this book that you can read here: (HAUNTED LEGENDS).

REALMS OF DARKNESS edited by Mary Danby

This anthology of "Nightmarish Tales of the Supernatural and the Macabre" stands out because it has an introduction from Count Dracula, himself--Christopher Lee. If that hasn't gotten you to add this to your Amazon shopping cart, the 50+ stories, written by the best of the best, will! Stephen King? Check. M.R. James? Check. Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, Washington Irving? Check, check and check! Plus some surprise appearances from H.G. Wells, Ronald Dahl and Agatha Christie. I must give shout-outs to my favorites Ambrose Bierce, Sheridan Le Fanu and Guy De Maupassant. And since I purchased mine at a used bookstore it came with yellowing pages and a wonderful smell - perfect!

PHOBIA edited by Charlotte Emma Gledson

I'm throwing this last one in for a bit of shameless self-promotion!! This antho was released at the beginning of September by Black Hound Digital Press. All of the stories carry the theme of (you guessed it) phobia and the psychological--or physical--effects of it. It just so happens to feature a story by lil' ole me, Marie, called "The Winter Wind". If you are interested in buying, I will provide the link here: (PHOBIA) . It is available for Kindle only and costs a mere $2.99.

*All right, that is it for now! But since I have an ever-growing collection of anthologies I promise to make another post like this in the future! Happy reading!!

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