30 Past

The Year’s Best Horror Series X (1981), edited by Karl Edward Wagner (1982):

Contents:

Introduction: A Decade of Fear by Karl Edward Wagner

Through the Walls by Ramsey Campbell

Touring by Michael Swanwick and Gardner Dozois and Jack Dann

Every Time You Say I Love You by Charles L. Grant

Wyntours by David G. Rowlands

The Dark Country by Dennis Etchison

Homecoming by Howard Goldsmith

Old Hobby Horse by A. F. Kidd

Firstborn by David Campton

Luna by G. W. Perriwils

Mind by Les Freeman

Competition by David Clayton Carrad

Egnaro by M. John Harrison

On 202 by Jeff Hecht

The Trick by Ramsey Campbell

Broken Glass by Harlan Ellison

Another year, another beautifully selected ‘Year’s Best’ anthology edited by Karl Edward Wagner. Standouts among the standouts include “Through the Walls”, Ramsey Campbell’s tale of a nightmarish drug trip; “On 202”, Jeff Hecht’s story of a homecoming plagued by bad weather and worse memories; “Egnaro”, another M. John Harrison story that reads like Borges as rewritten by Kafka and Robert Aickman; “The Dark Country”, a rueful traveller’s tale by the estimable, non pareil Dennis Etchison; and “Touring”, in which a mysterious concert promoter stages a fairly unlikely triple bill of performers in a seemingly deserted Minnesota town. Other stories run the gamut from M.R. James homages to science fictional terror, and we get at least one humourous horror story, “Firstborn”, that actually does manage to be both funny and horrifying. Highly recommended.

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