Friday, June 13, 2008

Fantasy and Horror

I thought I might mention where the stories I've been reading (and "reviewing") came from: this book, The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2007, the Twentieth Annual Collection. Which, I suspect, explains the proclivity for ghost stories I've alluded to.

I've read all of the previous 19 volumes of this series, and I often will rave to anyone foolish enough to listen to me about how good they are. They are, though; I've seldom been disappointed in many of the stories therein. I'm not sure about this latest collection, though. (The 2007 edition, which was released late last year, collects stories published in 2006, and it isn't until the following summer that I get around to reading them, so I guess I'm a couple years behind. But still.) Maybe it's because I've been paying a bit more attention, or focusing on things I might otherwise not since I know I'm going to be writing about them, but somehow the stories in this volume just haven't equalled the quality of previous years' collections for me.
Case in point: the story I just read tonight called "Halfway House." Obviously coming from the fantasy side of the title (and I've found the horror stories to be better, in general), but so obliquely written that I couldn't really discern what was happening or who the characters even were. To me, that's just bad writing.


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