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The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2017

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The darkness creeps upon us and we shudder, or it suddenly startles and we scream. There need be no monsters for us to be terrified in the dark, but if there are, they are just as often human and as supernatural. Join us in this outstanding annual exploration of the year's best dark fiction that includes stories of quiet fear, the utterly fantastic, the weirdly surreal, at The darkness creeps upon us and we shudder, or it suddenly startles and we scream. There need be no monsters for us to be terrified in the dark, but if there are, they are just as often human and as supernatural. Join us in this outstanding annual exploration of the year's best dark fiction that includes stories of quiet fear, the utterly fantastic, the weirdly surreal, atmospheric noir, mysterious hauntings, seductive nightmares, and frighteningly plausible futures. Featuring tales from masterful authors and talented new writers sure to make you reconsider walking in the shadows alone... Contents 7 • Introduction: Not Afraid of the Dark • (2017) • by Paula Guran 11 • Seasons of Glass and Iron • (2016) • by Amal El-Mohtar 25 • The Future Is Blue • (2016) • by Catherynne M. Valente 43 • Grave Goods • (2016) • by Gemma Files 62 • The Ballad of Black Tom • (2016) • by Victor LaValle 120 • Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies • (2016) • by Brooke Bolander 123 • An Ocean the Color of Bruises • (2016) • by Isabel Yap 134 • The Iron Man • (2016) • by Max Gladstone 144 • The Blameless • (2016) • by Jeffrey Ford 156 • Birdfather • (2016) • by Stephen Graham Jones 180 • The Jaws That Bite, the Claws That Catch • (2016) • by Seanan McGuire 191 • The Rime of the Cosmic Mariner • (2016) • by John Shirley 204 • Fairy Tales Are for White People • (2016) • by Melissa Yuan-Innes 213 • Lullaby for a Lost World • (2016) • by Aliette de Bodard 219 • The Finest, Fullest Flowering • (2016) • by Marc Laidlaw 225 • Spinning Silver • (2016) • by Naomi Novik 248 • Grave Goods • (2016) • by Priya Sharma 258 • Braid of Days and Wake of Nights • (2016) • by E. Lily Yu 276 • Wish You Were Here • (2016) • by Nadia Bulkin 291 • Only Their Shining Beauty Was Left • (2016) • by Fran Wilde 302 • The Line Between the Devil's Teeth (Murder Ballad No. 10) • (2016) • by Caitlín R. Kiernan 311 • Photograph • (2016) • by Steve Rasnic Tem 317 • Red Dirt Witch • (2016) • by N.K. Jemisin 333 • My Body, Herself • (2016) • by Carmen Maria Machado 338 • The Sound of Salt and Sea • (2016) • by Kat Howard 347 • A Dying of the Light • (2015) • by Rachel Caine 370 • Postcards from Natalie • (2016) • by Carrie Laben 381 • As Cymbals Clash • (2016) • by Cate Gardner 387 • The Games We Play • (2016) • by Cassandra Khaw 400 • Bright Crown of Joy • (2016) • by Livia Llewellyn 419 • Mommy's Little Man • (2016) • by Brian Hodge 427 • A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers • (2016) • by Alyssa Wong 436 • Surfacing • (2016) • by Lisa L. Hannett 446 • Meet Me at the Frost Fair • (2016) • by Alison Littlewood 457 • October Film Haunt: Under the House • (2016) • by Michael Wehunt 475 • Whose Drowned Face Sleeps • (2016) • by An Owomoyela and Rachel Swirsky 492 • When the Stitches Come Undone • (2016) • by A.C. Wise 511 • The Red Forest • (2016) • by Angela Slatter


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The darkness creeps upon us and we shudder, or it suddenly startles and we scream. There need be no monsters for us to be terrified in the dark, but if there are, they are just as often human and as supernatural. Join us in this outstanding annual exploration of the year's best dark fiction that includes stories of quiet fear, the utterly fantastic, the weirdly surreal, at The darkness creeps upon us and we shudder, or it suddenly startles and we scream. There need be no monsters for us to be terrified in the dark, but if there are, they are just as often human and as supernatural. Join us in this outstanding annual exploration of the year's best dark fiction that includes stories of quiet fear, the utterly fantastic, the weirdly surreal, atmospheric noir, mysterious hauntings, seductive nightmares, and frighteningly plausible futures. Featuring tales from masterful authors and talented new writers sure to make you reconsider walking in the shadows alone... Contents 7 • Introduction: Not Afraid of the Dark • (2017) • by Paula Guran 11 • Seasons of Glass and Iron • (2016) • by Amal El-Mohtar 25 • The Future Is Blue • (2016) • by Catherynne M. Valente 43 • Grave Goods • (2016) • by Gemma Files 62 • The Ballad of Black Tom • (2016) • by Victor LaValle 120 • Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies • (2016) • by Brooke Bolander 123 • An Ocean the Color of Bruises • (2016) • by Isabel Yap 134 • The Iron Man • (2016) • by Max Gladstone 144 • The Blameless • (2016) • by Jeffrey Ford 156 • Birdfather • (2016) • by Stephen Graham Jones 180 • The Jaws That Bite, the Claws That Catch • (2016) • by Seanan McGuire 191 • The Rime of the Cosmic Mariner • (2016) • by John Shirley 204 • Fairy Tales Are for White People • (2016) • by Melissa Yuan-Innes 213 • Lullaby for a Lost World • (2016) • by Aliette de Bodard 219 • The Finest, Fullest Flowering • (2016) • by Marc Laidlaw 225 • Spinning Silver • (2016) • by Naomi Novik 248 • Grave Goods • (2016) • by Priya Sharma 258 • Braid of Days and Wake of Nights • (2016) • by E. Lily Yu 276 • Wish You Were Here • (2016) • by Nadia Bulkin 291 • Only Their Shining Beauty Was Left • (2016) • by Fran Wilde 302 • The Line Between the Devil's Teeth (Murder Ballad No. 10) • (2016) • by Caitlín R. Kiernan 311 • Photograph • (2016) • by Steve Rasnic Tem 317 • Red Dirt Witch • (2016) • by N.K. Jemisin 333 • My Body, Herself • (2016) • by Carmen Maria Machado 338 • The Sound of Salt and Sea • (2016) • by Kat Howard 347 • A Dying of the Light • (2015) • by Rachel Caine 370 • Postcards from Natalie • (2016) • by Carrie Laben 381 • As Cymbals Clash • (2016) • by Cate Gardner 387 • The Games We Play • (2016) • by Cassandra Khaw 400 • Bright Crown of Joy • (2016) • by Livia Llewellyn 419 • Mommy's Little Man • (2016) • by Brian Hodge 427 • A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers • (2016) • by Alyssa Wong 436 • Surfacing • (2016) • by Lisa L. Hannett 446 • Meet Me at the Frost Fair • (2016) • by Alison Littlewood 457 • October Film Haunt: Under the House • (2016) • by Michael Wehunt 475 • Whose Drowned Face Sleeps • (2016) • by An Owomoyela and Rachel Swirsky 492 • When the Stitches Come Undone • (2016) • by A.C. Wise 511 • The Red Forest • (2016) • by Angela Slatter

30 review for The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2017

  1. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    My first impression upon reading this collection is that the editor did a fantastic job finding stories and a crap job putting them in effective order. The first three stories ("Seasons of Glass and Iron" by Amal El-Mohtar, "The Future is Blue" by Catherynne M. Valente, and "Grave Goods" by Gemma Files) are among the best I've ever read. Then there was a fairly long row of 'meh' and a few more good ones. But I have admittedly been in a weird reading frame of mind, so it's possible that's an unfa My first impression upon reading this collection is that the editor did a fantastic job finding stories and a crap job putting them in effective order. The first three stories ("Seasons of Glass and Iron" by Amal El-Mohtar, "The Future is Blue" by Catherynne M. Valente, and "Grave Goods" by Gemma Files) are among the best I've ever read. Then there was a fairly long row of 'meh' and a few more good ones. But I have admittedly been in a weird reading frame of mind, so it's possible that's an unfair assessment. Regardless, those two stories and a few more are easily worth reading. There seems to be a pretty clear feminist slant in several of the stories and consequently in the collection as a whole - not in a didactic, heavy-handed sense, it comes our very subtly and effectively - which is nice to see (not for anti-feminists, obviously).

  2. 4 out of 5

    JJacy1

    Meh... This has been my least faction the series. There are three strong tales a few okay only and the rest not good. I won’t argue over them being horror or not, that wasn’t the biggest problem with those stories; it was that they weren’t interesting. Writing flat, lack of conflict, and just sort of there. Poor literary criticism on my part, but true. This is the first one I wouldn’t recommend to others, I hope the next year’s fares better.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nix Muse

    Dark fantasy! I honestly feel like the dark fantasy angle in this series of “year’s best” helps me enjoy these even more. Horror sometimes gets too graphic and visceral for my day to day enjoyment. As with any anthology of short stories you have some you love and some you’re just struggling to push through. I would absolutely recommend the 2017 Best Dark Fantasy & Horror. Dark fantasy! I honestly feel like the dark fantasy angle in this series of “year’s best” helps me enjoy these even more. Horror sometimes gets too graphic and visceral for my day to day enjoyment. As with any anthology of short stories you have some you love and some you’re just struggling to push through. I would absolutely recommend the 2017 Best Dark Fantasy & Horror.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Eileen Nichols

    I discovered I am not a huge fan of most science fiction.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Heather Makover

    I always enjoy these books. Great reading for when you are traveling, or you just don't have the time to invest in a longer book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Dury

  7. 5 out of 5

    InJokeTaken

  8. 4 out of 5

    Phil

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rita Ramsinghani

  10. 4 out of 5

    *Thea 'Wookiee'sMama' Wilson*

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tricia Milstead

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jason Gallup

  13. 5 out of 5

    Scott

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rean Fadyl

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cody

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sirensongs

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dave

  18. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Ward

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Mitchell

  20. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Bernard

  21. 5 out of 5

    Marie-Therese

  22. 4 out of 5

    Robin

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gary

  24. 4 out of 5

    Francine K Rossi

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

  26. 5 out of 5

    Graeme

  27. 4 out of 5

    Trish

  28. 4 out of 5

    Critter Reyome

  29. 5 out of 5

    andrew b young

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

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