- Best new horror #31
Author: Stephen Jones
- ISBN: 9781786368232
- Published: November 2021
- Pages: 599
- Format reviewed: Paperback
- Review date: 22/12/2021
- Language: English
Sadly this will be the final volume of a successful, long lasting series of anthologies compiled by distinguished British editor Stephen Jones. Once again he has collected the “best” short horror stories appeared in collections and genre magazines during the previous year. Actually, due to a delayed schedule, the stories therein have been all published in the year 2019, not in 2020.
Never mind. What really matters is the quality of the tales, which, as always, is consistently good.
Some stories are truly excellent and I will mention them below.
“Zombie-ish” by Scott Bradfield is an interesting story of urban horror, conveying to the reader a strong feeling of angst and insecurity, while “A Stay at the Shores” by Steve Rasnic Tem is the disquieting report of a long train ride towards an untraceable beach by an elusive ocean.
In the subtly unsettling “The Children of Medea” by Stephen Bacon, set in a small Greek Island, uncanny secrets and unusual pupils lead a temporary teacher to take action while in “Antripuu” by Simon Strantzas we meet horror at its peak, in the shape of a terrifying, hungry creature living in the woods.
My two favorite stories are the superlative “The Old Man in the Woods” by the always fabulous Reggie Oliver, exploring the dark secrets surrounding an old property in France and “The Burning Woods” a splendid, deceiving novelette with an unexpected outcome ,penned by the eclectic Michael Marshall Smith, depicting a loner taking refuge in a lake resort out of season.
So sorry this will be the last volume of Best New Horror...
Written on 22nd December 2021 by Mario Guslandi.