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The Year's Best Horror Stories 21-Karl Wagner,Ramsey Campbell,Ron Weighell,Rick Kennett,Kim Antieau,Rand Soellner,Mary Mitchell,Adam Meyer,C. Fuqua,Jeffrey Osier,Ed Gorman,Simon Clark,Lillian Csernica,Joel Lane,D. Lewis,Nicholas Royle,Mark McLaughlin,T. Winter-Damon,H. Lynch,Michael Arnzen,Carrie Richerson,Wayne Sallee,Yvonne Navarro,Andrew Ferguson,Kim Newman,W. Shockley

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The Year's Best Horror Stories 21
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Автор: Karl Wagner, Ramsey Campbell, Ron Weighell, Rick Kennett, Kim Antieau, Rand Soellner, Mary Mitchell, Adam Meyer, C. Fuqua, Jeffrey Osier, Ed Gorman, Simon Clark, Lillian Csernica, Joel Lane, D. Lewis, Nicholas Royle, Mark McLaughlin, T. Winter-Damon, H. Lynch, Michael Arnzen, Carrie Richerson, Wayne Sallee, Yvonne Navarro, Andrew Ferguson, Kim Newman, W. Shockley,

Жанр: Ужасы и Мистика,

Серия: The Year's Best Horror Stories,

Издательство: Daw Books,

Язык: en

A photographer whose obsession with images may bring to life trouble beyond his wildest fantasies…. A couple caught up in an ancient ritual that offers the promise of unending health, but at a price that may prove far too high…. A woman whose memory may be failing her with the passing years—or for a far more unnatural reason…. These are just three of the provocative, imagination-grasping stories included in this year’s ghoulish gallery. Once again, Karl Edward Wagner has dared to prowl where many fear to tread, seeking out the finest tales of terror by such masters of malice and mayhem as Ramsey Campbell and Ed Gorman—haunting and harrowing legends calculated to strike fear in the hearts of even the most stalwart readers. TERRIFYING STORIES THAT WILL LEAVE YOU SHUDDERING AT EVERY BARELY GLIMPSED SHADOW—

      THE YEAR’S BEST HORROR STORIES: XXI

      Edited by Karl Edward Wagner

      To C. Bruce Hunter

      World’s foremost seeker of the perfect barbecue

      WALK DOWN FEAR’S DARK ALLEY—WHERE EVERY GLIMPSE INTO SHADOW REVEALS TERROR’S GHASTLY FACE…

      A “bad girl” is taught a lesson no one else in her life will ever forget…

      A sketch artist takes from his model more than just her likeness…

      A Vietnam vet survives only to return to a hell worse than any he has ever known…

      A young woman escapes her abusive past by using some very unorthodox methods…

      Welcome to the world where nightmares never end. The only passport you’ll need is…

THE YEAR’S BEST HORROR: XXI

      ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

      The Limits of Fantasy by Ramsey Campbell. Copyright © 1992 by Ramsey Campbell for Gauntlet 3. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      China Rose by Ron Weighell. Copyright © 1992 by Ron Weighell for Vampire Stories. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      The Outsider by Rick Kennett. Copyright © 1992 by Rosemary Pardoe for Ghosts & Scholars 14. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      Briar Rose by Kim Antieau. Copyright © 1992 by Kim Antieau for Metahorror. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      Mom School by Rand Soellner. Copyright © 1992 by Rand Soellner for Gathering Darkness, November 1992. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      The Hyacinth Girl by Mary Ann Mitchell. Copyright © 1992 by Pine Grove Press for Just a Moment, Summer 1992. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      Mind Games by Adam Meyer. Copyright © 1992 by Doppelganger for Doppelganger, February 1992. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      Mama’s Boy by C.S. Fuqua. Copyright © 1992 by Richard T. Chizmar for Cemetery Dance Magazine, Spring 1992. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      The Shabbie People by Jeffrey Osier. Copyright © 1992 by Jeffrey Osier for Souls in Pawn. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      The Ugly File by Ed Gorman. Copyright © 1992 by Ed Gorman for Prisoners and Other Stories. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      Eyes Like a Ghost’s by Simon Clark. Copyright © 1992 by Simon Clark for Darklands 2. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      Fallen Idol by Lillian Csernica. Copyright © 1992 by William G. Raley for After Hours, Winter 1992. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      And Some Are Missing by Joel Lane. Copyright © 1992 by Joel Lane for The Sun Rises Red. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      Welsh Pepper by D.F. Lewis. Copyright © 1992 by D.F. Lewis for Vandeloecht’s Fiction Magazine, Spring 1992. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      Tracks by Nicholas Royle. Copyright © 1991 by Nicholas Royle for Interzone, January 1992. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      Largesse by Mark McLaughlin. Copyright © 1992 by Mark McLaughlin for The Bone Marrow Review #3. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      City in the Torrid Waste by t. Winter-Damon. Copyright © 1992 by t. Winter-Damon for Bizarre Sex & Other Crimes of Passion. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      Haunting Me Softly by H. Andrew Lynch. Copyright © 1992 by Hell’s Kitchen Productions, Inc. for Grue, Summer 1992. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      Spring Ahead, Fall Back by Michael A. Arnzen. Copyright © 1992 by Merrimack Books for Palace Corbie, Autumn 1992. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      Apotheosis by Carrie Richerson. Copyright © 1992 by Carrie Richerson for Souls in Pawn. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      Defining the Commonplace Sliver by Wayne Allen Sallee. Copyright © 1992 by Wayne Allen Sallee for Expressions of Dread #2. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      Feeding the Masses by Yvonne Navarro. Copyright © 1992 by Yith Press for Eldritch Tales No. 27. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      Sanctuary by Jeffrey Osier. Copyright © 1991 by Buzz City Press for The Silver Web, Spring/Summer 1992. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      The Devil’s Advocate by Andrew C. Ferguson. Copyright © 1991 by Dementia 13 for Dementia 13 #7. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      Week Woman by Kim Newman. Copyright © 1992 by Kim Newman for Dark Voices 4. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      A Father’s Gift by W.M. Shockley. Copyright © 1992 by Davis Publications, Inc. for Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, April 1992. Reprinted by permission of the author.

      INTRODUCTION: COMING OF AGE

      Watch out! The Year’s Best Horror Stories has turned 21.

      As they say, we have come of age. The series now embarks upon its third decade of collecting the very best of horrors, selected from the many hundreds of nasty creepy depraved terrifying unsettling grim horrifying strange gruesome weird mind-blowing tales published during the past year.

      And, if this past year is any indication, we’re all in for a wild ride by the time The Year’s Best Horror Stories turns 30. The past two decades have witnessed powerful changes within the horror genre. If you’re lucky enough to have them, delve through a file of all twenty-one volumes, and you can follow the rise of such then relatively unknown writers as Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Brian Lumley, Dennis Etchison, Charles L. Grant, David Drake, and many others. You can also follow the perseverance of an older generation of horror writers (sadly, some of them no longer with us): Manly Wade Wellman, Hugh B. Cave, R. Chetwynd-Hayes, Robert Bloch, to name a few. In recent volumes, you can watch the emergence of a new field of horror writers: Wayne Allen Sallee, Joel Lane, D.F. Lewis, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Kim Antieau, Joe R. Lansdale, and many more. You read and decide which of the new talents will become the Grand Masters of the next century.

      Other aspects of change are readily apparent—stylistic as well as thematic. When The Year’s Best Horror Stories first appeared in 1971, markets for short horror fiction were few and far between. Much of what did find print was a bad imitation of the adjective-laden prose of H.P. Lovecraft, who was himself on the cutting edge of horror some four decades earlier. (“Even as I pen this, the polymorphous nacreous mass of putrid blasphemy is macerating my right leg!!”)

      As Lovecraft passed from vogue, the trend shifted toward plotless violence and explicit sex, presumably inspired by the outpouring of countless and interchangeable splatter films. Basic premise: A group of teenagers have sex and show some T&A, then get horribly murdered by some unkillable fiend, who will hang about for another dozen sequels of more of the same. The result was a similar outpouring of small press horror magazines. Good news for beginning writers. Bad news for readers who wanted something more than a few pages in which the expendables have sex and meet gory deaths. (“The typewriter keys began to chew off her youthful breasts, even as the carriage ripped its way down her screaming throat.”)

      Well, I like a good laugh as much as the next person, and I need a sense of humor to wade through the thousands of stories I’ve read over the years for The Year’s Best Horror Stories. However, through it all, I’ve had the very genuine pleasure of finding excellent stories in unlikely places, of discovering new and brilliant writers as they emerge from the pack. It makes my job exciting,

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