This is going to be a tough one and a hard one to compile, along with novellas, anthologies appear to have been the most read type of book over here at Ginger Nut Towers.
So what makes for a great anthology? I believe that a great anthology should be like a great album where the individual stories are in themselves great, and where they each compliment the other stories in the the anthology. However it's not just as simple as finding the right mix of songs a great anthologist needs to know how to order the stories to maximum effect. So here it is my pick of the anthologies. Remember this is in no particular order.
Readers of this of this blog who are of a similar age to me will have fond memories of growing up in an era where horror was available with just the click of a mouse button. These were days when you had sneak downstairs after your parents had gone to bed, and quickly flick through the three channels on the television hoping that there was a horror film on.
Anatomy of Death is an anthology that has that feel to it, five classic horror stories that have that sleazy 1970's feel to them. These are the sort of stories that shaped me as a youngster. From the tense and brilliant The Glamour Girl Murders by Mark West, which captures the perfectly the sights smell and sounds of the era in one extremely good story.
To the darkly satirical Arse Licker from horror legend Stephen Volk. This story will have you laughing, while you try and stimmy the gag reflex.
Is it really the tenth volume of this brilliant anthology series? Charles Black once again brings together some of the finest horror short stories out there. From Mike Chinn's The Pygmalion Conjuration, a wonderful look at the dangers of getting just what you wish for. Where the protagonist gets the power to sleep with any woman he so chooses. I don't know about you, but that's a risk I'd be willing to take.
To John Llewellyn Probert's The Best Christmas Ever, a ghoulish and typically fabulous story, from one of my favourite authors. What could possibly go wrong when you place a rather inappropriate present into the hands of a little child who worships their father?
Then we come to Thana Niveau's bleak, and nasty story of one man's obsession with the start of a series of Japanese torture porn films. This chilling tale of obsession is note perfect in its delivery.
In recent years there has been a severe shortage of great supernatural stories. So when an anthology comes along that features some of my favourite authors working today that focuses on all things devil worshipy, then you know that I am in heaven, or hell.
Can you guess who is responsible for my two favourite stories in this devilishly delicious anthology? Yes that;s right the most fantastically husband and wife of horror Thana Niveau and John Llewellyn Probert.
I loved the Ying and Yang feel to these stories, Where JLP's is fun comical look at the dangers of Devil Worship and planetary alignments, Thana's is a deep dark look into demons, devils and sibling rivalry.
This is exactly what I was referring in the introduction about how great anthologies aren't just about having great stories, it's also about the stories complementing each other.
H P Lovecraft is a funny old fellow, he's probably one of the horror authors that has the ability to split fans of horror fiction right down the middle, whatever your opinion of the man's writing you cannot deny is place and influence on the horror genre.
Dreaming in Darkness, brings together four excellent authors and invites them to have a play Lovecraft's universe. What sets this unholy anthology apart for the vast majority of similarly themed books is way in which the authors have tackled the source material. These are not just mere rehashes, each of the authors has given their stories a unique twist and voice, in particular John Prescott's wild rollercoaster of a story New Heavens, where he, well why don't you just go and buy the book to find out exactly what he does.
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