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Best New Horror 28

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In this latest edition of THE WORLD’S LONGEST-RUNNING ANNUAL SHOWCASE OF HORROR AND DARK FANTASY you will find CUTTING-EDGE stories by such authors as ANGELA SLATTER, STEPHEN VOLK, RICHARD CHRISTIAN MATHESON, DENNIS ETCHISON, LISA TUTTLE and STEVE RASNIC TEM, amongst many others, along with the usual OVERVIEW OF THE YEAR IN HORROR and NECROLOGY of those who have left us.


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In this latest edition of THE WORLD’S LONGEST-RUNNING ANNUAL SHOWCASE OF HORROR AND DARK FANTASY you will find CUTTING-EDGE stories by such authors as ANGELA SLATTER, STEPHEN VOLK, RICHARD CHRISTIAN MATHESON, DENNIS ETCHISON, LISA TUTTLE and STEVE RASNIC TEM, amongst many others, along with the usual OVERVIEW OF THE YEAR IN HORROR and NECROLOGY of those who have left us.

30 review for Best New Horror 28

  1. 5 out of 5

    Armand

    Like the latest iteration, I noticed that all of the authors included here hail from just a handful (in this case three) of Anglo countries. That limits the cultural purview of the stories, and while that's understandable in many horror anthologies, for one with the term "Best" in its title it seems rather constrictive. I did notice that this seems to be a feature of the other contemporary Best of horror anthologies so I guess there's no use mentioning this again. The stories presented here are Like the latest iteration, I noticed that all of the authors included here hail from just a handful (in this case three) of Anglo countries. That limits the cultural purview of the stories, and while that's understandable in many horror anthologies, for one with the term "Best" in its title it seems rather constrictive. I did notice that this seems to be a feature of the other contemporary Best of horror anthologies so I guess there's no use mentioning this again. The stories presented here are mostly exceptional though. I enjoyed them and I'm pleased to say that out of the whole book there's only one or two that I'm ambivalent about. I didn't encounter any full-on dud. In any case I plowed through all of the pieces in just two days - that's how entertaining they are - though tbh I just skimmed the introduction and necrology. It's a solid horror anthology, with more than a handful of stories that are worth a re-read. The following are my favorites: India Blue - featuring the first and last game of the sadly curtailed America's Rockin' Professional Cricket Walking With The Cross - an antiquities enthusiast accidentally witnesses a shocking Good Friday ritual On These Blackened Shores of Time - a couple searches for their son below the sinkhole that claimed his car, leading to a long-closed mine that houses ancient secrets White Feathers - a girl in love goes in search of a white feather with its promise of pristine and ultimately predatory beauty Mare's Nest - a desperate husband creates an unnatural tomb for his dying wife The Red Forest - a village strikes a deal with a dying baba yaga to save their village from pestilence, war, and famine, with unintended consequences I'm rating this 8/10 or 4 stars out of 5.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Hugo

    Still little to no interest in the dry publication listings of the 'Introduction' or the Necrology, so that's 200 pages out of 576 again wasted. Otherwise, a poor selection this year of largely unremarkable tales, few of them horror in the traditional sense, and some of them barely even stories - unless you count 'Character Goes to a Place; There are Ghosts/Monsters There' as a story, which I do not. Halfway through the book before any remarkable work turns up: Stephen Volk's subtle ghost tale Th Still little to no interest in the dry publication listings of the 'Introduction' or the Necrology, so that's 200 pages out of 576 again wasted. Otherwise, a poor selection this year of largely unremarkable tales, few of them horror in the traditional sense, and some of them barely even stories - unless you count 'Character Goes to a Place; There are Ghosts/Monsters There' as a story, which I do not. Halfway through the book before any remarkable work turns up: Stephen Volk's subtle ghost tale The House That Moved Next Door; Brian Hodge's Lovecraftian sinkhole drama On These Blackened Shores of Time; Mark Valentine's generational haunting The Fig Garden; Michael Marshall Smith's post-bereavement chiller Over to You; and Angela Slatter's wartime Baba Yaga tale, The Red Forest.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Skjam!

    It says something about the number of books published every year, even in this “print is dead” time, that this is the first time I have seen an installment of this British-published horror anthology. Number twenty-eight! Admittedly, my attention was first grabbed by the gruesome and not at all new cover, first used by EC Comics’ Tomb of Terror in 1954, a strong contrast to the more sedate covers favored in the modern day. That definitely looks like something your mum would confiscate! The introduc It says something about the number of books published every year, even in this “print is dead” time, that this is the first time I have seen an installment of this British-published horror anthology. Number twenty-eight! Admittedly, my attention was first grabbed by the gruesome and not at all new cover, first used by EC Comics’ Tomb of Terror in 1954, a strong contrast to the more sedate covers favored in the modern day. That definitely looks like something your mum would confiscate! The introduction is nearly a hundred pages long, listing the horror and horror-adjacent products that came out in 2016, sometimes with the editor’s opinion attached. It’s an exhausting but not exhaustive list (live-action Japanese monster movies are included, but not manga or anime.) The intro ends with a bewailment of the current publishing industry, but at least that isn’t in the “Necrology” section at the end, which lists all the horror and horror-adjacent people who died in 2016 and is a terrifyingly long list. But there’s still room in this thick volume for 23 stories. As one might guess from the editor’s nationality, there’s an emphasis on British authors. First up is “Pale Tree House” by Angela Slatter. Mr. Anderson fetches orphans from the orphanage for a very particular client. Today’s orphan looks familiar, but Mr. Anderson shrugs that off. After all, he never picks up the same orphan twice. Then comes the dawn…. Last in the order is “The Red Forest” also by Angela Slatter. Dina is the last survivor of an Eastern European village ravaged by disease and war. A bargain was made to preserve her life, too late for the other villagers, or perhaps too soon. I liked this one much better, but then I have a fondness for Baba Yaga stories. In between, stories I especially liked included “India Blue” by Glen Hirshberg, in which an attempt at bringing professional league cricket to California fails in an unexpected way; “Princess” by Dennis Etchison, about a family on their way to Princess Land with a reluctant daughter; and “On These Blackened Shores of Time” by Brian Hodge, a Lovecraftian tale about sinkholes and mining history. I don’t recall any actively bad stories, but a few were forgettable enough that I have forgotten which ones they were. Most of the introductions include how the author got the inspiration for the story. It’s fascinating seeing how some are very directly related, while others spun an entire story off what seems a tiny hint. The book finishes with a list of useful addresses for those who want to explore contemporary horror literature in more detail, or might get published in the field. As I have mentioned before, the horror genre is very much a matter of individual taste; I recommend this book to horror fans but you might want to see if your library has it to skim through first.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Best New Horror 28 – Stephen Jones A nice improvement over volume 27. More good than bad in this collection with special credit to Brian Hodge for his great “On these blackened shores of time”. Fans of both Stephen Jone’s Best New Horror as well as fans of the Horror short story format would do well to pick this up. Pale Tree House – Angela Slatter An unscrupulous lawyer is utilized by a Legal firm to assist some of their clients with their nefarious requirements and has to face his comeuppance. Not Best New Horror 28 – Stephen Jones A nice improvement over volume 27. More good than bad in this collection with special credit to Brian Hodge for his great “On these blackened shores of time”. Fans of both Stephen Jone’s Best New Horror as well as fans of the Horror short story format would do well to pick this up. Pale Tree House – Angela Slatter An unscrupulous lawyer is utilized by a Legal firm to assist some of their clients with their nefarious requirements and has to face his comeuppance. Not badly written, just not that scary. 6/10 The light at the centre – Maura Mchugh A group of friends head out to a derelict neighbourhood to attend a pop-up house party. The “neighbourhood” however exacts a price on the party goers. I didn’t much care for the premise or the writing. 5/10 En Plein Air – J.T.Glover An artist encounters another painter at a remote location and finds her world and painting slowly changing. Not badly written, just incredibly boring and obtuse. I struggle to classify this as horror. 3/10 India Blue – Glen Hirshberg A young trust fund Indian tries to bring 20/20 cricket to San Bernardino County, assisted by the narrator they have to contend with a gathering group of gangsters outside the stadium, low interest, a fading international cricket bad boy and a mythical creature bend on maintaining the integrity of the game. Being a big cricket fan I understood all the in’s and out’s of the storyline and the impact that the 20/20 format has had on cricket fans worldwide. I just however couldn’t enjoy this story, I didn’t like the writing style or the closing. 4/10 Walking the cross – Peter Bell A collector and purveyor of antiquities comes across an ancient chapel on the coast and encounters strange rituals practised by the “locals”. The first great horror story in this collection. Dark, brooding and unsettling. 8/10 Bedtime Story – Richard Christian Matheson Extremely short story about something hiding in the walls of our houses. Not a fan at all. 4/10 The Symphony of the normal – Darren Speegle A couple out hiking come across a place which seems to be a thin spot in reality. I found this a confusing mess of a story, didn’t enjoy the start, middle or finish. 4/10 The Ballet of Dr.Caligari – Reggie Oliver A young composer is hired by the a lauded but retired choreographer to compose a piece for him. I won’t explain much further other than to say this is very well written and has an obscure but disturbing close. 7/10 Who is this who is coming – Lynda E.Rucker An American woman makes a visit to England to see places made mention of in the books of M.R.James. Great ghost/horror short story. 8/10 The house that moved next door – Stephen Volk A young boy has an encounter with a strange family next door which echoes through his entire existence. I loved this story, unsettling and unexplained. 8/10 Princess – Dennis Etchison A family travelling together visit a strange relative where some disturbing events occur. I didn’t enjoy the style of writing, the ending however was most certainly horrific and fits nicely into this collection. 6/10 A home in the sky – Lisa Tuttle Looking for a house, a woman comes across a prefab demo house on scaffolding which holds some disturbing secret. Not badly written, unsettling, but not the best here. 6/10 On these blackened shores of time – Brian Hodge A sink hole swallows up a young son, unlocking tragedy, a long hidden secret and a supernatural mystery. Fantastic short story. Had me on edge the entire read through. By far the best in this collection. 9/10 The enemy within – Steve Rasnic Tem A couple cope with relationship problems whilst a killer lurks in their district. I didn’t much care for the story. 5/10 The court of Midnight – Mark Samuels A story taken from a series of interconnected tales. This one concerns the exclusion from the community of a disease stricken individual who is quarantined in the Court of Midnight. I didn’t care much for the universe that this is set in, perhaps due to not having much knowledge of the events or situation and I found the story itself flat and uninteresting. 4/10 Far from any shore – Caitlin R Kiernan A group of archaeologists find a strange item which leads to quite possible the end of the world. Well written, disturbing and horrific. 7/10 The Fig Garden – Mark Valentine I enjoyed the read itself, unfortunately the path through the story took me to a very vague and unexplainable ending. I felt as if I wasted my time to get to the close. 5/10 White Feathers – Alison Littlewood Set in some fairytale world, a young girl finds a mystical white feather which brings about changes to her appearance. Not a fan of this tale. 5/10 Over to you – Michael Marshall Smith Story starts with great potential and had me eager to get to the ending. A man discovers a returned parcel containing a peculiar item in his mailbox. I understand the concept of the ending, however it makes no sense as to who sent this or why that specific item and the more one ponders the narrative the more holes one sees in the tale. 5/10 In the dark, quiet places – Kristi DeMeester Twin sisters, a murder, the earth........ I didn’t find this tale very interesting. 5/10 Mare’s Nest – Richard Gavin A dying wife wants to be immortalised into a statue. Well written and mildly interesting. 6/10 The Red Forest – Angela Slatter An interesting take on Baba Yaga. Good read. 6/10

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    Consistently good to great stories, and as always, a wonderful summary of the year's books, movies, television, and other media. I love this series, Stephen Jones does a great job with it every year.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Randall

  7. 5 out of 5

    James Francis

  8. 5 out of 5

    Helen Scott

  9. 5 out of 5

    L'erin

  10. 4 out of 5

    Hazel

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gevera Bert

  12. 4 out of 5

    April Marie Alexander-Peck

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy Lee

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ambrusek

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joe Cornell

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sirensongs

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dan

  18. 5 out of 5

    Leone

  19. 4 out of 5

    Paul Saarma

  20. 5 out of 5

    James Mcwilliams

  21. 4 out of 5

    Paul Stolp

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brian

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Davis

  24. 5 out of 5

    John

  25. 5 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl Proc

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sara Elizabeth

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christine G.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Cooper

  30. 4 out of 5

    B. Romero

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