(1999) Ed. Al Sarrantonio, NEL, pbk, £7.99, 828pp, ISBN 0-340-74860-5
Showcase horror anthology in the footsteps of Kirby McCauley’s Dark Forces and Doug Winter’s Prime Evil. This excellent book features a short novel by William Peter Blatty and novellas by Joe Lansdale and David Morrell, as well as shorts by Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Neil Gaiman, Tim Powers and Michael Marshall Smith among others. Well worth anyone’s money, there are some real gems here -- I especially enjoyed the grim humour of Chet Williamson’s story and the chilling madness behind P.D. Cacek’s. Whether the anthology fulfils the editor’s aim, that of reviving the flagging horror field, is open to debate. I hope so, but suspect that publishers (scared of public reaction or perceived lack of commercial potential) may be slow to help out. However, these things go through cycles, and it may be time for an ascendent horror field again, so we can justifiably hope. But check this out anyway; it’s some of the best from some of the best...
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