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The best horror of the year. #5

by Ellen Datlow;

  Print book : Fiction

10 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Selected story summaries   (2019-01-03)


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by billborre

"Frontier Death Song" by Laird Barron - In 1992 a man participating in an Alaskan dogsled run interrupts the Huntsman while he's conducting the Wild Hunt, skinning a colleague named Graham. The narrator fires off several rounds from his .357 killing some of the hounds and wounding the Huntsman. Satan demotes the Huntsman and promotes the murdered Graham as the new Huntsman. Twenty years later Graham appears to the narrator and tells him that he's got three days to get his affairs in order before he comes after him. An author friend named Jack invites him to head east to Lamprey Isle in New York figuring that the pack will be reluctant to cross wide open water. It doesn't work, but when the Wild Hunt does come for Jack and the narrator, they do such a good job of putting up a struggle that Satan demotes Graham. Jack and the narrator form a new pack and set off after their chosen prey.

"The Callers" by Ramsey Campbell - A thirteen year old boy attempting to avoid hooligans ducks into his grandma's creepy bingo game. The male caller on the stage is attempting to warn the boy to flee but the women have already marked him. His grandma leads him back home but that night the women show up at the house and rape him in a May Day fertility ritual.

"None So Blind” by Stephen Bacon - Dying Alex has a chat at a cafe with a blind woman wearing a mask. Lyssa used to be a mobster's wife who had acid tossed into her face when her husband discovered she was having an affair. The story suggests Alex was the one who disfigured her.

"Kill All Monsters” by Gary McMahon - A woman and child stay with a man whose regular outbursts of homicidal violence are aimed at eliminating the monsters that others perceive as ordinary humans.

"The Word-Made Flesh” by Richard Gavin - Elliot is disconcerted to learn his friend Austin has used primordial magic in an attempt to resurrect his dead wife and son.

"Dead Song” by Jay Wilburn - Tiny Jones is a music historian who records the various musical styles of communities after the zombies destroy civilization.


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