Anthologies are the hardest for me to judge and I usually stay out of the anthology fray since that's my business these days. Even mentioning them often seems like a conflict of interest. So you may take my opinions of the best anthologies (other than my own, of course ;-) --with a grain of salt). Also, while there were some excellent mostly reprint anthologies, I'm only mentioning original anthologies here.
Phantom edited by Paul G. Tremblay and Sean Wallace (Prime Book) is a fine follow-up to the 2007 non-theme anthology Bandersnatch. This one, with fourteen new stories is more to my dark taste, with some very strong horror stories by Steve Rasnic Tem, Stephen Graham Jones, Steve Eller, Vylar Kaftan, Nick Mamatas, Steve Berman, and Lavie Tidhar.
He is Legend: An Anthology Celebrating Richard Matheson edited by Christopher Conlon (Gauntlet) has an in interesting variety of sequels, prequels, and just stories inspired by a master writer who has written some of the most memorable pieces of horror in the genre’s history. Fifteen stories and novellas, the best by Gary A. Braunbeck, Stephen King and Joe Hill, F. Paul Wilson, Joe R. Lansdale, and Richard Christian Matheson.
Gaslight Grotesque edited by J.R Campbell and Charles Prepolec (Edge) is surprisingly fresh and entertaining, possibly because it’s the rare volume that allows Holmes and Watson to be dumbfounded by matters (which is course, the antithesis of the ratiocination for which Holmes is known. There’s much that’s actually supernatural in here. The most interesting stories are by Neil Jackson, Robert Lauderdale, J. R. Campbell, and Barbara Roden.
Exotic Gothic 3: Strange Visitations edited by Danel Olson (Ash-Tree Press) is an all original anthology with some terrific stories by Simon Clark, Terry Dowling, Simon Kurt Unsworth, and Kaaron Warren and good stories by most of the other nineteen stories that take place all over the world.
Dark Delicacies III: Haunted edited by Del Howison and Jeff Gelb (Running Press) has nineteen new stories and a poem. The strongest stories in the book are by Marie Alexander, Michael Boatman, Simon Clark, Gary A. Braunbeck, John Connelly, Mick Garris, Richard Christian Matheson, and David Morrell (the latter, very moving but not horror).
- 2009 notable anthologies