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Notable Collections of 2009
Bella
ellen_datlow
Northwest Passages by Barbara Roden (Prime) is an impressive debut collection of ten stories (two appearing for the first time). Four of the reprints were given honorable mentions in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror series, and one was reprinted in #19. With an introduction by critic Michael Dirda. One of the best collections of the year.

Madder Mysteries by Reggie Oliver (Ex Occidente Press) is a very attractive volume from a new press that has, in addition to eight stories (several published for the first time), several critical essays, and “curiosities”--a series of amusing vignettes, black and white illustrations by the author throughout, and a lovely frontispiece painting by Joanna Dunham. The stories are uniformly entertaining and most are extraordinarily creepy. Oliver introduces the volume.

Cold to the Touch by Simon Strantzas (Tartarus Press) is the second collection by the author, with thirteen stories, six of them new, all of them quite powerful and dark. With an afterword by the author.

Monstrous Affections by David Nickle (Chizine Publications) is this Canadian’s first collection, although the stories in it were originally published between 1994 and 2009. That story from 1994, “The Sloan Men,” was chosen for the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror: Sixth Annual Collection. Michael Rowe provides an introduction to a powerful collection.

Pictures of the Dark by Simon Bestwick (Gray Friar Press) is the author’s second collection, following A Hazy Shade of Winter published in 2004. Of the twenty-three stories of supernatural and psychological horror, almost half appear for the first time. The originals are very strong and the collection is highly recommended.

A Blood of Killers by Gerard Houarner (Necro Publications) collects thirteen reprints and twelve original dark, intense psychological horror stories, many about the brutal amoral hired assassin called Max and the Beast within him--a darkness that is even more depraved and brutal than he. Although a few of the stories about Max and his missions have story arcs that are a bit too similar, most of the stories are still powerful and very readable.

Putting the Pieces in Place by R. B. Russell (Ex Occidente Press) is an excellent and very satisfying debut collection of five stories of the supernatural, all published for the first time.

Remove the Eyes by Ralph Robert Moore (Sentence Publishing) is the first collection by a fine writer, with nine stories, one reprinted in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror: Nineteenth Annual Collection, and four new stories.

Mixed-genre anthologies

Fugue State by Brian Evenson (Coffee House Press) features nineteen, surreal, strange, and sometimes extremely dark stories, a prolific short story writer under appreciated in the horror community. Several of the stories in the his collection were given Honorable Mentions in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror.

The Nightfarers by Mark Valentine (Ex Occidente Press) from an ambitious new publisher out of Romania, contains fourteen stories that are more in the weird and gothic tradition than outright horror but the collection is a very good example of its kind. Eight of the stories are published for the first time.

Zoo by Otsuichi translated by Terry Gallagher (fixed: Haikasoru) showcases eleven weird, fantastic, horrific, and just plain odd stories by the thirty-two year old Japanese writer.

Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. Collected Stories by Lewis Shiner (Subterranean Press) is a gorgeous retrospective of forty-one stories by an underrated writer who has been writing stories of sf/f/h for over thirty years. With story notes by the author.

That's it. I hope these mentions will remind you of the possibilities and will get eligible voters to vote for their favorite stories and books.

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Maybe I`m wrong but Haika Soru (not Sora) is the correct spelling.
http://www.haikasoru.com/

Nick Mamatas knows better.

Yup, you're right, but unfortunately it's now wrong forever as that's how I spelled it in my Best of the year. Oh well. ;-(

Thank you for that, Ellen!

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