fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews Ellen Datlow The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2007The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 2007

In many ways, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 2007 anthology is a difficult book to review. For one thing, to me and a lot of my reading/writing circle, this is easily the definitive bible when it comes to short stories of the genre. For another, many of the stories that are included in this collection have been featured in other anthologies as well, so there’s an overlap in terms of stories featured. But I’ll try and talk about what makes this anthology unique from other similar anthologies.

The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror is quite comprehensive about its subject matter, not just featuring short stories but poems and articles. The first dozen pages are articles summarizing the important events that happened in the two genres including the obituaries of the previous year. That’s really quite valuable from an archiving standpoint, and you won’t get that anywhere else.

When it comes to the story selection — well, that honestly depends on your taste and how well it aligns with the editors’. I’m not that familiar with the horror genre but I did enjoy Ellen Datlow‘s choice of stories. As for the fantasy stories, while I enjoyed Kelly Link’s and Gavin J. Grant‘s selection, I find that my personal tastes are more aligned with those of editor Rich Horton (The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy and Fantasy: The Best of the Year). That is not to say the choices in this collection aren’t great (and in fact many of the stories, as I said before, do overlap).

Overall The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 2007 is a great read, and while there are some stories I don’t feel strongly about, they are for the most part well written and competent. What I can’t deny however is the book’s thoroughness. Any serious speculative fiction fan should include this tome in their collection. The size might be intimidating but I’d like to think the quality of the stories more than makes up for it. Anyone who’s looking into what the genre can offer should give this book a try, although people looking for more mainstream fantasy might want to look elsewhere.

FanLit thanks Charles Tan from Bibliophile Stalker for contributing this guest review.