The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, 2013 Edition by Paula Guran
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The stories in this collection run the gamut from Neal Gaiman's The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury to Jim Butcher's hilarious Big Foot on Campus, touching on points in between. I won't even attempt to review every story here so I'll focus on what I consider to be the true gems in this collection.
The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury is a horror tale for our times. The narrator opens his tale with the line I am forgetting things, which scares me. With this simple sentence Gaiman takes us by the hand and leads us through the thoughts and fears of someone going through Alzheimer's or dementia, or maybe something else -- we are never really told -- but that's far from the point. Having your past wiped from your brain, memory by memory, is perhaps the scariest thing a person can face. Our past defines us, our memories make us who we are. If we lose those things where does that leave us? This story is no fantasy - what it describes is all too real, all too common, and that is what scares the crap out of me.
Big Foot On Campus - I don't want to give anything away here, so just let me say Harry Dresden is back and in fine form as his usual smart-alecky self.
Perhaps one of the creepiest tales in this collection is Robert Shearman's Bedtime Stories for Yasmin. There is nothing more innocuous than a story told to a child as she's being tucked into bed for the night, right? Not in this story. Enough said. You'll have to read it for yourself.
The Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror, 2013 lives up to it's title. Recommended.
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