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Old 11-20-2014   #1
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Topic Nominated Best Anthologies You've Read

Couldn't find a thread where people can recommend the best anthologies they've read to others so I thought I'd create one. The four best I've read in the last year (some are older, but new to me) have to be:

#1


- Historical account of the evolution of Weird Tales from past to present. Brilliant selections highlighting each year along the way.

#2:


- Everything an Anthology should be . . . can't say enough good about it.

#3:


- Laird Barron's most recent anthology. Yeah, I know there's not a lot of love for Laird in this forum due to past history/personality conflicts . . . but I thought the book was great. Best of his three anthologies by a wide margin.

#4:


(The first. The second isn't bad. Not a fan of #3) - Solid (arguably) Lovecraftian stories from plenty of well known names in the field.

What gems have you all run across?
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Old 11-20-2014   #2
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Re: Best Anthologies You've Read

Wouldn't Barron's book be a collection and not a anthology?
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Old 11-20-2014   #3
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Re: Best Anthologies You've Read

I agree with some of the other choices. I'd add . . .












Lucian pigeon-holed the letter solemnly in the receptacle lettered 'Barbarians.' ~ The Hill of Dreams by Arthur Machen

“The wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.” – Oscar Wilde
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Old 11-20-2014   #4
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Re: Best Anthologies You've Read

Quote Originally Posted by luciferfell View Post
Wouldn't Barron's book be a collection and not a anthology?
You ask the question with the unknowable answer. Well played.

I appreciate the other suggestions and am adding them to my purchase lists (either Amazon or AbeBooks, depending on if the text is available as an e-book).

I'm hoping to pull a couple years of excellent reading from this thread.
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Old 11-20-2014   #5
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Re: Best Anthologies You've Read

My favorite anthologies tend to be those which rescue relatively little-known work from total obscurity.

Here are some examples:

Fantastic Tales: Visionary and Everyday , edited by Italo Calvino (originally published in Italian in 1983, translated into English in 1997)

American Fantastic Tales , edited by Peter Straub
(Library of America). Yeah, there's a lot of really well-known stuff in this one, too. But Straub is careful to pepper the t.o.c. with a few lesser-known works (like "Midnight" by Jack Snow; which has a delicious, pulpy Night Gallery / EC Comics sort of feel to it).

I'll also give a shout out to the previously-mentioned The Weird (edited by the VanderMeers) It's perhaps a little too big and unfocused, but I appreciate the inclusion of several relatively-lesser-known 19th and early 20th century European authors (and they do a good job of finding some pretty nifty Asian authors, too).
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Old 11-20-2014   #6
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Re: Best Anthologies You've Read

I've always assumed a collection represented the work of a single author, and an anthology represented the work of multiple authors.

As for being centered around a theme, I don't think that's a deal-breaker.

Lucian pigeon-holed the letter solemnly in the receptacle lettered 'Barbarians.' ~ The Hill of Dreams by Arthur Machen

“The wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.” – Oscar Wilde
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Old 11-20-2014   #7
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Re: Best Anthologies You've Read

Laird's book is a collection, not an anthology. An anthology collects stories by several writers; a collection is the work of a single author. Laird has co-edited a remarkably wonderful anthology: THE YEAR'S BEST WEIRD FICTION.

"We work in the dark -- we do what we can -- we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art."
--Henry James (1843-1916)
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Old 11-20-2014   #8
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Re: Best Anthologies You've Read

The folks here have swayed me on THE YEAR'S BEST WEIRD FICTION, I'll add that to the cart. The sample story (THE NINETEENTH STEP) sort of left me hanging at the end without any resolution, so until recently I remained on the fence about the book. However, words of high praise on this forum have convinced me that there's gold in there if I keep digging, so I'll don my prospectors hat and get to it.

As for the collection/anthology thing I find myself in agreement with the users here, and will therefore shift the blame of my usage to AMAZON which makes no such distinctions. Life will certainly be easier for all involved if we agree a collection refers to one author, and an anthology many. I'll adopt that usage from now on.

That being said, I'm also interested in collections that people have enjoyed as well. I've seen Mark Samuels posting on here and after discovering his nomination for a British Fantasy Award added his collection THE WHITE HANDS AND OTHER WEIRD TALES to my list. If you all know of some other killer collections don't hold back.

I'm a devourer of short horror/wierd fiction. Yet I have this recurring problem where every time I finish a collection/anthology it takes me the better part of a week to find another that catches my interest. I'll go through dozens of Amazon samples before hitting upon something that resonates with me. So . . . if I can fatten my reading list here and save myself countless days of disappointment in the future all the better!
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Old 11-20-2014   #9
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Re: Best Anthologies You've Read

This thread may go on for awhile. There are some fabulous collections and anthologies out there. As for anthos, I'm partial to the Ellen Datlow and Stephen Jones Best Horror of the Year anthos, and Paula Guran's, as well. Datlow and Jones have a real knack for pulling together the most compelling tales of the year.

Lucian pigeon-holed the letter solemnly in the receptacle lettered 'Barbarians.' ~ The Hill of Dreams by Arthur Machen

“The wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.” – Oscar Wilde
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Old 11-20-2014   #10
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Re: Best Anthologies You've Read

One of the first books I remember reading (though it was in translation) was Magic for Sale, a collection of stories revolving around strange shops, or shops where somebody finds something strange. It was edited by Avram Davidson and included some damn fine stories by the likes of Theodore Sturgeon ("Shottle Bop") and Harlan Ellison ("The Cheese Stands Alone"). There's a couple stories that didn't work for me, but overall I remember the book rather fondly, and thus would consider it a favourite.

Some stuff I've been reading lately and enjoying immensely:

The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases.
A great collection of little stories, all about made-up diseases. Some entries are quite unsettling, others downright hysterical.

Dadaoism: An Anthology. This is like one of those sampler CD's labels used to put out back in the 90s. The label in question being Chomu Press and their barrage of very talented authors. Admittedly I first read the stuff from authors I was already familiar with (Michael Cisco, Justin Isis, et al) but so far I've really liked everything I've read off it, as different as one story can be from the others. Contrast, for instance, the classic lyricism of Reggie Oliver to the maddening funk-driven sci-fi romp by strobestreaked Justin Isis. Amazing stuff, it all.
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