The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 2005: Eighteenth Annual Collection

Locus Award Winner

“Anyone worried about original coeditor Terri Windling’s replacement last year by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant should chill now. Their second year aboard this annual excursion on the high-quality seas of fantasy, light and dark, shows no decline in quality or quirkiness from their maiden voyage, though with original coeditor Datlow still in service, fans needn’t have worried. Here one still gratefully finds so extraordinarily well wrought an exercise in fantastic literary realism as Peter Straub’s “Mr. Aickman’s Air Rifle” (how well wrought? John O’Hara might envy the dialogue). Here is one of the most grotesque stories imaginable, Chuck Palahniuk’s “Guts,” which, Datlow remarks, “contains some rather graphic elements” (it’s about a very private pastime of 13-year-old boys). John Kessel’s weirdly jolly rural grunge fantasy, “The Baum Plan for Financial Independence,” may be less surprising, but the book wouldn’t be as good without it, or without Andy Duncan’s exquisite essay in biographical fiction, “Zora and the Zombie,” about Zora Neale Hurston’s anthropological researches in Haiti. As usual, lots of excellent genre reading.”

Table of Contents


“The Oakthing,” Gregory Maguire
“Horton’s Store,” R.T. Smith
“Rite of Spring,” Margo Lanagan
“Zora and the Zombie,” Andy Duncan
“The Changeling,” Theodora Goss
“Revenge of the Calico Cat,” Stepan Chapman
“Frozen Charlottes,” Lucy Sussex
“Reports of Certain Events in London,” China Mieville
“House of Ice,” Jean Esteve
“Restraint,” Stephen Gallagher
“The Baum Plan for Financial Independence,” John Kessel
“Dancing on Air,” Frances Oliver
“Cold Fires,” M. Rickert
“And the Sea Shall Give Up Its Dead,” Richard Mueller
“A Trick of the Dark,” Tina Rath
“The Bad Magician,” Philip Raines and Harvey Wells
“Speir-Bhan,” Tanith Lee
“Hunting Meth Zombies in the Great Nebraskan Wasteland,” John Farris
“Guts,” Chuck Palahniuk
“Water Babies,” Simon Brown
“Mr. Aickman’s Air Rifle,” Peter Straub
“We Find Things Old,” Bentley Little
“Wonderwall,” Elizabeth Hand
“Postcretaceous Era,” D. Ellis Dickerson
“Watch and Wake,” M.T. Anderson
“The Oracle Alone,” Catherynne M. Valente
“A Night in the Tropics,” Jeffrey Ford
“Clownette,” Terry Dowling
“Stripping,” Joyce Carol Oates
“Seven Feet,” Christopher Fowler
“Singing My Sister Down,” Margo Lanagan
“Bulldozer,” Laird Barron
“These Various Methods of Brightness,” Anna Ross
“The Cajun Knot,” MŽlanie Fazi
“Tales from the City of Seams,” Greg van Eekhout
“The Specialist,” Alison Smith
“Here is the Church,” Shelley Jackson
“The Witch of Truro,” Alice Hoffman
“Lapland, or Film Noir,” Peter Straub
“What Her Mother Said,” Theodora Goss
“The Owl,” Conrad Williams
“The Silver Dragon,” Elizabeth A. Lynn

Honorable Mentions: 2004