The Century’s Best Horror Fiction features short stories spanning 100 years, and features the likes of Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Richard Matheson, H.P. Lovecraft, Jack Ketchum, Gary Brandner, August Derleth, Algernon Blackwood, and 92 other authors deemed by Pelan to be the best of the best.
According to Cemetery Dance, these two volumes weigh in at 706 (volume one) and 868 (volume two) pages apiece, amounting to over 700,000 words. An impressive feat for a short story collection, and a daunting read for anyone interested. This is obviously not for your casual horror reader, but could easily be considered the textbook for the master class of horror fanatic. Cemetery Dance is notorious for releasing the best of the best in horror fiction, so there’s no doubt here that The Century’s Best Horror Fiction is going to me in a league all its own.
Under the editorship of noted author and historian of the horror genre, John Pelan, The Century’s Best Horror Fiction comprises one story for each year of the 20th century. The plan, which is detailed on the Cemetery Dance website, dictates that the ground rules were simple when choosing for this anthology – one story per author, and only one selection per year.How Pelan could have possibly pared down the choices, we have no idea. But we’re excited none-the-less.
We have no doubt in our minds that this is going to be an interesting excursion into the annals of horror, and are thrilled to be witnessing history in the making.
To that end, we’ve decided to bring you a report of these two volumes, at a decade a week. That’s 10 stories in 10 weeks – and an exciting foray into the illustrious past of our beloved genre. I’m honored to be able to share with you not only my love of horror, but also a detailed look at the shadows and specters that have been haunting us for these past 100 years.
So join me, every Saturday (starting on the 19th) and going on for the subsequent 10 weeks, as we celebrate the impending December/January release of Cemetery Dance’s The Century’s Best Horror Fiction, and take a spine-chilling trip down memory lane. It may not be all sunshine and roses, but it most certainly will be a trip worth taking.