The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror series returns with a splendidly startling fourth volume!
From paranormal plots to stories of the supernatural, tales of the unfamiliar have always fascinated us humans. To keep the tradition alive, fantasy aficionado Paula Guran has gathered the most delightfully disturbing work from some of today’s finest writers of the fantastique!
No two mysterious shadows are alike, and the same can be said for the books in this series. The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, Volume 4 contains more than three hundred pages of mystical fiction. Reader beware and indulge if you dare, because these chilling tales are sure to spook and surprise!
“Recommended for readers who love stories guaranteed to send a frisson of wonder or fear, or both, up their spines. — Library Journal (behind paywall)
“It…felt like these stories made up an important collection, one that should be read and shivered over, not just in the run up to this Halloween, but for Halloweens to come, whenever readers are looking for a wide-ranging collection of stories that go bump in the night…If you’re looking for something appropriately spooky and scary to read this Halloween season, The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror: Volume 4—and all of the previous volumes in this series! —are sure to give you just what you’re looking for. Especially if you’re looking for stories that HAVE to be read with the lights on. (With the reviewer’s story by story comments) — Reading Reality
The official publication date for The Year’s Best Fantasy, Volume 2 was Tuesday, August 15th! Meanwhile, Bookreporter has featured it and Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review.
Prepare to embark on yet another fantastic adventure with award-winning fantasy editor Paula Guran.
Delve into realms that exceed the limits of your imagination and embrace the surreal! Enjoy over 400 pages of tales ranging from wonderful to wicked. From lore and legends to myths and fables of alternative realities, you will discover bewitchment with the turn of every page.
The Year’s Best Fantasy, Volume 2 has something for every fantasy lover, representing a diverse array of accomplished talent from around the world, and perhaps beyond.
The Year’s Best Fantasy, Volume 2
The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror, Volume 4
Publication Date: October 17, 2023
Why is there a new cover? Because it was discovered the art for the other cover was AI generated. When the image was selected many months ago from licensable stock art, there was no indication anywhere it was generated by AI. We had no idea. When I “revealed” the cover on 23 July (the cover has been public for a few months on Amazon and elsewhere) it was noted on social media it was AI generated. Thanks to Ellen Datlow, who saw posts online and related the controversy to me, and to Michael Kelly, the ONLY person to actually email me about this, I became aware of the problem. Despite being up against a print deadline, my editor Rene Sears and Pyr art director Jennifer Do immediately took the steps necessary to rectify the situation. Pyr never intended to use AI art. Thus the new cover. Going forward, we will be checking any art more closely.
The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror, Volume 4
Publication Date: October 17, 2023
Publication date: 08/15/2023
Listed alphabetically by author’s last name:
“The Voice of a Thousand Years” by Fawaz Al-Matrouk (F&SF 5/6-22)
“The Lending Library of Final Lines” by Octavia Cade (The Dark #80)
“A Belly Full of Spiders” by Mário Coelho (PseudoPod 813)
“Red Wet Grin” by Gemma Files (Screams from the Dark, ed. E. Datlow)
“The Long Way Up” by Alix E. Harrow (The Deadlands #9)
“Men, Women, and Chainsaws” by Stephen Graham Jones (Tor.com)
“Swim the Darkness” by Michael Kelly (The Dark #87)
“How Selkies Are Made” by Cassandra Khaw (Breakable Things)
“Lemmings”, Kirstyn McDermott (Weird Horror 5)
“Challawa” by Usman T. Malik (Dark Stars, ed. J. F. D. Taff)
The Summer Castle by Ray Nayler (Nightmare #113)
“In the Smile Place” by Tobi Ogundiran (Fiyah #24)
“Douen” by Suzan Palumbo (The Dark #82)
The Dyer and the Dressmakers by Bindia Persaud (Chromophobia: A Strangehouse Anthology by Women in Horror, ed. S. Tantlinger)
“The Feeding of Closed Mouths” by Eden Royce [(Re)Living Mythology, eds. S. N. Kagunda, Y. L. Ndlovu, H.D. Hunter, & LP Kindred]
“The Woman Who Married the Minotaur” by Angela Slatter (The Sunday Morning Transport 10-23-22)
“The Ercildoun Accord” by Steve Toase (Lackington’s #25)
“Bonesoup” by Eugenia Triantafyllou (Strange Horizons 7-11-22)
“Shadow Plane” by Fran Wilde (Weird Tales #365)
“Sharp Things, Killing Things” by A.C. Wise (Nightmare #121)
“A Monster in the Shape of a Boy” by Hannah Yang (Apex #131)
Please do not submit any further short fiction from 2022. I would like anthologies, periodicals, and single-author collections published in 2023 as soon as an ARC is available or published. No individual submissions for now!
Alphabetically by author’s last name:
- “The Miraculous Account of Khaja Bairaq, Pennant-Saint of Zabel”, Tanvir Ahmed (Strange Horizons 7/18/2022)
- “The Part You Throw Away”, Elizabeth Bear (The Sunday Morning Transport 9/4/2022)
- “At the Foot of the Dragon Stair”, Aliette de Bodard (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #350)
- “The Book of Unwritten Poems”, Curtis C. Chen (The Sunday Morning Transport 6/19/2022)
- “March Magic”, WC Dunlap (Africa Risen, eds. S. R. Thomas, O. D. Ekpeki, Z. Knight)
- “The Hunger”, James Enge (F&SF May/June 2022)
- “The Daily Commute”, Sarah Gailey (The Sunday Morning Transport 7/10/2022)
- “To Make Unending”, Max Gladstone (The Sunday Morning Transport 1/9/2022)
- “Pellargonia: A Letter to the Journal of Imaginary Anthropology”, Theodora Goss (Lost Worlds & Mythological Kingdoms, ed. J. J. Adams)
- “A Record of Our Meeting with the Grand Faerie Lord of Vast Space and Its Great Mysteries, Revised”, A.T. Greenblatt (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #350)
- “The Massage Lady at Munjeong Road Bathhouse,” Isabel J. Kim (Clarkesworld 2/22)
- “Kings and Popes and Saints”, Jon Hansen (Apex #133)
- “Roadside Attraction”, Alix E. Harrow (Someone in Time: Tales of Time-Crossed Romance, ed. Jonathan Strahan)
- “Love Heart Soup”, Wen-yi Lee (Augur 5.1)
- “The Goldfish Man”, Maureen McHugh (Uncanny #45)
- “Potemora in the Triad”, Sara S. Messenger (Fantasy #80)
- “Sun in an Empty Room”, Sam J. Miller (Boys, Beasts & Men)
- “The Deiﬁcation of Igodo”, Joshua Uchenna Omenga (Africa Risen, eds. S. R. Thomas, O. D. Ekpeki, Z. Knight)
- “Earth Dragon, Turning”, Anya Ow (Uncanny #49)
- “The Gentle Dragon Tells His Tale of Love”, J. A. Pak (F&SF Jan/Feb 2022)
- “The Long View”, Susan Palwick (Tor.com)
- “3 A.M. Eternal”, Eden Royce (Worlds of Possibility 10/2022)
- “Readings in the Slantwise Sciences”, Sofia Samatar (Conjunctions 79)
- “Le Sorcier de Lascaux”, Douglas Schwarz (F&SF Sep/Oct 2022)
“The Short History of My Mother”, Priya Sharma (Sufficiently Advanced Magic, ed. Vassili Christodoulou)
- “The Portal Keeper”, Lavie Tidhar (Uncanny #48)
- “Phoenix Tile”, Guan Un (khōréō 2.1)
- “Songs We Sing at Sea are the Lies We Tell Ourselves”, Kaaron Warren (Looming Low 2, ed. J. Steele)
Just in time for Halloween!
The supernatural, the surreal, and the all-too real . . . tales of the dark. Such stories have always fascinated us, and modern authors carry on the disquieting traditions of the past while inventing imaginative new ways to unsettle us. Chosen from a wide variety of venues, these stories are as eclectic and varied as shadows.
This volume of The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror offers more than four hundred pages of tales from some of today’s finest writers of the fantastique—sure to delight as well as disturb!
It is, by the way, my FIFTIETH (50!) published anthology.
Escape on a journey from the ordinary to the extraordinary with award-winning fantasy editor Paula Guran.
This superbly curated collection explores myth and fable, dark and light—a heroic creature facing a dangerous demon; an earthly love facing the mossy decay of death. With tales of living ball gowns and timid monsters, of modern witches and multidimensional magic, these twenty-four stories will transport you from fantastical realms that push the limits of imagination to alternative realities mirroring much of our own.
Discover bewitchment and wonder, the surreal and the chimerical, in a fantasy anthology representing a diverse array of accomplished talent from around the world . . . and perhaps beyond.
Find places to buy here.