Category Archives: Year’s Best

World Fantasy Award Nomination for THE YEAR’S BEST DARK FANTASY, Volume 2

World_Fantasy_Award_treeVery surprised and honored on receiving World Fantasy Award nomination for THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY, Volume 2! The honor really goes to the authors whose work makes it so much fun to read.

It is unusual for (1) a reprint anthology. (2) let alone one of a series, (3) not to mention a “year’s best” to be nominated for awards. So that makes me triple-chuffed. Super thanks to the judges: C. S. E. Cooney, Julie Crisp, C. C. Finlay, Richard Kadrey, and Misha Stone.

Then there are the other nominees! All great selections you should check out. Here’s the complete list:

  • Professor Charlatan Bardot’s Travel Anthology to the Most (Fictional) Haunted Buildings in the Weird, Wild World (2021 Edition), eds. Charlatan Bardot and Eric J. Guignard (Dark Moon Books)
  • When Things Get Dark: Stories Inspired by Shirley Jackson, ed. Ellen Datlow (Titan Books)
  • The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror Volume Two, ed. Paula Guran (Pyr)
  • The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction (2021), ed. Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki (Jembefola Press)
  • Speculative Fiction for Dreamers: A Latinx Anthology, eds. Alex Hernandez, Matthew David Goodwin, Sarah Rafael García (Mad Creek Books an imprint of the Ohio State University Press)

The winners of the awards will be announced on November 6th, at the World Fantasy Award Banquet in New Orleans, Louisiana. (No, I have no plans of going.)

Content of The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, Volume 3 edited by Paula Guran

(Alphabetical by Author Last Name)

G. V. Anderson, “Shuck” (Deadlands #2)
Seán Padraic Birnie, “Hand-Me -Down” (I Would Haunt You If I Could)
J. S. Breukelaar, “Where We Will Go On Together” (The Dark #70)
Rebecca Campbell, “The Bletted Woman” (F&SF 3-4/21)
Tananarive Due, “The Wishing Pool” (Uncanny #41)
Brian Evenson, “The Sequence” (Conjunctions 77)
Christopher Golden, “The God Bag” (Beyond the Veil, ed. Morris)
Elizabeth Hand, “For Sale By Owner” (When Things Get Dark, ed. Datlow)
Alix E. Harrow, “Mr. Death (Apex #121)
Maria Dahvana Headley, “Wolfsbane” (Nightmare #100)
Glen Hirshberg, “Jetty Sara” (December Tales, ed. Horn)
Stephen Graham Jones. “Refinery Road” (When Things Get Dark, ed. Datlow)
Richard Kadrey, “Across the Dark Water” (
Alison Littlewood, “Jenny Greenteeth” (Mammoth Book of Folk Horror, ed. Jones)
Chimedum Ohaegbu, “And for My Next Trick, I Have Disappeared” (F&SF 7-8/21)
Suzan Palumbo, “Laughter Among the Trees” (The Dark #69)
Sarah Pinsker, “Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather” (Uncanny #39)
David J. Schow, “Caving” (Weird Doom, ed Scoleri)
Molly Tanzer, “In the Garden of Ibn-Ghazi” (F&SF 3-4/21)
Sheree Renee Thomas, “Barefoot and Midnight” (Apex #122)
Steve Toase, “Beneath the Forest’s Wilting Leaves” (To Drown in Dark Water)
Jade Wilburn, “Blood Ties”(Fiyah #18)
A.C. Wise, “The Nag Bride” (The Ghost Sequences)

To published October 2022 by Pyr Books

Content of THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY, VOLUME ONE, edited by Paula Guran

(Alphabetical by author’s last name)

• Marika Bailey, “The White Road; Or How a Crow Carried Death Over a River” (Fiyah #18)
• Elizabeth Bear, “The Red Mother” (
• Tobias Buckell, “Brickomancer (Shoggoths in Traffic and Other Stories)
• P. Djèlí Clark, “If the Martians Have Magic” (Uncanny #42)
• Roshani Chokshi, “Passing Fair and Young” (Sword Table Stone: Old Legend, New Voices)
• Varsha Dinesh, “The Demon Sage’s Daughter” (Strange Horizons 2/8/21)
• Andrew Dykstal, “Quintessence” (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #324)
• James Enge, “Drunkard’s Walk (F&SF 5-6)
• Karen Joy Fowler, “The Piper” (F&SF 1-2)
• Carlos Hernandez & C. S. E. Cooney, “A Minnow, or Perhaps a Colossal Squid (Mermaids Monthly, April)
• Kathleen Jennings, “Gisla and the Three Favors” (Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet #43)
• Allison King, “Breath of the Dragon King” (Fantasy #72)
• PH Lee, “Frost’s Boy” (Lightspeed #128)
• Yukimi Ogawa, “Her Garden the Size of Her Palm (F&SF 7-8)
• Tobi Ogundiran, “The Tale of Jaja and Canti” (Lightspeed #135)
• Richard Parks. “The Fox’s Daughter (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #344)
• Karen Russell, “The Cloud Lake Unicorn” (Conjunctions:76)
• Sofia Samatar, “Three Tales from the Blue Library” (Conjunctions:76)
• Catherynne Valente, “L’Esprit de Escalier” (
• Fran Wilde, “Unseelie Bros, Ltd.” (Uncanny #40)
• Merc Fenn Wolfmoor, “Gray Skies, Red Wings, Blue Lips, Black Hearts” (Apex #121)
• Isabel Yap,“A Spell for Foolish Hearts” (Never Have I Ever)
• E. Lily Yu, “Small Monsters” (

And yes, some of this is dark fantasy, but there will be plenty of dark (darker?) fantasy in THE YEAR’S BEST DARK FANTASY & HORROR, VOLUME THREE. More about that in a couple of months!)

The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, Vol. 2: Content

  • Kelley Armstrong, “Drunk Physics” (Final Cuts: New Tales of Hollywood Horror and Other Spectacles, ed. Ellen Datlow)
  • Dale Bailey, “Das Gesicht” (Final Cuts: New Tales of Hollywood Horror and Other Spectacles, ed. Ellen Datlow)
  • Elizabeth Bear, “On Safari in R’lyeh and Carcosa with Gun and Camera” (
  • Zen Cho, “Odette” (Shoreline of Infinity 18)
  • Wenmimareba Klobah Collins, “Call Them Children” (The Dark #64)
  • Elaine Cuyegkeng, “The Genetic Alchemist’s Daughter” (Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women, eds. Lee Murray and Geneve Flynn)
  • Brian Evenson, “The Thickening,” (Conjunctions:74)
  • James Everington, “The Sound of the Sea, Too Close” (Shadows & Tall Trees, Vol. 8, ed. Michael Kelly)
  • Craig Laurance Gidney, “Desiccant” (Slay: Stories of the Vampire Noire, ed. Nicole Givens Kurtz)
  • Thomas Ha, “Where the Old Neighbors Go” (Metaphorosis, 9/1/20)
  • Elizabeth Hand, “The Owl Count” (Conjunctions:74)
  • Alix E. Harrow, “The Sycamore and the Sybil” (Uncanny #33)
  • Maria Dahvana Headley, “The Girlfriend’s Guide to Gods” (
  • Stephen Graham Jones, “Wait for Night” (
  • Shingai Njeri Kagunda, “And This is How to Stay Alive” (Fantasy #61)
  • Caitlín Kiernan, “Dead Bright Star” (Sirenia Digest #171)
  • Soleil Knowles, “Lusca” (Fiyah #13)
  • Naomi Kritzer, “Monster” (Clarkesworld #160)
  • Victor LaValle, “Recognition” (The New York Times Decameron Project)
  • V. H. Leslie, “Lacunae” (Shadows & Tall Trees, Vol. 8, ed. Michael Kelly)
  • Alison Littlewood, “Swanskin” (After Sundown, ed. Mark Morris)
  • H. Pueyo. “Nobody Lives Here” (The Dark #66)
  • Danny Rhodes, “The Stonemason” (Black Static #75)
  • M. Rickert, “Last Night at the Fair” (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Jul/Aug 2020)
  • Sonya Taaffe, “Tea with the Earl of Twilight” (Nightmare #96)
  • Steve Rasnic Tem, “The Dead Outside My Door” (Black Static #77)
  • Sheree Renée Thomas, “Ancestries” (Nine Bar Blues: Stories from an Ancient Future)
  • Catherynne M. Valente, “Color, Heat, and the Wreck of the Argo“ (Strange Horizons, 9/7/20)
  • A. C. Wise, “To Sail the Black” (Clarkesworld #170)
  • John Wiswell, “Open House on Haunted Hill” (Diabolical Plots #54A)

Other Recommendations from 2019 from The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror, Volume One

the-years-best-dark-fantasy-horror-9781645060253_hrLast year in THE YEAR’S BEST HORROR and DARK FANTASY, VOL. ONE, I included a list of “other recommended” stories. It’s something I don’t usually do, but I thought I’d give it a shot. The idea is, of course, to bring recognition to some great stories, authors, and publications. Now, as I’m compiling VOLUME TWO, I am wondering if it is a worthwhile undertaking as I got zero feedback on the list from last year. Meanwhile I thought I’d make it public here.

Other Recommendations from 2019
(From The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror, Volume One)

Those with an asterisk (*) are highly recommended.

Ballingrud, Nathan: “The Butcher’s Table” (Wounds: Six Stories From the Border of Hell)
Bear, Elizabeth: “A Time to Reap” (Uncanny #31)
Bestwick, Simon: “And Cannot Come Again” (And Cannot Come Again)*
Clark, P. Djèlí: The Haunting of Tram Car 015
Cooney, C. S. E.: Desdemona and the Deep
Langan, John: “Natalya, Queen of the Hungry Dogs” (Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, ed. E. Datlow)
Moore, Tegan: A Forest, or a Tree (
Sharma, Priya: Ormeshadow*
Smith, Michael Marshall: “The Burning Woods” (I Am the Abyss)*
Solomon, Rivers (based on the song by Daveed Diggs, William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes): The Deep
Tantlinger, Sara: To Be Devoured
Warren, Kaaron: Into Bones Like Oil*
Wise, A. C.: Catfish Lullaby

Aliyu, Rafeeat: “58 Rules to Ensure Your Husband Loves You Forever” (Nightmare #77)
Arkenberg, Megan: “It Is Not So, It Was Not So” (The Dark #51)
Arkenberg, Megan: “The Night Princes” (Nightmare #81)
Barnes, Steven, and Tananarive Due: “Fugue State” (Apex #120)
Bear, Elizabeth: “Lest We Forget” (Uncanny #28)
Bermudez, Amanda J.: “Totenhaus” (Black Static #68)
Bestwick, Simon: “Below” (Terror Tales of Northwest England, ed. P. Finch)
de Bodard, Aliette: “A Burning Sword for Her Cradle” (Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, ed. E. Datlow)
Braum, Daniel: “How to Stay Afloat When Drowning” (Pareidolia, eds. J. Everington & D. Howarth)
Broaddus, Maurice: “The Migration Suite: A Study in C Sharp Minor” (Uncanny #29)
Bruce, Georgina: “The Lady of Situations” (The Lady of Situations)
Buckell, Tobias S.: “N-Coin” (Apex #120)
Carroll, Siobhan: “The Air, the Ocean, the Earth, the Deep ” (Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, ed. E. Datlow)
Carroll, Siobhan: “For He Can Creep” (
Cataneo, Emily B.: “The Longest Night” (Black Static #72)*
Chan, L.: “The House Wins in the End” (The Dark #50)
Chronister, Kay: “Roiling and Without Form” (Black Static #68)
Chronister, Kay: “Thin Places” (The Dark #50)
Cisco, Michael: “Their Silent Faces” (Spirits Unwrapped, ed. D. Braum)
Coen, Pip: “Second Skin” (F&SF, May/June 2019)
Coles, Donyae: “Breaking the Waters” (PseudoPod 666)
Das, Indrapramit: “A Shade of Dusk” (Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, ed. E. Datlow)
DeLucci, Theresa: “Cavity” (Strange Horizons 7/8/19)
DeMeester, Kristi: “A Crown of Leaves” (Black Static #70)
DeMeester, Kristi: “A Song for Wounded Mouths” (PseudoPod 64)
Dines, Steven J.: “Pendulum” (Black Static #70)
Elison, Meg: “Hey Alexa” (Do Not Go Quietly, eds. J. Sizemore & L. Conner)
Files, Gemma: “The Puppet Motel” (Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, ed. E. Datlow)*
Ford, Jeffrey: “The Jeweled Wren” (Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, ed. E. Datlow)
Ford, Jeffrey: “Sisyphus in Elysium” (The Mythic Dream, eds. D. Parisien & N. Wolfe)
Fu, Angela: “Tansy” (The Dark #44)
Gardner, Cate: “The Mute Swan” (Terror Tales of Northwest England, ed. P. Finch)
Goodfellow, Cody: “Massaging the Monster” (Black Static #70)
Goss, Theodora: “A Country Called Winter” (Snow White Learns Witchcraft)
Goss, Theodora: “How to Become a Witch-Queen” (Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery, eds. C. Golden & R. A. Deering)
Greenblatt, A. T.: “Before the World Crumbles Away” (Uncanny #27)
Hodge, Brian: “One Last Year Without a Summer” (Skidding Into Oblivion)
Howard, Kat: “Curses Like Words, Like Feathers, Like Stories” (The Mythic Dream, eds. D. Parisien & N. Wolfe)
Howard, Kat: “An Invitation to a Burning” (Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery, eds C. Golden & R. A. Deering)
Huang, S.L.: “As the Last I May Know” (
Huerta, Lizz: “The Wall” (A People’s Future of the United States, eds. V. LaValle & J. J. Adams)
Johnstone, Carole: “Deep, Fast, Green” (Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, ed. E. Datlow)*
Johnstone, Carole: “Skinner Box” (
Johnstone, Tom: “The Wakeman Recreation Ground” (Last Stop Wellsbourne)*
Jones, Stephen Graham: “This Was Always Going to Happen” (Terror at 5280’, ed. Anonymous)*
Jones, Stephen Graham:“The Tree of Self-Knowledge” (Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, ed. E. Datlow)
Kim, Alice Sola: “Now Wait for This Week” (The Cut 1/17/19)*
Laben, Carrie: “The Crying Bride” (The Dark #45)*
Langan, Sarah: “The Night Nurse” (Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery, eds. C. Golden & R. A. Deering)*
Lansdale, Joe R.: “The Senior Girls Bayonet Drill Team” (At Home in the Dark, ed. L. Block)*
Lauryn, Inda: “Dustdaughter” (Uncanny #26)
Leckie, Ann: “The Justified” (The Mythic Dream, eds. D. Parisien & N. Wolfe)
Lewis, L.D.: “Moses” (Anathema 4/19)
Lewis, L.D.: “Signal” (Fireside 8/19)
Liburd, Tonya: “Bootleg Jesus” (Diabolical Plots 6/17/19)
Lore, Danny: “Fare” (Fireside 8/19)
Lombardi, Nicola: “Striges” (The World of SF, Fantasy and Horror, Vol. IV, ed. R. N. Stephenson)
Lothian, Jack: “They Are Us (1964): An Oral History” (Twice-Told: A Collection of Doubles, ed. C. M. Muller)
Lu, S. Qiouyi: “As Dark as Hunger” (Black Static #72)*
Mauro, Laura: “In the City of Bones” (Sing Your Sadness Deep)
Mauro, Laura: “The Pain-eater’s Daughter” (Sing Your Sadness Deep)
McHugh, Maura: “The Boughs Withered: When I Told Them My Dreams” (The Boughs Withered When I Told Them My Dreams)
Miller, Sam J.: “Shucked” (F&SF, Nov/Dec 2019)
Mills, Samantha: “Adrianna in Pomegranate” (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, 2/19)
Mondal, Mimi: “Malotibala Printing Press” (Nightmare #80)
Morrow, James: “Bird Thou Never Wert” (F&SF, Nov/Dec 2019 )
Ness, Mari: “The Girl and the House” (Nightmare #79)
Ogden, Aimee: “Blood, Bone, Seed, Spark” (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #271)
Ogle, L’Erin: “The Girls Who Come Back Are Made of Metal and Glass” (Metaphorosis 6/28/19)*
Okungbawa, Suyi Davies: “Dune Song” (Apex #120)
Okungbawa, Suyi Davies: “The Haunting of 13 Olúwo Street” (Fireside 10/19)
Osahon, Ize-Iyamu: “Therein Lies a Soul” (The Dark #49)
Palmer, Suzanne: “The Painter of Trees” (Clarkesworld 6/19)
Perry, Steve: “I’m With the Band” (Pop the Clutch, ed. E. J. Guignard)
Peterfreund, Diana: “Playscape” (F&SF, Mar/Apr 2019)*
Pueyo, H.: “An Open Coffin” (The Dark #47)
Read, Sarah: “The Hope Chest” (Black Static #72)*
Rebelein, Sam: “My Name Is Ellie” (Bourbon Penn 18)
Rickert, M.: “Evergreen” (F&SF, Nov/Dec 2019)
Roanhorse, Rebecca: “A Brief Lesson in Native American Astronomy (The Mythic Dream, eds. D. Parisien & N. Wolfe)
Saab, Sara: “The Wiley” (The Dark #48)
Sen, Nibedita: “We Sang You as Ours” (The Dark #49)
Shearman, Robert: “I Say (I Say, I Say)” (Tales from the Shadow Booth: Vol. 3, ed. D. Coxon)
Sheil, Steven: “The Touch of Her” (Black Static #70)
Slatter, Angela: “Widows’ Walk” (Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery, eds C. Golden & R. A. Deering)
Slatter, Angela: “Wilderling” (The Dark #48)*
Srinivasan, Shalini: “Road: A Fairy Tale” (Strange Horizons 5/20/19)
Strantzas, Simon: “Antripuu” (Nightmare #82)
Stufflebeam, Bonnie Jo: “Every Song Must End” (Uncanny #27)
Swanwick, Michael: “Ghost Ships” (F&SF, Sept/Oct 2019)
Swirsky, Rachel, and P. H. Lee: “Compassionate Simulation” (Uncanny #29)
Tem, Steve Rasnic: “Snowmen” (Everything Is Fine Now)
Tem, Steve Rasnic: “A Sudden Event” (The Night Doctor and Other Tales)
Tem, Steve Rasnic: “The Woman in the Attic” (Everything Is Fine Now)
Theodoridou, Natalia: “The Summer Is Ended and We Are Not Saved” (Black Static #70)
Tremblay, Paul: “Ice Cold Lemonade 25¢ Haunted House Tour: 1 Per Person” (Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, ed. E. Datlow)
Watt, D. P.: “Our Second Home” (Petals & Violins)
Westlake, Jack: “Looking” (Black Static #72)
Westlake, Jack: “Pomegranate Pomegranate” (Black Static #69)
White, Gordon B.: “Birds of Passage” (PseudoPod 663)
Wise, A. C.: “The Ghost Sequences” (Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, ed. E. Datlow)
“How the Trick Is Done” (Uncanny #29)
Wolfmoor, Merc Fenn: “Sweet Dreams Are Made of You” (Nightmare #84)
Yap, Isabel: “Windrose in Scarlet” (Lightspeed 10/19)
Zahabi, Rebecca: “It Never Snows in Snowtown” (F&SF, Nov/Dec 2019)*