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Year's Best Weird Fiction, Vol. 3

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  156 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Showcasing the finest weird fiction from 2015, volume 3 of the Year's Best Weird Fiction is our biggest and most ambitious volume to date.
Acclaimed editors Simon Strantzas and Michael Kelly bring their keen editorial sensibilities to the third volume of the Year's Best Weird Fiction. The best weird stories of 2015 features work from Robert Aickman, Matthew M. Bartlett, Sa
Kindle Edition, 337 pages
Published September 9th 2016 by Undertow Publications
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Oct 06, 2016 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Went ahead and purchased a hardcover of this book.
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The third entry in Undertow Publication's impressively consistent annual series. If Laird Barron's Volume One focused on downtrodden Ligottian pessimism and Kathe Koja's Volume Two tended more toward the dark fantastic of Kelly Link or Angela Carter, Simon Strantzas's picks are more likely to labor under the long shadow of Robert Aickman. I don't want to overstate the differences here - any of these stories would feel at home in any of these volumes to date, but the individual tendencies are cle ...more
Rebecca Lloyd
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
UNDERTOW PUBLICATIONS 2016 Michael Kelly and Simon Strantzas
This anthology compiled by Michael Kelly of Undertow Publications with Simon Strantzas feels balanced and well considered. The range of weirdness involved is wide and so there’s pleasure to be had for readers with quite different tastes to mine. Amongst other excellent works here, are stories by well-known writers such as Ramsey Campbell and Robert Aickman, writers of interest such as Reg
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up to a hesitant 4. While I liked most of the stories I don't think there was any new ground broken here as I would expect in a weird fiction anthology purporting to be the best. I didn't see some of these stories as that weird at all and feel like on the whole it read more like the usual tepid year's best horror anthologies. Other than the first volume in this series I've been somewhat disappointed as I expected this series to break out of the mold cast by Datlow, Jones, and G ...more
Sarah Beaudette
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
The editors acknowledge that everyone has a different definition of weird fiction, and thus that each guest editor of the series brings his or her own interpretation to the genre, whether as a subset of horror, or whether horror is a subset of weird fiction, etc. I haven't read the other collections in the series yet (I will), but this curation hues most closely to my own taste in weird fiction: literary, uncanny, metaphysically disturbing, following the examples, to name a few, of Poe, Lovecraf ...more
Leah Polcar

A mixed bag tending toward the negative end of the spectrum. If you are a fan of short stories and have Kindle Unlimited you could do worse, but otherwise there are better anthologies out there.
Graham P
Undertow Press continues to collect some of the finest short works of contemporary weird fiction. While there are many striking images in most of Volume 3's stories, some of the works here feel strangely unfinished, mood and atmosphere rich and evocative, but some element lacking which seems to cut the tension and dread. The stories that really made an impact on me:

-Violet is the Color of Your Energy (Nadia Bulkin) - a brilliant reworking of Lovecraft's Color out of Space.
-Guest (Brian Conn) - a
Jeff McIntosh
Apr 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Again, perhaps its my limitations as a wife says that I have trouble with subtly. This collection did nothing for me.

Perhaps as I tend to equate "weird" with "horror". And the stories may have been weird, but they weren't horror.

But read it, and tell me what you think....

Jeff Mc
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I really enjoyed this book. The major downfall (and why I didn't give it 5 stars) was The Strangers. That was the most boring thing I've read in YEARS. I have no idea why that was included as it only has a couple sentences of "spooky" and the other 40 PAGES were dithering on about nothing interesting or important. The main character was self absorbed and totally unlikable and boring. The only reason I finished it and didn't skip it is because I always finish a book, good or bad. I wanted to skip ...more
Benoit Lelièvre
Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I might not have enjoyed this collection this much without the introduction by Simon Strantzas emphasizing the "prismatic" nature of Weird (and without the perfect hospital setting I read it in, but that's another story). Turns out Strantzas' weird is subtle, atmospheric and has a quiet literary edge like a season of the X Files directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

My favorite stories were iconic author Robert Aickman's "The Strangers" about a man's transcendent night echoing through his entire life, M
Pearse Anderson
Nov 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Simon Strantzas: please cool it with the seaside English towns where the locals are crazy and Eldritchian. This was not a great collection to read after Aickman's Heirs just because of the overlap. It was a fine anthology, not great, certainly not YBWF V2, but it was acceptable. It felt weighted with great storytelling in the first third and then for the last two stories, with a sour, forgettable middle. I'm legitimately surprised some of these were considered the best. Perhaps a Best of the Bes ...more
Bill Hsu
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: anthologies
Very mixed bag. High points for me were Robert Shearman's "Blood" and Brian Evenson's "Seaside Town" (anthologized elsewhere). The pieces from Ramsey Campbell, Robert Aickman, and Reggie Oliver are minor efforts.
William M.
This year's volume, edited by the incredible Simon Strantzas, is probably the best volume in this series. He clearly knows how to pick the strange and weird, and, for the most part, selected stories filled with an ever-increasing dread and tension. The clear highlights in this volume were written by Robert Sherman, Brian Evenson, Ramsey Campbell, Matthew M. Bartlett, and Lynda E. Rucker, with my favorite two being The Devil Under the Maison Blue by Michael Wehunt and The Strangers by the legend ...more
Jul 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Made it just about halfway through before reading this began to feel more like a chore than an enjoyable task, and that defeats the purpose of a good ol' read for me. Some stories naturally grabbed me more than others, but after reading a few stories back-to-back where a woman leads a good-hearted but imbecilic man astray, well. C'mon. I did enjoy Honey Moon by D.P. Watt, Violet is the Color of Your Energy by Nadia Bulkin, and The Marking by Kristi Demeester was particularly weird and a little d ...more
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
A satisfying collection of bizarre and disturbing stories, my favorites being Matthew M. Bartlett's "Rangel" (one of the most chilling Halloween stories I have ever read), Ramsey Campbell's "Fetched" (which takes the "you can't go home again theme to a whole new level), and Lynda E. Rucker's "The Seventh Wave" (which, I think, will make me feel uneasy whenever I am near the ocean).
Joe Donley
Oct 02, 2018 rated it liked it
A good collection, but it didn't quite reach the level that the previous volumes attained. There were a few gems though, like:
Orange Dogs by Marian Womack, Little Girls in Bone Museums by (fellow Okie) Sadie Bruce, and especially Rangel by Matthew M. Bartlett.
I look forward to reading the next volume.
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Volume 2 was great and introduced me to a handful of authors I hadn't read before, so I was really looking forward to this, but for me it didn't really deliver. Alot of the stories were of the type that just leave you scratching your head and wanting to move on to the next one (not unlike Simon Strantzas' own work). The Robert Aickman story was ok, but not up there with his best. Standouts for me were L.S. Johnson's 'Julie' and DP Watt's 'Honey Moon' (both of which I'd read before), and 'Visit L ...more
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Apr 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm teaching this anthology in a horror fiction course as a way of looking at different kinds of contemporary horror. My favorites in the collection (and the ones I'm most likely to assign to my students) are the following: Nadia Bulkin's "Violet Is the Color of Your Energy," which revises Lovecraft's "Colour Out of Space" by telling it from a woman's point of view; Brian Evenson's take on Robert Aickman in "Seaside Town"; Ramsey Campbell's "Fetched" (I haven't read a Campbell story in many year ...more
Erinn Crider
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Book lover
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Literary Horror: Year's Best Weird Fiction edited by Simon Strantzas 33 30 Oct 25, 2016 04:48PM  

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Simon Strantzas is the author of Nothing is Everything, Burnt Black Suns, Nightingale Songs, Cold to the Touch and Beneath the Surface and has been nominated for the British Fantasy and Shirley Jackson Awards. His work has been appeared in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror (ed. Stephen Jones), The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror (ed. by Paula Guran), Best Horror of the Year (ed. by Ellen Datlo ...more

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