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The Best Horror of the Year: Volume Two

(The Best Horror of the Year #2)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  454 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Celebrities take refuge in a white-walled mansion as plague and fever sweep into Cannes; a killer finds that the living dead have no appetite for him; a television presenter stumbles upon the chilling connection between a forgotten animal act and the Whitechapel Murders; a nude man unexpectedly appears in the backgrounds of film after film; mysterious lights menace the cre ...more
Paperback, First Edition, 308 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Night Shade (first published 2010)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  454 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Awesome!! Enjoying these so much. On to the next one. :)
Nov 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Another season, another few horror fiction anthologies...

Short version - a solid read. Should be something here for all tastes.

Longer version - so, keeping to my usual review pattern, I'll be structuring this from least-impressive stories to most impressive. In general, this is what you'd expect from the yearly Datlow - a solid collection of good to great stories with only a few clunkers (accounting for taste). This early on in the series, there's no indication of foot-finding, in that Datlow se
Ben Loory
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Each Thing I show You Is a Piece of My Death" by Gemma Files and Stephen Barringer)
"In the Porches of My Ears" by Norman Prentiss (contains a truly great, very creepy idea)
"Lonegan's Luck" by Stephen Graham Jones (tremendous fun)
"The Lion's Den" by Steve Duffy
"The Lammas Worm" by Nina Allan
"The Nimble Men" by Glen Hirshberg (Glen Hirshberg writes as well as anyone I can think of-- like, anyone I can think of)

(I also like "Technicolor" by John Langan a lot, but just read it in his c
Jonathan Briggs
Apr 17, 2012 rated it liked it
The back cover tells us "legendary" editor Ellen Datlow ... Hold up, stop right there for a minute. "Legendary"? Isn't that a little ostentatious? "Venerated," sure; "well-respected," definitely; "award-winning," undeniable; but "legendary"? That's a descriptor best used in barroom tall tales and children's bedtime stories. "Boys, did I ever tell you the Legend of Ellen Datlow? On my soul, every word is true." A legendary editor would take the time to ensure all the typos got swept out of her bo ...more
Nancy Oakes
Mar 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
After the previous volume of this series turned out to be not so hot, I had a few concerns on my end about continuing to Volume 2. While I won't say that this book inspired many terror-producing moments, it is definitely an improvement over the first collection.

The book opens once more with a summation of books, stories, etc. from 2009, some of which have already gone on my wishlist. It is followed by 17 stories (* indicates the ones I really enjoyed):

1. "Lowland Sea," by Suzy McKee Charnas
2. "
May 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories, horror
Another disappointingly average year-end wrap-up from Ellen Datlow and Night Shade Books. Datlow always seems to get the best from her contributors when she is putting together original anthologies, but most of the stories in these volumes so far simply leave me cold.

Three of the stories come from Datlow's own Poe: 19 New Tales of Suspense, Dark Fantasy, and Horror Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, two of them based on "The Masque of the Red Death." In Suzy McKee Charnas' "Lowland Sea," a coterie of
First things first: Volume 2 is a clear step up from the disappointing first volume of Ellen Datlow's by now long-running anthology series "Best Horror of the Year". Where the first one suffered from some real stinkers and was safed only by a few standout stories, the second installment at least avoids the real turds, but therefore remains stuck in mediocrity for most of the time. Hence the bandwith of quality is not as blatant as in its predecessor, which in total makes this a much more pleasan ...more
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Sorry to say that I thought this was a poor anthology of horror stories. I didn't like ANY of them except "each thing i show you is a piece of my death." That story was brilliant - it was like "The Ring" except so much scarier. I loved how the story stayed on the periphery - that's what made it so good. But the rest of them were really sub par. They weren't scary. They weren't even just good. A few of them seemed like they might have some potential, but by the end, they petered out. Ah well, can ...more
Eric Orchard
Apr 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
I can't believe this is only one years worth of story. Every story is amazing in it's own unique way, there is not a story here I didn't have trouble putting down. The stories run from darkly whimsical to the very disturbing. I'm so happy to be introduced to this handful of authors. I can not recommend this collection highly enough.
Lord Humungus
May 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Most of the stories in this collection were decent, but overall I found this collection a little below Datlow's usual standard of excellence. Even the good stories were, I think, not as good as stories featured in her other collections. Maybe it was a weak story year. Nonetheless, I feel the standouts were The Lammas Worm, The Gaze Dogs of Nine Waterfall, Lonegan's Luck and a piece I'd already read, The Crevasse.

I look forward to reading more in this series.
Jun 01, 2020 rated it liked it
There's not any one terrible story but most of them were mediocre. All the writing is technically well done, but some horror stories make me roll my eye, some are fun but unforgettable and a few stick with me, haunt me for a lack of a better term. Three of these stories were fantastic in that sense but all the rest fall in the middle middle category. Technicolor was is maybe my favorite, It had the best "aha-oh shit" moment.
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I skipped the last story, the second-to-last was the perfect finale. The very last one was too obscurely-written for me to fully get invested in.

This is the third of Datlow's anthologies I've read, and so far it's been the best one.
Matt Kindell
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another excellent collections edited by Ellen Datlow. Some stories are better than others, but I like all of them to one degree or another with my favorites being Lowland Sea, Strappado, The Gaze Dogs of Nine Waterfall, and Technicolor.
Tom C.
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Couldn't get through it. I was really looking forward to this book but it just didn't do it for me. At all.
Nicole Wright
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
this was so much better than the first volume! a lot of great stories!
Mark Gartland
Jan 23, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked Mrs. Midnight because it had a competent protagonist taking on horror through investigation and other means. The other stories were different.
Gary Siebert
Meh, not the best of the bunch.
Apr 20, 2020 rated it liked it
“Lowland Sea,” by Suzy McKee Charnas (2009): 6.75
- Time signatures time signatures. I have to get away from this reductive, solipsistic, uninformative frame for quick, reactive story reviews. Yet, I can’t help it, especially when they’re so chock full of the stuff, as they are here in late-2000s Charnas. They run the gamut: from strangely prescient (one could say prurient) interest in the sexual exploitation underlying elite liberal circles, thereby prefiguring the basic “point” of media like “
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror-suspense
Really fun book of short stories. Would definitely recommend. Horror that wasn't gruesome, suspense that wasn't schlocky. I only skipped a few stories, and mostly due to over-use of dialects or cheeseville settings. Would revisit a few stories:

"Each Thing I Show You is a Piece of my Death" by Gemma Files & Stephen J. Barringer
Reminded me a lot of House of Leaves. A scary tech story about some filmmakers organizing a film festival and a haunted tape that infects other films.

"What Happens When Y
Beth Roberts
Overall, a strong anthology, if uneven in places. I've stated before, I don't care for Lovecraftian horror, which is represented in a lot of these stories, including the one I DNF'd with its pretentious overwriting, but interestingly in some of the strongest entries as well.

Not changing my mind about Lovecraft or cosmic tentacled horror, but still interesting how much I liked these.

Table of contents, with my rating after:

Lowland Sea/Suzy McKee Charnas 4.5
The End of Everything/Steve Eller 3
Aaron Bellamy
Feb 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, anthology
Having read several of Ellen Datlow’s The Best Horror of the Year volumes now, I think they are very good. It’s difficult to rank individual volumes because any collection of stories is going to contain pieces that work for some and not others. Like every collection I’ve ever read, this collection has stories that just didn’t work for me. It’s hard to ignore them and give the book five stars. At the same time, giving the collection three stars doesn’t seem fair. (Not to mention nobody reads thre ...more
Sami C
Jul 03, 2015 rated it liked it
There are two entries in this anthology that I particularly loved: "Lowland Sea" by Suzy McKee Charnas and "each thing I show you is a piece of my death" by Gemma Files and Stephen J. Barringer.

Everything else was kinda meh. Both of my favorites have that special blend of creepy, chilling, relatable, and uncanny.

Lowland Sea is the tale of a group of Hollywood production people who get stuck in a mansion in Cannes while outside, people are dying of the very contagious Red Sweat.

each thing I shoul
Mar 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, short-stories
Entertaining Anthology.
Suzy McKee Charnas: "Lowland Sea"
Steve Eller: "The End of Everything"
Reggie Oliver: "Mrs. Midnight"
Gemma Files & Stephen J. Barringer: "each thing i show you is a piece of my death"
Glen Hirshberg: "The Nimble Men"
Michael Marshall Smith: "What Happens When You Wake Up in the Night"
Micaela Morrissette: "Wendigo"
Norman Prentiss: "In the Porches of My Ears"
Stephen Graham Jones: "Lonegan's Luck"
Dale Bailey & Nathan Ballingrud: "The Crevasse"
Steve Duffy: "The Lion's De
Lee Battersby
May 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wide-ranging and vibrant read, with all levels of horror from visceral to intellectual recognised. The best reads are those that resonate subtly but with lasting effect. John Langan's "Technicolor" was a favourite, as was "Lonegan's Luck" by Stephen Graham Jones and "each thing i show you is a piece of my death" by Gemma Files & Stephen J Barringer. But all the stories are strong, and there are no duds amongst them. It would be a rare reader indeed who put the book down disappointed.

David Erik Nelson
Sep 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
An excellent, literate horror antho with some truly fantastic reads, and only one or two complete misses (for me). Although "Wendigo" was one such miss--and actually had me put the volume aside for several months--I'm thrilled that I picked it back up: "Lowland Sea," "In the Porches of My Ears," "Lonegan's Luck," and "Technicolor" hit me log a gong. I was also especially taken with "each thing i show you is a piece of my death," even though I felt like it petered out, rather than ringing true, a ...more
Edwin L.
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Standouts include:
“Technicolor” by John Langan
“Wendigo” by Micaela Morrissette
“each thing I show you is a piece of my death” by Gemma Files and Stephen J. Barringer
“The Lion’s Den” by Steve Duffy
“Lonegan’s Luck” by Stephen Graham Jones
“The End of Everything” by Steve Eller
“Mrs. Midnight” by Reggie Oliver
“Lowland Sea” by Suzy McKee Charnas
“The Crevasse” by Dale Bailey and Nathan Ballingrud
“Lotophagi” by Edward Morris
“The Gaze Dogs of Nine Waterfall” by Kaaron Warren
“Strappado” by Laird Barron
Christopher Munroe
Jul 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
I don't know if I enjoyed this volume of the series more than the first due to objective difference in quality, or just because I was more ready for what it was doing and came into it with a better attitude, but I quite liked this one. The stories come at you from odd angles, and the tropes are used more playfully, and the overall experience comes off as a weird, unique, eerie one. Very well collected collection, I very much dug it...
Nov 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
i wanted to give this more stars because the writing was good, but it just wasn't scary enough to warrant more than one. a few of the stories were vaguely unsettling, but they certainly didn't cause a "delicious shiver of fear".

it was an entertaining enough read, but "best horror of the year" is kind of a misleading title. i'd definitely categorise these stories as dark fiction, but not horror.
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Some of these stories were so scary I had to put the book away for a breather. It's an excellent collection, worthy of the campfire, or a simple, quiet evening at home with the lights off and the doors and windows sensibly locked. The horror will penetrate you and mark you permanently. I feel a fondness for some of these stories that has endured. I hope to pick up the book again sometime soon and experience them again.
Nov 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Horror that immediately scares is immediately forgotten. I really enjoyed these stories because sometimes you had to work to think beyond "this is a well written story"... This is the kind of horror that sneaks up on you days later when it is quiet, you're alone and suddenly every noise could be someone breaking into your house, every shift of a tree is that thing coming to get you. This is my kind of book!
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Ellen Datlow has been an award-winning editor of short science fiction, fantasy, and horror for over twentyfive years.

She is editor of the Best Horror of the Year and has edited or co-edited a large number of award-winning original anthologies. Her most recent are Supernatural Noir, Naked City, Blood and Other Cravings, The Beastly Bride, Teeth, Trolls Eye View, and After (the last three with Ter

Other books in the series

The Best Horror of the Year (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Best Horror of the Year Volume One
  • The Best Horror of the Year Volume Three
  • The Best Horror of the Year Volume Four
  • The Best Horror of the Year Volume Five
  • The Best Horror of the Year, Volume Six
  • The Best Horror of the Year Volume Seven
  • The Best Horror of the Year Volume Eight
  • The Best Horror of the Year Volume Nine
  • Best Horror of the Year Volume 10
  • The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 11

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