Every year sees a new volume in the Ellen Datlow-edited Best Horror of the Year series. The 2019 edition (volume 11), with a terrific cover by Audrey Benjaminsen, features work first published in 2018.
There are over 20 stories in this volume including “Masks” by Peter Sutton, from the pages of The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors. In her introduction, this is what Ellen says of Horrors:
This review seemed to have passed us by — it appeared earlier this year on Goodreads. Pamela Scott says: “This collection (The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors) contains some of the best horror fiction I’ve read in ages … It’s great to read an anthology where you love every story in it. There tends to be a mixture of brilliant stores, good stories, okay ones and a couple that aren’t so good. I loved every story in this collection. The stories all fit into the ‘horror’ category, more or less. I loved how diverse and different the stories are. There are no two alike. I especially enjoyed Down Along The Backroads by Jenny Barber, Guising by Gary McMahon, Masks by Peter Sutton and The Trade-Up by James Brogden.”
The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors gets a lovely review on the British Fantasy Society’s website. The reviewer, H T Scott, says:
The thing about anthologies is that you get a plethora of diversity, which in my humble opinion is no bad thing. The Alchemy Press book of horrors doesn’t disappoint, with contributions from well-known names such as Ramsey Campbell, Samantha Lee, Mike Chinn, and Peter Sutton, there are also a few authors there that I have never read before. Anthologies are a good way to dip your toes in the shallows of someone’s writing, giving the reader, us, an idea of what to expect.should we want to read more of their work One thing is for sure, Peter Coleborn and Jan Edwards have brought together some very talented people and every story in the book 100% deserves to be included. Unthemed this collection takes the reader to some very dark places.
There’s a rather wonderful review of The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors in the latest issue (number 9) of Phantasmagoria Magazine:
…It is definitely one of the best anthologies I have come across for quite some time and I would highly recommend it… If the stories weren’t enough, the book is also illustrated throughout with finely drawn headers for each of the stories by the talented Jim Pitts, adding that extra touch of quality to this book…
Read the full review here (scroll down the page to read it).
…this is a very strong example of that rare thing these days: a non-themed horror anthology, though the accent is very much on the weird and the strange rather than pure horror, but that’s no bad thing. There are some gems here…
These are storyteller’s tales that both rip into your mind like fishhooks and soak into your consciousness like high-grade toxic bootleg hooch, then hang around like the earworm hook you can never get rid of, leaving aftertastes of joy. Bryn plays games that tie truth into conundrums, beguiling anecdotes, unreliable memory or alternate worlds of sly wonder.
Visit Andrew’s website (see above for link) to read the full review.