The editors of the annual Year's Best Fantasy and Horror concoct a potent brew of fairy tales spiked with feminism. These intoxicating delights are not meant for children or the timid. Storm Constantine retells the princess and the pea through the voice of the widowed queen of Gordania, a narrator so wickedly charming, sinister, and intimate with the use of poisons that she brings to mind ancient Rome's Livia. In Nancy Kress's version of Rumpelstiltskin, an enchanted young woman surrenders her talent to spin gold, and ultimately her own life, to save her only son. Susan Wade presents overweight princess Ylianna who, to gain the love of a prince, uses a toxic powder to metamorphose into a raven-haired beauty. Life as a mortal is so unbearable after his rejection that Ylianna transforms her wounded spirit into the magnificent black swan. Death gains a face--and a godson--in Roger Zelazny's witty story about the grim reaper who, despite his power of death-over- life, cannot resist sparing his favorite football players. No matter which tour you take through this frightening and dark enchanted wood, Datlow and Windling again prove themselves the best guides.