A mixed bag of horror fiction from three of Britain's most innovative practitioners--Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, and transplanted Texan Lisa Tuttle--in the third volume of an ongoing series. Editor Martin introduces the fare by delivering the sort of "horror fiction is literature" testimony that today is de rigueur for any horror collection with literary, pretenses--like this one. Martin promises that this "showcase anthology" gives its writers "freedom, and the challenge of producing the very best work of which they are capable" in 30,000 words each. Who says the British love a challenge? Overall, the work here is a cut above average for the genre, but only at par for the represented authors. Of Campbell's seven stories, only the first, "In The Trees"--a spooky gem about a man lost in a woods haunted by what appear to be animate, craved walking sticks--and the last, "Bedtime Story"--an unsettling tale told from the point of view or a boy who may or may not be a psychopath--rise sharply above the drearily experimentation of the others. Tuttle's three stories share the vagueness of Campbell's, but, in a refreshing change of pace, all feature female protagonists; the best of the lot is "The Dragon's Bride," detailing the eerie ways of a matriarchy of--dragons? Rounding out the collection is Barker's contribution, "The Hellbound Heart." Although not creme de la creme Barker, this novella is a nerve jangler--and confirmation of why his is the most exciting voice in horror fiction today: a deft blend of poetry and gore about a lacquered-box puzzle, whose solution permits access to a fantastic world of excruciating, overwhelming sensuality. A sturdy collection, somewhat disappointing given the proven talents of the contributors, but still better than most of its kind.