BEST NEW HORROR 6 by Stephen--Ed. Jones

BEST NEW HORROR 6

KIRKUS REVIEW

 The sixth in a series, a must for all horror fans, featuring 22 stories from 1995. One can only praise the thought, taste, and effort that go into Jones's annuals. Worth the price of entry alone is the mind- boggling survey of horror works committed to print or filmed for theaters or TV this year--and ``mind-boggling'' understates the astounding breadth of the field: It takes 31 jammed pages just to list all the books and movies and give a sliver of info about each. Predicts Jones: ``Until the publishers, editors, writers and (perhaps most important of all) readers learn to discern between what is worthwhile and what is not, the horror field is destined to drift towards another slump that it could take years to recover from.'' Threat of slump or not, though, standouts here include Kim Newman's ``Out of the Night, when the Full Moon is Bright'' (for Newman's The Bloody Red Baron, see p. 1303), about two movie-mad East LA cops in a prowl car, escorting a black Brit screenwriter about for research, who come upon a Spanish-styled St. Valentine's Day massacre of teenage zonkbrains--a scene topped by higher and higher concept horror shows that paint an LA zonked far past detox, full of Death Squads and Disappeareds, where Zorro still lives as a vengeful werewolf chewing up cops. Lawrence Watt-Evans's ``Dead Babies'' tells of an incestuous country doctor who collects stillborns for his demented sister. Other big names on hand are Harlan Ellison, Charles Grant, Richard Christian Matheson, and the late Robert Bloch with a monstrous farewell story, ``The Scent of Vinegar,'' which begins marvelously: ``Every Saturday night Tim and Bernie went bowling at the whorehouse.'' Not to be missed: Nicholas Royle's post-Ceauescu Romanian nightmare ``The Homecoming,'' in which--horribly--nothing has changed. And rounding out the book is an absorbing necrology of horror/fantasy writers and actors who've died this year. A collector's collection, and very impressive.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-7867-0277-X
Page count: 480pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1995