``The undeniable strength of horror fiction,'' say editors Jones and Campbell, ``is the very diversity the field has to offer''--a claim borne out in this rewarding fourth entry in their estimable series. The range here is impressive--authors young (Poppy Z. Brite, Kim Newman) and older (John Brunner, Karl Edward Wagner), little- known (Scott Edelman, Sarah Ash) and world-famous (Clive Barker, Peter Straub); stories inspired by sentiment (Barker's ``The Departed,'' a Hallmark card to love from beyond the grave) and idea (Douglas E. Winter's ``Bright Lights, Big Zombie,'' about the mediating power of art--even splatter-art), and powered by shock (Scott Edelman's ``the Suicide Artist,'' a measured pandering to the reader's voyeurism) and disquiet (Thomas Ligotti's ``the Glamour''). Readers interested in the evolution of literary conceits will savor Peter Straub's ``The Ghost Village,'' which (like the other two tales here) first appeared in Dennis Etchison's paperback anthology, MetaHorror, and which, in altered form, surfaced in Straub's The Throat; Poppy Z. Brite's ``How to Get Ahead in New York,'' recycling two characters from her debut novel, Lost Souls; and Kim Newman's ``Red Reign,'' the novella that inspired his Anno Dracula. On the downside, British sensibilities are overemphasized (more than half the contributors, as well as the editors, hail from the UK); but that does allow Americans to relish some fresh overseas talent. And, as always, Jones and Campbell's outspoken summary of the year's horror highlights--and their annual necrology (among the dead in 1992: Pierre Culliford, creator of the Smurfs--``originally the Schtroumpfs'')--are must-reads for horror fans. Again, despite the too-vigorous waving of the Union Jack: the most authoritative and representative volume of what's happening in horror today.