THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR 9 by Stephen Jones

THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR 9

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Jones again shows that horror can be as richly felt and well-written as mainstream fiction. The present overview of the past year’s output brings back many familiar names (Ramsey Campbell, Thomas Ligotti, etc.) as well as lesser knowns, and it offers the terrific yearly necrology (written with Kim Newman) of writers, artists, performers, and technicians who made significant contributions to the horror, science fiction, and fantasy genres during their lifetimes and died in 1997. Also included are addresses of organizations, booksellers, and other sources of market information. No less valuable is Jones’s long and thorough introduction, which covers both sides of the Atlantic. There’s news about horror fiction (one third of it in 1997 was for young adults), about Stephen King (who went from Viking to Simon & Schuster for a profit-sharing deal that could net him 50—75 percent royalties), and about the likes of Dean Koontz, John Saul, and even Bram Stoker, on his Dracula centenary. As for the readings, a standout piece is David J. Schow’s “Dying Words,” about a nettled horror author driving himself sick as a victim of his own “shitty writing” on a zombie book. With the volume opening on a note like that, could the final story, Douglas E. Winter’s “The Zombies of Madison County,” possibly fail? (After all, it’s about what happens to character/writer Douglas E. Winter when writing too many zombie stories turns him into . . . .) Definitely not to be missed is Kim Newman’s fabulous pastiche, “Coppola’s Dracula” (the opening of Newman’s forthcoming novel Johnny Alucard), about the “good movie” Coppola might have made of Dracula (hey, Kim, some of us like that movie), serving also as a follow-up to Newman’s Fellini takeoff, Judgment of Tears (British title: Dracula Cha Cha Cha). Enough delectable storytelling to raise the dead for a nightcap of print.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-7867-0585-X
Page count: 494pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 1999




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