Thursday, February 21, 2008

Datlow's Inferno

I started reading science fiction as a kid, 'way back in the '60s, so I absorbed the Party Line of the day, the one that was promulgated back during the 'New Wave' Wars: that 'science fiction' was but a subset of the larger universe of 'speculative fiction'.

'Speculative Fiction' (known to its friends as 'SF') included 'science fiction', but also includes 'fantasy', and even some of the more supernatural flavors of 'horror'. Slipstream, magical realism: it can all be subsumed into the larger 'umbrella' genre of "SF".

So, while I'm basically a 'science fiction' sort of guy, ideologically I've come to feel an obligation to keep abreast with what's going on in all the other corners of the field.

And for much of this, I've come to rely upon Ellen Datlow: her roundup in the annual series The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror is - in many years - most of what I see in those sub-genres. I'm perfectly happy to let her find stuff and bring it to my attention. (And her original anthologies are worth tracking down, too.)

So when I heard that she had a new anthology of original horror, I took a peek. Now, let's announce up front that I am NOT by temperment a 'horror' reader, and the peek was from between my fingers; but even so, I can recognize a good story when I read one.

There's good stuff here. You can trust Ellen Datlow.

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