Saturday, April 30, 2011

Horror '75


DAW Year's Best Horror Stories Series IV (1975), edited by Gerald W. Page (1976):

Contents

Introduction by Gerald W. Page
Forever Stand the Stones by Joseph F. Pumilia
And Don't Forget the One Red Rose by Avram Davidson
Christmas Present by Ramsey Campbell
A Question of Guilt by Hal Clement
The House on Stillcroft Street by Joseph Payne Brennan
The Recrudescence of Geoffrey Marvell by G. N. Gabbard
Something Had to Be Done by David Drake
Cottage Tenant by Frank Belknap Long
The Man with the Aura by R. A. Lafferty
White Wolf Calling by Charles L. Grant
Lifeguard by Arthur Byron Cover
The Black Captain by H. Warner Munn
The Glove by Fritz Leiber
No Way Home by Brian Lumley
The Lovecraft Controversy- Why? by E. Hoffmann Price

Page's first outing as editor of the DAW series is a solid one, bringing us (then) new stories from some very old horror masters (Price, Munn and Long all hail from the earliest days of the American horror pulps, and all had connections to H.P. Lovecraft; Price contributes an essay on a controversial L. Sprague de Camp biography of HPL; Munn's short, brutal story is a real dandy).

One sees some of those who'd come to writing maturity in the 1970's represented here, most notably a bit of a trifle from Ramsey Campbell; one of my ten favourite vampire stories ever by David Drake (vampires and Viet Nam -- yes!); a melancholy chiller from the late, great Charles L. Grant; and Brian Lumley's uncharacteristically (for the time) non-HPL derived tale of bad times on the English roadways. Old masters Leiber, Lafferty and Davidson also contribute interesting entries, while hard-science-fiction master Hal Clement manages an increasingly chilling non-supernatural (and non-cryptozoological) story about the origin of all vampires. Highly recommended.

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