Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Horror: Another 100 Best Books

My Clarion 2004 student Andy Wolverton says nice things on his ever-interesting blog about Horror: Another 100 Best Books, edited by Stephen Jones and Kim Newman. I was delighted to be one of the book’s 100 contributors; I wrote the essay on Jack Finney's The Body Snatchers.

Andy rightly laments how many of the books are out of print or available only in pricey limited editions. I do, however, proudly own two of the hard-to-find books he mentions, and I acquired them both in time-honored ways. Manly Wade Wellman's Worse Things Waiting I bought in a dealers' room at a science-fiction convention -- at Chattacon, I think -- after hours of dithering, because I could ill afford it at a time. (I was bequeathed it by my hero Klon Newell, longtime Georgia book lover/collector/dealer.) Michael Marshall Smith's More Tomorrows and Other Stories I was mailed gratis by the publisher in hopes I would give it Stoker Award consideration. (It did win an International Horror Guild Award, but not a Stoker.) This is one of the baser reasons people join the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and/or the Horror Writers Association, volunteer for awards juries, etc. But not me, I swear.

Andy wonders when a third volume in the series might come out, given the 17-year gap between the two existing volumes. I can't speak for the editors, but I do know that part of their aim with the second volume was to come up with a completely new list of 100 contributors, commissioning essays from no one who had written an essay for the first volume. (They did get an introduction from Peter Straub, who had written an essay the first time around, but who can blame them for that?) A number of contributors to the second volume had not even started publishing in the field when the first volume came out, and I am one of them; in 1988 I was a cub reporter for the News & Record in Greensboro, N.C. So waiting for a fresh crop of 100 contributors to come along may take awhile.

Horror: Another 100 Best Books just won a Stoker Award for non-fiction, as did its predecessor, Horror: 100 Best Books, also edited by Jones and Newman. By my reckoning, this makes the third award-winning original anthology to which I've contributed: Starlight 1 won a World Fantasy Award, and The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction won a Hugo Award. But who's counting? Bruce Sterling on awards: "The smart money is not to care."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Andy neglets to mention that he is not the sole owner of the wonderful Worse Things Waiting, since I OK'ed that purchase we bought with our money, and I am as big a Wellman fan as he. If anyone sees dear Klon Newell on the con circuit, give him a kiss from me.

And if Andy wants any more books, he'll have to bring in a CHECK.