From the August 2003 Booklist
The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror: Sixteenth Annual Collection. Ed. by Ellen Datlow andTerri Windung. Aug. 2003. 672p. St. Martin’s, $35 (0-312-31424-8); St. Martin’s/Griffin, paper, $19.95 (0-312-31425-6).
The latest in this annual series is a diverse collection of fiction and poetry. The usual suspects are here-Neil Gaiman, Bentley Little, Ramsey Campbell-and so are non-genre authors, such as Haruki Murakami, Karen Joy Fowler, and Kevin Brockmeier. The stories constitute an entertaining, eerie mixture of creepiness and suspense. In Gaiman’s “Feeders and Eaters,” a man runs into an old colleague, who tells him about his housemate, an old woman with odd dietary needs. Melissa Hardy’s “Aquero” is the tale of a young woman’s beatification; the narrative alternates between several different examinations of her buried body and the testimony of a nun who objects to the canonization. In Eric Schaller’s creepy “The Assistant to Dr. Jacob,” a policeman asks a man to recollect his childhood mentor, whose interest in rosebushes was not the innocent hobby the narrator recalls. Several of the poems included cleverly retell fairy tales, and, of course, the volume also reviews the year in horror and fantasy in all media.