Forty-six stories and poems from 1997. Not that spectacular of a selection. Of those I never came across before there are a few that are favorites in this group:
“Riding The Black” (novelette_-Charles L. Grant – Post world war two in California. An old fashioned outlaw rides into town. Everyone is afraid of him. An encounter with an egotistical TV reporter is the best incident in the story.
“Safe” (novella) – Gary A. Braunbeck – Story about a mass murderer that wipes out his family and thirty others. It’s told by the killers’ best friend to his college class.
“A Visit” – Steven Millhauser – A man goes into rural territory to visit the best friend he hasn’t seen in nine years. He’s more than surprised to find that he’s married….to a frog.
“Residuals” (novelette) – Paul J. MacAuly and Kim Newman – Two friends rescue a woman from an alien abduction. Their fame has a negative effect after it wears off. Lots of pop culture mentions make the story work.
“In The Black Mill” – Michael Chabon – An archeologist is investigating an ancient civilization that used to file their teeth. The same rural town has a mill as its main industry and everyone works there. Something’s wrong inside as almost everyone has an injury of some kind including missing limbs. He’s blocked when he tries to get inside. This is right out of H.P.Lovecraft.
“The Last Song Of Sirit Byar” – Peter S. Beagle – Go back to the days of traveling minstrels for this story of one who is haunted by his past and journeys to sing one last song. A young girl accompanies him and tells the story.
“Wild Horses” – Charles de Lint – Part of the Newford series. A girl is looking for her heroin addicted brother. A woman with a deck of cards may help her find him.
“The Crawl” – Stephen Laws – A couple returning home on a deserted highway are being stalked by a scarecrow with a deadly scythe. When their car is damaged and can’t be taken out of first gear the scarecrow keeps getting closer.
Other authors: Emma Donoghue, James Alsop, John Kessel, Nancy Pickard, Leslie Dick, Douglas Clegg, Christopher Jones, Christopher Harmon, Nicholas Royle, Jeffrey Shaffer, Howard Waldrop, Brennan Wysong, Sonia Gernes, Ellen Kushner w/Delia Sherman, Bill Lewis, Michael Cadnum, Molly Brown, P.D.Cacek, Pat More, Christopher Fowler, Denise Duhamel, Norman Partridge, A. Alverez, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Steve Stern, Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, Karen Joy Fowler, Mayra Santos-Febres, Emily Warm, Jane Yolen, Matthew Sweeney, Jack Womack, Robert Clinton, Katherine Vaz and Vikram Chandra.