Co-edited with Ellen Datlow
Winner of three World Fantasy Awards and the Bram Stoker Award,
and the recipient of sixteen further nominations for the World Fantasy, Bram Stoker, & British Fantasy Awards
"Forget the other best-story collections. Datlow and Windling’s is the one that pins everything on imagination, then throws in fine writing as well. A seriously excellent anthology." - Kirkus Reviews
Our mission in these fat annual volumes was to gather together the best works of nonrealist literature published in the English language each year -- ranging from magical realism to surrealism, from high fantasy to horror. Ellen Datlow edited the horror side of the book, I edited the fantasy, and we collaborated on any material that fell in between the two.
The stories and poems we selected came from a wide variety of sources: not only genre magazines and anthologies, but also mainstream anthologies, literary quarterlies, small-press publications, and foreign works in translation. We published distinguished works by writers in the fantasy and horror fields (Neil Gaiman, Ursula K. Le Guin, Patricia A. McKillip, John Crowley, Susanna Clarke, Peter Straub, Stephen King, etc.), writers from the literary mainstream (Angela Carter, A. S. Byatt, Louise Erdrich, Joyce Carol Oates, Steven Millhauser, etc.), writers-in-translation from around the globe (Gabriel García Márquez, Haruki Murakami, Tatyana Tolstaya, Rosario Ferre, Pierrette Fleutiaux, etc.), celebrated writers of children’s fiction (Peter Dickinson, Gregory Maguire, Robin McKinley, Jane Yolen, etc.), and emerging writers from all of these fields. Our aim was to expand the definitions of "fantasy" and "horror" beyond rigid genre boundaries, promote literary diversity, and to bring more attention to marginalized writers and areas of magical fiction.
I worked on the series for sixteen years, from its beginning in 1988 through Volume 16 in 2002. When I stepped down to focus on other projects, Kelly Link & Gavin Grant took over my editorial role -- and they did a splendid job, editing five fine books up to the series' end with Volume 21.
For a complete listing of stories and poems published in Year's Best, visit The Sluice, a website created by S.Y. Affolee.
Publisher: The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror series was created & packaged by Jim Frenkel for St. Martin's Press. The cover artist and designer was Thomas Canty, a member of the Year's Best team since the project's inception. Pictured above: thirteen of the sixteen volume co-edited by Datlow & Windling.