Stephen Jones & Ramsey Campbell (eds.) – The Best New Horror (Robinson, 1990)
Introduction: Horror in 1989 – Stephen Jones & Ramsey Campbell
Robert R. McCammon – Pin
Cherry Wilder – The House On Cemetery Street
Stephen Gallagher – The Horn
Alex Quiroba – Breaking Up
Ramsey Campbell – It Helps If You Sing
Laurence Staig – Closed Circuit
Steve Rasnic Tem – Carnal House
Kim Newman – Twitch Technicolor
Gregory Frost – Lizaveta
Donald R. Burleson – Snow Cancellations
Nicholas Royle – Archway
Thomas Ligotti – The Strange Design Of Master Rignolo
Chet Williamson – …To Feel Another’s Woe
Robert Westall – The Last Day Of Miss Dorinda Molyneaux
Brian Lumley – No Sharks In The Med
D. F. Lewis – Mort au Monde
Thomas Tessier – Blanca
Ian Watson – The Eye Of The Ayatollah
Karl Edward Wagner – At First Just Ghostly
Richard Laymon – Bad News
Necrology: 1989 – Stephen Jones & Kim Newman
Stephen Gallagher – The Horn: Three strangers, Mick, Dave and the narrator, are marooned inside a hut during a snow blizzard. The cabin is base to the clean-up team who attend the grim business of scraping up accident casualties and one wall is plastered with newspaper accounts of this stretch of motorway’s greatest hits.
“Entire families wiped out. A teenage girl decapitated. Lorry drivers crushed when their cabs folded around them like stepped-upon Coke cans ….. an unwanted mistress dumped, Jimmy Hoffa-style, into the wire skeleton of a bridge piling that had been boxed-up ready to take concrete the next morning. ENTOMBED ALIVE! the headline said, but even that looked kind of pale next to the disaster involving the old folks’ outing and the pet food truck full of offal.
When their gas cylinder – the only source of heat – conks out, the men have an unpleasant decision to make. Stay here and probably freeze to death, or head out into the snowstorm, make for the huge articulated rig about half a mile on and sit it out in the warm cabin. Mick volunteers to go on ahead and give them a blast on the horn once he’s got the heater going.
But a murderous something else has beaten him to it ….
Michael Marshall Smith – The Man Who Drew Cats: One day old Tom just blew into Kingstown, stepped into The Hogshead Bar and the locals – unusually for them – took to the quiet fellow straight away. A quiet and private man, he makes his living from the extraordinary paintings he tosses off for tourists and sometimes when the mood takes him, he chalks his more complex designs on the pavement. But when he befriends little Billy and his mom and learns that her nogoodnik, drunken husband regularly beats the shit out of them both, he draws something really terrifying.
Chet Williamson – …To Feel Another’s Woe: The beautiful Sheila Remarque is a stage actress of exceptional ability but her gift is not for acting: she vamps the emotions of all those who come in close contact with her, draining them until they are little more than zombies.
Robert McCammon – Pin: The psychotic Joey Shatterly stands before the mirror diving the pin through each of his pupils in turn prior to stepping out with his rifle and seven bullets …
Nicholas Royle – Archway: From the day she moves into her North London flat, Bella is haunted by the scornful laughter of an old, grey faced tramp she’s see on the street. She is unfairly dismissed from her job, encounters the red-tape horrors of the DSS and faces eviction. Finally …
Several of these stories, along with selections from vols. 2 and 3, were resurrected in The Giant Book Of Best New Horror (Magpie, 1993, 1994)
Continues on the Vault Of Evil Forum: Best New Horror 1