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Let’s give a little love to our favorite anthologies.

25 Feb

American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny (Vol. 2). This is hands down one of my favorite cover designs I've seen recently. I don't hand out accolades like that easily.

It’s still February, folks, so even if you’re trying to forget Valentine’s Day ever happened, too bad. I still think we ought to celebrate some books we love, and today I thought I’d give some brief lovin’ to an anthology I just read for class and LOVED: American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from 1940’s to Today edited by Peter Straub. It’s technically Volume 2 in a 2-part anthology series, and I plan to buy the first volume to read over the summer. It’s a great collection of fantastic, fabular, and horror stories from some of the best writers of the latter half of the twentieth century: Peter Straub himself, Stephen King, Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son!), Kelly Link, Jonathan Carroll, and many, many talented others. If you love spooky, eerie, fantastic and unsettling stories, this is quite the collection. It’s like I’m trying to bring Halloween into the winter, or something, but really, it’s great for any time of year.

Reading this anthology, however, got me thinking about what other anthologies I’ve enjoyed. There’s something wonderful about a grouping of stories, poetry, novels, essays, etc. all in one place–possibly all from your favorite author or magazine or website or genre or what have you. Two classic anthologies I’ve always liked and checked out are pretty standard ones: Norton anthologies and the annual Best American Series (I’m partial to the Best American Short Story collections, though I’ve heard they are all wonderful, and they cover ANY kind of writing you can imagine–even travel, sports writing, and science writing). They are wonderful in that you get so much bang for your buck–a collection of interesting, hopefully standout texts all in one place. Yet the anthologies I mentioned are so standard, hence I’ll be asking for some audience participation here.

What are some of your favorite anthologies, for any kind of writing? What did you like/dislike about them? Are there any anthologies you’ve been yearning to read? Do share in the comments!