New Blood

Laird always hits it on the nose.

Laird Barron

In his introduction to A Book of Horrors, editor Stephen Jones asks, “What the hell happened to the horror genre?”

Considering that we live in a small press horror renaissance, this gambit seems a sort of peevish rhetoric more concerned with preserving a narrow slice of tradition, and Jones’ related curatorial credentials, than raising a legitimate question.

I recently sat on the Shirley Jackson Awards jury and edited, alongside Mike Kelly, the inaugural volume of Year’s Best Weird Fiction. I’ve read a staggering amount of contemporary dark fiction these past several years. Stephen Jones, Paula Guran, and Ellen Datlow continue to put forth year’s bests without substantial overlap. In the case of Year’s Best Weird Fiction, there’s a strong case that a second volume could have arisen from the 2013 crop. A crop that contained a lot of horror.

Horror is ascendant, if not on the New York…

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