Gerald W. Page (ed.) - Years Best Horror Series IV (DAW, 1976)
Forever Stand the Stones - Joe Pumilia And Don't Forget the One Red Rose - Avram Davidson Christmas Present - Ramsey Campbell A Question of Guilt - Hal Clement The House on Stillcroft Street - Joseph Payne Brennan The Recrudescence of Geoffrey Marvel - G N Gabbard Something Had to be Done - David Drake Cottage Tenant - Frank Belknap Long The Man With the Aura - R A Lafferty White Wolf Calling - C L Grant Lifeguard - Arthur Byron Cover The Black Captain - H Warner Munn The Glove - Fritz Leiber No Way Home - Brian Lumley The Lovecraft Controversy - Why? - E Hoffman Price
No idea quite why the volume is rounded off by a short non-fiction essay but there you go. My thoughts on these in a bit.
Forever Stand the Stones - Joe Pumilia. What's the connection between Stonehenge, Jack the Ripper, Dracula and a bunch of druids at the dawn of time? It's a fun idea to try and meld all these things together but it all comes off as a bit awkward, although it is very well written
And Don't Forget the One Red Rose - Avram Davidson. Lovely little story about a weird book merchant who moves in upstairs and sells books for prices like 'two earrings of beaten copper taken from the spear of the bodyguard of Ramses II'. And the punchline's in the title, which I like a lot.
Christmas Present - Ramsey Campbell. It's Xmas time in Mr Campbell's world, so it's not exactly good will to all men, but rather ill will that seems to be coming from the local church tower that's starting to look worryingly like a horned beast. The graves are open and a post-pub Christmas party is about to be disrupted by a very unusual Xmas gift indeed.
A Question of Guilt - Hal Clement. I believe Mr Clement usually writes hard SF (I've only read Mission of Gravity) but this is a long non-supernatural story written for an aborted vampire anthology (that would never happen nowadays ) about a man's search for the cure for his son's haemophilia.
The House on Stillcroft Street - Joseph Payne Brennan. A bit like The Ruins, but in a house.
The Recrudescence of Geoffrey Marvel - G N Gabbard. Swashbuckling adventure with Geoffrey who has to deal with a plague of ghosts, being thrown in a dungeon, and having to defeat the evil villain to get the girl. All very jolly indeed.
Something Had to be Done - David Drake. Fantastic brief Vietnam war vampire tale. Volume V had Mr Drake trying to do werewolves in Vietnam but this one's much better
Cottage Tenant - Frank Belknap Long. Here's Long's version of the new movie Insidious, but instead of astral projection it's horrible fish monsters that are being conjured up from a little boy's subconscious.
The Man With the Aura - R A Lafferty. Fabulous invention allows an unpleasant, sneaky, murdering bugger to be universally loved and never ever get caught for any of his crimes. A nice, neat little idea rendered in a few pages.
White Wolf Calling - C L Grant. I'll spoil the punchline if I say much about this one, but it's a Charles L Grant werewolf story.
Lifeguard - Arthur Byron Cover. Another one I can't say much about but it's another of Mr Cover's fun stories about a layabout young man getting into more trouble than he expects to.
The Black Captain - H Warner Munn. I really liked Mr Munn's contribution to YBH V and while this is much shorter it's another goodie. A man lives in the baking hot desert and can't go into shadow because if he does the curse that was put upon him when he broke into an ancient tomb many years ago will come into effect. Great idea.
The Glove - Fritz Leiber. An elderly lady is raped in an apartment building filled with weird tenants, but a supernatural glove helps to reveal the culprit. More light-hearted than you'd think comsidering the subject matter and a decent little tale.
No Way Home - Brian Lumley. Mr Lumley polishes off the book with a tale of an English town that can only be found by mistake.
And that's it. I have to say I'm really enjoying the Gerald Page edited volumes of this series. Weirdly enough, following a recent trip to World Horror, I now have an almost complete set up to Volume 22 that are all mint and are the best condition paperbacks I have of any horror anthology series!
Post by cauldronbrewer on May 21, 2011 16:01:19 GMT
Thanks for the story write-ups. I'm working my way through the series (thought not in order--so far I've read X through XIII, and VIII and IX are on my shelf), and this may be the next one I buy. I'm particularly interested in the Davidson, Campbell, Munn, and Lafferty entries (I've read the Drake, Leiber, and Long stories elsewhere).