So, here are my (admittedly idiosyncratic and biased) choices:
"idiosyncratic and biased" they may well be, but if that's a fault, then it's one you share with my very favourite anthologists, most of whom, i notice, avoid incorperating the words 'Great', 'Best' or (God forbid) 'Ultimate' in their titles. I'm paraphrasing horribly here, but Hugh Lamb resurrected a Howard Pease story in The Man Wolf and wrote something to the effect that, although The Warlock Of Glororum was probably far from Pease's finest moment, and certainly not the pick of the current collection, he was including it because he'd enjoyed it. That's good enough reason for me.
i love your selection , btw, though several of the post-New Terrors entries are a mystery to me and i've never been near The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. will try to retaliate over the weekend if i can grab some hours.
Thank you! I don't know if I'll have ever read enough to attempt a "best" list, so I'm happy to settle for writing a "favorite" list. Here are a few quick notes on the more recent titles:
The Shapes of Midnight (Joseph Payne Brennan, 1980) Nine Horrors and a Dream was taken, so I included this collection to represent Brennan. Highlights include "The Horror at Chilton Castle" and "The Willow Platform" (also includes "Canavan's Back Yard," but that one appears in Nine Horrors as well).
Lonely Vigils (Manly Wade Wellman, 1981) My favorite of the Wellman collections that weren't included in either of the 100 Best Books lists. This one is heavy on John Thunstone stories.
Red as Blood (Tanith Lee, 1983) Horror/fantasy stories based on fairy tales. Standouts are "When the Clock Strikes," "Wolfland," and "The Princess and Her Future." Lee's ornate style can come across as either pretentious or rich, depending on one's tastes and/or mood.
Dark Gods (T.E.D. Klein, 1985) Needs no introduction here; I can't believe this book didn't make either of the 100 Best Books lists.
On Stranger Tides (Tim Powers, 1987) The Anubis Gates was taken, so I went with my second-favorite Powers book. Zombies, pirates, and black magic in a horror-fantasy-historical fiction blend.
Ring (Koji Suzuki, 1991) The basis for a great Japanese film and a very good U.S. remake. Suzuki published another novel, Drop, printed on rolls of toilet paper. Clever idea, but perhaps not a book to buy used.
Foundations of Fear (ed. David Hartwell, 1992) Follow-up to Hartwell's gargantuan anthology The Dark Descent. Includes two stories so disturbing that I don't even like to think about them, Barker's "In the Hills, the Cities" and Engstrom's "When Darkness Loves Us." Also includes the only Thomas Ligotti story that I've ever thought that I understood.
100 Wild Little Weird Tales (ed. Robert Weinberg et al., 1994) This book collects a hundred short-short stories from Weird Tales magazine, more than a few of them never reprinted since initial publication. Highly variable in quality, but that's half the fun.
The Cleft and Other Odd Tales (Gahan Wilson, 1997) Illustrations and oddball tales, my favorite of which is "The Sea Was Wet as Wet Could Be."
Coraline (Neil Gaiman, 2002) A creepy children's book. There's also a film, which I haven't seen.
Mad Night (Richard Sala, 2005) A gloriously over-the-top graphic novel involving mad scientists, evil children, and female pirates.
The Ruins (Scott Smith, 2006) Bleak tale about young tourists falling prey to evil plants at an ancient temple. The film version wasn't too bad.
one massive apology to Brian Stableford later! the first book, and who nominated what.
Stephen Jones & Kim Newman (eds.) - Horror: 100 Best Books (Xanadu, 1988)
Foreword - Ramsey Campbell Introduction - Stephen Jones & Kim Newman
1. Clive Barker - The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, Christopher Marlowe 2. John Blackburn - The Tragedy of Macbeth, William Shakespeare 3. Diana Wynne Jones - The White Devil, John Webster 4. Scott Bradfield - Caleb Williams, William Godwin 5. Les Daniels - The Monk, Matthew Gregory Lewis 6. John Sladek - The Best Tales of E. T. A. Hoffman 7. David Pirie - Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen 8. Jane Yolen - Frankenstein, Mary Shelley 9. Peter Tremayne - Melmoth the Wanderer, Charles Maturin 10. Garry Kilworth - The Confessions of a Justified Sinner, James Hogg 11. John M. Ford - Tales of Mystery & Imagination, Edgar Allan Poe 12. Edgar Allen Poe - Twice-Told Tales, Nathaniel Hawthorne 13. Thomas Tessier - The Black Spider, Jeremias Gotthelf 14. Thomas M. Disch - The Wandering Jew, Eugéne Sue 15. Michael McDowell - The Confidence Man, Herman Melville 16. M. R. James - Uncle Silas, J. Sheridan Le Fanu 17. Jack Williamson - Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Rober Louis Stevenson 18. Tim Stout - She, H. Rider Haggard 19. H. P. Lovecraft - The King in Yellow, Rober W. Chambers 20. Gene Wolfe - The Island of Dr Moreau, H. G. Wells 21. Colin Wilson - Dracula, Bram Stoker 22. R. Chetwynd-Hayes - The Turn of the Screw, Henry James 23. Douglas E. Winter - Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad 24. Richard Dalby - The Jewel of Seven Stars, Bram Stoker 25. Geoff Ryman - Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, M. R. James 26. T. E. D. Klein - The House of Souls, Arthur Machen 27. Hilaire Belloc - John Silence, Algernon Blackwood 28. David Langford - The Man Who Was Thursday, G.K. Chesterton 29. Terry Pratchett - The House on the Borderland, William Hope Hodgson 30. Milton Subotsky - The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce 31. Mike Ashley - Widdershins, Oliver Onions 32. Basil Copper - The Horror Horn, E. F. Benson 33. George Hay - A Voyage of Arcturus, David Lindsay 34. Steve Rasnic Tem - The Trial, Franz Kafka 35. Robert E. Howard - Something About Eve, James Branch Cabell 36. Karl E. Wagner - Medusa, E. H. Visiak 37. Marvin Kaye - The Werewolf of Paris, Guy Endore 38. Jessica Amanda Salmonson - The Last Bouquet, Marjorie Bowen 39. Robert Bloch - The Cadaver of Gideon Wyck, Alexander Laing 40. Hugh Lamb - A Second Century of Creepy Stories, Hugh Walpole 41. Lionel Fanthorpe - The Dark Tower, C. S. Lewis 42. Dennis Etchison - Johnny Got His Gun, Dalton Trumbo 43. Donald A. Wollheim -The Outsider and Others, H.P. Lovecraft 44. Harlan Ellison - Out of Space and Time, Clark Ashton Smith 45. Gerald W. Page - Conjure Wife, Fritz Leiber 46. Maxim Jakubowski - Night Has a Thousand Eyes, Cornell Woolrich 47. Graham Masterton - The Lurker at the Threshold, H. P. Lovecraft & August Derleth 48. Forrest J. Ackerman - Deliver Me from Eva, Paul Bailey 49. David J. Hartwell - And the Darkness Falls, Boris Karloff 50. Peter Haining - The Sleeping and the Dead, August Derleth 51. Robert R. McMaccon - Track of the Cat, Walter Van Tilburg Clark 52. Suzy McKee Charnas - The Sound of His Horn, Sarban 53. Joe Haldeman - Lord of the Flies, William Golding 54. Richard Christian Matheson - I am Legend, Richard Matheson 55. Joe R. Lansdale - The October Country, Ray Bradbury 56. Stephen Gallagher - Nine Horrors and a Dream, Joseph Payne Brennan 57. Hugh B. Cave - Psycho, Robert Bloch 58. Stephen Laws -Quatermass and the Pit, Nigel Kneale 59. Michel Parry - Cry Horror!, H. P. Lovecraft 60. Lisa Tuttle -The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson 61. Tad Williams - The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Philip K. Dick 62. Jack Dann - The Painted Bird, Jerzy Kosinski 63. Craig Shaw Gardner - The Crystal World, J. G. Ballard 64. Colin Greenland - Sub Rosa, Robert Aickman 65. Brian Aldiss - The Green Man, Kingsley Amis 66. Neil Gaiman - The Compleat Werewolf, Anthony Boucher 67. Dan Simmons - Grendel, John Gardner 68. F. Paul Wilson - The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty 69. John Skipp - The Sheep Look Up, John Brunner 70. Francis Garfield - Worse Things Waiting, Manly Wade Wellman 71. Stephen King - Burnt Offerings, Robert Marasco 72. Al Sarrantonio - 'Salem's Lot, Stephen King 73. Craig Spector - Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison 74. Brian Lumley - Murgunstrumm and Others, Hugh B. Cave 75. Charles L. Grant - Sweetheart, Sweetheart, Bernard Taylor 76. David J. Schow - All Heads Turn When the Hunt Goes, by, John Farris 77. Peter Straub - The Shining, Stephen King 78. William F. Nolan - Falling Angel, William Hjortsberg 79. Charles de Lint - The Wolfen, Whitley Strieber 80. Shaun Hutson - The Totem, David Morrell 81. Peter Nicholls - Ghost Story, Peter Straub 82. Christopher Evans - The Land of Laughs, Jonathan Carrol 83. David S. Garnett - The Cellar, Richard Laymon 84. Geoff Williamson - Red Dragon, Thomas Harris 85. J. N. Williamson -The Keep, F. Paul Wilson 86. Samantha Lee - The Dark Country, Dennis Etchison 87. Ramsey Campbell - In a Lonely Place, Karl Edward Wagner 88. John Clute - The Anubis Gates, Tim Powers 89. Brian Stableford - The Arabian Nightmare,, Robert Irwin 90. Malcolm Edwards - The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks 91. Thomas F. Monteleone - The Ceremonies, T. E. D. Klein 92. Michael Moorcock - Mythago Wood, Robert Holdstock 93. Ian Watson - Who Made Stevie Crye?, Michael Bishop 94. Edward Bryant - Song of Kali, Dan Simmons 95. Adrian Cole - Damnation Game, Clive Barker 96. R. S. Hadji - Hawksmoor, Peter Ackroyd 97. Robert Holdstock - A Nest of Nightmares, Lisa Tuttle 98. Guy N. Smith - The Pet, Charles L. Grant 99. Eddy C. Bertin - Swan Song, Robert McCammon 100. Jack Sullivan - Dark Feasts, Ramsey Campbell
just found out that Charles Birkin's A Haunting Beauty made the second best hundred books. so who is the person of impeccable taste went for that?
According to Mike Ashley the Onions of Oliver Onions should be pronounced as O-ny-ons. We've all been wrong since last century.