The Best New Horror 4
Best New Horror has established itself as the world's most admired annual collection, showcasing the very best in contemporary horror fiction. For this latest bloodcurdling feast of terror, the multi-award winning editors have chosen such modern masterpieces as the first book publication of a new ghost story by Clive Barker; Peter Straub's stunning novella set in a fear-haunted Vietnam; John Lennon's alternate history by Ian R. MacLeod, and Kim Newman's acclaimed novella about Victorian vampires.Plus razor sharp stories on the cutting edge of horror by some of the greatest contemporary masters of fear, including Peter Atkins, Poppy Z. Brite, John Brunner, Christopher Fowler, Thomas Ligotti, M. John Harrison, Lisa Tuttle, Karl Edward Wagner, Kate Wilhelm, Douglas E. Winter and many more.
Genevieve asked, “to serve the purpose of the Prince Consort?” Lestrade chewed his moustache, teeth glistening, flecks of froth on his lips. “You may be needed, Mademoiselle. The hall is being overrun. Some don’t want to be out on the streets with this murderer about. Some are spreading panic and sedition, firing up vigilante mobs. You have some influence . . .” “I do, don’t I?” “I wish . . . I would humbly request. . . you would use your influence to calm the situation. Before any disaster
green was in them.” They were the green of grass, of laurel leaves, the pale green of a bird’s egg. They were the deep blue-green of every sea-cliché he had ever read. “And all at the same time. Not in different lights or on different days. All at the same time.” Eyes intelligent, reflective of the light, not human: the eyes of a bird or an animal. They seemed independent of her, as if they saw things on behalf of someone else: as if whatever intelligence inhabited them was quite different to her
eyes, not just dark, but actually black—as black as though she were looking through them into nowhere. Eventually he said, his accent thick but his meaning clear enough, “All right. Just don’t come poking around again, hear? This is mine! So unless you want Cerbero to help himself to dinner off your backside . . . In your case”—with a nod at Ann—“that would be a shame. Now be on your way!” “Now look here!” Ann began hotly, setting her hands on her hips. Carlo checked her with a touch on her
kindness. They are what all of us might have remained had there not arisen teachers to reveal a better way . . . Go to your wife. If you can prove you love her in spite of what they’ve done, even their iron hearts may some day soften. I pray to that end, every morning, every night.” His voice broke as he turned away, stifling sobs. “They did it to me as well,” Giuseppina said as she sponged dirt from Ann’s bruised legs. “I’m still here. And I do have two fine sons.” The reality of the trap had
Alan and I kept in touch; he was under increasing stress, not knowing whether Paul really wanted to be with him in the future. He was holding onto a job and a home while hoping that he’d be asked to leave them behind. He said he still missed me. We were uneasy with each other, not really knowing what to say or to hope for. For me, it wouldn’t have been hard to forgive him. The most difficult thing would have been to trust him. In spite of this uncertainty, the glare of madness was fading in my