"What if there were a whole world of great horror fiction out there you didn't know anything about, written by authors by distant lands and in foreign languages, outstanding horror stories you had no access to, written in languages you couldn't read? For an avid horror fan, what could be more horrifying than that?"
Luckily for readers like me who have experienced this dilemma, there's Valancourt's new Valancourt Book of World Horror Stories. This book is like a key that unlocks a door to a room which once opened, yields a library of previously-unknown treasures gathered from around the globe.
"if one takes the trouble to look hard enough, there's a much larger body of world horror fiction out there than any of us would suspect ... it often involves deep digging and venturing into uncharted waters."
The "deep digging and venturing into uncharted waters" is what the people at Valancourt do best, no matter what they publish, so I knew before I even ordered this book that I would not be disappointed. I wasn't.
Before you even get to the main event, Valancourt has included an aerial view of sorts with a look at which countries are represented and a little blurb about each story (not that this photo is particularly legible but you get the drift):
"While the language of horror is universal, its means of expression necessarily varies from culture to culture... "
and the stories in this book come from "voices and perspectives we have lived too long without."
I agree wholeheartedly, and it's a shame that more of the work of these authors has yet to be translated into English. The editors ask and answer the question of why this is so in their introduction, but at the same time it is just a bit frustrating to know that so much great writing is out there that remains unavailable to an English-language readership. Hopefully some day this will change, but for now at least we have this first volume as an introduction.
Very well done, and very highly recommended. Now awaiting a Volume Two.