On March 15, Ellen Datlow announced the table of contents for the Best Horror of the Year Volume 14, which included Poor Butcher-Bird, a story first published in Humans are the Problem: A Monster’s Anthology and written by Gemma Files. This story was one of the highlights of the anthology, which was funded by backers through Kickstarter in May of 2021. Gemma Files is also slated to have a contributing story to Weird Little Worlds Press second horror anthology, Mother: Tales of Love and Terror, which will go live on Kickstarter on April 8th, 2022.
The Best Horror of the Year anthologies are arguably the pinnacle of horror short fiction each year, with a table of contents that is meticulously curated by Ellen Datlow, the Acquiring Editor for Tor.com and Tor’s horror imprint, Nightfire. Gemma Files has been included in the Best Horror of the Year anthologies several times, a testament to her skill as a storyteller.
Gemma’s story in Humans are the Problem: A Monster’s Anthology is no different, and her narrative control as well as the strength of the main character’s voice are truly compelling. In this tale, the protagonist manipulates her way into a secret society of London punks who are abusing the power of an ancient vampire they have captured and mutilated. The revenge tale truly highlights the theme of the anthology, and the reader is left rooting for the monsters at all costs, if only to rid the world of this particular brand of egocentric human brutality.
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