EditorJared Shurinspread his net wide to discover the very best work published by British and British-based authors in 2018, whittling down the nearly 200 stories under consideration to just 21 selected and two poems. These stories range from traditional sword and sorcery to contemporary fantasy, written by a mix of established fantasy authors, new voices, and those who are not usually associated with genre fiction. The result is a wonderfully diverse anthology of high quality tales.
Editor Jared Shurin is one of those secret puppet masters of the (sci fi) universe, an anthologist, founder of awards (the Kitschies), a Hugo nominee and British Fantasy Award winner, an incurable collector of books and a geek extraordinaire. So when he puts together an anthology of the best British fantasy stories, it's bound to be eclectic and innovative. – Lavie Tidhar
In an interview with the Arts Council (given in 2019), Syima Aslam, Director of the Bradford Literature Festival, referred to stories as "magical portals, through which you can explore different emotions, realities, and ideas". Good fantasy has always been capable of the latter two: imaginative worlds and impossible ideas are the genre's bread and butter. Great fantasy – dare I say it, the best fantasy – can do the former. Stories can help us grapple with, come to terms with, or simply recognise how we feel. Fantasy can be inspiring, but it can also be therapeutic.
Within this book, you'll find mermaids, rogues and magic swords; monsters, ghosts and local councillors. If you need further context for the stories, imagine yourself one of the diverse, unorthodox, slightly grumpy, and secretly-willing initial readers. Or, better yet, enjoy them for yourself.