“Rhonda Parrish has assembled a stellar collection that runs the gamut of Urban Fantasy to Weird Fiction. Easily the most consistently satisfying anthology I’ve read in years.”
— K.L. Young, Executive Editor, Strange Aeons Magazine
Hay-men, mommets, tattie bogles, kakashi, tao-tao—whether formed of straw or other materials, the tradition of scarecrows is pervasive in farming cultures around the world. The scarecrow serves as decoy, proxy, and effigy—human but not human. We create them in our image and ask them to protect our crops and by extension our very survival, but we refrain from giving them the things a creation might crave—souls, brains, free-will, love. In Scarecrow, fifteen authors of speculative fiction explore what such creatures might do to gain the things they need or, more dangerously, think they want.
Within these pages, ancient enemies join together to destroy a mad mommet, a scarecrow who is a crow protects solar fields and stores long-lost family secrets, a woman falls in love with a scarecrow, and another becomes one. Encounter scarecrows made of straw, imagination, memory, and robotics while being spirited to Oz, mythological Japan, other planets, and a neighbor’s back garden. After experiencing this book, you’ll never look at a hay-man the same.
Featuring all new work by Jane Yolen, Andrew Bud Adams, Laura Blackwood, Amanda Block, Scott Burtness, Amanda C. Davis, Megan Fennell, Kim Goldberg, Katherine Marzinsky, Craig Pay, Sara Puls, Holly Schofield, Virginia Carraway Stark, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, and Kristina Wojtaszek.
“With fifteen talented writers and a subject that is both evocative and memorable, Rhonda Parrish’s new anthology, Scarecrow, is no straw man. Like any good scarecrow, this anthology is truly outstanding in its field. Don’t be scared to pick this up and give it a read.”
— Steve Vernon, author of Tatterdemon
I mean, I could have started this post with some text, maybe an explanation about what you were going to see but seriously? Were you going to notice? No. Because as soon as you looked at this page this cover would have captured your attention and once you’ve seen it, what additional explanation is needed? Still, there is protocol to follow… 😉
This is the cover for my latest anthology, coming out July 7th!
Associated with life and death, disease and luck, corvids have long captured mankind’s attention, showing up in mythology as the companions or manifestations of deities, and starring in stories from Aesop to Poe and beyond.
In Corvidae birds are born of blood and pain, trickster ravens live up to their names, magpies take human form, blue jays battle evil forces, and choughs become prisoners of war. These stories will take you to the Great War, research facilities, frozen mountaintops, steam-powered worlds, remote forest homes, and deep into fairy tales. One thing is for certain, after reading this anthology, you’ll never look the same way at the corvid outside your window.
Featuring works by Jane Yolen, Mike Allen, C.S.E. Cooney, M.L.D. Curelas, Tim Deal, Megan Engelhardt, Megan Fennell, Adria Laycraft, Kat Otis, Michael S. Pack, Sara Puls, Michael M. Rader, Mark Rapacz, Angela Slatter, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, and Leslie Van Zwol.
“A creepy, crazy kaleidoscope of corvids,Corvidae is what happens when you bring together ingenious writers and sagacious subjects. It’s nothing short of a thrill ride when this anthology takes flight.”
— Susan G. Friedman, Ph. D., Utah State University; behaviorworks.org.
Scarecrow Hangs by Jane Yolen Kakashi and Crow by Megan Fennell Only the Land Remembers by Amanda Block Skin Map by Kim Goldberg Waking from His Master’s Dream by Katherine Marzinsky A Fist Full of Straw by Kristina Wojtaszek Judge and Jury by Laura VanArendonk Baugh The Straw Samurai by Andrew Bud Adams Black Birds by Laura Blackwood Edith and I by Virginia Carraway Stark Scarecrow Progressions (Rubber Duck Remix) by Sara Puls Truth About Crows by Craig Pay The Roofnight by Amanda C. Davis Two Steps Forward by Holly Schofield If I Only Had an Autogenic Cognitive Decision Matrix by Scott Burtness
I love this lineup and I cannot wait to share it with the world 🙂
(Titles and such are subject to change right up until publication, of course)
Sara’s story in Fae, Ten Ways to Self-Sabotage, Only Some of Which Relate to Fairies, was one of three from the anthology honored with a Pushcart Prize nomination from editor-in-chief Eileen Weidbrauk. Sadly, the interview with Sara I’m about to share was conducted long before the nominations were announced so I didn’t ask her about it. Next time. Next time… For now, Sara has plenty to say, and an excerpt to share for Fae-tastic Friday 🙂
Sara Puls’ Interview
What was the inspiration for your Fae story?
My inspiration for writing this story was something pretty mundane–I had a bit of an ant problem at my house. Somehow, that got me thinking about a fairy infestation…
Was this your first foray into writing fairy stories?
I have written one other fairy story of sorts–about a lady that works as a “matchmaker” for the fairy creatures, where fairies are loosely defined as “creatures that exist because we believe in them. Because we talk about them and write about them and dream about them.” That story is available here.
Can you tell us a bit about the specific type of fairy creature in your story?
Well, my story actually contains about eleven types of fairies, including pixies! selkies! dryads! and trolls! The most prominently-featured fairy, however, is a “mermaid fairy,” who contributes to a bit of friction between the two main characters.
Excerpt From Ten Ways to Self-Sabotage, Only Some of Which Relate to Fairies by Sara Puls (417 words):
5. A List
As with people, there are many types of fairies:
A. Within the water fairy family, sirens and selkies and mermaids are the most common. At least, these are the ones Elly most often finds spit out through the faucet into her tub. They’re smaller than she would have guessed. And they have green wings that remind her of kelp.
B. The air fairies consist mostly of ill-tempered Tinker Bell types. They’re always whispering about what needs fixing around the house. And they act out something fierce when Elly and Lina crawl beneath the sheets. Elly learns quickly enough that it’s straight to the basement with them.
C. Fire fairies. The untrained eye sometimes mistakes fire fairies for lizards. They get along with no one, save the air fairies.
D. The earth fairies that frequent Elly’s bungalow most often are tree nymphs and trolls. She finds the tree nymphs tending the potted plants in the kitchen. The trolls sneak into the refrigerator to eat up all the rotten vegetables.
E. House Fairies. These fairies supposedly live only to help with household chores. Elly finds such a claim more than a little suspicious. She trusts these fairies less than most. Why would they want to help someone like her? What did she ever do to deserve it? It has to be a trick.
F. There are also goblin-like fairies that speak mostly Spanish and some Portuguese. These are called Duende. Elly has considered taking up the study of Spanish in order to understand their whispers. But she hasn’t found the energy.
G. The Moon fairies appear only during a full moon.
H. The soul catcher fairies. Whenever they’re around, Elly feels like something is eating at her from the inside out.
I. As a child, Elly had heard that fruit fairies help crops grow. This, she has learned, is true. But there is a limit to how much fruit one can eat.
J. Music fairies. These are Lina’s favorite. But Elly can’t stand it when they sing.
K. Finally there are the ice fairies. They think it’s funny to freeze the water in the pipes. Despite their name, Elly has learned that they do not limit their appearance to the winter months.
Lina likes lists. She tells Elly that making lists might help her take more control of her life. Two months into their relationship, Elly has made several lists. But she still hasn’t revealed how she rids the house of the fluttering, singing, sugar-smelling fey.
Editor-in-Chief of World Weaver Press, Eileen Wiedbrauk, recently announced her Pushcart nominations for 2014. They were:
“From a Stone,” Eric Choi, Far Orbit
“Starship Down,” Tracy Canfield, Far Orbit
“Queen of Lakes,” L.S. Johnson, Fae
“And Only The Eyes of Children,” Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Fae
“Ten Ways to Self-Sabotage, Only Some of Which Relate to Fairies,” Sara Puls, Fae
“The Wicked Child,” Elise Forier Edie, Krampusnacht
Congratulations and good luck to all the nominees, but an extra big yay for the authors whose stories were in Fae. I’m so stoked for L.S., Laura and Sara. Their stories are fabulous, and it’s awesome to see them receive a little extra recognition.
World Weaver Press and I are going to host an official cover reveal for Fae on May 21st. In addition to showing off our fantastic cover, we’ll also be hosting a giveaway of several copies (through Goodreads).
Meet Robin Goodfellow as you’ve never seen him before, watch damsels in distress rescue themselves, get swept away with the selkies and enjoy tales of hobs, green men, pixies and phookas. One thing is for certain, these are not your grandmother’s fairy tales.
Fairies have been both mischievous and malignant creatures throughout history. They’ve dwelt in forests, collected teeth or crafted shoes. Fae is full of stories that honor that rich history while exploring new and interesting takes on the fair folk from castles to computer technologies and modern midwifing, the Old World to Indianapolis.
Fae covers a vast swath of the fairy story spectrum, making the old new and exploring lush settings with beautiful prose and complex characters. Enjoy the familiar feeling of a good old-fashioned fairy tale alongside urban fantasy and horror with a fae twist.
With an introduction by Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman, and all new stories from Sidney Blaylock Jr., Amanda Block, Kari Castor, Beth Cato, Liz Colter, Rhonda Eikamp, Lor Graham, Alexis A. Hunter, L.S. Johnson, Jon Arthur Kitson, Adria Laycraft, Lauren Liebowitz, Christine Morgan, Shannon Phillips, Sara Puls, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, and Kristina Wojtaszek.
If you’d like to participate in the official reveal, please leave a comment to this blog post before May 17th (short notice, I know) and I’ll send you all the information you need by the 19th. Otherwise, just be sure and check back here on the 21st for the official unveiling of the cover and information about how you can enter to win a copy for yourself!
ETA:A friend asked me to explain a bit about what ‘hosting the reveal’ meant, for those people who aren’t familiar with the jargon. Basically, right before the day of the official reveal I will send out a copy of the cover image, a description of the book, links for the Goodreads giveaway, excerpts and all that sort of fun stuff to everyone who signs up to host the reveal. Then, on the day of the reveal all the hosts will post a blog entry with the cover image and whatever other bits of the book information they want to share.
People who don’t have a blog don’t need to sign up, but they can absolutely help still by spreading the word on social media, voting for the book in polls and entering to win the giveaway.
It’s been quite a journey since World Weaver Press and I first announced that I’d be editing an anthology of fairy stories. Fae has grown from a vague idea to a solid manuscript over the past few months and become even more amazing than I’d hoped. We have seventeen fantastic stories that are going to blow you away.
Allow me to share the table of contents from my forthcoming anthology, Fae:
These stories run the gamut from high-tech to old-fashioned and will sweep you away to settings as varied as modern day Indianapolis, the American civil war and mystical medieval kingdoms. They have, as I requested in my call for submissions, lush settings, beautiful prose and complex characters, and come this summer, if you’re a fan of fairies and folklore, you are going to fall in love with this book.