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, Virginia Carraway Stark, Amanda C. Davis, Megan Fennell, Kim Goldberg, Katherine Marzinsky, Craig Pay, Sara Puls, Holly Schofield, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, and Kristina Wojtaszek.

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“By turns, thrilling and chilling and always fascinating, these tales with a scarecrow theme will put you in the Autumn mood.”

Enchanted Conversation

“An excellent spooky read for the season. As is always the case in anthologies, I enjoyed some more than others. My favorites were the opening story, “Kakashi and Crow” by Megan Fennell, “Judge and Jury” by Laura VanArendonk Baugh, “Edith and I” by Virginia Carraway Stark, the haunting “Only the Land Remembers” by Amanda Block, and the closing story “If I Only Had an Autogenic Cognitive Decision Matrix by Scott Burtness, both hilarious and horrifying. Overall, a solidly entertaining collection.”


“Scarecrow is Rhonda Parrish’s third Magical Menagerie anthology, released as a sort of partner and complement to Corvidae. The works are largely unrelated to those of Corvidae, but they carry similar themes, since crows and scarecrows go together like peanut butter and jelly. Or maybe I should say chocolate and bourbon. Because this anthology definitely starts out sweet but takes a bitter twist and ends with a smoky finish.”

Stephanie A. Cain

Author and reviewer

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