I fell for corvids the way Hazel Grace Lancaster falls for Augustus Waters in John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars: “I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”
Or perhaps it’s more appropriate to go with that line’s more ominous inspiration, when, in Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, a character explains how you go bankrupt: “Gradually, then suddenly.”
When it comes to corvids – crows, ravens, jackdaws, magpies and jays – the bright and dark go together. Harbingers of doom and guardians of the realm, both. Playful and sinister. Even the collective nouns encompass the range of what corvids can be to humans: a murder, a storytelling, a party or a parliament.
My fondness for this family of remarkable birds reached fruition with a conversation I had with CDP publisher, Lindy Cameron, not long after I’d finished editing The Only One in the World, an anthology of Sherlock Holmes stories.
‘I’ve had so much fun being a commissioning editor, Lindy. Would you let me do it again? I’ve had this idea for a book about ravens and crows…”
Bless her heart, she said almost before I’d finished speaking, “Do it!”
And here it is, done.
Sixteen writers answered my call to tell tales of corvidae drawn from fantasy, folklore and urban legend, with humour and a dash of darkness. The birds of Clamour and Mischief are playful, sly, cunning, clever and sharp. Some are guardians or guides; others are seekers of revenge or harbingers of death. Some inhabit a revolutionary future while others express a lonely and compassionate past. Thieves, sleuths, devils and muses live in these pages.
It’s been a joy and a privilege to commission the stories for this anthology, along with the stunning cover art by Andrea L Farley (aka Altocello). These stories from around the world are by award-winning authors, emerging writers and fledgling authors in their professional debut.
Raymond Gates * GV Pearce * Eugen Bacon * Geneve Flynn *
Alex Marchant * Jack Fennell * Lee Murray * RJK Lee *
Dannye Chase * Narrelle M Harris * R.D. White *
Katya de Becerra * Jason Franks * George Ivanoff *
Tamara M Bailey * Gabiann Marin