Today I’ve got a new guest on the blog! I am shining the spotlight on Rhonda Parrish’s latest anthology, Corvidae, and the woman herself is here to share a taste of her favourite feathery myths in fiction.
A flock of shiny stories!
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.
“Introduction” by Rhonda Parrish
“A Murder of Crows” by Jane Yolen
“Whistles and Trills” by Kat Otis
“The Valravn” by Megan Fennell
“A Mischief of Seven” by Leslie Van Zwol
“Visiting Hours” by Michael S. Pack
“The Rookery of Sainte-Mère-Église” by Tim Deal
“The Cruelest Team Will Win” by Mike Allen
“What Is Owed” by C.S.E. Cooney
“Raven No More” by Adria Laycraft
“The Tell-Tale Heart of Existence” by Michael M. Rader
“Sanctuary” by Laura VanArendonk Baugh
“Knife Collection, Blood Museum, Birds (Scarecrow Remix)” by Sara Puls
“Flying the Coop” by M.L.D. Curelas
“Postcards from the Abyss” by Jane Yolen
“Bazyli Conjures a Blackbird” by Mark Rapacz
“Seven for a Secret” by Megan Engelhardt
“Flight” by Angela Slatter
Corvidae was published on July 7th 2015 by World Weaver Press as part of Rhonda’s Magical Menageries anthology series, and is available in paperback and ebook. You can find more information on the book, and where to buy it, at the World Weaver Press website.
And now, it’s over to Rhonda!
Lisa invited me to share a post on her blog in order to celebrate the launch of my corvidae anthology (entitled, cleverly enough, Corvidae) and asked me if I had a favourite bird-centric myth, legend or spooky tale. Wow. There were so many to choose from. I mean, even if you narrow the field down to only corvid-centric stories the list is long. Corvids might be best known for their appearance in Poe’s work but they’ve played starring roles in mythology for longer than we’ve been writing it down. For example, the natives of the Pacific Northwest considered Raven a trickster god and the creator of the world, and in Viking mythology Odin has a pair of ravens who spy for him.
My favourite corvid story (which isn’t in Corvidae, anyway LOL) is far more recent than those myths, far more recent than Poe even. I’m talking about the character of Mortola, “The Magpie”, in the Inkworld Trilogy by Cornelia Funke.
Mortola is an old woman who mixes poisons and discovers a plant with seeds which can change your shape. They call the plant Little Death because in addition to its shape-changing powers it is also a deadly poison and, even in small doses, can cause insanity.
I love the idea of a person changing into a magpie for several reasons but one of the biggest is because of a magpie’s calls. When I listen to them talk and chatter away to themselves in a tree I sometimes imagine they are talking in more than one voice at the same time, and I like to imagine that’s because more than one consciousness is occupying their floofy little bodies. Someday I’m going to write a story about that… someday.
Black-Billed Magpie talking:
… I don’t know about you, but I’ll be looking this one up for sure!
About the Anthologist:
Rhonda Parrish is driven by a desire to do All The Things. She has been the publisher and editor-in-chief of Niteblade Magazine for nearly eight years now (which is like forever in internet time) and is the editor of several anthologies including Fae and B is for Broken. In
addition, Rhonda is a writer whose work has been in dozens of publications like Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast, Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing (2012) and Mythic Delirium. Her website, updated weekly, is at rhondaparrish.com.