Is-and, Claire Dean
His room was frustratingly bland. She’d expected posters, old CDs, plastic figurines, some traces of him having grown up here. There were just the paintings, more crochet and a crooked twig and wool cross above the bed. She’d read about the crosses, crosh cuirns they were called, in the guidebook. They used to be put up as protection against fairies. His mum obviously had a thing for them because they were all over the house. On the living-room mantelpiece there was a line-up of family photos including several of his brother and him as children, and also his wedding photo. His ex looked young and elegant. They looked happy. Next to it was one of a newborn baby in a blue hat. ‘He’s beautiful,’ she said. ‘Why didn’t you tell me you’re an uncle?’ He’d clattered the plates on to the table and gestured for her to sit.
It’s always a thrill to receive a box of books in the post. And it was especially satisfying to open this parcel, if only because it meant it hadn’t gone missing (which I was convinced was going to happen). The books are lovely; Titan have done a beautiful job. It seems like such a long time ago that I first came up with the concept, but all the hard work was done by others: eighteen ridiculously-talented writers (and each one a pleasure to deal with) contributed wonderful stories. I was thinking with some sadness that the project was over, but really, with the book’s publication, it’s only just started. Because now you lovely readers get involved. I hope you love this anthology as much as I do.
I’m pleased to be able to reveal the cover to the new anthology, scheduled for publication next year. Credit to Titan for agreeing to list every author on the cover. None of that ‘And Many Others’ nonsense here!
It was a privilege to work with so many talented writers. I hope you’ll be as impressed by the stories as I was.
Coming in April 2016 from Titan Books…
An anthology of the undelivered, the missing, the returned…
Edited by Conrad Williams
The Green Letter – Steven Hall
Over to You – Michael Marshall Smith
In Memoriam – Joanne Harris
Ausland – Alison Moore
Wonders to Come – Christopher Fowler
Cancer Dancer – Pat Cadigan
The Wrong Game – Ramsey Campbell
Is-and – Claire Dean
Buyer’s Remorse – Andrew Lane
Gone Away – Muriel Gray
Astray – Nina Allan
The Days of Our Lives – Adam LG Nevill
The Hungry Hotel – Lisa Tuttle
L0ND0N – Nicholas Royle
Change Management – Angela Slatter
Ledge Bants – Maria Dahvana Headley & China Miéville
And We, Spectators Always, Everywhere – Kirsten Kaschock