Astray, Nina Allan
It is easy to fall into paranoia. All it takes is a tiny seed – opening an envelope that isn’t addressed to you, for instance. I googled Selena Rouane because I was curious, and because I still had the computer on from looking up her street address. It was an offhand, perfunctory gesture, one I fully expected to be met with a barrage of irrelevant results, as had happened when I googled Lucy Davis. What I found instead was a missing girl. Amanda Rouane turned out to be Selena’s sister. She went missing in the summer of 1994, when she was seventeen. Which made her the same age as me. In 1994 I had been in Cyprus, studying for my A Levels and secretly getting anxious about applying to universities and, for the first time in my life, not having the security of my insecure army-kid background to fall back on. If I hated the people in my hall of residence I would have to deal with it, because I was going to be stuck with them. I didn’t read the British press much, or any press come to that, certainly not enough to have come across a story about a girl going missing from a village near Manchester. I’d never even been to Manchester, not then.
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