‘Foxes and cat; rats and mice moved their legs and twitched their whiskers. Pigeons, seagulls, sparrows – not a single magpie – flapped their wings. They couldn’t speak – she sniffled – but they could understand. There were enough of them. Between them all, they held the memories of the City, the memories of everyone who’d thrown something away. “Now dig,” said the Witch. “Find anything that was once mine.” The Rubbish Witch
The Outcast is a themed anthology featuring twenty stories from Australian writers, edited by Nicole Murphy for the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild. All stories explore the notion of being an outsider, whether voluntary or involuntary. There are stories of women on a train, rural monsters, criminals, returned soldiers, conjurers, tribal curses and of spiritual awakening. There are stories that make comment on our world and those who would lead us; stories that warn us about the future and other stories which just make the reader laugh.
Works for inclusion in this themed anthology were chosen following a call for submissions. Stories range in genre from fairy tale and fable through fantasy and scifi to comedy. Each story is quite different although all explore aspects of loneliness and choice, individual and collective expression. From the sublime to the intentionally ridiculous, there is something here for all readers of spec fiction.
The Outcast, edited by Nicole R Murphy
CSfG Publishing 2006