Today’s featured anthology is Bill Congreve’s Fifth Annual Volume of the Year’s Best Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Bill brought this out in time for Worldcon, which was fantastic, because it’s an excellent showcase of Australian writing today. Kirstyn McDermott’s award-winning “Painlessness” and Paul Haines’ horrific “Wives” are just two of the stories in this book.
My story “The Census Taker’s Tale”, from Dirk Flinthart’s ‘Canterbury 2100′ appears as well. I absolutely loved this anthology for its binding theme and the way it recalled the original Canterbury Tales.
The first paragraph is one that connects it to what’s gone before and therefore not so good as a stand alone. So here’s one from the middle:
The schoolteacher, an ignorant, angry woman who taught only as much as she knew, which was very little indeed, always stood on her step and screamed at passers-by. ‘Look at your wife, her body hanging out,’ or ‘Some learning wouldn’t go astray, Mr Plod.’ Yet my mother knew, through the radiant ghost of a baby which crawled the streets crying for her, that the schoolteacher had more than one child and that she had drowned them all. These are the things my mother learned from the ghosts in her village.