Last Drink Bird Head
Jeff and Ann VanderMeer have put together an anthology with a simple premise: ask a lot of talented writers to write the first thing that pops into their head when they hear the phrase “last drink bird head”. Anything goes. This has led, as you can imagine, to an explosive cacophony of awesomeness. It’s called Last Drink Bird Head:
“Viewed from the side he looked normal but from the front it was clear his head was less than an inch wide across, as if he’d been slammed from both sides by a steam-hammer.” – Steve Aylett
“Last Drink Bird Head didn’t fit in at school. When the others were candles, she was lemons. When doors closed she was on the wrong side. She hated the flavour of milk and cellophane. When she jumped rope she was a merry-go-round horse with an orange face.” – K.J. Bish
“Last Drink Bird Head lifts her iron beak from the dry-dust lakebed that lies white as parchment under the waning moon. She lifts her head, the long chain rattling, and looks at the moon; the moon looks back at the pitted earth and sees nothing but an iron figure bowing amidst a frozen iron crowd. She bows, lone and lonely, and the chain rasps down, its rattling sigh the only sound besides the dry-joint groans of Last Drink Bird Head herself. She bows, she bows.” – Holly Phillips
The list of contributors reads like a who’s who of luminaries in the field of speculative fiction: Gene Wolf, Peter Straub, Bruce Holland Rogers, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Hal Duncan, Jeffrey Ford, Stephen Donaldson, and many more. There are also a bunch of newcomers to the field, including me and several writers from my Clarion class — Desirina Boskovich, Catherine Cheek, Caleb Wilson, Kari O’Connor, and Drew White — all of whom are (I know firsthand) fantastic writers.
And it’s for a good cause. All profits go to ProLiteracy, an organization that “champions the power of literacy to improve the lives of adults and their families, communities, and societies.”
Update: Just found out that Kari and Drew are in the anthology too!