The Outcast Hours is only our second anthology, but it is fair to say we already have a bit of a shtick: we like diverse thinking on universal themes.
With The Djinn Falls in Love, it was, well—djinn. One of the few truly global ‘creatures’ of lore. With The Outcast Hours, we wanted something that was equally relevant: something that every culture experiences. Rather than raid the bestiary again, we went higher concept—not to a particular myth, but to the source of myths. Something that everyone, everywhere, shares: the night. We all experience it; it affects everyone, everywhere, in every culture.
So that’s half the shtick: the universal theme.
The other half is where the real work comes in. To us, there’s no point in reading the same story two dozen times. The joy of something universal is that everyone approaches it from a different angle. To capture the breadth, the depth, the vastness that is the ‘night’, we needed wildly different perspectives. The Table of Contents represents our best efforts to capture this range.
The Outcast Hours’ authors come from over a dozen different countries; writers with award-winning careers that span fantasy, science fiction, literary fiction, crime and romance. It also contains short stories from journalists, film-makers, comedians, comic book writers, poets, and artists. Everyone is united in a single challenge—trying to capture the experience of life after dark—but each contributor tackles it in their own unique way.
The results are as wide-ranging as you might expect. The Outcast Hours contains monsters and mobsters, of course. But also pop stars and puppies, runaways and DJs, bartenders, ghosts, lovers, serial killers, and even the Tooth Fairy. If it goes bump in the night—or simply takes the night bus—it lurks somewhere in this volume.
As with any anthology, not every story will be for everyone. The dark side (excuse the pun) of our shtick is that our approach is especially high-risk / high-reward. There’s no sameness; no certainty. In The Outcast Hours, we have gambled on the unexpected: there are no cozy evenings inside. Instead, we want every reader to find a story or two that they can be deeply passionately about—to experience the night of their lives.
(Just to note, although only our second book, we’ve been working together for years, including our lengthy war against the Dragon Highlords!)
Table of Contents
- Introduction, Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin
- This Book Will Find You, Sam Beckbessinger, Lauren Beukes and Dale Halvorsen
- It Was a Different Time, Will Hill
- Ambulance Service, Sami Shah
- Blind Eye, Frances Hardinge
- Sleep Walker, Silvia Moreno-Garcia
- Bag Man, Lavie Tidhar
- Gatsby, Maha Khan Phillips
- Swipe Left, Daniel Polansky
- MiDNIghT MaRAuDERS, M. Suddain
- Everyone Knows That They’re Dead. Do You? Genevieve Valentine
- The Collector, Sally Partridge
- The Patron Saint of Night Puppers, Indrapramit Das
- Tilt, Karen Onojaife
- In the Blink of a Light, Amira Salah-Ahmed
- The Dental Gig, S. L. Grey
- One Gram, Leah Moore
- This Place of Thorns, Marina Warner
- Not Just Ivy, Celeste Baker
- Dark Matters, Cecilia Ekbäck
- Above the Light, Jesse Bullington
- Welcome to the Haunted House, Yukimi Ogawa
- Rain, Streaming, Omar Robert Hamilton
- Lock-In, William Boyle
- The Night Mountain, Jeffrey Alan Love
- A Partial Beginner’s Guide to The Lucy Temerlin Home for Broken Shapeshifters, Kuzhali Manickavel
- And also including 9 microstories by China Miéville
The Outcast Hours publishes with Rebellion in February 2019. You can pre-order from the publisher here, or from the retailers below!