Cover Art by Vincent Holland-Keen
Internal Illustrations by Kieran Walsh
The ‘Bushy Tales’ are a series of three anthologies Tales of the Nun & Dragon, Tales of the Fox & Fae and Tales of the Mouse & Minotaur
The Bushy Tales take a theme and explore it from every genre and every interpretation across a collection of stories from new and well known authors. There is humour, horror and everything in between in these pages.
‘Tales of the Nun and Dragon’
Come, rest your weary bones, draw a flagon and hark to the tales of Nuns & Dragons, of bravery and steadfastness in the face of mighty and implacable foes. Settle down and indulge yourself in wild flights of fancy brought to life by your fellow travellers.”
The Nun & Dragon is a local like no other – share in the wild and wonderful tellings of a gifted panoply of authors, tales replete with wonder, a liberal coating of mysticism, the odd splash of darkness and a sprinkling of grim humour.
Contents: The Ballad of Gilrain by Sarah Cawkwell, Fire Exit by Mhairi Simpson, Saint George and Saint Giles by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Fruit of the Forbidden by Jasper Bark, Incident at Wearing Abbey by Mark West, Firelight by Joan De La Haye, Lex Draconis by Simon Bestwick, Journey to Blackfire Deep by Colin F Barnes, Martyr by Andrew Reid, Nil Desperandum by Ren Warom, The Killing of Sister George by Pat Kelleher, The Bells of Freedom by Cat Connor, The Sound of Latex by Peter Ray Allison, Loop by S.J.Caunt, Red Nun by Wayne Simmons, Into the Woods by Geraldine Clark Hellery, The Hazel and the Hawthorn by V.C.Linde, A Nun’s Dream by Catherine Rogers, Benedic Mihi Pater by Jay Faulkner, The Nun and the Dragon by Sammy H K Smith, Sister Amagda and the Thrice-Bound Wyrm by Francesca Terminiello, The Price by K.A. Laity, The Last Hunt by Karen Davies
‘Tales of the Fox and Fae’
Deep in the woods where wild things lurk you’ll find foxes and rarer creatures, the fae. Join us for tales of faeries at the bottom of the garden, foxes falling foul of their own nature, battles fought in the night where human lives hang in the balance. Not all faeries are good, not all foxes are hunted. Welcome to our Tales of the Fox & Fae.
Contents: The Band of Straw and Silver by Andrew Reid, The Home of the Foxes by Margret Helgadottir, Blind Country by James Bennett, A Cackling Fart by Chloe Yates, The Sly and the Spriggan by Alec McQuay, The Woman and the Jar of Words by Haralambi Markov, Fox Hunt by Peter Ray Allison, Outfoxed by Jasper Bark (writer) & Soussherpa (artist) & Bolt-01 (letterer), The Fox and the Fae by Geraldine Clark Hellery, Lifesong by Jay Faulkner, They are the Dead by T.F.Grant, Coming Home by Cat Connor
‘Tales of the Mouse and Minotaur’
Tales of the Mouse and Minotaur explores the adventure of mice (and rats) and twists on greek mythology. It also sees the return of Gilrain.
THE MOUSE AND THE MINOTAUR by Chloë Yates
KATABASIS by K T Davies
PROVOKING CERBERUS by James Bennett
NADA’S PROMISE by Nerine Dorman
OF COMEDIES AND TRAGEDIES by Jay Faulkner
GILRAIN AND THE MINOTAUR by Sarah Cawkwell
‘PROOF OF CONCEPT’ by Pat Kelleher
SUCH A LITTLE THING by C C D Leijenaar
MEDUSA RISING by Joan De La Haye
VIRTUTIS GLORIA MERCES by Andrew Reid
THE WISDOM OF KING WEEJUN by Ben Stewart
THE LABOURS OF STROPHEUS by Catherine Hill
MISCHIEF by Jan Siegel
THE BIRD-WOMAN OF THE MEDITERRANEAN by T.J. Everley
Opening Paragraphs of Tales of the Nun & Dragon
The Ballad Of Gilain by Sarah Cawkwell
The tavern door opened, letting in some of the damp, moist air from outside. A few leaves, abandoned on the floor by previous travellers, skipped gleefully in the updraught, dancing joyfully around the feet of the newcomers. Both were soaked; the rain had started some time three days ago and apart from a brief respite where the sky gods had simply been distracted for a moment, hadn’t let up.
One of the inn’s new patrons was tall and rangy; broad shouldered and narrow-hipped in the way so admired by ladies of the land. He wore a plain, unadorned tabard that had once been white but which had absorbed any number of unlikely stains. Blood. Grass. Mud. Soot. He was young; perhaps in his early twenties, and he had a pleasing countenance framed by a mess of dark curls, plastered to his head by the rain from outside. A neatly trimmed beard graced his jaw line. One of the barmaids was already casting looks of interest his way, but the newcomer seemed not to notice.
At first glance, there was nothing about him that distinguished him from any of the countless would-be heroes who had passed through this tavern over the past few months. A closer inspection however revealed a look of haunted horror in his eyes. He stumbled across the tavern as though already intoxicated on the fine ale, or a flagon of Mistress Bertha’s mead, and sank into a seat by the fire. His finery dripped rainwater into a sodden puddle at his feet and he leaned forward to cradle his head in his hands.
Behind him, always three paces behind
The Eloquent Page on Tales of the Nun & Dragon : ‘The best news is that each writer has brought their ‘A’ game and produced something that works well as a standalone but also fits seamlessly into the collection as a whole. I was spoiled for choice with all the differing, iconoclastic interpretations of the nun and dragon theme.’
The Shockwave Writers on Tales of the Nun & Dragon : ‘If you have ever lived in Britain then “Nun and Dragon” will almost certainly make you think of a country pub, much like the name “The Vat and Fiddle” in Nottingham or “The Goat and Tricycle” in Bournemouth. I seriously suspect the many of the Nuns in this book would be more at home in “The Wicked Lady” in Wheathamstead.’
Tony Lane on Fox & Fae : This book is a thing of beauty and that theme is continued by the imaginative writing. It is well worth a read.
Tony Lane on Nun & Dragon : As I journeyed through the various flavours of fantasy I got to see both Nuns and Dragons in many different lights. There are a lot of kick arse martial Nuns in this book. If like me the catholic faith is not something you particularly like or want to read about don’t worry too much as you’ll get to not only heroic religious exploits but also the corruption and debase nature found in the human race.
Founding Fields on Nun & Dragon : Diversity is fun. Diversity is good. Tales of the Nun & Dragon gets that right for a perfect score.
Starburst Magazine on Nun & Dragon : Those on the lookout for the next big thing could do with picking up Tales of the Nun & Dragon; it’s a solid fantasy anthology which has been very well edited and thoughtfully compiled. The stories follow on nicely from each other, making for a smooth read despite multiple voices. Worth a look.
Vicky Thinks review of Nun & Dragon : The stories themselves range in feel from horror to adventure, from romantic fantasy to slower, more thoughtful tales, and many incorporate interesting twists. There’s something for everyone, and no two stories are the same, which is surprising given the very specific theme of the anthology.
This is Horror on Nun & Dragon : We all know that nuns and dragons go together like shoes and socks, like salt and pepper, like Buffy and Angel; okay, maybe not, but that’s the premise of this collection from Fox Spirit, and it could have gone so horribly wrong. How many different ways is it possible to link the two titular entities? Well, there are twenty-three authors here who have no such problems, finding a plethora of unique scenarios in which to tell their tales.
My God It’s Raining on Nun & Dragon : From the classical fantasy bookendsThe Ballad of Gilrain and The Last Hunt shoring up the entire collection (by Black Library stalwart Sarah Cawkwell and fantasy novelist Karen Davies respectively) to the Asimov-meets-Gundam overtones of LOOP (SJ Caunt), there’s something there (hopefully) for everyone’s tastes.
Jasper Bark talks to Simon Bestwick about Nuns & Dragons on This is Horror
A look at Nun & Dragon artwork by Harry Markov
Nun & Dragon on Goodreads
Fox & Fae on Goodreads