Coal Ash and Sparrows
By Michael Jasper
Not yet rated.
Published: March 30, 2011
Words: 10,183 (approximate)
"Lina Seymour had been putting off going into the barn all day. Less than a week ago, the doctor had come to tell her, her mother, and her younger sister about her father’s fall from the church roof." A story of a book, trains, boats, barns, heroes, and loss, along with impossible things like talking sparrows... and magic! Related to the novel A Sudden Outbreak of Magic (also an ebook).
"Coal Ash and Sparrows" was first published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine in January 2004. It was an Honorable Mention story in both The Year’s Best Science Fiction, edited by Dozois, and The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, edited by Datlow, Link, and Grant.
The story takes place in the same setting as the first novel in my Contagious Magic series of books, A Sudden Outbreak of Magic (also available as an ebook).
"Coal Ash and Sparrows" gives you a nice taste of the history of magic in those books, along with some unforgettable, sometimes tragic characters.
I also have a related story (and ebook) about the secret history of magic, entitled "The Inverted Bearded Boy of Chicago."
, magic books
, talking birds
, contagious magic
, the inverted bearded boy of chicago
, a sudden outbreak of magic
, orphan trains
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