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Lorraine Wilson: Nova Scotia Vol 2 Anthology. Pre-Order Available Now!

Image of the author Lorraine Wilson
Lorraine Wilson - Nova Scotia Vol 2

Nova Scotia Vol 2 anthology, edited by Neil Williamson and Andrew J. Wilson, is now available for pre-order! It celebrates the depth and breadth of Scotland's dazzling science fiction and fantasy landscape from its haunted islands to its transformed cities and everything in between. Jenni Coutts created the gorgeous cover art.

You can order the book on its own, or buy the bundle anthology deal - both from the Luna store.

Today we'd like to introduce you to Lorraine Wilson and the story "Mhairi Aird".

About the author:

A conservation scientist and third culture Scot, Lorraine Wilson lives by the sea writing stories influenced by folklore and the wilderness. She has a PhD from the University of St. Andrews and is the author of This Is Our Undoing, The Way The Light Bends, Mother Sea, and the novella The Last To Drown. Winner of a BFA for her short fiction, her books have been longlisted for the BSFA, finalists for the BFA, Kavya and Saltire Awards, and twice winners of the SCKAwards. Lorraine has been stalked by wolves, caught the bubonic plague, and befriended pythons, but she now sticks to herding cats. 

Lorraine on the story:

"Mhairi Aird" is the story of a woman coming home to the wee fishing village that tried to kill her to set down her decades of carried anger. It’s a quietly dark folkloric tale initially inspired by the local-to-me history of the Pittenweem witches – an awful series of events in the early 1700s that led to the death in prison of one man, the torturing and persecution of several women, and the eventual horrific murder by lynchmob of a woman called Janet Cornfoot. 

I’ve lived just down the coast from the site of these events for years so I’ve known the history almost as long. But recently, conversations about the use and misuse of phrases like ‘we are the daughters of the witches you didn’t burn’, versus who exactly was persecuted by witch hunts across Scotland got me thinking about these 300 year old events in more depth. About the absence of justice even though justice was theoretically carried out, about the reports that the Church (and possibly descendants of the lynch mob) blocked a recent campaign to erect a memorial, about the wellspring of anger that women and other victims of gender-based violence carry, largely in silence. 

So this story started from a question – ‘What might a woman become if she survives the people who try to destroy her; what might happen if she carries her anger away with her until she is ready to come home?’ 

"Mhairi Aird" isn’t a retelling of the Pittenweem witches history, at all, but it definitely holds echoes of the betrayal and anger and hauntings that inhabit that sad episode. I wanted to look at the weight of the bystander’s guilt as much as the victim’s anger, and, as so often with Scottish folklore, dive into the murky waters of what makes a monster and who gets to decide what is monstrous and what is simply justice.

TOC of Nova Scotia Vol 2
TOC of Nova Scotia Vol 2


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