Fish Anthology 2005 – The Mountains of Mars and Other Stories

ISBN: 0-9542586-3-0

The winning story, ‘Mountains of Mars’, by Marc Phillips makes a great title to the Anthology, and the story, full of understated tension, kicks the book off wonderfully. Second, Jo Campbell’s story, ‘In the Desert’, is surely a woman’s story, of loss late in life and the possibility of redemption. I’ll be re-reading this one in my middle-age. I’m pleased that the judges selected two of Barry Troy’s stories ­ ‘A Life’, insightfully written, about a teenage girl whose mother has left her to cope with a drunken father and a house-full of kids, and in third place, ‘Booker Night in Baggot Street’ ­ hilarious ­ a most unlikely discussion develops in a Dublin pub while watching the Booker Prize on TV. It would make a great play. It’s refreshing to have so many humorous stories in the Anthology. It’s difficult to write successful comedy but Tomás O’Beirne succeeds in his eccentric story ‘The Missing Taxi Man’. So too does Caroline Koeppel in her story, ‘How to Kill a Latin Teacher’, which left me with the eerie feeling that I may have missed an opportunity with my own Latin teacher! Selma Dabbagh’s story, ‘Beirut-Paris-Beirut’, was simply masterful. And Mary Leland’s ‘Skin Song’, a sensual tale told from the point of view of Geraldine, a young girl observing her mother’s intimate relationship with the music teacher, and her own parallel coming of age, is erotically atmospheric, beautifully paced and unfolds with a timeless quality that had me totally absorbed.


The Mountains of Mars – Marc Phillips In the Desert – Jo Campbell Booker Night in Baggot Street – Barry Troy Postcard From New York – Tom Murray How to Kill A Latin Teacher – Caroline Koeppel Believe It – Brian Tiernan Beirut-Paris-Beirut -Selma Dabbagh Vanilla – Jessica Wells Tommy the Voice – Paul Basset Davies The Butterfly Slippers – Rebecca Smith Opening the Door – Rebecca Bryant God’s Fingerprint – Rob Pateman A Life – Barry Troy The Plan – Anthony M. O’Sullivan The Guards Come to the House – Hugo Kelly Poor Cow – Tessa Green At the Intersection of Heaven and Hell – Susi Klare A Typical Wednesday – Richard Dunford The Object of Desire – Jennifer A Donnelly Ambition – Clare S Birchall The Missing Taxi Driver – Tomás O’Beirne Imaginary Friend for Hire – Paul Bassett Davies Bus – Kath McKay Skin Song – Mary Leland

Review of the Fish Anthology 2005: “The Mountains of Mars” and Other Stories I was beginning to doubt anyone writing short stories knew what a plot was anymore. Possibly that’s the editors who choose them. These editors certainly found some. Start to finish, it’s an astounding read. The mix of voices, themes, and styles is a delight. Heartbreak, humor, a touch of terror – all done exceedingly well. And … these pieces actually ‘tell stories’. In two words, Worth It. By Frank Johansen (Canada)

Fish Books

Fish Anthology 2017

Fish Anthology 2017

Dead Souls has the magic surplus of meaning that characterises fine examples of the form – Neel Mukherjee
I was looking for terrific writing of course – something Fish attracts in spades, and I was richly rewarded right across the spectrum – Vanessa Gebbie
Really excellent – skilfully woven – Chris Stewart
Remarkable – Jo Shapcott


Fish Anthology 2016

The practitioners of the art of brevity and super-brevity whose work is in this book have mastered the skills and distilled and double-distilled their work like the finest whiskey.

Sunrise Sunset by Tina Pisco

Sunrise Sunset

€12  (incl. p&p)   Sunrise Sunset by Tina Pisco Read Irish Times review by Claire Looby Surreal, sad, zany, funny, Tina Pisco’s stories are drawn from gritty experience as much as the swirling clouds of the imagination.  An astute, empathetic, sometimes savage observer, she brings her characters to life. They dance themselves onto the pages, […]

Fish Anthology 2015

Fish Anthology 2015

How do we transform personal experience of pain into literature? How do we create and then chisel away at those images of others, of loss, of suffering, of unspeakable helplessness so that they become works of art that aim for a shared humanity? The pieces selected here seem to prompt all these questions and the best of them offer some great answers.
– Carmen Bugan.

Fish Anthology 2014

Fish Anthology 2014

What a high standard all round – of craft, imagination and originality: and what a wide range of feeling and vision.
Ruth Padel

I was struck by how funny many of the stories are, several of them joyously so – they are madcap and eccentric and great fun. Others – despite restrained and elegant prose – managed to be devastating. All of them are the work of writers with talent.
Claire Kilroy

Fish Anthology 2013

Fish Anthology 2013

The writing comes first, the bottom line comes last. And sandwiched between is an eye for the innovative, the inventive and the extraordinary.


Fish Anthology 2012

A new collection from around the globe: innovative, exciting, invigorating work from the writers and poets who will be making waves for some time to come. David Mitchell, Michael Collins, David Shields and Billy Collins selected the stories, flash fiction, memoirs and poems in this anthology.


Fish Anthology 2011

Reading the one page stories I was a little dazzled, and disappointed that I couldn’t give the prize to everybody. It’s such a tight format, every word must count, every punctuation mark. ‘The Long Wet Grass’ is a masterly bit of story telling … I still can’t get it out of my mind.
– Chris Stewart


Fish Anthology 2010

The perfectly achieved story transcends the limitations of space with profundity and insight. What I look for in fiction, of whatever length, is authenticity and intensity of feeling. I demand to be moved, to be transported, to be introduced into other lives. The stories I have selected for this anthology have managed this. – Ronan Bennett, Short Story Judge.


Fish Anthology 2009 – Ten Pint Ted

I sing those who are published here – they have done a very fine job. It is difficult to create from dust, which is what writers do. It is an honour to have read your work. – Colum McCann


Fish Anthology 2008 – Harlem River Blues

The entries into this year’s Fish Short Story Prize were universally strong. From these the judges have selected winners, we believe, of exceptional virtue. – Carlo Gebler


Fish Anthology 2007

I was amazed and delighted at the range and quality of these stories. Every one of them was interesting, well-written, beautifully crafted and, as a short-story must, every one of them focused my attention on that very curtailed tableau which a short-story necessarily sets before us. – Michael Collins


Fish Anthology 2006 – Grandmother, Girl, Wolf and Other Stories

These stories voice all that is vibrant about the form. – Gerard Donovan. Very short stories pack a poetic punch. Each of these holds its own surprise, or two. Dive into these seemingly small worlds. You’ll come up anew. – Angela Jane Fountas


All the King’s Horses – Anthology of Historical Short Stories

Each of the pieces here has been chosen for its excellence. They are a delightfully varied assortment. More than usual for an anthology, this is a compendium of all the different ways that fiction can succeed. I invite you to turn to ‘All the King’s Horses’. The past is here. Begin.
– Michel Faber


Fish Anthology 2005 – The Mountains of Mars and Other Stories

Literary anthologies, especially of new work, act as a kind of indicator to a society’s concerns. This Short Story collection, such a sharp and useful enterprise, goes beyond that. Its internationality demonstrates how our concerns are held in common across the globe. – Frank Delaney


Fish Anthology 2004 – Spoonface and Other Stories

From the daily routine of a career in ‘Spoonface’, to the powerful, recurring image of a freezer in ‘Shadow Lives’. It was the remarkable focus on the ordinary that made these Fish short stories such a pleasure to read. – Hugo Hamilton


Feathers & Cigarettes

In a world where twenty screens of bullshit seem to be revolving without respite … there is nothing that can surpass the ‘explosion of art’ and its obstinate insistence on making sense of things. These dedicated scribes, as though some secret society, heroically, humbly, are espousing a noble cause.
– Pat McCabe


Franklin’s Grace

It’s supposed to be a short form, the good story, but it has about it a largeness I love. There is something to admire in all these tales, these strange, insistent invention. They take place in a rich and satisfying mixture of places, countries of the mind and heart. – Christopher Hope


Asylum 1928

There are fine stories in this new anthology, some small and intimate, some reaching out through the personal for a wider, more universal perspective, wishing to tell a story – grand, simple, complex or everyday, wishing to engage you the reader. – Kate O’Riodan


Five O’Clock Shadow

I feel like issuing a health warning with this Fish Anthology ­ these stories may seriously damage your outlook – Here the writers view the world in their unique way, and have the imagination, talent, and the courage to refine it into that most surprising of all art forms ­ the short story. – Clem Cairns.


From the Bering Strait

Every story in this book makes its own original way in the world. knowing which are the telling moments, and showing them to us. And as the narrator of the winning story casually remarks, ‘Sometimes its the small things that amaze me’ – Molly McCloskey


Scrap Magic

The stories here possess the difference, the quirkiness and the spark. They follow their own road and their own ideas their own way. It is a valuable quality which makes this collection a varied one. Read it, I hope you say to yourself like I did on many occasions, ‘That’s deadly. How did they think of that?’ – Eamonn Sweeney


Dog Day

Really good short stories like these, don’t read like they were written. They read like they simply grew on the page. – Joseph O’Connor


The Stranger

The writers in this collection can write short stories . . . their quality is the only thing they have in common. – Roddy Doyle


The Fish Garden

This is the first volume of short stories from Ireland’s newest publishing house. We are proud that fish has enabled 15 budding new writers be published in this anthology, and I look forward to seeing many of them in print again.


12 Miles Out – a novel by Nick Wright

12 Miles Out was selected by David Mitchell as the winner of the Fish Unpublished Novel Award.
A love story, thriller and historical novel; funny and sad, uplifting and enlightening.


Altergeist – a novel by Tim Booth

You only know who you can’t trust. You can’t trust the law, because there’s none in New Ireland. You can’t trust the Church, because they think they’re the law. And you can’t trust the State, because they think they’re the Church And most of all, you can’t trust your friends, because you can’t remember who they were anymore.


Small City Blues numbers 1 to 51 – a novel by Martin Kelleher

A memoir of urban life, chronicled through its central character, Mackey. From momentary reflections to stories about his break with childhood and adolescence, the early introduction to the Big World, the discovery of romance and then love, the powerlessness of ordinary people, the weaknesses that end in disappointment and the strengths that help them seek redemption and belonging.


The Woman Who Swallowed the Book of Kells – Collection of Short Stories by Ian Wild

Ian Wild’s stories mix Monty Python with Hammer Horror, and the Beatles with Shakespeare, but his anarchic style and sense of humour remain very much his own in this collection of tall tales from another planet. Where else would you find vengeful organs, the inside story of Eleanor Rigby, mobile moustaches, and Vikings looting a Cork City branch of Abracababra?


News & Articles

Poetry Prize 2018: Results, Short & Long-lists

15th May 2018
  Winners Short-list Long-list     The Ten Winners:   Selected by poet, Ellen Bass to be published in the Fish Anthology 2018 The Fish Anthology 2018 will be launched as part of the West Cork Literary Festival  (16th July 2018).  All of the poets and writers published in the Anthology are invited to read at the launch. First […]

Flash Fiction Prize 2018: Results, Short & Long-lists

10th April 2018
    Winners Short-list Long-list       The Ten Winners:   Selected by judge Sherrie Flick  to be published in the Fish Anthology 2018 The Fish Anthology 2018 will be launched as part of the West Cork Literary Festival  (16th July 2018).  All of the writers published in the Anthology are invited to read at the launch. First prize […]

Short Memoir Prize 2018: Results, Short & Long-lists

1st April 2018
    Winners Short-list Long-list     The Ten Winners: Selected by judge Marti Leimbach  to be published in the Fish Anthology 2018 The Fish Anthology 2018 will be launched as part of the West Cork Literary Festival  (16th July 2018). All of the writers published in the Anthology are invited to read at the launch. […]

Short Story Prize 2017/18: Results, Short & Long-lists

17th March 2018
  Winners Short-list Long-list     The Ten Winners: Selected by judge Billy O’Callaghan to be published in the Fish Anthology 2018   First: Clippings by Helen Chambers (England) Is awarded €3,000, one thousand of which is for travel to the launch of the Fish Anthology 2018, and a short story workshop at the West Cork […]

Sunrise Sunset by Tina Pisco- REVIEW

16th March 2018
  Reviewed by Mia Gallagher   7th February 2018 Let’s get the declaration of interest out of the way: I first encountered Tina Pisco at the 2008 West Cork Literary Festival where I heard her read a flash piece. It was knife-sharp; darkly incantatory. Some years later I recommended Pisco to Spolia – an online literary journal in […]

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