The animals are taking over San Cicaro. Thunderbird is pleased to announce Beasts of San Cicaro, edited by Jenn Cavanaugh.

After all, magic is not just the domain of humans. Sometimes those closest to nature understand it far better than we ever will. With them comes stories of wild animals, evil plants, bizarre occurrences at the zoo and much, much more.

Featuring stories by A.R. Aston, Jonathan Ward and James Fadeley, Beasts of San Cicaro combines six tales connected through an overarching narrative. Themes of animals and nature combine with the urban fantasy setting for an anthology you have to read to believe.


Olivia Murphy may be the newest reporter at the San Cicaro Observer, but even she knows not to jump at every strange rumor. Yet her skepticism couldn’t prepare her for the dubious stories of her unlikely source. Second-hand ramblings of the paranormal and occult, a mix of facts and speculation that raise more questions than answers. At the heart of them all, Mother Nature toying with humanity.

And whether or not Olivia realizes it, the secrets of San Cicaro are slowly being revealed…

Table of Contents:

Root and Hive, a short story by A.R. Aston. The battle for San Cicaro pits everyone’s favorite pollinators against an ancient evil.

The Zookeeper, a novelette by Jonathan Ward. Anthropologically speaking, human courtship is intriguing to behold. Sometimes it’s comparable to the mating behaviors of bonobos. Meanwhile other primates can be more territorial. Chris, the subject of our story, is about to discover just where he fits in the kingdom.

Un Poco de Fuego, a novelette by James Fadeley and Manuel Mesones. Ten-year-old Sebastian’s Peruvian American family is on the verge of splitting apart. Naturally, there’s no better time to turn a fiery salamander into a secret pet!

At the Mollusks of Madness, a novelette by A.R. Aston. Few are as hardworking as San Cicaro’s animal control department. Feral dogs, rabbits, enchanted snakes, the occasional chimera, all in a day’s work. Hence, when an entire city block becomes a deranged carnival of chaos, who are you going to call?

The Pigeon Lady of San Cicaro, a novelette by Jonathan Ward. “Easy gig,” Leo told Sean. After all, no one was supposed to get hurt. Which means everyone did.

A Stray’s Tale, a novella by James Fadeley. Can a street cat and a wild dog form a pack? Do they have myths about the creation of the world? And what do they do when an unnatural predator stalks San Cicaro’s strays? Still, you’ll never look at the world the same way again.

The animals are coming. Beasts of San Cicaro, available August 3rd, 2021.

An earlier version of this post reported the release date to be July 6th. However, we had to delay by about a week.