Michael M. Jones
Scherherazade's Facade

Fantastical Tales of Gender Bending, Cross-Dressing and Transformation

SCHEHERAZADE’S FAÇADE is an anthology of original fantasy, edited by Michael M Jones, scheduled for publication by Norilana Books in October 2010.

THEME: Editor Michael M. Jones says, “History, literature and mythology are replete with stories of those who, for one reason or another, disguise themselves as the opposite gender, or are transformed into that which they are not. Whether it's for love, ambition, or self-preservation, whether it's to challenge the status quo or simply to embrace their true nature, whether it's done willingly or thrust upon them, there will always be those who cross-dress and blur the lines between genders. SCHEHERAZADE’S FAÇADE takes its inspiration from those themes.

The premise of this anthology is simple. For centuries, readers have thrilled to the tale of Scheherazade, the vizier's daughter and renowned storyteller of One Thousand and One Nights, taken as a bride by a king notorious for executing each wife after the marriage’s consummation. To avoid suffering the same fate, Scheherazade spins stories for the king, night after night. But what if there was more to the tale? What if someone was not as they seemed? Through tales of magical transformation, cross-dressing and gender bending, our storytelling heroine postpones her death even as she entertains and enlightens her audience.

First off, I’m looking for fantasy. High, low, dark, historical, romantic, urban, mythical - just about anything goes as long as it has those fantastic elements to it. No straight-out horror, no science fiction, please. The magical elements can be subtle or blatant, but they must be identifiable as such.

Second, I’m looking for stories in which the protagonist or other major characters are disguised or transformed, or otherwise challenge traditional gender roles. Think of Bugs Bunny, donning a dress to confuse the Tasmanian Devil, or Mulan, who masquerades as a man to join the army in her father’s stead. Consider Tamora Pierce’s Alanna, who spends years disguised as a boy to become a knight, or Coyote, who often changes shape to play his tricks. I’m looking for heroes and villains, warriors and tricksters, drag queens and cross-dressers, cisgendered, transgendered, and everything in-between. Alternate sexualities are certainly welcome. I’m aiming for a positive tone with this anthology, in which the theme is explored in a respectful, thoughtful manner against a fantasy backdrop. As such, I will not consider stories which promote hate or intolerance, or which present the concepts in a negative fashion.

Ultimately, I want to be surprised, entertained, made to think and made to feel for the characters. Tell us something special, show us something new, and push the boundaries. If you have questions, please query as early as possible.

RIGHTS PURCHASED: First English Language Rights and non-exclusive electronic rights. The anthology will be published by Norilana Books in a trade paperback edition in October 2010, to be followed by an electronic edition to be produced later.

PAYMENT: $0.02 a word on acceptance as an advance against royalties, then a pro rata share of royalties after earnout, plus a contributor copy.

WORD LENGTH: Stories should be no longer than 10,000 words, preferably shorter. This is a firm limit for unsolicited stories.

READING PERIOD: Submissions open on November 1, 2009 and close February 28, 2010. Anything that arrives before or after these dates will not be read, unless arrangements have been made otherwise.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS: Submissions are electronic only. Please submit your story via e-mail, as an RTF file attachment. Your e-mail subject line should say "Submission: Story Title". Include a brief cover letter in the body of your email. It should have your name, address, e-mail address, title of story, number of words, and brief biographical information in case I don't know you, with most recent publishing credits, if applicable. This anthology is open to new writers and seasoned veterans alike. No reprints, please.

WILL MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS BE ALLOWED? Yes. Every story MUST, however, be sent as a separate submission, so I can keep them straight. This also applies if you’re rejected and choose to submit another story before the end of the reading period. It’s easy to miss stories if they’re not properly identified.

WILL SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS BE ALLOWED? Yes, but if you do so, please mention it in your cover letter. If you happen to sell your story elsewhere, please inform me ASAP so I can remove it from consideration. Please note that no formal acceptances will be sent until the end of the reading period.

EDITORIAL ADDRESS: facadeantho@gmail.com