Well folks, here we are on day 14 of our Kickstarter for the Schoolbooks & Sorcery anthology. Two weeks down, 16 days to go, and your poor host and editor of this project is losing hair he really can’t afford to lose as he watches the numbers and tries to keep that hype train rolling. We’re staring at 48% funded, which is a perfectly reasonable but not entirely -comfortable- place to be at this point in the campaign, and boy, I’d love it if we crossed that magical threshold today.
So what can I offer to excite you? Well, first this promise:
To increase representation and diversity, I am actively looking to obtain more stories for this collection. Specifically, stories with trans, non-binary, genderfluid, genderqueer, and/or asexual protagonists. I really, -really- want to find room in the anthology for more voices. I know how to make it work. But we still need your interest and support to help turn it into a reality.
Second, this explanation:
When I call Schoolbooks & Sorcery queer-inclusive, or LGBTQ-inclusive, I mean it. Out of 12 stories, at least -10- have openly gay, lesbian, trans, or bisexual characters. Yes, there are cishet protagonists as well, because this is an anthology aimed at including and accepting everyone to the best of my ability. Is it a perfect blend? No, but we can always try to be better.
Lastly, an excerpt from Seanan McGuire’s “Finals” to really grab your attention. It’s a gorgeous story, told as only Seanan can, about the many, many schools of magic, and what it means to embrace that magic with all your heart.
Four girls running down a city street, dressed in the meticulously pressed uniforms of a private school: black skirts, orange ties, white shirts. Polished black shoes and tights in whatever color they choose, for the administration recognizes that some individuality is essential to a healthy student body. One wears striped black and orange, like something from a Halloween store. One wears bright pink, knees already ripped up from encounters with the pavement. Another wears staid gray, cool as concrete. The fourth wears no tights at all: she runs bare-legged and swifter than the others, reining herself in when she pulls too far ahead, her heels beating a staccato rhythm on the sidewalk, like she’s wearing tap shoes.
She is not wearing tap shoes.
See them run, beautiful children of a beautiful age—for all ages, and all children, are beautiful if one looks closely enough, overlooks the things which do not seem beautiful on the surface, or better yet, learns to see those things as the most beautiful of all. See them run, each with her own gait, her own approach to the concrete, from our girl of the bare legs and phantom tap shoes to her sister in patient gray, who runs smoothly but with no hurry at all, at all, for her destination will wait until she gets there. See them run, and know them for the miracle they are. Now hurry, hurry. Class is about to start.
They run until they come to a rusty gate in a crumbling wall, sandwiched between a convenience store that boasts fifteen big jackpot lottery winners in the last six years and an apartment building that has been thoroughly, utterly condemned, masked over with plywood boards and orange caution tape. Someone with canny eyes might see those girls slip through the gate, disappearing from the street, only for flickers of motion to show through the boarded-up windows, in the places where the light slips through.
Always the light slips through.
To see what happens, you know where to go and what to do.
In the days to come, I’ll share more excerpts and blurbs.