THE HAPPY ENDING....
We did it. No, you did it! Scheherazade's Facade is fully funded, and will indeed become a full-fledged reality and an actual book that you can read and/or throw at the cats and/or wedge under the squeaky bedpost and/or show off on your e-reader of choice. Thank you everyone!
TO BE CONTINUED...?
If, through some strange miracle of Internet awesomness, fan anticipation, reader eagerness, or a lottery winner with a thing for anthologies, we manage to hit the $10,000 mark before this is all over, I will put together a second collection. This will be the science fiction companion to Scheherazade's Facade, taking our gender bending, cross-dressing, transformative theme into an entirely new genre. From time travel to clones, aliens to spaceships, I will again find authors willing and able to play with expectations and challenge traditional gender roles and perceptions. I can't say when, exactly, but as soon as I can feasibly put things together. I can't say who, yet, because I haven't talked to anyone, or written guidelines, or looked at stories or any of that stuff. But with that sort of budget, I'll be able to pay everyone professional rates again.
And yes, since I'm just brainstorming at the moment, and just announced this, I'm considering adding a level of reward that would allow you to adjust your pledge if you want to pre-order this second book as well, knowing full well that delivery might take a while since it doesn't exist yet. I'll consult with the non-feline part of my advisory board and see what the best option is. I want everyone to get their fair value, after all! So just know what I'd like to do, and drop me a note on here if need be.
ONCE UPON A TIME....
Once upon a time, there was a would-be editor, an anthology, and a publisher. And the editor put together this anthology, selecting a mere handful of stories from hundreds of submissions, making agonizing choices along the way. Finally, he had all the stories his word budget would allow. Feeling pleased with himself, he went to the publisher, and said "I have the anthology we contracted for. Come, let us move forward on this project."
And lo, the publisher said, "I'm very sorry, but there's been a problem and we can't publish you at this time. We were struck by an evil curse and must dedicate ourselves to fixing it." There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth, but the publisher and editor parted on good, if sorrowful, terms, each to do what they must in a cold, hard economy.
And so the editor took his anthology to many other publishers, all of whom sadly turned him down for reasons too varied to go into here. "It's a beautiful idea, and you have an excellent roster of authors, but you know how it is. Anthologies are risky business, and ogres will eat us if we're not careful."
And so the editor finally came to a publisher who said, "This anthology is brilliant, your authors are all geniuses, and we'd love to publish this. Unfortunately, we can't pay your authors what we know they're worth. However, there is a way to raise the funds needed...."
(With apologies to everyone involved for a gross oversimplification of the past two years, slightly embellished for better storytelling, with no ill will towards anyone. Honest.)
THERE WAS AN ANTHOLOGY....
Scheherazade's Facade: Fantastical Tales of Gender Bending, Cross-Dressing, and Transformation
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 Facade takes its inspiration from those themes. From Bugs Bunny's dress-wearing shenanigans, to Mulan's impersonation of her father, from Tamora Pierce's Alanna of Trebond, to M*A*S*H's Klinger, this collection's antecedents are everywhere.
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.
For this collection, I looked for a wide variety of things. First, all stories had to be fantasy. "High, low, dark, historical, romantic, urban, mythical - just about anything goes as long as it has those fantastic elements to it." Second, I wanted "stories in which the protagonist or other major characters are disguised or transformed, or otherwise challenge traditional gender roles ... heroes and villains, warriors and tricksters, drag queens and cross-dressers, cisgendered, transgendered, and everything in-between."
In these pages, you'll find drag queens and lost princes, dragons and selkies, musicians and warriors, heroes and villains, and much more.
Who's in this anthology? An excellent question. Here's why you want to make this thing a reality:
- Alma Alexander-- "The Secret Name of the Prince"
- C.S. MacCath -- "The Daemons of Tairdean Town"
- Paolo Chikiamco -- "Kambal Kulam"
- Tiffany Trent -- "Driftwood"
- Melissa Mead -- "Pride"
- Tanith Lee-- "Keeping the World on Course"
- Aliette de Bodard -- "A Bitter Taste"
- Lyn C.A. Gardner -- "Going Dark"
- Sunny Moraine -- "The Cloak of Isis"
- Shanna Germain -- "How to Dance While Drowning"
- Sarah Rees Brennan -- "Treasure and Maidens"
- David Sklar -- "Lady Marmalade's Special Place In Hell"
WHERE THE MONEY WILL GO:
If we succeed, the very first thing we'll do is pay the authors a full 5 cents a word. This is considered professional rate by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and is, for the most part, about as good a rate as any author can expect in the short fiction field. At just over 65,000 words, that's $3280.00
Then there's the art budget. We have a gorgeous cover, put together by some talented people. They've more than earned a respectable rate.
As the editor, I'll be taking enough to cover aspirin and maybe a Happy Meal. Just this once, I'll pass on the celebratory cruise in the Bahamas. I'm doing this for love.
However, Kickstarter and Amazon aren't as altruistic as I am; they get their cut. Circlet Press, my generous and munificent benefactors and the publishers of this fine project, also get a cut to cover printing costs, distribution, shipping and handling, and putting up with me.
Anything left over after all of that will be used to buy my cats gold-plated cat trees. No, no, seriously, it'll just go towards making the book even better. Maybe we'll look into audio next. Or we'll pay the authors and cover design team more money. Or-here's a wild thought-if this does spectacularly well, we'll look towards doing a second volume. I have some ideas....
The important thing is that you get to buy a great anthology full of original fiction from a dozen wonderful authors, and I finally get to share these stories with the rest of the world. (Do you know how guilty I've felt, holding an original Tanith Lee for the past two years?) So by pledging, you're getting nearly 66,000 words of awesome, in your choice of formats, and making this book a reality. All jokes aside, we all wind up ahead in the long run.
AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER....
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