You might recall that I threw out some ideas about a possible anthology of SF/F stories which deal with homophobia. That anthology is now very much a reality, with JoSelle Vanderhooft at the helm, along with the aid of Charles Tan, Fabio Fernandes, Madeline Ashby (who is working on a queer military SF anthology), and myself. The theme of the anthology is roughly the the same as I had originally intended it, with some understandable changes to include more “non-traditional” groups and to add complexity to the thematic concept.
The last stage before we start commissioning work from authors (and before we open submissions to the public, etc.) is to come up with a name for the anthology. That’s where you come in. We want your suggestions for a title. Use the comments below to toss out some names; we’ll take your suggestions seriously and see if we can find a fit.
[ANTHOLOGY NAME] seeks to explore , through Science fiction, fantasy and horror, the political, social, and spiritual difficulties lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and asexual [LGBTQA] people experience in worlds that are designed to exclude them.
While stories featuring protagonists who experience homophobia/transphobia are welcome, we are most interested in stories that explore how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and asexual people navigate societies, cultures, religions, and political movements that are either geared towards heterosexuality (for example: courtship, marriage, reproduction), that aren’t built with much thought to their needs and experiences, or that are open to LGBTQA people, but imperfectly so. These societies can range from alternate history to high fantasy, utopias to dystopias, religious societies to far-off planets. In other words, we are open to science fiction, horror, fantasy, and all permutations and combinations thereof. As Shaun Duke wrote, in the blog post where this project was conceived, “Homophobia plays a role in a variety of situations beyond the most obvious, and I would like to see stories that play with these more subtle boundaries.”
We are especially interested in receiving stories by and about people in the LGBTQA community who are often overlooked in all forms of media, including bisexuals, transgender people, genderqueer people, asexuals, and LGBTQA people of color, who live in non-Western societies, or who live with disabilities.
We are not interested in the following:
* Stories that exoticize, misrepresent, or demonize LGBTQ people, people of color, people with disabilities, or any culture or religion. (look up “cultural appropriation” for an idea of what we mean here).
* Anti-gay, anti-asexual, or anti-transgender clichés (such as the lesbian who really enjoy heterosexual sex when she meets the right man, the asexual person who just doesn’t know what she’s missing, or the transgender person who is “just confused,”). This should, of course, go without saying. However, we are not adverse to stories that carefully satirize these or other stereotypes.
* Stories with villains whose sole motivation for being bad is a mental illness or “being crazy.” And on that front, dismissing societies or organizations that make life difficult on LGBTQ people as wholly evil. While there are, indeed, some very evil groups and political structures out there that harm LGBTQA people, things are not usually that simple.
* Fan fiction (stories featuring characters that are not owned by the author)
Please send a query describing your story to [email address that we’ll all have access to]. If your query is accepted, you will be asked to send your story. Please send your story in standard manuscript format [insert a link to an example of this].
Submission Period: Dec. 15, 2011 – Feb. 30, 2012.
Word Count: 3,000 – 8,000 words (though shorter stories may be considered). **PLEASE query with your story idea first to save both you and the editor time.