Sword & Sorceress 22
I’m sure others of you remember this anthology series. I won’t go so far as to say it had a huge effect on me, but it certainly had one; among other things, I was vexed when I saw teenagers getting published in it, thereby highlighting my failure to become a Child Prodigy. (Alas, I didn’t write any non-crappy short stories until I was twenty.) Anyway, it’s good to see that it’s back.
But what to send, what to send? (The reading period doesn’t open until March, but I’m looking ahead.) “Stories should be of the type generally referred to as ‘sword and sorcery’ and must have a strong female protagonist whom the reader will care about.” Clear enough, but where do I go with that?
Well, for starters, it turns out I’ve got a dearth of female protagonists on hand at the moment. Of the fifteen stories I’ve got in circulation, four and a half meet that criterion. (The half is “Driftwood,” which splits pretty equally between two characters, the other of which is male.) So the initial list is:
- “The City’s Bones”
- “The Drowning Ships”
- “La Molejera”
- “A Mask of Flesh”
TCB is urban fantasy, therefore probably out. La M is one of my strongest candidates for the label “interstitial,” which puts it pretty far away from sword & sorcery. That leaves me with TDS, which is not one of my stronger stories, and AMoF, which might count as having “explicit sex,” depending on how explicit they mean.
Which leaves me with stories not yet in circulation. (I’m very glad, now, for that recent short story census.) “Sciatha Reborn” isn’t ready to see the light of day, though I could try to get it there. “On the Feast of the Firewife” isn’t s&s enough. “The Last Wendy” isn’t what they’re after. “Kingspeaker” could go, but it isn’t my best bet. The faerie trouble story, even if I knew what to do with it, also probably fails the s&s test. I could try to go with “Once a Goddess,” if I can figure it out . . . or with the one story I forgot to include in that list, “The Waking of Angantyr.”
Which is based on an Old Norse poem and has a strong female protagonist dragging up the ghost of her father and brothers so she can get revenge for their murders.
Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a winner — if I can get the story working, which it isn’t at present. akashiver gave me some good advice on it, but I foolishly didn’t make use of that advice while it was still fresh in my mind, so I’m not sure where I stand. But I’ll give it a shot, I think.
What about you all? Anybody else thinking of submitting?