The anthology was conceived as a sister volume to the classic Sword and Sorceress fantasy series originally edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley, with the main difference being that the story themes will involve science fiction instead of fantasy, and they will be intended for a more mature audience, allowing a mixture of serious contemporary issues and reasonable sexual content (but no erotica) in addition to action and adventure. The stories will have a stronger focus on the interface between scientific exploration and our sense of wonder.
Editor Roby James says:
"I am looking for stories that shed light on the truth of what it means to be female, that illuminate the wisdom and the strength of a woman, but not in clich� 'goddess' stories. I love action and adventure, grand space opera, thrilling discovery, and intelligent protagonists. Make the story thoughtful, wise, and surprising, not merely the same old metal spaceship hull filled with cardboard military uniforms with female names 'barking' orders and firing at aliens. In addition, the stories in the anthology should appeal to genuine emotions, suspense, fear, sorrow, delight, wonder. The science can be part of the background and the characters foremost, or the science can be central to the story, as long as the characters are realistic and appealing. It is strongly recommended you read the previous volumes to get an idea of what kind of material we're looking for.
"This is science fiction, but I also welcome stories of spiritual exploration, looking at the bond between the scientific and the divine. I want to see how a woman survives tragedy and disaster, overcomes impossible odds, achieves her true potential, or goes on to thrive in a marvelous universe of so many possibilities, using what is inside her, as well as what she finds in the laboratory, the alien planet, or space itself.
"The stories should contain the question of 'what if' on some level. And they should have a woman answer it."
Read the editorial Introduction to Volume One.
Guidelines for Volume #3 of the Anthology:
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 June 2010, to be followed by an electronic edition to be produced later.
PAYMENT: $0.02 a word on acceptance, and a pro rata share of royalties, plus a contributor copy.
WORD LENGTH: Up to 10,000 words, with longer stories having to be exceptional.
READING PERIOD begins on September 1, 2009. Please do not submit your stories before then.
DEADLINE: January 15, 2010.
HOW TO SUBMIT: Submissions are electronic only. Please submit your story as a Word (.doc or .rtf) attachment to your e-mail. The subject line of your e-mail should say "Submission: Story Title, last name of author." Also, include a brief cover letter. It should have your full name, address, e-mail address, title of story, number of words, and brief biographical information in case we don't know you, with most recent publishing credits, if applicable. We are open to new writers and seasoned veterans alike.
We look forward to reading your most inspired work.