QUEER UTOPIAS: A Science Fiction Anthology
edited by Richard Labonté and Lawrence Schimel
for publication by Arsenal Pulp Press, Spring 2009
We are looking for visions of queer utopias--whether these are self-contained, single-sex communities on our own Earth today; distant future worlds where gender and/or orientation are fluid; societies in which queer women and/or men co-exist apart from the hetero norm; or alien cultures where sexualities of all flavours are celebrated.
Extrapolate from life today to imagine compelling "homotopias," where queers are the new normal. Extrapolate from contemporary society to imagine alternate cultures, where all-female/all-male/trisexual/unisexual/e
Think about how your queer utopia was created: what cultural, social, or political forces caused it to come to be? Why was there a need for a distinct homosocial space? But don't just build your utopian vision; people it and tell us the stories of the women/men/other who live there in well-crafted fiction. Imagine the impact on your utopia when an outsider arrives; tell the story of a utopian who for some reason must leave; or write a story in which your characters and their world are self-contained. What conflicts arise because of the creation of this utopia--whether within the community or in reaction to it from without?
A utopia is not always idyllic. We want short stories that celebrate possible queer lives and worlds. But not every world is without flaw, or hostile outside pressures. You might also consider the antithesis of your utopia--oppressive social control, an authoritarian or totalitarian government or culture that is in opposition to your world: a dystopia which threatens the ideal.
There is a long tradition of feminist utopian critiques that posit an all-female society, but outside of gay pornography there are relatively few all-male utopian visions, something this anthology hopes to consider/rectify to whatever degree. That said, and despite having two male co-editors, we are very much hoping to create a book of short stories that consider queer utopias through a broad lens. This applies, as well, to your approach in tackling the concept of a queer utopia: we're looking for stories from science fiction writers who want to explore the implications of sexuality or for stories rooted in a queer/feminist background that're imagining a desirable (or perhaps undesirable, to some or all) future.
As an anthology for a Canadian publisher, preference will be given to submissions from Canadian writers. But the anthology is open to submissions from all writers, and is actively interested in non-North American writers.
Story length: we are open in terms of length, up to a maximum of 10,000 words. Keep in mind, however, that longer stories will have to knock our socks off to justify our not including two stories of shorter length.
1) Title the file with author's last name and story title in the file name: Surname-Title.doc
(Do not simply title your piece QueerUtopias.doc, at least not the version you submit to us.)
2) Include your name, your mailing address, your email address, and a bio WITHIN the .doc file with your piece, as submissions will be separated from emails to be read.
3) Submit your work by email, as an attachment in .doc format, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: May 15, 2008.
Payment: an honorarium and one copy of the book will be paid. (Please note that payment is in Canadian funds.)
About the editors
Richard Labonté has been the editor of the BEST GAY EROTICA series since 1997, and of the anthologies COUNTRY BOYS, BOYS IN HEAT, BEST GAY ROMANCE 2008, BEST GAY BONDAGE, WHERE THE BOYS ARE, and HOT GAY EROTICA. He writes the syndicated review column "Book Marks" for Q Syndicate (www.qsyndicate.com) and also the Gay Men's Edition of Books to Watch Out For (www.btwof.com). For many years the general manager of A Different Light Bookstores in California, he returned to Canada in 2001, and lives with his husband Asa on Bowen Island, BC, with forays back to a farm in rural eastern Ontario.
Lawrence Schimel is an award-winning author and anthologist who has published over 80 books in many different genres, including PoMoSEXUALS: CHALLENGING ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT GENDER AND SEXUALITY, TWO BOYS IN LOVE, BEST DATE EVER: TRUE STORIES THAT CELEBRATE GAY RELATIONS, THE DRAG QUEEN OF ELFLAND, THINGS INVISIBLE TO SEE: LESBIAN AND GAY TALES OF MAGIC REALISM, THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF NEW GAY EROTICA, SWITCH HITTERS: LESBIANS WRITE GAY MALE EROTICA AND GAY MEN WRITE LESBIAN EROTICA, and BEST GAY POETRY 2008, among others. He lives in Madrid, Spain with his husband, Ismael Attrache.
Together, Labonté and Schimel are the editors of THE FUTURE IS QUEER, FIRST PERSON QUEER, and SECOND PERSON QUEER, also published by Arsenal Pulp Press.
About the publisher
Arsenal Pulp Press (www.arsenalpulp.com) is an independent Canadian publisher located in Vancouver, BC, which has published titles such as QUEER VIEW MIRROR, QUICKIES, HOT AND BOTHERED, OUT/LINES: UNDERGROUND GAY GRAPHICS FROM BEFORE STONEWALL, SEMINAL: THE ANTHOLOGY OF CANADA'S GAY MALE POETS, and the Little Sisters Classics series, among many other queer-interest titles.