Sunday, October 14, 2007

Warrior Wisewoman Anthology Calls for Science Fiction Stories with Strong Female Protagonists

Norilana Press Books is calling for submissions for a new anthology of science fiction stories with strong female protagonists. The anthology is being imagined as a sister series to Marion Zimmer Bradley's Sword and Sorceress series, with the major difference that Warrior Wisewoman is science fiction instead of fantasy.

The anthology is paying 2 cents a word. Here's some text from the call, written by the anthology's editor Roby James:

"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 cliché '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.

"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."

The description of what the editor's looking for rubs me a bit the wrong way, but I think this is probably overall a good thing for the genre. Sword and Sorceress put women's faces on fantasy stories written in extremely traditional modes, perhaps Warrior Wisewoman can do the same for traditional SF.

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