Tehani put up the Pozible campaign on New Year’s Day to gather pre-orders for her upcoming anthology, In Your Face, and it filled its target within the first 12 hours. Hooray! You can still go and pre-purchase your copy of the book, due out by Easter I believe, with some special early bird pledging options.
The anthology is intended to be a showcase of Australian SFF that deals with confronting/provocative themes. When Tehani invited me to submit, I couldn’t think of anything I had ready to go which would be ‘in your face’ enough… in fact, since I’ve had so little time to write on spec for the last few years, I didn’t have anything at all. Except for, you know, this domestic violence piece I wrote that I never intended to submit at all…
Oh, well, that. I have to say, it’s the fastest turnaround I’ve ever had between ‘I have nothing’ to ‘I have maybe something, what do you think?’ and ‘STORY ACCEPTED.’
“Letters to Cleopatra” is a story I wrote for myself, as a coda (or an introduction, I haven’t decided yet) to a book I’m not ready to publish yet. I’ve been thinking for a long time about creating a collection of stories based on Ovid’s Heroides, which is a classical text close to my heart because it’s about the closest thing we have to feminism in the ancient world: a book of poems written in the form of letters from women of Greek mythology, addressed to the men who have done them wrong – and calling attention to the misogyny embedded in so many heroic tales.
Yeah, Ovid was pretty great. There’s a fantastic new translation of the Heroides by Clare Pollard which got me extra excited by my project.
So far I’ve written two full length stories that can be part of this maybe-future collection: “The Minotaur Girls” my gender-swapped 1980’s teen rollerskating Ariadne and Theseus story which I wrote for Glitter and Mayhem, and “The Love Letters of Swans,” my Paris and Helen shapechanger story (I have so many FEELINGS about Paris and Helen you can’t even imagine) which was published in Fablecroft’s Phantazein. I have a list of other stories a mile long, including an “Atalanta and Media BFFs forever” story and one about 1930’s spinsters, and a version of Phaedra and Hippolytus set behind the scenes of a glam soap opera, and, and, and…
“Letters to Cleopatra” came out of this, a dark savage little story about writing letters to imaginary heroes, and the way that teenage girls are held up as figures of mockery in our society, and the invisibility of domestic violence in Australia. Someday it will be a coda to my book about Desperate Heroines, but until then, it has found a home of its own at In Your Face, alongside stories I can’t wait to read and the reprint of Paul Haines’ classic, devastating novella “Wives.”
Order your copy of In Your Face now!