Trenchcoats, Towers, and Trolls: Cyberpunk Fairy Tales
Anthologist: Rhonda Parrish
Open for Submissions: February 1 - 28, 2021
Expected Publication: 2022
Story Length: up to 7,500 words
Payment: $0.01 per word + contributor copy
Simultaneous submissions = okay. Multiple submissions = no.
For this, the third installment of Punked Up Fairy Tales, we are excited to mash the world of cyberpunk together with fairy tales and see what sort of magic results. Embracing the high-tech/low-life aspect of cyberpunk will give these stories both the sleek coolness of futuristic technology and the grittiness of traditional fairy tales.
Give me a story of Rapunzel trapped in a tower of circuits rather than stones, of trolls who live under bridges as well as those who do their work behind a keyboard — or whatever passes for a keyboard in the future. What if Snow White was a computer and the apple a virus? What if Hansel and Gretel were hackers following digital breadcrumbs? Or Cinderella was a program who must stop running by midnight or else?
Don't rely exclusively on imaginative technology to make your story stand out in a crowd — make sure you nail all the other important parts of a story as well. Plot. Character. Setting. You know the list.
Original fairy tales are welcome, as are retellings. If you choose to retell a familiar favourite, make sure your story offers something new and interesting. I’d rather see stories that reflect the long history of fairy tales as social commentary than those which simply tell the same story with a different setting.
I am excited to read stories set all over this or other worlds, and would love to see ‘Own Voices’ stories and, as always, welcome submissions from writers of all backgrounds (including, but not limited to, race, color, religion, gender/gender expression, age, disability, and national origin). Further, I love to see a diverse collection when it comes to which fairy tales are represented, but also the races, genders and sexualities of the characters within them.
How to Submit: check back closer to submission window for details
About the Anthologist
Rhonda Parrish is the editor of more than a dozen anthologies including, Fire: Demons, Dragons and Djinns and Tesseracts: Nevertheless. In addition, Rhonda’s written work has been in publications such as Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast and Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing (2012 & 2015). Her YA Thriller, Hollow, was published in 2020 and her website, updated regularly, is at http://www.rhondaparrish.com
More Anthologies From Rhonda Parrish
Each year, the Pushcart Prize invites literary magazines and small presses to nominate their best short fiction to be considered for both a prestigious prize and a "best of" anthology. We published two short fiction anthologies this year, and chose six stories between them to nominate.
Scroll down to find out our Pushcart Prize nominees for stories published in 2020, and enjoy a brief excerpt from each story. Congratulations to these authors, and good luck!
“A Shawl for Janice” by Sandra Ulbrich Almazan
“The Fugue of Winter” by Steve Toase
“Black Ice City” by Andrew Dana Hudson
"The Scale of Defiance" by Nina Niskanen
"The Body Politic" by Octavia Cade
"In Her Eye's Mind" by Selene dePackh
Guest Blog by Jennifer Shelby
The main character in my Recognize Fascism story, "A Disease of Time and Temporal Distortion," is a retired time-traveling smuggler named Revekah. After making a career of illegal time travel, she now suffers from a degenerative temporal disorder which twitches her back and forth through time. It’s during these twitches that she sees the future fascist regime that will take over her home system.
I look up to Revekah. She is dying, she’s struggling, and she’s tired. It would be easier to give up than to fight, but the faces of the future she’s seen in her twitches haunt her. Many of us feel that way right now: so tired. Weary. History acts as our twitches to the future; we’ve already seen what happens when fascism wins and it’s the faces of the past that haunt us. They whisper warnings from old photographs, stories, and Holocaust memorials.
Revekah acts when she recognizes the rise of fascism, and that recognition is crucial to kickstart resistance. Resistance comes in many forms, the most obvious being protesting and voting, but sometimes it’s an elderly lady using her time traveling skills to save what lives she can. Other times, it’s joining a community of writers, editors, and publishers to make a book. And sometimes? It’s reading that book.
I know you’re tired, I am too, but we can’t give up. We’ve got to keep using what skills we have to fight. Revekah uses an anchor to bring her home when the temporal distortion overwhelms her. When you feel overwhelmed, alone, and that the odds are stacking wildly against us, I hope this book can serve as your anchor and our stories help you find what you need to keep going.
We’re in this together.
Jennifer Shelby hunts for stories in the beetled undergrowth of fairy-infested forests. She fishes for them in the dark space between the stars. This story, and many others, are a part of her ongoing catch-and-release program. If you'd to learn more, you can visit her website at jennifershelby.blog or on Twitter @jenniferdshelby
Until December 5, 2020, purchase a paperback copy of our bestselling Krampusnacht anthology, plus any of our other winter-themed books, and you'll receive a free handmade Krampus ornament! Wooden ornament has a 3.5 inch diameter, and features decoupaged artwork by Connor Anderson.
What the heck is a Krampus? Anthologist Kate Wolford explains Santa's darker counterpart here: The Advent of Krampusnacht.
Offer only good for purchases made through the World Weaver Press online store. Ornament will be automatically included in any paperback order that includes both Krampusnacht and any of the qualifying books listed below. Offer not valid on ebook purchases, or purchases made after December 5, 2020. Sorry, only U.S. shipping available.
Want just the ornament? Buy the Krampus Wooden ornament for $6 by clicking here. Supply is limited!
Qualifying winter/holiday-themed books are:
He Sees You When He's Creepin': Tales of Krampus
Frozen Fairy Tales
Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Winters
Mrs. Claus: Not the Fairy Tale They Say
The Naughty List
Opal by Kristina Wojtaszek
World Weaver Press
Publishing fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction.