I’m posting today from snowy Edinburgh about a new book that I’m really excited to be contributing to: Knight Errant Press‘s anthology F, M or OTHER: Quarrels with the Gender Binary. It’s a crowdfunded collection of essays, poetry and short stories meant to challenge the rigid boundaries between our society’s gender categories, and open up a dialogue about what it means to be male, female, both or neither, and you can tell just from the title that this is my kind of thing.
My piece in the anthology is a short science fiction story called The Archivist – about a genderless person who, after being severely injured, is forced to leave the job and home they were raised in and live in the world outside, a world where binary gender is still the norm. I was so excited to be asked to contribute to this book, and even more pleased when the editors told me I could write fiction if I wanted to; so often trans and gender-variant people are expected to write exclusively about their own experiences, so often we’re relegated to misery memoir or textbooks that play up the exoticism of our genders.
As I said above, the book is currently being crowdfunded, which means that we need YOUR HELP to make sure the book gets published. Our funding goal is a fairly modest £6,800, which will go to printing costs, isbn fees, author and designer payments and a number of other publishing-related expenses – you can view a breakdown of costs on the kickstarter page. There’s a very reasonable £5 e-book pledge level, and some of the authors (myself included) have decided to offer editorial feedback and manuscript evaluation for pledges of £100 or more (the “Extra Special Something” pledge level).
This is such a labour of love for all of us, and it really is the perfect book for crowdfunding. These are stories, from a whole range of authors who are cisgender, transgender, genderqueer and genderfluid. There are contributors from all over the globe as well, and some of the work has been translated into English from Russian or Italian. Knight Errant Press have made such an effort to include a diverse range of authors and perspectives. The strictures of binary gender are as restrictive to men and women as they are for the gender-queer, and all our voices deserve to be heard. There’s only twelve days to go before we need to be fully funded! So I encourage you to learn more about the project, and consider pledging to pre-order a copy of QUARRELS WITH THE GENDER BINARY.