Scheherazade’s Façade: Fantastical Tales of Gender Bending, Cross-dressing, and Transformation

Edited by Michael M. Jones. Circlet/Gressive (, $19.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-61390-058-1
Gender is flexible and surprising in 12 stories of characters transformed by the trappings of a different sex. Gender, species, and love are fluid among the shape-changing dolphins of Tiffany Trent’s “Driftwood.” Melissa Mead’s “Pride” and Shanna Germain’s “How to Dance While Drowning” reveal the strangling limits of gender roles and social expectations. A sorcerous gender swap gets complicated fast in “Kambal Kulam” by Paolo V. Chikiamco, and a human-dragon cross-species love affair turns treacherous and deadly in Sarah Rees Brennan’s “Treasure and Maidens.” David Sklar’s “Lady Marmalade’s Special Place in Hell” mixes wry humor and darkness as a cross-dressing dominatrix finds redemption. While the stories vary in quality, each one is guaranteed to make the reader question the roles and qualities often assigned to gender and sex. Jones (also a PW reviewer) provides a strong start for Circlet’s new Gressive imprint of works that explore outside the gender binary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/30/2012
Genre: Fiction
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