Welcome to the last online issue of Scheherezade’s Bequest. We opened our doors in the autumn of 2005, and for seven years have offered fairy tale fiction and poetry online on a semi-regular basis. During that time, our staff has gone through several transformations, Cabinet des Fées has gone into print and out again, and most importantly, the online fairy tale community in general has grown in ways we, back then, could only hope for. We are very proud to have been (and be) a part of that, and we are very grateful to our readers — those of you who have been with us since the beginning and those of you who may only be finding us today — for doing your part to keep the fairy tale tradition alive and well. We hope you’ll all stay with us as we make the transition into print, and will return to Cabinet des Fées as we continue to explore the fairy tale in fiction, film, non-fiction, and art here on the website as we’ve always done.
To close the long journey of Scheherezade’s Bequest‘s online manifestation and open its journey into print, we’d like to take you back to an editorial written in 2006, appropriately titled The Fairy Tale: A Type of Transformation, in which Erzebet YellowBoy, one of our founding mothers, discusses the liminal nature of fairy tales. Be assured this is not the end of Scheherezade’s Bequest, it is simply another one of the transformations that mark a fairy tale–and transformations are what this issue is about.
They are not always pleasant, as Dan Holbrow shows us in Hungry Greta. They are not always wanted, as Tina Connolly deftly expresses in Golden Apples. They do not always turn out as we expect, as you’ll see in The Hair Nest by Mae Empson. Sometimes, they don’t happen at all, as Alexandra Seidel informs us in A Lie Written in Scarlet. Other times, a hero comes along and forces them upon us, like Bachy Soletanche of Jason Erik Lundberg’s tale of the same name. Many times, in order to transform ourselves, we have to leave others behind, as Pen Clements reveals in Rosa and the Frozen Tears. And then we have that moment where the unexpected happens and the whole world is transformed, as happens in Frederick Hilary’s Swan King. If those aren’t enough for you, Sofia Samatar has reviewed Catherynne M. Valente’s Deathless, a story that might possibly transform you.
We’d like to remind you that we are still seeking submissions for the first print issue of Scheherezade’s Bequest, in which we are looking at the Loathly Lady and challenging the often harmful ideas of what beauty is.
Editor Nin Harris is also still seeking submissions for the third issue of Demeter’s Spicebox, CdF’s ongoing experiment in crossing borders and hybridising the fairy tale as we go. Nin has updated the guidelines, and we have a little surprise in store for those of you brave enough to join the dialogue. The long-term plan for Demeter’s Spicebox is to wrap up the four-issue volume by publishing an experimental chapbook, in which we reprint the first three issues along with the fourth, including companion artwork and poetry, to celebrate a journey around the world. We can’t do that unless you send us your stories, so please do join in!
And don’t forget our fund-raising chapbook, Cinderella Jump Rope Rhymes, which you can read about in detail here. Proceeds from the sale of this gorgeous little book are being donated to charities of our choice in the first year of its publication, so we are depending on you to help us spread the word.
Before we close, we’d like to talk about some of our reasons for taking Scheherezade’s Bequest into print. One of the driving forces behind this decision is our love of the printed word. Since the onset of the ebook craze, we have read a thousand arguments that print is dead. We here at CdF appreciate anything that will get people to read, but at this point we feel the need to fight back just a little against the digital craze by producing issues you can hold in your hands. Our online issues also take a lot of work and time to produce, and to be quite honest, we need a break from this particular part of CdF. As we’ve said before, this is not the end of CdF either. We will continue to promote and publish non-fiction in the form of reviews and essays, and even the occasional piece of fiction for our online readers to enjoy.
We hope you enjoy this last online issue of Scheherezade’s Bequest and will continue to support us as we transform.
Erzebet, Donna, & Virginia