Perchance to Dream, aka “that anthology Lyssa won’t shut up about,” has been a real labor of love for me. It has been an incredible process—the first time I’ve ever attempted to head up a project like this. I didn’t know how it would turn out, going in. For awhile, I had visions of having three stories in it and only being, like, 100 pages long. How wrong I was!
I was blown away by the amazing diversity that the open call for submissions led to. The only prompt was that the stories retell a work of Shakespeare with a “modern, diverse young adult audience in mind.” Just that brief prompt led to a beautiful mishmash of science fiction to urban fantasy, historical legends to modern-day comedies and dramas. We have stories with queer heroes, differently-abled characters who kick butt and take names, voices of color, and much more. I truly believe that there is something for everyone here, and I could not be happier.
So, without further ado: I am pleased to present the cover and story blurbs for Perchance to Dream, a young adult collection of Shakespearean tales in new skins.
This beautiful cover was designed by the wonderful Najla Qamber of Najla Qamber Designs. She has been a dream to work with, and I couldn’t be happier with the result! If you are looking for a great designer, I highly recommend her.
And below are the synopses for each of the eleven stories in the anthology! Be sure to check the bottom of the post for info about the release date, ARC copies, and the Goodreads link.
“Rosemary for Remembrance,” an adaptation of Hamlet, by Megan Reynolds
Mel is a good student, a mediocre painter, and an excellent brewer of magical potions. When she is sixteen, her mother dies. All signs point to suicide, but Mel, refusing to believe that her mother would leave her, suspects foul play. When her closest relative, Aunt Clara, comes to live with her, Mel begins to blame Clara for the death, citing reasons from sibling rivalry to elaborate plots involving old secrets and illegal magic. As her obsession with revenge increasingly consumes her life, interfering with her schoolwork and driving a wedge between her and her girlfriend, Mel must learn to find herself again in the aftermath of tragedy, or else be destroyed by it.
“Shoulders of Giants,” an adaptation of Titus Andronicus, by Jon Garett & Richard Walsh, authors of the Seamus Tripp series
In the near future, two geopolitical rivals vie for power. The forefront of this war is not any battlefield—it’s their military research labs. As far as the generalissimos and politicos are concerned, their states have always been at war. Now only mutually assured destruction can guarantee peace… At the forefront of this dark, young adult satire are Bridget Bellweather, a research assistant for the nation of Basland, and Hank Hazlet, a soldier in East Albion: two of the brightest young minds of each nation, put to work developing weapons of increasing absurdity and lethality, and demonstrating how, when patriotism subverts reason, it can corrupt even the best of us.
“Lisbeth,” an adaptation of Macbeth, by Selenia Paz, 2012 Honor winner of Lee & Low Publishing’s New Voices award
When Lisbeth is ten years old, she visits the Día de los Muertos festival with her best friend Bianca. There, the two wander into the Tres Hermanas tent and encounter three fortune-telling sisters who speak in riddles of Lisbeth and Bianca’s future—a future full of promise, but one that will cost them dearly. Unsure of the fortune’s meaning, Lisbeth soon forgets more than just the Sisters’ words. As Lisbeth’s prospects improve, her ambitions blind her to the damage and hurt she is inflicting, and she fails to see the full promise of a fortune beginning to come true.
“A Midwinter Night’s Brainwashing,” an adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by Allan Davis
Robin Goodfellow “Tuck” Tucker has a crush on the most unattainable girl in the school. Heather has never given anyone her number, and she definitely wouldn’t start with Tuck, a.k.a. the school’s resident Science Geek. But Tuck has a plan—one involving the secret government facility he interns at, and a TOP secret virtual reality project that may just happen to have mind-control subroutines programmed into it. What could possibly go wrong?
“Mark Corey,” an adaptation of Coriolanus, by Patricia Scott, author of “The Stars Were Stolen”
Mark Corey is a star baseball player, a gifted pitcher, and a hero on the field, celebrated by the town where he lives. It’s only natural for him to run for student body president next—now he’ll be able to make some real changes at school, like creating “nerd-free” zones. The only problem is, not everyone sees it that way. Before long, Mark has alienated his classmates and the school faculty alike. It’s a dangerous game, and one that could, ultimately, cost Mark everything.
“Angel & Demon,” an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, by Heather Dixon, bestselling author of Entwined and Illusionarium
Rubix is a demon, one of the best. His only job is to corrupt humans and turn them to the side of Evil. It’s not too difficult, considering how corruptible humans can be; but everything changes when he’s assigned to work against an angel named Julianne. Julianne believes that everybody has the potential for good in them—even a demon like Rubix. Falling for an angel and confronted by a morality he didn’t even know he had, Rubix is forced to choose which side he really wants to serve. The only problem is, if he chooses Good, it will mean the end of everything he’s ever known. There are no happily-ever-afters in Hell.
“Onyx,” an adaptation of Othello, by Alicia Michaels, bestselling author of The Bionics series and The Lost Kingdom of Fallada series
A millennium into the future, the world as we know it no longer exists. The Earth has been destroyed, and the humans that remain have expanded into the galaxy, living on space stations and colonies on new worlds—including some that already hosted life when humans arrived. From one of these species of humanoid aliens comes Onyx, who was captured by Earth’s military after a war with his people, the Ethelene, left his planet decimated. Against all odds, the teenage Onyx makes a life for himself, gaining honor and prestige in the military, and falls in love with Dia Tian, the daughter of an Earth colonel. But not everyone is happy about Onyx’s success. Isaias Royce, Onyx’s ensign, begins whispering secrets of Dia’s infidelity into his ear. But is Isaias truly looking out for Onyx’s best interest? Or is he acting out of jealousy because Onyx chose another man to be promoted instead of him? When the web of lies, truths, and half-truths begin to engulf Onyx, he finds himself unable to discern who his real friends and enemies are… which could lead to him making one of the biggest mistakes of his life.
“The Taming of the Dudebro,” an adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew, by Jane Watson
Patricia’s dream is coming true—she is directing her own play, a one-act written by her best friend, Grizz, for the school’s annual Drama Festival. Everything seems to be perfect until her teacher assigns Kurt Minola, the biggest jerk in the school, to work on her play. Kurt is lazy, selfish and irresponsible. His presence turns Patricia’s dream into a nightmare—until Patricia and Grizz decide to take matters into their own hands, and subject this insufferable surfer-dude to some taming.
“Star Walker,” an adaptation of Hamlet, by Alex Irwin
Letta always thought she would follow in her mother’s footsteps to become the next captain of the Elsinore, a generational ship due to soon land on New Earth. But when Captain Hamilton dies under suspicious circumstances, Letta is shocked and enraged to discover that her mother’s sister, Claudia, has been chosen to succeed her instead. Letta embarks on her own investigation into her mother’s death, and soon discovers a trail of deception and danger. But she has to be careful, because someone has been tampering with the ship’s nutritional vaccinations—and if she doesn’t unravel the mystery soon, more people will die…
“The Desperate Warrior and the Beast Who Walks Without Sound,” an adaptation of Sonnet 25, by T. Damon, author of The Forest Spirit series
Wakiza is the most revered hunter and warrior in the Thunder tribe. He is beloved by his people and has his pick of any of the chief’s daughters to be his bride. But Wakiza is in love with another—Aiyana, daughter of the chief of the Sun tribe, Wakiza’s people’s sworn enemy. Wakiza’s only hope to end the war and unite with Aiyana lies in defeating Kajika, the Beast Who Walks Without Sound. Wakiza is doubtful of Kajika’s existence; but even if the legendary Beast exists, what hope does Wakiza have of defeating a monster whose slightest glance will turn anyone to stone?
“Gale,” an adaptation of The Tempest, by Lyssa Chiavari, author of the upcoming Fourth World
Miranda doesn’t want to be different. On Gale, being different can get you killed. The Brotherhood demands equality for all its citizens, and any trait that makes an individual stand out from the crowd is immediately eliminated by the Watch. When her seizures began, Miranda’s parents tried to keep her abnormality hidden and seek treatment under the table, without attracting the attention of the Brotherhood. But then the visions started—ominous hallucinations of strange lights in the sky, an otherworldly monster with wings like a dragon, and a girl who appeared from the clouds like a bolt of lightning. Despite the ever-present threat of the Watch, Miranda is determined to find out what the visions mean. Little does she know that the answers might lead her to freedom.
Perchance to Dream releases June 30, 2015! You can preorder it here, or add it to your Goodreads to-read list here. If you are a book blogger and you would be interested in an Advance Review Copy, please let me know! You can comment here, or use my contact form.