Yet after centuries of people having their way with the works of Shakespeare, there is still so much territory to explore. The sexy side of Shakespeare is a particularly neglected one, even though the works themselves are rich with erotic possibility. There are love spells and transformations, disguises and crossdressing, people with complex and charged relationships (which may be loving or antagonistic or both), and plenty of double entendre. No shortage of delicious possibilities for a writer's imagination.
The writers featured in this anthology have approached these possibilities in a variety of ways. Some of the stories collected here work within and between the lines of the original plays: Annabeth Leong's "The Last Dream" weaves Romeo and Juliet's original dialogue seamlessly into a story of the tempestuous relationship between Mercutio and Tybalt; Cesar Sanchez Zapata's "Innogen" is a tale of deception, disguise, and divine intervention that fits in nicely with its source, Cymbeline; and Lori Selke's "All His Joy," which depicts an otherworldly and sensual encounter between Oberon and the beautiful servant boy he and Titania have been fighting over, is just what I always suspected was going on behind the scenes of A Midsummer Night's Dream in the first place. Other stories change up settings and time periods: Emily Moreton's "Another Night" places Twelfth Night's Viola and Orsino in a future where people can change their physical sex temporarily; closer to home, Nik Flandrè's "Five Acts" takes the hopelessly (and humorously) tangled relationships of A Midsummer Night's Dream and turns them into a wild night at a modern-day club; and Clarice Clique's "Farewell the Tranquil Mind" imagines Othello's eponymous protagonist reincarnated as a fragile psychic and Desdemona as a hardened soldier, their relationship still overshadowed by the memories of who they used to be.