Heroic Fantasy Quarterly Issue 13 went live July 1. This is our 3rd anniversary issue — hard to believe! And equally hard work, at times, but the joy of discovering cool stories, poems, and art makes it all worthwhile. Big thanks to William Ledbetter for joining the team a year or so ago, and to Jim Lecky for throwing in for a stint before William. And of course big thanks to all our contributors over the years. (Is HFQ too young for me to use that verbiage — over the years?)
Here’s a snippet from Issue 13’s editorial, including content:
Even as the rumble of the Oklahoma City Thunder fades, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly keeps the adrenaline going with Issue 13. This is our three-year anniversary issue — an eternity on the internet! Coincidentally, tales by two of this quarter’s fictioneers mark their third publications at HFQ. Weird. But in a good way. In this issue we’re also proud to present poetry by a Texan and an Oklahoman — a veritable Red River Rivalry of speculative poetry!
We get year four off to a strong start with a full complement of material:
A GAME OF CHESS, by David Pilling
Two-time HFQ alum David Pilling is back with his third remarkable tale, in which the most disabused knight of the Round Table has to do some heavy heroic lifting to save his hotheaded companion. We got your en passant right here!
RENEGADE, by Alex Marshall
Also returning for a third round is Alex Marshall with a tale of adventure, action, and a last shot (pun intended, you mixed-techies) at redemption in his far-future world of Pangaia.
DANCE UPON SAND, by Seamus Bayne
We enjoyed last issue’s CROWN OF SORROWS so much that we had to have more adventures of the now less-than-human Ordwin. If you missed this tale’s forbear, check it out here.
ADVICE ON THE SLAYING OF WURMS, by Michelle Muenzler
No ordinary creatures, no ordinary rules.
ADVENT OF AN APOCALYPSE, by Bethany Powell
Bethany Powell is back at HFQ with another great piece. You think your work is never done? Try escorting fallen warriors to the afterlife . . .
Jonas Jakobsson’s Watched by Owls graces our banner in Issue 13. Many thanks, Jonas — love your work! If you want to check out more of his art, you can find him at Deviant Art, here.
To read the rest of the editorial and for live links, click here.
Thanks for stopping by!
We successfully published Heroic Fantasy Quarterly Issue 6. This time, we found two cool stories and two poems. From our editorial:
HEART OF MAN, by David Pilling
Heathen rites and anti-establishment battles in ye olde Britain. Last issue we mentioned HFQ would consider publishing historical fantasy — stories like this are why we opened the doors to real world settings.
THE SEA WASP, by Robert Rhodes
Thuggery on the high seas as superstitious corsairs abscond with a young scribe. What’s the saying? You can take the boy out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the boy . . .
AMBITION, PURPOSE, OUTCOME, by Charles Saplak
The future is a hard thing to know. But you knew that. Nevermind — we think you’ll like this one.
THE DANCE, by Shennandoah Diaz
How long did you think it would last?
Hope you’ll check out this issue of HFQ. Thanks for stopping by!
Welcome to another Tuesday Althing!
Alas, no videos today — but an exciting announcement! And a little about a fantasy literature subgenre and my thoughts regarding at least one of its distinguishing traits. First the news:
After four months of major head-scratching, tire-kicking, collaborator-collaborating, website-development-cussing, LLC-filing, art-permissions-asking, programmer-friends-leaning, and the off-putting of most fun things, a writer friend and I launched an ezine specializing in heroic fantasy fiction and poetry.
The name? Heroic Fantasy Quarterly.
The reason? Because my co-proprietor and I have more money than we know what to do with, and we want to give it to other writers! (Kidding, of course; we’re as tight with our money as any other writer you might know. But HFQ is indeed a paying market for writers.) There are actually a few reasons.
But I’ll only give one reason today, it being the one that might most interest fans of Norse myth and Scandinavian lore: characteristics of storytelling.
In Thor’s Day Alert #3 I mentioned how myth stories start with a bang, often with some sort of simple catalyzing action like mischief or big talk. Readers jump right in and get caught up in the storytelling stream. And we enjoy the ride without having to wade through the sometimes stagnant shallows of character history or motivation or inner pain.
Indeed, the more I thought about it, the more I recognized in my favorite characters (Per Hansa, Conan, Don Quixote, Elric, Grettir) a similar trait: an outward focus. This outward focus might also be described as a propensity to act, to do something — be that through dialogue or deeds — rather than sit around and let one’s ego and super-ego hash out the story’s circumstances in private.
[In my opinion, an outward character focus is a trait crucial to flavoring the best heroic fantasy tales; it would, however, wreck most good mainstream literature. Can you imagine Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar if she didn’t share her most personal thoughts, plans, and emotional pains with the reader?]
As you read Norse myth, do you notice an outward focus in the characters of Thor and Odin? Do you agree this trait is one of the reasons why you enjoy the myths and find them so pleasurable to read again and again? How cool would it be to discover some new fantastical stories and poems that read as if they were born from an oral storytelling tradition, like most mythology in general?
If that sounds good, then check out HeroicFantasyQuarterly.com. Our first issue will publish 1 July 2009. I’ll keep you posted.
‘Til next time, then, remember: people were enjoying stories long before writers got involved.
Thanks for stopping by!