Hey Everybody! (Well, both of you — used to be I’d get 200 hits per day.)
I’m still alive. Ja, I’ve said this before, I know. But I seriously am still walking the world in a mostly sound body, and I’m intent on returning to blogging and writing about Norse/Viking/Scandinavian stuff more regularly.
Because I miss doing so. And because — after 2.5 straight years of reading submissions, editing, and publishing on schedule — my buddies and I at Heroic Fantasy Quarterly are taking a break from such rigors.
It has been a fun ride at HFQ, and we’ll get back on the horse in due time. For now, though, real life and our own creative needs as writers demands a step back. As a writer, I can see now why some editors and agents are so susceptible to . . . terseness, irritability, and just plain flightiness. The flood of communications and seemingly never-ending to-do lists (all of which must be addressed in our free time after we’ve clocked out from our day jobs) weighs like, uh, Mjolnir against one’s skull.
So it is with an equal measure of sadness and relief that I hereby announce HFQ’s closure to submissions of FICTION until the end of January, 2012. We’re still open to poetry and art submissions, though, so keep those coming — speaking solely for myself, I’ll say that poetry has been and remains the most enjoyable and surprising component of what we’ve published at HFQ.
So stop by Heroic Fantasy Quarterly and read a poem or two and, meanwhile, also stand by for more frequent updates to Storm of the North blog.
Thanks for stopping by!
Welcome to another Tuesday Althing! I discovered today’s Scandinavian randomness while performing a bit of rare but fortuitous channel surfing Sunday night.
I landed on SpikeTV and what to my wondering eyes did appear? A what-if battle between my two favorite brands of historical fighting men: Viking vs. Samurai.
The program is called Deadliest Warrior, in which weapons and armor are put through various controlled tests to measure effectiveness against the opponent at hand. Some pretty cool analytics — including laser measurements for strike-speed and pressure measurements for power — are involved. But the best part involves actual blows by expert fighters against anatomically correct dummies that explode in fake blood and bone and brains. Amazing stuff.
I’m not going to tell you which warrior Spike’s team deemed superior, but if you’d like to check out Viking brawn vs. Samurai finesse, here’s a link to this episode of Deadliest Warrior:
Thanks for stopping by. See ya next time!
I’m happy to say we published Heroic Fantasy Quarterly Issue 4 last week — right on time! We found two cool stories and poems this go ’round. This issue’s banner art is by Jesus Garcia Lopez, whose website and other work you can find a link to at HFQ. I hope you’ll check it out when you get a chance.
Thanks for stopping by!
Just a short post today, because there’s better reading to be had at the Scandinavian Aggression site. Check out Rowdy Geirsson’s (true?) account of modern Vikings and some of the hilarious trouble they caused a few years back. I’d buy this book if it were available. Fight on, Rowdy!
I have a new favorite Viking. Her name? Freya Svensson. If you haven’t heard of this Swede and the problems with her Swedish steed-of-the-street (kenning translation: Volvo XC70) , check it out. Something tells me Freya’s tactics are going to pay off.
Here follow some vids where you can witness Freya’s assault on Volvo North America and Rusnak Volvo — the dealership that’s (allegedly) screwing her around:
Do NOT miss this next one — Freya lamenting Volvo in Swedish song. Awesome:
Here’s where it gets really good: Freya has issued a call for service records for any Volvo owner who cares to send them to her. She’s going to compile common Volvo ownership problems and go public with them. You can follow and cheer her on at her Rusmacked Volvo blog, here:
Welcome to another Tuesday Althing. Today’s Scandinavian randomness comes recommended by Jill Johnson, US Project Manager for a band called Krauka.
I hadn’t heard of Krauka, but I LIKE ‘EM. Here’s what they’re about — from the Krauka website:
Krauka was formed in 1999 around the idea of combining storytelling and music from the Viking Age. The band takes you on a journey back in time to an era when life was all about battles, pillaging and drinking. Krauka’s music is played on instruments reconstructed after archaeological findings, but modern elements interwine, creating an intense and often wild atmosphere inspired by the sagas and the Nordic forces of nature.
Intrigued? Me too. Here’s a video of the title track from their most recent album, Odinn:
Did you notice the chrome sculpture in the background? By Thor! It’s the thunderer himself — Mjollnir raised for smiting — being pulled in his chariot by his tireless goats.
To learn more about Krauka or to listen to some free songs, you can hit their website here. To get straight to the music, go here. Do yourself a favor and listen to the song Gimli — a crazy good tune where Viking folk music collides with Talking Heads. (I don’t speak Danish or Icelandic, but I’m guessing this song is less about the dwarf of Tolkien fame and more about the the gold-roofed hall in Asgard where good men were said to go upon their death.) Awesome.
Hope you enjoyed the music. Thanks again to Jill Johnson for giving me the head’s up on Krauka.
Thanks for stopping by!
At today’s Althing I’m taking a break from things Nordic in order to talk about other random goodness. But, like the legend of Asmund Frægdegjaevar that I’ve been pimping the last couple of months, today’s subject does include a warrior.
Maybe he’s more of lovable loser. He’s definitely a hero. His name? Skip. Skip Lipman. And he’s the real-life star of a docudrama called Darkon.
Don’t get me wrong, Skip isn’t heroic in the soldier/cop/firefighter sense — but I think you’ll agree that in the arena of the human condition, he’s got all the right stuff: he’s true to himself, he’s true to his family and friends, and he’s got the balls to scorn societal convention with every turn of his foam-padded sword.
See, Skip is what’s known as a live-action role-playing gamer. Yep. Along with hundreds of other folks in Maryland, Skip dresses up as a warrior — specifically a Roman centurion, I believe — in order to wage feudal war against other groups/countries in the Darkon Wargaming Club.
If you’re unfamiliar with such organizations, consider the sorts of exhibitors you might see at a Renaissance festival. If you’ve ever wondered how deeply those personas carryover into people’s personal lives, I think Darkon might give you some insight. Here’s a movie trailer — the first guy you see is our man Skip Lipman:
I can’t recommend this film highly enough. I DARE you not to pull for Skip — both on the battlefield, and off! Rent or buy Darkon the movie without delay.
Special thanks to Philip Martin for recommending Darkon for a slot at the Tuesday Althing. Also thanks to Andrew Neel and Luke Meyer for directing this bit of genius!
And to you, good reader, thanks for stopping by.