Thursday, July 16, 2009

Heroic Fantasy Quarterly issue #1 debuts!

Action, bloodletting, foul magic, swordplay, and epic poetry are all featured in the debut issue of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, now available for a free read here at the HFQ Web site.

The first issue features three pieces of fiction and two poems. These include the following:

Fiction Contents

BLACK FLOWERS OF SEVAN, by James Lecky
Rising star Lecky delivers classic sword and sorcery across a desert frontier. This story will stay with you.

MAN OF MOLDANIA, by Richard Marsden
Marsden brings it in an historical setting. Just when you thought dragon-slaying-heroes were all washed-up, Marsden gives a fresh perspective.

BEYOND THE LIZARD GATE, by Alex Marshall
Marshall comes in at the bell, a Brit holding his own against Irish and American contributors and throwing a potent punch of epic fantasy sure to satisfy the most bloodthirsty of fans.

Poetry Contents

ANSEL’S ARMY, by Elizabeth Barrette
In a word: universal.

LEO PASSIMUS REMEMBERS HIS FIRST VOYAGE, by Danny Adams
The truth as to why most of us don’t go adventuring in the first place.

I very much enjoyed the issue, and it was pretty wild to actually read heroic fantasy inspired verse. Every story was well-written, fast-paced, and packed a twist or two to keep you guessing. If I had to pick a favorite, I’d probably go with the action-packed "Beyond the Lizard Gate" with its compelling theme of revenge, extending beyond even the realms of death.

"Man of Moldania" featured a very well-portrayed and believably dangerous dragon, and a likeable, humorous, aging dragon slayer. "The Black Flowers of Sevan" was the most unique and ambitious of the three stories and contains some great visual imagery and imagination. All three pieces of fiction feature main characters that could become recurring heroes.

My one mild disappointment is that I thought HFQ was going to be available as a laid-out, downloaded PDF instead of single story downloads. With no advertising of any kind on the site, it’s unclear how these guys are paying their authors ($100 per story, $25 for a poem). But regardless of how or why they’re doing it, the editors of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly deserve our thanks and praise for making the effort to revive fantasy fiction and poetry in the spirit of Elric and Conan and Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, and putting together a very solid and entertaining first issue. Now head on over and get reading!

3 comments:

Atom Kid said...

Thanks for posting this! I've bookmarked it, and can't wait to read everything! It would be awesome if they could put out a printed publication in the tradition of pulps!

davidf said...

Thanks for the review, Brian. Glad you (mostly) liked!

If you or any of your readers enjoyed a particular story, I hope you'll consider nominating the writer for the Ham-Sized Fist Award. HF/S&S gets its cred! Info here:

http://hamsizedfist.blogspot.com/2009/06/cry-havoc.html

Brian Murphy said...

Thanks David, I did enjoy the issue very much, congratulations on a job well-done. And I'll definitely check out the Ham-Sized Fist Award link.