Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cimmerian sighting: A Q&A session with the editors of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly

Outside of a handful of anthologies and magazines, the market for the genre known as heroic fantasy is as dry as the sands of Stygia. Which is why I’m so excited to see newcomer Heroic Fantasy Quarterly (HFQ) enter the fray, broadsword in hand.

HFQ describes itself as a home for stories with “an emphasis on action. Be it an exchange of blows or insults, the spurring-on of steed, or the application of poultices to wounds, things happen and happen quickly in the pages of HFQ.”

HFQ publishes both short stories and heroic-flavored poetry on its web site. It’s a free publication and also pays its contributors, which will hopefully encourage new young writers to publish in this sadly neglected field.

Below, editors Adrian Simmons and David Farney generously provided the following answers to
The Cimmerian regarding their new venture. HFQ published its first issue in July and recently released its second issue, featuring three short stories and two poems.

Q: What made you launch this venture, given the general trends in publishing that favor multi-volume, epic fantasy?

Adrian Simmons:
Crazy as it sounds, the idea came from all the young adult fiction that grownups are reading. Why are they reading YA fiction? Because something HAPPENS in it. Plus, clearly there is a niche—the universe of short heroic fantasy venues has been shrinking, and although there are several places that pay for and publish the genre, there was a need for someone that paid triple digits.

David Farney: Turning 40! I’ve had real difficulty finding any fantasy I enjoyed as much as the Elric and Conan and Corum stories that blew me away as a teen. Translation: I think in HFQ I’m trying to rediscover or recapture some essence of my childhood. And though it’s been a lot of work, some of the stories coming into HFQ are indeed rekindling that sense of amazement in me. Also, like Adrian, I agree that S&S and Heroic Fantasy are getting pushed aside by the many other fantasy subgenres, both in short fiction and novel-length. That said, there’s PLENTY of solid short fantasy published both online and in print, but a real lack of S&S and Heroic. As writers of Heroic Fantasy, it occurred to us there are doubtless many others just like us who can’t find appropriate markets for their work, or who as fans keep reading older and older material (or YA) because the writing and storytelling is digestible and much faster paced.

To read the rest of this post, visit The Cimmerian Web site.


David J. West said...

Great stuff Brian.

I kept meaning to send something their way but my novels editing and rewrites got in the way of doing any short stories. Now that the novel is done-late November release and I have a little bit of time before having to do the same rewrites and edits for book 2 I am plunging in for some short stuff.

Jst I like the idea of being in print so I plan on sending stuff to Ricasso and RBE first-but still HFQ is on the to do list and I will.

Brian Murphy said...

Go for it David! Just make it action-packed and bloody.

Gabriele C. said...

Damn, I wish I'd get some short story plot bunnies instead of those epic plot Cthulhus with five book tentacles. ;)