Back in February, I was home sick with the flu. Being well-medicated, I spent most of the day asleep. At one point early in the afternoon, I woke up and got out of bed for a little while. I checked email since I hadn’t looked at it all day. There was an email from Adrian Simmons informing me that the new issues of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly was live and a request for a review. I responded in the affirmative and went back to bed and pharmaceutical induced slumber.
And completely forgot about the email.
So, first, Adrian, I owe you an apology for dropping the ball. A huge apology. I’m usually not this careless. I apologize for not getting the review up sooner.
When I looked the other day at the website, I saw that two of the four fiction pieces were the first of two parts. i’m going to hold off reading those until the next issue goes live. I’ll review the stories in their intirety then.
“The Coin and the Mushroom” by Gerald Warfield was a nice little story with a nasty little twist. I really like this one a lot. It takes place in a forest where the former queen encounters a man gathering mushrooms. They discuss a number of things, including the late king’s assassination and the way the king’s brother has marginalized the queen. Of course there’s a whole subtext to the conversation that becomes clear as the story progresses.
The other story that’s complete in this issue is by Matt Hlinak. “Four Against Olympus” deals with the attempt by four heroes from Greek mythology to scale Mount Olypmus. I thought the ending was a bit of a cop-out, but on the whole it was quite enjoyable. It’s considerably longer than “The Coin and the Mushroom”. (I read it while procotoring an exam. I think I enjoyed the hour more than the students did.) I’ve wondered why we don’t see more fantasy using Greek mythology these days. It was good to see someone incorporate Hercules and Zeus and the other gods in their work.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that The Best of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly Vol. , 2009-20111 is out. That’s the cover at the top of this page. Check it out.