Tag Archives: Adrian Simmons

A Look at Two Issues of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, Plus a Kickstarter

If I could have one superpower, I think it would be the ability to split myself into multiple bodies.  That way, maybe I wouldn’t be so far behind on reading, writing, and review.  You know, the important stuff.

Anyway I promised Adrian Simmons, the editor of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, a review for both the previous and current issues.  Both are strong issues. Continue reading

A Look at Heroic Fantasy Quarterly 29 & 30

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re big fans of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly around here.  Schedules have been hectic enough that I’ve gotten a bit behind on reading it.  Not that that’s anything unusual.

Issue 29 (see art by Vok Kostic here) has the first of a two-part epic poem, so I’ll start with issue 29 and use the poem as a bridge to my comments on issue 30.  Both issues had short poems, which I’ll not discuss as they aren’t particularly long.  The poems in Issue 29 were “Wench” by Scott Hutchison and “The Persuaders” by Colleen Anderson.  Issue 30 gave us another poem by Colleen Anderson, “Garuda’s Gambit” as well as “The Night Before Yule” by Daniel Stride. Continue reading

The Latest From Heroic Fantasy Quarterly

timthumb.php (2)The latest issue of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly (#28) has been out for a little while.  I’m playing catch up after traveling for a great deal of the past month, so apologies for this being a little late.

As I stated the last time I reviewed HFQ, there were two serials in the previous issue that I would deal with here.  There are also two poems (by Mary Soon Lee and David Sklar) and two more short stories in the current issue.  Let’s deal with the short stories first. Continue reading

A Review and an Apology

HFQbestcover1Back 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. Continue reading

A Review of Apotheosis

apotheosisApotheosis
Jason Andrew, ed.
Simian Publishing
ebook $4.99 print $19.95

Okay, I’ve been putting off writing this review, but it’s time to put my nose to the grindstone and get it done.  A few weeks ago, one of the contributors to this anthology, someone I’ve known for a while and consider a friend, asked me for a review.  Since said contributor didn’t have access to a review copy, I went ahead and bought one.  The theme of a world after the Elder Gods return has been done before in other anthologies, but I’ve never gotten around to reading any of them.  It sounded intriguing.

Either I didn’t think things through, or I simply wasn’t the target audience for this anthology.  The stories fell into three categories basically:  those I liked, those I had no strong reaction to, and those I absolutely didn’t like.  For me to like an anthology, most of the stories need to be in the first category.  I didn’t find most of the stories to be to my liking, a condition that became more true the deeper I got into the book.  I read it straight through over several days, which may have been part of the problem.  I’ve been reading (and in my own fiction, writing) some pretty dark stuff lately; I could use a break.  I suspect there are some stories I would have liked better if I’d read them separately from the others and mixed with other types of fiction.

Now an anthology that deals with the world after the Elder Gods return isn’t going to be filled with sweetness and light.  H. P. Lovecraft made that clear.  But too many of the stories struck me as unpleasant people doing unpleasant things to other unpleasant people.  There wasn’t a lot of hope in many of the stories, and I think that was the problem I had with so much of the book.  (Please note, there were a couple of stories with hopeful endings that didn’t work for me for other reasons.)  But even if the odds are astronomically against the characters/humanity, I like there to be some element of not-giving-up.

So I debated on whether to even write the review.  I don’t like writing bad reviews.  My goal is not to trash someone’s work.  I’ll point out flaws, but if I just don’t like something, or in the case of an anthology, don’t like most of the stories, I prefer to just read and review something else.  But I had promised a review.

So here it is.  I’m going to highlight the stories that worked for me.  But I want to say a couple of things first.  All of the stories are of professional level as far as the writing is concerned.  The authors included in this book know how to write.  Some of the best writers are the ones who wrote stories I didn’t like.  After all, they got a strong reaction from me.  While a particular story may not have been my cup of tea, some of the authors whose works made me want to go for the brain bleach are authors who I would be willing to read again.  Because if they can get as strong a reaction from me in a positive way as they did a negative reaction, then that’s a story I’m going to want to read. Continue reading

A Review of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly 23

Apologies to Adrian Simmons, to whom I had promised this review a few weeks ago.  (To give you an idea of how hectic things are, I started this post on Sunday and am finishing it on Wednesday.) In the past, I’ve read HFQ in spare moments at work and have usually managed to finish an issue in about a week or ten days.  The problem this go around is that there hasn’t been any free time.

HFQ 23

Chimera by Giovanna Guimarães

Anyway, HFQ returns with one of its strongest issues.  Included are a wandering Comanche in Central America, sky pirates raiding a lost city, and an offering to a goddess which unleashes all kinds of problems. Continue reading

A Brief Report on ConDFW XIII

ConDFW XIII was held over the weekend of February 21-23, 2014.  The author GoH was Kevin J. Anderson, and the artist GoH was Alain Viesca.

Yes, I realize I’m a little late in getting this post up.  It’s been hectic. Continue reading

A Look at Heroic Fantasy Quarterly 19

HFQ 19It’s been a while since I looked at any online magazine here, and that includes Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. One of my goals for the year was to change that. I’m a bit behind on that one, I’m about to start making progress.

The latest issue of HFQ contains two poems and four stories rather than the usual three. All of them have a desert theme. (I wonder if the harsh winter we’ve been having has anything to do with that. California Dreamin’, sword and sorcery style.) Continue reading