The winter solstice has come and gone, and to beat back the long nights we present the 11th issue of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly!  Here’s what we’ve got for you:

Fiction Contents

GOOSE AND CRADLE, by David Austin
One last game and one more night in a besieged city where regrets rain down like catapult stones.

THE PRINCESS TRAP, by Peter Darbyshire
If you’ve been following HFQ for awhile, you know our proverbial soft-spot in dragon stories involves humor or mixed tech. So which variety is this tale? Read it — like us, you’ll know it when you see it!

Poetry Contents

You’ve certainly heard of the S&S subgenres of sword-and-sandal, and sword-and-planet, but in this poem J.R. names for us a new one: swords-and-pools. Jump on in — the water’s fine.

We considered a dozen subtitles for this poem, but will lay out only one: The Reluctant Viking. We’re sure you’ll think up some of your own.

EVERYWHERE THE SERPENT SLAIN, by James Frederick William Rowe
Chew on this, lest ye be chewed!


This issue’s artwork, “Dragon Boat”, is by heavy-hitter Gregory Fromenteau.  Mr. Fromenteau’s artwork appears in video games and publishing.  Check him out at his official website.


One of the downsides of publishing every three months is that all the news, both good and bad, must be stated in one editorial. It’s a strange thing to try to be upbeat when somber news is nigh.

And so it is with heavy hearts that we note the loss of a wonderful up-and-coming writer, Euan Harvey.  Many of you may remember Euan’s story “The Hand of Afaz” from our second issue, as well as the unfortunate fact that more recently he had been battling cancer. He had submitted another excellent story to us in the summer of 2011 and, when our requests for the full manuscript remained unanswered, we feared the worst. Euan succumbed to cancer on December 9 and will be sorely missed by both fans and editors of fantasy fiction. We can’t say anything here that John O’Neil at Black Gate didn’t already say better, and we too offer our condolences to his family and friends.

Here’s that awkward transition to happier news . . .

Adrian Simmons, a scant four months after passing the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, sat for, and passed, the Professional Engineer Examination on October 28th!  As we mentioned in issue 6, after a year of solid work, study, and sacrifice, he is now multi-classed through the ranks to become unto a first level classic AD&D bard! He is glad that is all over with, and looks forward to life settling back down, assuming he can remember what life pre-engineering even looked like.

David Farney has been working like a Protestant, resulting in a mind so frayed that his alter-ego, ShallowMan, has enjoyed eminence of late. As proof, David’s crappy fantasy football team, The Dumkopfs, somehow made it to the second round of playoffs this year. In 2012 David is looking forward to beating down ShallowMan by ratcheting up his writing of speculative poetry. Then again, with the end of the world a mere 355 days away he’s considering bulking up on his beer intake.

William Ledbetter was the 1st place winner in the Writers of the Future contest, for 2011’s second quarter. His winning story will be published in the Writers of the Future Anthology, Volume 28 in April 2012, and he’ll be attending a workshop and Gala Award Ceremony in Hollywood also in April. He can’t really talk about the story (title, plot etc.) in public because he’s still in the running for the grand prize ($5,000!) and the judges have to judge them “blind.”  Strictest secrecy and propriety must be observed!

In January Adrian, David, and William will be meeting at the second annual Hep-Cat writing retreat to discuss, among other HFQ housekeeping, when to reopen for fiction. To all writers out there: keep an eye on our guidelines page for announcement as to when we’ll reopen to fiction. (And to submitters who suffered terribly long response times in 2011, please accept our apologies — we’ve finally regained control over the HFQ inbox!) For readers, thanks for following HFQ. We hope you enjoy Issue 11.

Happy New Year!

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