Ah, April. Finally, finally perhaps the damn cold and snow will relent! Hey — we talked about March Madness and NCAA basketball and cerebral awakenings this time last year, so why not talk about the weather this year? Yep, HFQ Issue 16 is here and there’s not a better time than now to read it. Because those of us living in the middle and southern United States recognize we’ve only got a couple weeks before the weatherpeople and stormchasers command our attention.

And here’s one more reason to rush to reading this latest free issue of HFQ: after four years of bringing awesome heroic fantasy and historical fiction to the masses, we’ve decided we’ve earned the privilege of putting some of our work up. Our first offering is a poem by editor Adrian Simmons. Everybody wins here: readers get three poems instead of two, submitters get to see the kinds of stuff us editors write and like to read, and Adrian gets to share one of his works with a world that, frankly, has dwindling publishing interests in the mythopoetic.

On a related note, be sure to check out our poetry offerings not only to scrutinize Adrian’s effort, but to check out HFQ’s first barbarian-themed piece. It’s taken us four years to find a tale — fiction or poetry — that so adeptly calls its shot in relation to those who’ve come before . . .

On to it, then, for April issue — no jokes here:

Fiction Contents

Lord of the Tattered Banner, by Kristopher Reisz
Orcs and humans fighting on the same team, pursuing a common goal? Or are they? Don’t miss this one — we think you’ll not only like this tale’s twists and turns, but the Orcs too!

Nicor, by Matthew Quinn
Ja! A Viking story told as it should be — with plenty of blood and guts and what . . . conscience? Young Geiri follows his older Viking warriors in hunting and destroying a rare monster. But who is the hunted and who is the monster?

The Lion and the Thorn Tree, by JS Bangs
A young woman finds herself on the hit list of a sorcerer and takes to the road in this mixed-tech adventure.

Poetry Contents

Diana’s Justice, by Adele Gardner
We defy you to read this poem only once. We’re not afraid of making such bold challenges to you, but Diana is another entity altogether . . .

The Teeth of St. Aedh, by Adrian Simmons
An epic in the old school (as in Dark Age) Irish style.  Best enjoyed with a little uiscie beatha.

Barbarian, by Wade German
If we didn’t say enough in the HFQ 16 opening, allow us to give you one more reason to read this short but awesome piece in its entirety: check the last line, yo. Who knew barbarians and gymnasts had something in common: potentially perfect dismounts!


This quarter’s art is from three-timer Mariusz Gandzel.  At HFQ spring comes in like a guy with a flaming sword riding to his destiny while gods watch from the storm clouds.


Adrian Simmons is bearing the burden of a professional engineer handily. He’ll be a “pro” at the WisCon writing workshop this May. Want him to put on his editor glasses and tell you what he sees?  Easy enough!

David Farney remains alive and well, and well below the radar. Yep — stealthy. (He’s trying figure out just what to be stealthy about . . . he still doesn’t even know how to whisper.)

As you can see, we’ve changed our advertising slots for this quarter, giving a shout out to our brothers in the world of sword and sorcery and fantasy publishing with Jason Waltz’s “Writing Fantasy Heroes” and Steven Wedel’s anthology “Tails of the Pack“.   Need writing advice but can’t make it to WisCon?  Want to get your lycanthrope on?  We’ve got you covered!

Thanks to both readers and submitters for following HFQ. We hope you enjoy Issue 16, and we look forward to publishing our next issue in July — which will begin our fifth year of existence! Having weathered a brutal recession there seem now only two barriers standing between HFQ and its ongoing publication: rogue planets, and spouses doing the math on the four years of cutter we’ve been diverting to HFQ.

Now go forth and read . . . as always, this round is on us.

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