August has descended upon the plains of Oklahoma, and with it dramatic El-Nino spurred heat.  A heat only broken by the occasional polar vortex.  Through it all your faithful editors have scoured the world to bring you the best in sword and sorcery and adventure fiction, and (again) we deliver!  Issue 21 brings you extra goodness- an extra story, extra artwork, even some audio adventure!


Fiction Contents

A Matter of Goats, by Ben Fenwick
An astronomical mission take an English poet and a scientist deep into the Balkan hinterlands.  The secrets of Suleyman, old superstitions, and ancient wickedness unfold beneath the uncaring stars.

Tomb Robber’s Tale, by Sean Robson
Robbing the Necropolis of Catapesh is dangerous, dirty work, but when Tariq and his nephew discover a greater secret with greater rewards they delve into an ancient sunless world and thread its lethal streets.

Lady Cardula and the Gryphon, by Sawn Scarber
Just because you’re a monster of terror and legend doesn’t mean you can’t be civil about things.  With bonus artwork!

A Breath of Darkness, by Liz Colter
Life as the Chosen One can be brutal, especially when there is no one upon whom to pass the torch, the gods have abandoned you and your immortal nemesis is stirring again.


Poetry Contents

I Walk Towards Death, by Elwen Linhirrie
Immortality, by its very nature, comes with an ever growing weight of years.

Chiron, by Gary Every
Among the gods and the heroes and monsters there is at least one being who can keep his head.



This quarter’s artwork, “Knight”, is provided by freelance artist Sandra Tang.


Super Special Extra, Fidchell Audio by Adrian Simmons.
Back in the early 2000s Adrian Simmons put together an audio teaser for his Ancient Irish historical novel—back before he knew that putting things like audio CDs in your submissions packet was verboten.  His mistake is your gain!  The tribes are fighting again, but the scales are tipped by the presence of a group of Norwegian mercenaries, and young King Siadhal (already banged up from a previous round of fisticuffs with one of his “allies” the day before) has to go out and settle some scores.  Read by the incomparable Maria McDonall, recorded by Brian “Thriller” Lundmark and so awesome we had to split it into two parts!

Part 1

Part 2

Goings On

David Farney:  While Vladmir Putin’s tiny land grab has thrown the world into chaos and threatened a new cold war, David Farney has easily tripled the territory he’s responsible for at his dayjob with nary a shot fired.

Adrian Simmons:  A few things have changed since issue 20 for Adrian Simmons.   His sci-fi story Support Staff is now out at James Gunn’s Ad Astra, and his story Paradise of Wasteland, in HFQ # 19 will be making a hardcopy appearance in the Polish fantasy magazine Nowa Fantastyka.  The audio flash he sold to Psuedopod will be coming out sometime in 2015.

William Ledbetter: William attended the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop in July.  Over the week long workshop he learned how to identify spectrum lines in various kinds of light, learned how to look for planets in the massive exoplanet database (star spectrum collected but not yet analyzed) and was able to play around with University of Wyoming’s big domed, infrared WIRO  telescope.

James Rowe:  His career continues apace with further poetry seeing printer’s ink come this Autumn: Will of the Shapeshifter will be published in Bete Noire’s Halloween, 2014 issue, whereas Neo-Helot will debut in Volume 10, issue 1 of Tales of the Talisman. Also, Bristlecone will be available in the slightly-delayed, but forthcoming issue of 16 of Bete Noire.

Meanwhile, The Bone Cutter’s Lament is officially in contention for the 2013 Rhysling with the publication of the anthology book. If you’re a member of the SFPA, get votin’! There’s lots of other great poems in the anthology.

As can be seen by our ad spaces, Mark Finn has an updated version of his Robert E. Howard biography Blood and Thunder; including new information and facts that were not known during the writing of the first edition, an expanded chapter on Conan, a total of 35,000 more words, and expanded and corrected chapters on Howard’s boxing stories, his westerns, both humorous and serious, and the events leading up to Howard’s death as well as what happened afterward.

And while it may be one removed from strict Heroic Fantasy, HFQ alum Jeannette Cheney’s The Seat of Magic—the sequel to The Golden City—came out this week.  Have an interest in the supernatural world of turn-of-the-century Portugal?  Cheney has got you covered.

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