Welcome to the third issue of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly!  As required by our (non-binding) blood oath, we’ve brought you three outstanding works of fiction. Alas, though, with heavy hearts we bring news of no poetry for this issue (we receive a lot of good poetry, but not so much HFQ poetry). Regardless, there’s plenty at our table to satisfy your hunger for adventure:

Our first foray into the exciting realm of mixed-tech weaponry. A tale of dragons and the men who hunt them. Yeah, we still like dragons around here — especially when they’re called wyrms.

DEAD IN THE WATER, by Joshua Wolf
We’ve resisted publishing any Arthurian tales. Until now. We think you’ll find this story an entirely original addition to British Isles lore.

A Samurai tale to rival any other — and one so good it reads like legend. Wow! Don’t miss this one.

Now for some HFQ news:

Our editorial thews have swollen with the addition of William Ledbetter to the HFQ team. Mr. Ledbetter has edited for the Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest and the nichiest of niche markets, Quantum Kiss. We’re lucky to have him, and when we’re lucky, we’re confident you, the readers, will reap the rewards. Welcome aboard, William!

We’re also happy to announce the addition of PayPal™ donate buttons at the end of each contributor’s story or poem. If you enjoy a particular piece, we encourage you to flip some cutter directly to the author — it is they, after all, who make HFQ what it is. Your patronage will let these writers know you enjoyed their work and, as in glory days of old, it renders you akin to the givers of rings! We’ve added donate buttons to stories and poems from issues 1 and 2 as well, so if there’s a piece that stands out in your memory, be sure to review the archives to find that writer’s button. They all deserve the tallest of dollars!

Beyond the HFQ screen, lots of good things are happening in the world of Sword and Sorcery/Heroic Fantasy small-press publishing right now. (The HF Resurgence is alive and well!) First, before the electrons were even warm on HFQ issue 1, Jeff Crook started a new contest for sword and sorcery stories and the venues that publish them. We LOVE the name: The Ham Sized Fist Award. And we love the green: The pot stands at $400 for the winning author and $400 for publishers.

We further encourage you to get your generosity on by slipping some cash into this pot. But if not that then by all means jump into the mix for free and consider nominating HFQ authors (including authors from this issue) for the award, here.

When HFQ was just a drunken idea tossed back and forth between Adrian and David as they recovered from another brutal night of cage fighting on the Indian casino circuit, Jason Waltz was bringing sword and sorcery to the people through Rogue Blades Entertainment. His latest project — The Roar of the Crowd anthology — is seeking good S&S with a sport/competition theme. The deadline is the end of January and submission guidelines can be found here.

We’ve also got some tough news to pass along: Euan Harvey — a writer whose work appeared in HFQ Issue 2 — has taken ill with what appears to be some particularly nasty sort of melanoma. Please say a prayer, light some candles, or cross your fingers — whatever you choose to transmit healing vibes — for Euan and the uncertain path ahead of him. You can drop him good wishes and follow his progress at his blog, here.

Last but certainly not least we’d like to acknowledge the creator of this issue’s art, which comes courtesy of Ling Yun, an artist living in China. You can view some of his other work here. Nice!

With all best wishes for a great 2010, we send you forward to the stories. Enjoy!

Adrian Simmons, David Farney, & William Ledbetter
Editors, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly

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