As forewarned but not forsworn — and neither forbidden nor forborne — we bring you Issue 4 of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly! Once again we’ve scoured worlds known, unknown, and those only touched upon in dreams — this time discovering two great works of fiction and two of poetry which, oddly, total four:

Fiction Contents

LIVING TOTEM, by Vaughn Heppner
A tale of adventure both in the physical and spirit worlds — a tale so old-school it’s Neolithic! What’s not to like about a story featuring a red stone axe named Blood of the Earth?

Jafar and Ketei brave a pitiless desert and its merciless tribesmen to confront sorcery and secrets in an ancient temple.

Poetry Contents

THE FOOTMAN, by W.E. Couvillier
Would that we all put on so brave a face at the end.

HERO OF OLD, by John Keller
This time, a horseman. And just when you thought things were all grim . . .


This issue’s artwork comes courtesy of the incredible Jesús García López.  Jesús’ work has appeared in Heavy Metal magazine and Arcana Studio of comics renown. You can (and should!) check out more of his work here.

Hot Award Action Update

HFQ Issue 4 contributor Jeff Crook’s name may already be familiar to many of you, as we mentioned him last quarter in reference to his contest “The Ham Sized Fist Award”.  Some literary crybabies caused the HSFA to go dormant for a few weeks — but behold!  It has undergone a metamorphosis and re-emerged as “The Harper’s Pen Award”.   We’re happy to report that HFQ had the most stories of any magazine nominated for the award, and Bill Ward’s “Last of His Kind” (HFQ Issue 3) was in the final running.

Still, to the victor go the spoils, so all props from HFQ to John C. Hocking and Black Gate for John’s triumph with his tale “The Face in the Sea”. Hearty congrats!

But that isn’t the end of the story as far as HFQ and our writers go.  James Lecky’s “Black Flowers of Sevan” (HFQ Issue 1) made the list for the British Fantasy Society Best Short Story 2009 Award, and HFQ itself made the list for Best Magazine.

[BFS members: HFQ would be thrilled to capture your vote for the next round! Just hit our archives if you want to see more; as always, our content is posted free for the viewing.]

Astute readers may have noticed that HFQ issues three and four haven’t quite lived up to our boasts of delivering three stories and two poems per issue.  Fact is we’d rather short you than disappoint you with content that, while good, you might expect to find at other venues.  HFQ strives to publish tales not easily found elsewhere.

That said, while we’re (mostly) upholding our stated goal of responding to author submissions within 60 days, we do feel we could have done a better job scouring the HFQ inbox this quarter for suitable material — for which David Farney readily accepts most of the blame on account of his moving into a different house and the huge time and energy-drain accompanying such foolhardy ventures.  So to readers and writers alike: we’ll do better for Issue 5 — our one-year anniversary issue.

Thanks for following HFQ this far, and thanks in advance for remaining aboard.  Special thanks to those folks who nominated HFQ and its writers for The Harper’s Pen Award and for the BFS long list. And to ALL writers who submitted to HFQ — thanks! In general, we continue to be astounded by the quality of submissions.

We hope you enjoy Issue 4!

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

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