Lions and Gists

Lions and Gists

Finding Fine Fiction

Most of the speculative fiction I’ve read over the last ten years has been from the long ago. At about the time my son was born I decided that if I was serious about writing fantasy I’d better have a solid idea about its roots, its founders, and its themes. Until recently, I rarely came up from the cellar to read more modern work. I missed a whole slew of acclaimed things, and am only now starting to catch up.

I recently read Chris Willrich’s “The Lions of Karthagar,” which was one of the finest stories I pulled out of the Black Gate e-submission pile. We’re looking forward to publishing it in Black Gate. I’d heard good things about his tales of Bone and Gaunt, and Chris kindly sent those my way so I could see for myself — wow. Lyrical, brilliant, scattered with lovely imagery and imagined with haunting loveliness… it’s amazing stuff. I hope he puts a collection together soon, and I certainly hope he keeps writing. Chris’ work had appeared in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in the last few years, and so too had the work of Matthew Hughes, another author I’ve heard about but hadn’t read. 

I tracked down a copy of Hughes’ The Gist Hunter & Other Stories and sat down to read a few tales last night. It too is layered with brilliant imagery. The first stories are detective fiction, albeit through a whimsical Vancian lens, and I’m very much looking forward to reading more. This is clever, entertaining, inventive work. And I am extremely pleased that, for once, I’m not coming late to the party, because Night Shade is releasing a series of Hughes’ books very shortly. 

For more information about Hughes, and a way to obtain free Hughes books (follow the link and see just how timely I truly am!)  visit his site by following this link.


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