There’s plenty of great news for fantasy fans in May — including the successful launch of new top-tier magazine, Skelos, helmed by Jeffrey Shanks, Mark Finn, and Chris Gruber. We also wondered if Weird Tales was dead (it probably is), and started our coverage of Shock Totem — just in time for the magazine to go on hiatus. In the meantime, Rich Horton took a look at the January 1955 issue of Science Fiction Stories, containing short stories by Algis Budrys, Wallace West, and Raymond F. Jones, the author of This Island Earth.
In his April Short Fiction Round Up, Fletcher Vredenburgh reviews the latest issues of Swords and Sorcery Magazine and Heroic Fantasy Quarterly.
Swords and Sorcery Magazine #51 presented its usual complement of two stories in April… Jason Ray Carney. “The Ink of the Slime Lord” gave me nearly everything I could want from a S&S story: a wicked sorceress, dire magics, a dashing pirate, and plenty of monsters…. Carney’s complete lack of restraint and deeply purple prose are a large part of what made me dig this story completely. If you’re going to be extreme, go to 11. Good fun.
In James Lecky’s “But the Dreams of Men,” a man wracked by guilt over the horrible sins in his past inadvertently finds a path to redemption of sorts… Lecky does it quite well. He consistently finds the right balance between characterization, narrative, and action. If you haven’t read him before, this is an excellent place to start.
Heroic Fantasy Quarterly #28 brings two new stories, the conclusion to two old stories, and a pair of poems… Eric Atkisson’s “Crazy Snake and the Tribute for Pachacamac”… is a satisfying tale of adventure with a setting and type of character too rarely used… Marlena Frank’s “Curse of Beauty” is a fairy tale brought to life with a goodly dose of realism… a beautifully written and deeply sorrowful story about the true origins and nature of monsters. “Brotherhood of the Book” by M.R. Timson… is a wonderfully paranoid story, with a nice dose of creepiness to boot.
HFQ editor Adrian Simmons concludes the story he started last issue: “The Siege, The Gums, and The Blue.” It’s about as grim a story as has ever been printed on the pages of HFQ… How does a soldier, only recently a farmboy, survive and change in the face of horrendous violence? These questions and more are answered in dark, gritty detail… It’s a model of how grimdark should be done, without an ounce of gratuitousness…
At a price of absolutely nothing, how can you go wrong by just clicking on the links and reading some top notch writing? Let me tell you, you can’t, that’s how! Did I tell you they’re free? ‘Cause they are. So, go, and read, and then let them know how much you liked their efforts.
Check out all the details on the magazines above by clicking on the each of the images. Our Late April Fantasy Magazine Rack is here.
As we’ve mentioned before, all of these magazines are completely dependent on fans and readers to keep them alive. Many are marginal operations for whom a handful of subscriptions may mean the difference between life and death. Why not check one or two out, and try a sample issue? There are magazines here for every budget, from completely free to $35/issue. If you find something intriguing, I hope you’ll consider taking a chance on a subscription. I think you’ll find it’s money very well spent.
Black Gate reports exclusively on fantasy magazines, although we also cover the occasional science fiction or mainstream magazine with some fantasy content. We currently cover 41 magazines (links will take you to our latest coverage):
Adventure Tales edited by John Betancourt
Albedo One edited by Robert (Bob) Neilson
Apex, edited by Jason Sizemore
Ares Magazine, edited by Michael Anderson
Asimov’s Science Fiction, edited by Sheila Williams
Back Issue, edited by Michael Eury
Beneath Ceaseless Skies, edited by Scott H. Andrews
Black Static, edited by Andy Cox
Cemetery Dance, edited by Richard Chizmar
Cirsova, edited by P. Alexander
Clarkesworld, edited by Neil Clarke and Sean Wallace
The Dark, edited by Jack Fisher and Sean Wallace
The Digest Enthusiast, edited by Arkay Olgar
Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, edited by Warren Lapine
Fantasy and Science Fiction, edited by C.C. Finlay
Fantasy Scroll, edited by Iulian Ionescu, Frederick Doot, and Alexandra Zamorski
GigaNotoSaurus, edited by Rashida J. Smith
Grimdark Magazine, edited by Adrian Collins
Gygax, edited by Jayson Elliot
Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, edited by Adrian Simmons, David Farney, William Ledbetter and James Frederick William Rowe
Holdfast, edited by Laurel Sills and Lucy Smee
Inhuman Magazine, edited by Allen Koszowski
Interfictions Online, edited by Delia Sherman
Interzone, edited by Andy Cox
Knights of the Dinner Table, edited by Jolly Blackburn
Lackington’s, edited by Ranylt Richildis
Lightspeed, edited by John Joseph Adams
Locus, edited by Liza Groen Trombi
Mythic Delirium, edited by Mike Allen
Nightmare, edited by John Joseph Adams
Outposts of Beyond, edited by Tyree Campbell
Pulp Literature, edited by Mel Anastasiou, Jennifer Landels, and Susan Pieters.
Science Fiction Classics
Scrolls of Legendry, edited by D.M. Ritzlin
Shimmer, edited by E. Catherine Tobler
Swords and Sorcery Magazine, edited by Curtis Ellett
Tor.com, edited by various
Uncanny, edited by Lynne M. Thomas, Michael Damian Thomas, and Michi Trota
Weirdbook, edited by Douglas Draa
Weird Fiction Review, edited by S.T. Joshi
Weird Tales, edited by Marvin Kaye
Blood, Blade and Thruster
Cosmic Crimes Stories
The Fantasy Fan
Future Science Fiction
Galaxy Science Fiction
GUD: Greatest Uncommon Denominatior
H.P. Lovecraft’s Magazine of Horror
The Last Province
Realms of Fantasy
Science Fiction Adventures
Super Science Stories
The Original Science Fiction Stories
Worlds of If
Against the Odds
Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine
The Excellent Travelling Volume
The New Yorker
The New York Review of Science Fiction
Primeval: A Journal of the Uncanny
The SFWA Bulletin
Virginia Quarterly Review
Check out all of our recent magazine coverage here.