Covers: Johnney Perkins, Dleoblack, Didier Normand
Fantasy readers, like those who dwell together here at Black Gate, are long familiar with notions of heroes and the heroic. Each of us might have our own ideas about what makes a hero, but we would likely find common ground in a discussion of the matter.
That being said, is there any doubt our world today is in need of heroes? Heroes do continue to exist in our entertainment, but often enough they are flawed or irrelevant or humorous to the point of being more pastiche than worthy of admiration. Obviously there are examples of the upstanding hero, yet they seem few and far between compared to our increasing occupation with the deranged or the out-and-out vile. It seems we are more often rooting for the fellow behind the hockey mask or clown makeup than we are for the character who boldly steps forward to set things right in a dark world. Too often our heroes seem to stand alone, if they stand at all.
Rogue Blades Foundation is here to stand with those heroes, real and fictional, and to stand for all things heroic. Rogue Blades Foundation (RBF) is a non-profit publisher of heroic fiction and heroic-related non-fiction.
Fans of Sword & Sorcery literature might find the name of RBF sounds somewhat familiar. The reason for this is RBF is the not-for-profit sister to Rogue Blades Entertainment (RBE), a for-profit publisher of S&S material for more than a decade now. The goals of RBF and RBE are slightly different, thus it made sense to separate the two. RBF will focus upon larger impact projects that would generally be beyond the scope of RBE’s capabilities and intent.
Cover art by Didier Normand
But why should Rogue Blades Foundation exist in the first place? To embrace and promote heroes and heroic characteristics. To positively impact humanity’s present and future by providing readers with examples of the truly heroic. RBF will seek out and publish strong examples of heroes and heroic ideals with the intent of impressing upon the world, especially today’s young people, the importance of all things heroic, to build more readers and to develop those readers into the leaders our world needs.
All of this might sound rather high minded, but it doesn’t have to be. For readers to fall in love with the written word, it will be necessary to provide readers and potential readers with literature that stimulates intellectually and/or emotionally. Such art would best present the heroic values RBF hopes to engender.
To cut to the nitty gritty, Rogue Blades Foundation seeks to publish rollicking, fun adventure tales and intellectual non-fiction with a focus upon heroic ideals. Recently I attempted a definition and a defense of such ideals, but to dial it down to a nutshell, the heroic ideals can be comprised of integrity, credibility, stewardship, leadership, ethics, loyalty, courage, steadfastness, and most importantly, love. As a non-profit organization, RBF pursues a vision of a universal embrace of the heroic found within literature.
All of this might sound interesting, but what does it mean for you, the reader? First off, it means you can expect some interesting fiction and non-fiction in the upcoming future. Secondly, if you are interested in helping to spread heroic ideals, there are a couple of ways in which you can help RBF with its mission. You could join RBF’s Ring of Heroes, allowing you to directly donate to the cause, but you could also become an RBF Companion Member, allowing you to receive excellent publications in book form directly from RBF and immediately impacting the success of RBF’s mission of ‘Putting Heroics into Reading.’
As founder/executive director/president Jason M Waltz says, “Why are we determined on putting heroics into reading? We want to create books that aren’t forgotten, books that are not just set on a shelf – no matter how delightful the display – and never read. Our books should be enjoyed, should look read, should be read, and should inspire people to do and be more.”
For the immediate future of RBF, two books are already in the works. The first to be announced is Robert E. Howard Changed My Life, a collection of personal essays exploring the influence of Howard and his characters on the lives of the more-than 30 contributors to this publication. You might recognize some of the names associated with this book, such as Michael Moorcock, Howard Andrew Jones, Steven Erikson, and Adrian Cole.
Ty Johnston is vice president of the Rogue Blades Foundation, a non-profit organization focused upon bringing heroic literature to all readers. A former newspaper editor, he is the author of several fantasy trilogies and individual novels.