Issue banner by Rengin Tumer
The ancient druids used to use gigantic standing stones to precisely chart the passing of the seasons. Me, I have a more accurate and satisfying method. I rely on the mystical and inexorable cosmic cycle that gives birth to a new issue of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, every quarter, without fail.
HFQ 44 is a special treat as it contains a complete story by our very own Greg Mele, whose most recent article for Black Gate, an Interview with Christian Cameron, appeared just last week. Tangent Online gives “Heart of Vengeance” a solid thumb’s up, calling it “A dark tale of betrayal and lethal fury, this thoroughly enjoyable story is as much about the power of love and sacrifice as it is the justice of the grave.” For audiobook fans, there’s also a complete reading of the tale by Karen Bovenmeyer.
The issue also contains “The Whispering Healer,” by Larisa Walk (which Tangent calls “full of the unexpected,”) and “Do Not Fear, for the Work Will be Pure,” by Michael Johnston (which “follows the mission of the royal sculptor Deonoro Zayal… [into] the wilds facing down mutated brigands”).
Here’s the complete TOC, with fiction links.
Heart of Vengeance, by Greg Mele, with artwork by Justin Pfeil. The young prince Helomon Twelve-Vulture sets his feet upon the path of vengeance against his treacherous cousin and finds himself indebted to Lord Xokolatl, the god of Death. This is the third tale of Mele’s Ancient-Greece by way of Meso-America alternate history. Kamazotz and Servant of the Black Wind (also about Lord Xokolatl). With an audio version!
The Whispering Healer, by Larisa Walk. Eighteenth Century Russia finds the healer Anisia Tereshchenko with a remarkable patient, a remarkably dangerous patient. But all is not as it seems, with creatures of Russian myth and her own superstitious neighbors vying for just what is the most [threatening] thing to her.
Do Not Fear, for the Work Will be Pure, by Michael Johnston, with artwork by Karolína Wellartová, and audio by Karen Bovenmeyer. A weird fiction offing for this issue, Deonoro Zayal, a disgraced royal sculptor, ventures into the wasteland of Heng Tors to win the trust of Grothag the Unmerciful, the dread chieftain of the Heng — a ruthless gang of bandits and brigands, deformed and augmented by their sins. Grothag’s title is well-earned and danger stalks Deonoro at every turn.
See the complete issue here.
HFQ 44 includes story-specific artwork by Justin Pfeil, Karolína Wellartová, Gary McCluskey, and Miguel Santos. The banner art, “Druid’s Grove” is by Dutch artist Rengin Tumer.
Poems this issue are:
Ford, by Mary Soon Lee, with artwork by Gary McCluskey. A new poem from Ms. Lee. Prince Xau is now King Xau and this poem finds him not confronting human enemies, or the cryptic logic of his dragon allies, but that most powerful and impersonal of forces- nature itself. King Xau travels to aid an ally stuck by a disaster of unimaginable proportions. A very different kind of heroism; one that is perhaps the most relevant to the world we find ourselves in today.
The Demon in the Jar, by Cullen Groves, with artwork by Miguel Santos. It has been 14 issues since we’ve had a Groves’ poem, and this one is worth the wait! Captain Draba has gone in search of a valuable shipwreck; his guide is Hydáspes, a sorcerer who holds a source of power in an ancient strangely painted amphora. An excellent read!
The issue also contains the usual report on the various Goings On with the staff, plus updates on Rogue Blade Entertainment’s Jason Waltz, Darrell Schweitzer, Robert Zoltan, and Mark Finn.
Heroic Fantasy Quarterly is an ezine dedicated to publishing short works of heroic fantasy. It is edited by Adrian Simmons, David Farney, William Ledbetter, James Frederick William Rowe, Barbara Barrett, and Arien Skiba, and published four times a year in July, October, January, and April. Issues are posted to the website, and are completely free.
We last covered HFQ back in February.
See all of our recent fantasy magazine coverage here.