Never Taste Death (first chapters)Smoky fingers brushed across the evening sky. The dark earth popped and crackled sporadically. Despite this, and the constant thundering on the horizon, moments of eerie silence still settled over the shadowy trenches. Silence, but for the hum of the portals.
Carvernon Winchester caught another crate as it emerged from the glowing gap before him. He hurriedly turned to hand the supplies to the soldier behind him. All across the trenches, similar assembly lines trailed from portals.
Carver had only been here for a few minutes, and already he cringed at the sound of falling missiles. One had landed nearby.
The gunfire started up again. This time, it beat a steady, insufferable rhythm across the battlefield. Something exploded. Mud and gravel fell like rain. Carver was still clearing debris from his eyes when he heard a choking sound above him, followed by a crash. A soldier, shot, had fallen onto one of the crates. The box had cracked open, but besides that the material held up, and the
Divine Blood Extracurricular: Errands - Teaser
A furtive movement out of the corner of his eyes attracted the attention of a young man of about sixteen years, perhaps a little older. He was already quite tall, with a lanky, wiry build that spoke of lots of physical activity on top of a diet that had oftentimes been less than sufficient. A half-circular scar was visible over his left eye but it was hardly the only injury that had left a mark on his body in his short but already full years. A fact which his choice of gym clothes today was making people aware of.
Until now, the young man had been wearing a light but long-sleeved running shirt for the period of physical education. Since it was just slightly oversized, the wrinkles of the shirt had had the effect of concealing just a little bit the play of his muscles as he moved. It wasn’t exactly the most effective way to hide what his intentions were, but all the tiny efforts added up in the end. Today, however, his wardrobe had come up lacking, a result of the loss of some clo
What is Fantasy?There is no universally accepted definition for the fantasy genre. It can only be described as writing that is somehow “fantastic.” Beyond mere escapism, fantasy often asks us questions about our worldview that might otherwise go unnoticed in our restricted reality, or it may take the reader back to his childhood. It has mysterious elements, but isn’t necessarily illogical or absurd. Fantasy allows us to ask in revelry, “What if...?” In that sense, fantasy can even be true.
Fantasy was a reaction against the Enlightenment.
The fantasy genre is more than fairy tales. It first emerged in the Romantic period (1800-1850) and was heavily influenced by the Victorian era (1837-1901). Both drew from the medieval gothic. The artist William Morris (1834-1896), who believed we needed a return to the medieval, is probably the father of fantasy with his work The Wood Beyond the Worlds, and gothic themes are still popular in fantasy. George MacDo
The Will-o-wispThis took place in my hometown when I was seventeen. It was an exceptionally boring summer night in South Florida, hot but not too humid. I’d been hanging around with two friends, Dennis and George, for a couple of hours at Dennis’s house. To break up the monotony the three of us decided to cruise down to the Circle K. It was around nine o’ clock. Usually when we rounded the street corner at night we could see the lighted sports field next to the school, but it was summer and this night the field was dark. We walked in collective silence, having accepted that nothing would come of the evening unless we met a school chum with a car or better, a nice looking girl or two. We trudged onward toward Challenger Avenue, and just as we came up on the school parking lot, I spied something.
I remember staring out across the parking lot to the light of a moving plane in the sky, just over the gigantic strangler fig we’d hung out und
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I noticed as I was surfing the web one day that the amount of contemporary fantasy out there in magazines—well—a lot of it really doesn't interest me. In fact, I noticed the same stuff over and over again. These formulaic stories that were written to fit the magazine they were being submitted to.
You know what? That's sort of stupid. In an age of innovation, the world of writing is falling behind. It's up to us to be the innovators, to change things. To take the rules of grammar and break them into tiny pieces. We are the Picassos of the writing world.
Look back on our forefathers, those brilliant men and women of classic literature, the grandaddies of fantasy. You know, Tolkien and Stevenson, Poe and Verne. Now, look at those amazing authors out there right now. People like Jim Butcher, and Tanya Huff, C.E. Murphy, Rick Riordan, and so many more. People that bring all of the realism, and grit of real life and breathe magic into it.
We have a chance to make up for the all the terrible fantasy novels that have been written. The serials that just get longer and longer—and worse and worse as the go. We have a chance to change the way people look at fantasy. Fantasy is not just some genre that is read by a select few. It is not lesser than literature. It is no less important than those high and mighty works of fiction and prose that rise to the best-seller lists, or go on book club lists.
We in the fantasy writing community are unique in that we must be better. If the characters suck, the story falls apart. It's flat, it's boring. If the world isn't real enough, it comes off fake. The magic seems forced and worst of all—no one wants to read it. When writing fiction, you get to use the world you see everyday. Those of us in fantasy know that you have to look beyond that. Look to what we cannot see. Look into a world entirely of creation.
We build cities, we create planets and races. We have to be the Gods of our own creations. And yeah, that makes us sound like egotistical jerk-offs, but we deal. Our friends and family deal when we go on for hours about people that aren't real. They deal when we attack the couch with a broom pretending it's a troll to get that fight scene down pat. They deal when we reenact things, when we talk to ourselves, and when we research the most bizarre things imaginable on the internet, because we're writers. It's what we do. It's what we breathe for. What we dream. I can't go a day without someone else's life in my head, and that's okay with me. If you find yourself agreeing with this, then maybe you might like to listen to my proposal:
A new kind of fantasy literature magazine. One that celebrates the innovations and strides we have made. One that isn't concerned about the cookie cutter story, or the story that will sell, but the story that actually means something. The story that people don't want to read, the one they have to read.
This is the CFM, and we believe in fairies, trolls and unicorns, but we also believe in the down-trodden alcoholic magician that lives over a Chinese restaurant, the kid that rose the lab frogs from the dead, and the elf trapped in Central Park.
~ A. K. Alexander
1. Fiction. Stories should be submitted in no longer than 4,000 word segments. Longer stories are fine, in segments. No more than five segments of one story will be accepted.
Fantasy of all genres is welcome. Included in this are high fantasy, alternate earth, urban fantasy, and any and all stories that involve elves, magicians, mages, dragons, spells, curses, gods, goddesses, spirits, ghosts, and the like, regardless of the setting. We will even consider science fiction from time to time, if it has a slant to the fantastic.
This also includes horror fantasy.
2. Nonfiction. Nonfiction pieces should examine an element of fantasy literature. Reviews of books and movies within the genre are also welcome.
3. Poetry. See guidelines for fiction.
Now, isn't that easy? We will also accept some artwork, so long as it is A) In the realm of the fantastic or B) Tells a story in the realm of the fantastic (IE, it's a story illustration, book cover, etc)
For Submission Guidelines to the Magazine see the website: contemporaryfantasy.blogspot.c…