I have two links to share today. First of all, my friend and fellow Best Fan Writer Hugo finalist Paul Weimer has revived the popular Mind Meld feature, where several SFF authors and fans answer the same question, at nerds of a feather.
This edition of the Mind Meld asks the following following question:
Congratulations. You have been given a Star Trek style holodeck, fully capable otherwise, you can bring in anyone you want, hold a roomful of people but not an entire Worldcon in it, but you can only program it to be fixed to one time and place or the verse of one fictional work or series.
Where/what do you program your holodeck for? (Star Wars and Star Trek are off the table!)
Visit nerds of a feather to read the answers of Fonda Lee, K.B. Wagers, Beverly Bambury, Arturo Serrano, Mikalea Lind, Camestros Felapton, H.M. Long, Claire O’Dell, Maurice Broaddus, Catherine Lundoff, Elizabeth Bear, Andrew Hiller, K.B. Spengler, Nancy Jane Moore, Shelley Parker-Chan and myself.
I have to admit that Fritz Leiber’s Lankhmar and Robert E. Howard’s Hyborian Age were on my shortlist of possible places to program my holodeck for, before I decided on a setting with indoor plumbing and less chance of random and brutal death.
Therefore, it’s only fitting that my other announcement concerns new sword and sorcery fiction. Because issue 3 of Whetstone Amateur Magazine of Sword and Sorcery just came out today on the 85th anniversary of the death of Robert E. Howard, founding father of the sword and sorcery genre and creator of Conan, Kull, Bran Mak Morn, Solomon Kane, Dark Agnes and many others.
This issue includes my story “The Gate of Mist” as well as new sword and sorcery tales (as well as at least one sword and planet story) by N.A. Chaudhry, Michael Burke, Jace Phelps, Chuck E. Clark, Scott Schmidt, Luke E. Dodd, J. Thomas Howard, Ethan Sabatella, T.A. Markitan, L.D. Whitney, Rob Graham, George Jacobs, Richard Truong, B. Harlan Crawford and Dimitar Dakovski with an introduction by editor Jason Ray Carney and a great cover by Mustafa Bekir.
My story is called “The Gate of Mist”. It’s another story that originated during the 2020 July Short Story Challenge. At the time, I called it “Brokeback Mountain”, but with warrior monks and cloud monsters (and a happy for now ending), which is still an appropriate description. Come to think of it, the fact that “The Gate of Mist” is an LGBTQ+ story makes it doubly appropriate, because June is also Pride Month.
So what are you waiting for? Get issue 3 of Whetstone here.
ETA: Here’s a review of Whetstone Issue 3 by J. Thomas Howard, who is also one of the authors who appear in this issue.