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“Of the Generation” in Heroic Fantasy Anthology from Flame Tree Publishing

Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Blog Posts, Uncategorized, Writing | 0 comments

Flame Tree Publishing has posted the Tables of Contents for its new Gothic Fantasy anthologies: Time Travel and Heroic Fantasy. It’s pretty unreal to be on the same list as the author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

The full ToC for Heroic Fantasy is:

A Matter of Interpretation by M. Elizabeth Ticknor

Burned Away by Kate O’Connor

Dragon and Wolf by Zach Chapman

Erzabet and the Gladiators by Susan Murrie Macdonald

Five Fruits I Ate in Sandar Land by Michael Haynes

Laya by Voss Foster

The Mage’s Tower by Beth Dawkins

Oaths Betrayed by A. Creg Peters

Of the Generation by Therese Arkenberg

Ravenblack by Alexandra Renwick

Rhosyn am Ufel by Erin Gitchell

Those Who Wear Their White Hair Proudly by Lauren C. Teffeau

Three Hundred Pieces by David Busboom

To the Ends of the Earth by Amy Power Jansen

The Tremor Road by Tony Pi

The Usual Price by Joanna Michal Hoyt

Plus: Clark Ashton Smith, John Buchan, Snorri Sturluson, Homer, Robert E. Howard, A. Merritt, Geoffrey Chaucer, Andrew Lang, Howard Pyle, William Morris, Eric Rücker Eddison, the text of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and extracts from BeowulfThe Nibelungenlied and The Song of Roland.

And the binding! This book looks like to contains The Song of Roland and Geoffrey Chaucer–just somehow I wound up in there!

“Just somehow I wound up in here” is probably something Jorin Churnich thought, too.

Here’s part of the opening scene from “Of the Generation”:

     The brooding clouds broke as the soldiers returned. They filed through the gate, the portcullis above dripping with rain like blood from the teeth of a monster. Injured men leaned on halberds and pikes and their own companions, peering through the eyeslits of their helmets at nothing.

            Of the hundred who had gone out, only these thirty remained.

            In the midst of the men, four retainers carried a makeshift stretcher of cloaks and staves with careful anxiety. The body, tied down with bowstrings, twisted and cried out when a weary bearer stumbled over the muddy ground.

            Jorin Churnich reached between two of Deirden’s retainers and brushed golden-brown hair, damp with sweat, out of his lord’s closed eyes. As if sensing his touch—and perhaps he did; they were heart brothers, after all—Deirden calmed.

            A woman in a bright violet dress, a flash of color in the growing sunlight, appeared on the steps of the tower as they neared it. Lady Maraia gasped and ran down the steps of the keep, hiking her skirts to a height nearly improper. No one cared. The soldiers parted for her and waited as she knelt beside her husband. Jorin stood at her side. She wiped her eyes and turned to him. “What happened?”

            “The Heart-Drinker.” His tone revealed it should be obvious. “It barely touched him…we hacked away one of its claws. But he was too close to another…” He brushed sweat from his forehead. “A splinter stuck in him.” After the Heart-Drinker hauled itself off by its remaining limbs, with a mouth full of men and parts of men, Jorin had held Deirden still while a surgeon pulled out a shard as long as his forearm, inch by painful inch. His lord had lost consciousness partway through.

            “He was injured,” Maraia said, as if disbelieving her eyes. “Then the Heart-Drinker has him.” Her face, for a moment white, then flushed as tears rolled over her cheeks. Unlike the grieving widows and soon-to-be widows of song, she was not a woman who looked beautiful when she cried. The reality was not as beautiful as a song.

            “I’ll go back,” Jorin said, realizing only as he did that he had made the decision hours ago.

            “No! For Astet’s sake, Jorin, the Heart-Drinker still has seven claws! Don’t follow Dei—”

            “Would you ask me to watch him die? You may have married him, Maraia, but I have known and loved him before I knew myself.”

            “I know you are heart brothers,” she said with only the slightest envy, “but that’s no reason to commit suicide.”

            “The Heart-Drinker is sated on more than half a hundred of our men. It will be slow, tired. I think I can kill it if I work quickly.” Seeing that she still hesitated, he insisted, “It’s our only chance.”

            Beside them, Deirden blinked bleary gray eyes. They seemed to focus for a moment, first on Maraia, then Jorin, before they closed again.

            Maraia sighed. “I would want the same as you if my heart sister was ravaged by the Heart-Drinker. But don’t run off too quickly. The surgeons in the keep can help him, can gain us time…” She frowned and added, “Go to the house of Alumbra before you try anything. She has made a study of Heart-Drinkers, among other things. She can help you.”


            “I know Dierden doesn’t like some of her…more intense experiments, nor approve of her opinions of the Hunt. But her research—could she have made all those tales up? She knows things, about history and science and whatever knowledge might kill a Heart-Drinker. Maybe if he had listened to her when she came to him, before you all charged off…maybe this wouldn’t have happened.” Faltering, Maraia brushed at her face with her sleeve. Her tears had already dried; she succeeded only in further blotching her complexion.

            Jorin gave in. “Then I’ll go to her. But I want to see Deirden set up first.”


Heroic Fantasy and its gorgeous sister anthologies will be released this July and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.


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