From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

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Sept. 2011 (Issue 54)

Welcome to issue fifty-three of Fantasy Magazine! Here’s what we’ve got on tap this month … Fiction: “Lessons from a Clockwork Queen” by Megan Arkenberg, “Using It and Losing It” by Jonathan Lethem, “The Nymph’s Child” by Carrie Vaughn, “Three Damnations: A Fugue” by James Alan Gardner. Nonfiction: “Steampunk and the Architecture of Idealism” by David Brothers, “The Language of Fantasy” by David Salo, “Ten Reasons To Be a Pirate” by John Baur and Mark Summers, “Feature Interview: Brandon Sanderson” by Leigh Butler.

In This Issue: Sept. 2011 (Issue 54)

Nonfiction

Editorial, September 2011

Welcome to issue fifty-three of Fantasy Magazine! Here’s what we’ve got on tap this month … Fiction: “Lessons from a Clockwork Queen” by Megan Arkenberg, “Using It and Losing It” by Jonathan Lethem, “The Nymph’s Child” by Carrie Vaughn, “Three Damnations: A Fugue” by James Alan Gardner. Nonfiction: “Steampunk and the Architecture of Idealism” by David Brothers, “The Language of Fantasy” by David Salo, “Ten Reasons To Be a Pirate” by John Baur and Mark Summers, “Feature Interview: Brandon Sanderson” by Leigh Butler.

Nonfiction

Editorial, September 2011

Welcome to issue fifty-three of Fantasy Magazine! Here’s what we’ve got on tap this month … Fiction: “Lessons from a Clockwork Queen” by Megan Arkenberg, “Using It and Losing It” by Jonathan Lethem, “The Nymph’s Child” by Carrie Vaughn, “Three Damnations: A Fugue” by James Alan Gardner. Nonfiction: “Steampunk and the Architecture of Idealism” by David Brothers, “The Language of Fantasy” by David Salo, “Ten Reasons To Be a Pirate” by John Baur and Mark Summers, “Feature Interview: Brandon Sanderson” by Leigh Butler.

Fiction

Lessons from a Clockwork Queen

She pulled back the sheets and found the little hole in the queen’s throat where the winding key fit like a kiss, and she turned and turned the key until her shoulders ached and she couldn’t turn it anymore.

Nonfiction

Author Spotlight: Megan Arkenberg

As the story went through revisions, I reworked some of the lessons (and sometimes changed them back again!) to be sillier and less predictable. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was tempting to fall back on “true love conquers all.”

Nonfiction

Steampunk and the Architecture of Idealism

Steampunk as a genre is about traversing the edge of that level of technology. Characters have weapons and gadgets that are conceptually similar to things we have in the modern day, but work in entirely different ways.

Fiction

Using It and Losing It

Pratt walked the distance to work, stopped in at his accustomed cigar store to buy cigarettes, and rode the elevator upstairs to his office; in short, his standard routine, without deviation—yet it didn’t feel right.

Nonfiction

Author Spotlight: Jonathan Lethem

What strikes me now is how much like Pratt I am, in a way—devoted to hardening my shell of ignorance, and operating within it, even if it isn’t so small as his.

Nonfiction

The Language of Fantasy

Quenya, Tsolyáni, Láadan, Klingon, Kesh, Na’vi, Dothraki … this is not a magic spell, nor a litany from some ancient prayer book, but just a few just a few of the invented languages that have made it into print or onto the screen.

Fiction

The Nymph’s Child

She’d sail off the edge of the world with him. She very nearly had, that time through the Iron Teeth. This was simply another journey, and it would be over soon. Rope around her neck, a moment of fear, then nothing.

Nonfiction

Author Spotlight: Carrie Vaughn

There’s evidence that quite a few women disguised themselves and took the seas. Fast Ships, Black Sails included quite a few stories about women pirates. Should I bring up Cutthroat Island? No?

Nonfiction

Ten Reasons to be a Pirate

When people stumble into the pirate world—like drunken sailors stumbling into a seedy dockside tavern—they do it for one reason, the same reason that men and women became pirates in the golden age of pirates: Pirates are cool.

Fiction

Three Damnations: A Fugue

I woke naked in the garden. Nothing grew there—not even weeds. Just withered stalks that looked ages old. Maybe dating back to when things were still okay. The darkness was beginning to brighten. I always came to, just before dawn.

Nonfiction

Author Spotlight: James Alan Gardner

Ultimately, I realized I was writing a story about three people who are trapped in different versions of hell: the three damnations in the title. None of the three has the strength of character to break free.

Nonfiction

Feature Interview: Brandon Sanderson

One of the things that bothers me about a lot of fantasy is that the worlds are strangely static, like we invent all sorts of contrived circumstances to keep them from progressing naturally, because we want stories of a certain type.