Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Black Hammer

In the mood for some good, old-fashioned high fantasy? How about high fantasy infused with a healthy dose of Norse hammer-smiting of evil? How about a hot shield-maiden type doing the smiting? We've got one up over at RevolutionSF by Laura Underwood.
The quiet village huddled in terror from the ruins crowning the hill beyond. Arula reined in her horse and cast a puzzled glance over the wretched landscape. Instinctively, she reached down to touch the war hammer hanging off her saddle. The Thunder Hammer responded with a cold, nervous thrum of symbiotic magic, and Arula frowned.

"Not the most inviting place to spend the night, eh, Ham?" she said.

She let her dark gaze shift to the black-bearded Dvergar who dragged his large pony to a halt beside her. Hamlin Gobbler wrinkled his nose. "It's seen better days," he said.

"Do you know this place?" she asked.

He nodded. "Thunor's Hill," he replied. "That used to be a temple to your god up there."

"Those ruins?" she said. "What happened?"

Ham shrugged. "Haven't a clue, Rul. Haven't been here in ten winters or more. Strange. I don't remember that mountain in the middle being so tall."

Arula frowned, not sure if she was more disturbed to think a temple to her god had been deserted or the fact that Ham, like all Stone Folk, could tell if a mountain had grown. The peak he stabbed one stubby finger at did look oddly taller than those around it. It cast a long shadow towards the village. On the road ahead, she saw thralls making quickly for their homes. Since when do farmer folk leave their fields so soon before sundown? she wondered.

It's a fun piece, and I'm glad we're running it. I've been riding Laura for the better part of a year to get it whipped into shape, and I'm pleased with the end result. It's probably not the kind of thing people expect to see on RevSF, but then again, I'm not a genre snob. I don't want RevSF to become pigeonholed as publishing only this kind of speculative fiction, or that kind. Of course, the reality is that writers already have the site pigeonholed. I've been told by some that they haven't offered me anything because they don't write "the right type" of story for the site. Is there any SF site out there that has a more eclectic fiction archive? I think not...

Now Playing: The Beach Boys Endless Summer

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