Issue 4 Introduction

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Welcome to Issue #4 of Fantasy Scroll Magazine.

Woo-hoo! We’ve done it! The first year is behind us. Let me take just a moment to recall what we’ve accomplished in this first year. We have published 4 issues, 52 total stories, 41 of which were original stories and 11 were reprints. In addition, we featured 18 interviews with authors, editors, and artists, 4 book reviews, and 4 movie reviews. Besides giving a voice to a lot of awesome, new writers, we’ve also included well-known names, such as Ken Liu, Mike Resnick, Piers Anthony, Cat Rambo, KJ Kabza, Alex Shvartsman, and more.

Our website has slightly morphed into something bigger and better each month as we’ve listened to your comments and suggestions on how to improve it. Our readership and traffic is growing, and we’re doing our best to keep you all entertained!

As we are approaching the end of this year, our first year, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped along the way. I want to thank the staff—editors, first readers and proofreaders—for doing a great job. This magazine would not be possible without the help of these awesome volunteers. I want to thank the writers who relentlessly send us their works and I want to thank the readers for reading our magazine and spreading the good word around.

Now, before I talk about our future plans, let me delve into the meat of Issue #4.

As always, we have a pretty diverse selection of fantasy and science fiction stories. I feel like this issue in particular is a little bit on the light side, the stories are more uplifting than before; maybe we just wanted to end this year on a slightly positive note.

We start the issue with Cat Rambo’s “Circus in the Bloodwarm Rain,” a story that deals with teenage struggle, with being misunderstood and unable to find your place in the community, all wrapped in a shroud of magic and fantasy. And since I’m here, I’d like to congratulate Cat on her new role of Vice President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Way to go, Cat!

Next is a reprint from Rachel Pollack, “Forever,” originally published in F&SF. This is a story where the fantastic blends with reality and the boundaries between them get diluted. It’s a story of love and struggle, and dealing with loss.

Henry Szabranski’s “The Dragonmaster’s Ghost” is a classic-feel fantasy story, filled with spells, ghosts, unusual places, and a strong female character.

After this fantasy overload, we move to “Restart,” a science fiction story by William Reid describing a world where time can be controlled by certain people. “Feeling All Right” by Richard Zwicker flows right in, and discusses the effects of artificially-programmed emotions.

Seth Chambers lights up the mood with his funny “Universe in a Teacup,” followed by the more serious “Skipping Stones,” by Erin Cole.

Charity Tahmaseb comes next with a poignant flash story called “Incriminating Evidence.” Next is James B. Willard with his paranormal story, ” Posthumous,” that borders horror in a very subtle way.

Your Cities,” is a reprint by Anaea Lay, depicting a strange future where cities come alive.

We finish on a lighter note with Anna Zumbro’s “Seaside Sirens, 1848,” and William Meikle’s “#Dragonspit,” a story based on Twitter.

In addition to these stories, we have interviews with Cat Rambo, Charity Tahmaseb, William Meikle, and award winning editor Lynne Thomas of ex-Apex fame and current editor of a new speculative magazine called Uncanny. We have our usual artist spotlight featuring the cover artist for this issue, Kuldar Leement. The book review in this issue is written by Jeremy Szal for Joe Abercrombie’s “Half a King,” the first book in The Shattered Sea series. Lastly, we have our movie review by Mark Leeper—”Interstellar,” directed by Christopher Nolan.

On top of all of this, we are experimenting with something new in this last issue of 2014: games. We did an interview with the founders of Awaken Realms, a Polish design company who created a new fantasy-based game called “The Edge.” The game will be available in 2015, so in this article we are talking with its creators about the idea, the process, and the goals for the future. We hope you enjoy this segment and if we find enough traction perhaps we’ll make this a permanent feature.

So, that’s it for our Issue #4! But before I say goodbye, let me tell you a few words about what 2015 will be for Fantasy Scroll Magazine.

First of all—ta-da!—we are turning bi-monthly. Our readers told us they’d rather read us more often, so in 2015 we will have 6 issues instead of 4, with the first issue being published on or around February 1st. Our hope is that during 2015 we will strengthen our processes, become closer to a well-oiled machine, and improve our finances, all as a setup to becoming a monthly publication in 2016. So far, we are on track!

The second big news is that we are launching our own podcast! We think that the stories we publish are so cool that they deserve an actual voice. So we partnered with a few voice actors and loaded a room with recording and editing equipment, and we’re ready to go! Each of the stories for which we obtain audio rights will be produced as an audio file and distributed on the site with the corresponding issue. Then, on a weekly basis we will push the podcast episodes to the various podcast libraries, such as iTunes, Soundcloud, Downpour and so on. We hope that the listeners will enjoy our podcast and will help grow our subscription base.

Also, sometime in 2015 we will release an anthology containing all stories we have published in 2014. We don’t know when yet, but you’ll be the first to know. We will do our best to do an e-book and a print version of this anthology, but the time and the finances will tell…

Last, but not least, we wanted to remind everyone that our magazine survives through paid subscriptions and through donations from the public. So, even though you have access to all stories for free, online, we urge you to subscribe or donate to help our magazine. It’s still our goal to become a pro-zine, paying professional rates to writers, but we are not there yet. Our issues sell for $2.99 and only $9.99 for annual subscriptions, which is a really good deal. I hope you’ll subscribe and we promise to keep doing what we’re doing! Thank you!

Enjoy this issue and see you all in 2015!

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Iulian Ionescu

About Iulian Ionescu

Iulian is the Editor-in-Chief and publisher of Fantasy Scroll Mag. He is a science fiction and fantasy writer who enjoys blogging and technology. He runs the fiction writing blog Fantasy Scroll and if you want to know more about his works, check out his author page.