Harlan the Great is our (fictional) resident fantasy expert. He guards the gates of our magazine and only lets the best fantasy stories pass through. He's thorough and very particular. He has very high standards and will only accept stories that will make him drop his sword in awe!
No one was ever lucky enough to catch Harlan in a photo-taking pose, nor had anyone tried and lived to talk about it. So, the only visual representation we have of him was from his 267th birthday party when he, reluctantly, allowed artist Aaron to create a painting of him. We appreciate and thank Aaron for allowing us to use this original work of art: Fantasy Warrior.
So, what is our Fantasy department looking for mostly?
Here are some of the sub-genres that we like in particular:
- Alternate World
- Dark Fantasy
- High or Epic
- Sword & Sorcery
- Urban Fantasy
Regardless of the sub-genre, the stories must have at least one strong fantastic element. However, the stories should not be purely about that fantastic element. We are not interested in stories that simply describe an interesting magical feature, world, or object. We want a true story built around that one (or more) fantastic element.
To that end, all stories must have a beginning, middle and end. We like to see strong characters, and characters that change throughout the story. We love powerful character arcs, especially when the character’s evolution is very closely related to the fantastic element. If your story could happen potentially in a normal, non-fantastic setting, the story is probably not for us. In other words, don’t take a normal story and throw some magic in it. We like to see the story spawn from the fantastic.
Disclaimer: No, Harlan is not real. We wish he were. Our love for fantasy is such we felt it deserves personification.