As stated previously, I’m a fan of StoryHack Magazine first as a reader and second as a writer and third as a writer who has graced its pages.
Sure, one of my stories appeared in Issue 0, and another will show up in Issue 2. I don’t submit to publications that I wouldn’t read myself. If the magazine can’t hold your interest as a reader, why would think it would do the same for any other reader? While my shilling for StoryHack contains elements of self-aggrandizement from a financial perspective, don’t think for a second my writing is the horse that drives this cart. My continued support for StoryHack as a writer stems first from my love of it as a reader.
Bryce has an eye for stories that read smooth and writers who know how to properly pace a story. As with most readers, I have my own little comfort niches in fantasy and sci-fi, but if the Amazon algorithm is to be believed, my tastes are rare. Most readers have that one niche genre that they read and from which they rarely stray.
To be sure, I’m not a big fan of urban fantasy or steampunk. Most of my experiences with those genres have consisted of bland girl wish fulfillment absent the stakes and challenges and personal character growth. Mopey girls who lack concrete motivation do nothing for me, so I generally give those genres a wide berth. Enter StoryHack, and Tales of the Once and Future King, both of whom have editors with tastes I trust, and I’m much more willing to risk ten minutes of free time on a steampunk story. So lately, thanks to collections like this, I find my attitude thawing and my horizons expanding.
Ain’t that a kick in the pants? Me, a guy with a strong sense of adventure, taking risks in my reading, whodathunkit?
Seriously, who are these readers that pick up fantasy and science-fiction and adventure tales for a taste of something new, but who then turn up their noses at anything outside of one genre because it’s too big a risk? It’s three bucks for one of my books, and ten minutes to decide whether or not you want to finish the thing. That’s not a risk, that’s an adventure. If you confine your literary explorations to one narrow valley then you’re no more adventurous than readers of romance novels.
And you are not a reader I have any interest in capturing as a fan. As a writer, I will take you places you’ve never imagined. If you want to place narrow strictures on the boundaries of my territory, then go with my blessing. Or perhaps I should say, STAY with my blessing. Stay right here in your comfortable little dwelling with its familiar trappings and rules and decorations. Hobbiton needs people like you obeying the algorithms and walking the same paths over and over and over again. But if you want to see what’s over the next hill, and the next, and over the mountains behind them, and the forest behind them, then you my friend…you are the man I want by my side when we set out into the great unknown.