“Feathered Dragon,” by BCS Artist Matts Minnhagen

Swords! Dragons! Knights in armor!

Often fantasy short fiction readers, and writers, turn up their noses and groan at these classic elements of fantasy fiction.  But these elements have a powerful and endearing resonance with millions of readers, TV viewers, RPG players, and gamers.

And they can still be written grippingly well in fantasy fiction.  George R.R. Martin’s Ice and Fire novels feature many common fantasy elements, but he does them with equal focus on the characters as nuanced, flawed, conflicted real people.

At BCS, we favor literary approaches on classic elements, such as a focus on the characters, but the dragons or knights or thieves are still there. Here are a few past BCS stories that feature classic fantasy elements:


Dragon’s-Eyes” by Margaret Ronald

The Stone Oaks” by Stephen Case


Kurtana,” by Christian K. Martinez (coming next week in BCS #136)

The Giants of Galtares” by Sue Burke

Bearslayer and the Black Knight” by Tom Crosshill

Beyond the Shrinking World” by Nathaniel Katz


The Sword of Loving Kindness, Pt. I” by Chris Willrich

Thieves of Silence” by Holly Phillips

To Go Home to Leal” by Susan Forest

Walking Out” by Harry R. Campion


Ill-Met at Midnight” by David Tallerman

In the Gardens of the Night” by Siobhan Carroll

‘Epic’ feel or flavor (war, politics, intrigue, nations and hearts in the balance):

To Kiss the Granite Choir” by Michael Anthony Ashley

The Traitor Baru Cormorant, Her Field-General, and Their Wounds” by Seth Dickinson

Silk and Shadow” by Tony Pi

Of Shifting Skin and Certainty” by Justin Howe

From the Spices of Sanandira” by Bradley P. Beaulieu

Elves (yes, there have been BCS stories that feature elves!):

Now Ix, He Was a Lover” by Hannah Strom-Martin

 BCS readers, feel free to add your favorites!

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