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!