A Night in the Witherlands – accepted
As I have noted previously, I have made some substantial work on Old Phuul in 2021. But that does not mean I still can’t produce a short story now and again.
In an excellent piece of news, my 6,400-word sword and sorcery piece, A Night in the Witherlands, has been accepted for publication at Heroic Fantasy Quarterly – http://www.heroicfantasyquarterly.com/ – for their next issue.
A Night in the Witherlands is my second ‘Manfred’ story, following the same protagonist who first appeared in A Breath Through Silver (http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue849/breath_silver1.html). It is also the second time my work has appeared in Heroic Fantasy Quarterly – I had a poem, The Night Before Yule, published with them in November 2016 (http://www.heroicfantasyquarterly.com/?p=2105). A Night in the Witherlands is my first prose work to appear in this magazine, however.
So far as influences on A Night in the Witherlands go, there are two conscious ones:
(1) Tolkien’s Barrow Wight. In August 2020, I returned to that chapter while writing a Barrow Wight-related blog post (https://phuulishfellow.wordpress.com/2020/08/15/a-barrow-to-push-a-reply-to-stephen-winter/), and the scene rather stuck in my head. I normally steer clear of conscious Tolkien influences, but this time I made an exception.
(2) Tam O’Shanter, by Robert Burns. I read a collection of Burns’ poems in July 2020 – about time, seeing as his statue sits in the middle of my home city, and while I remember smiling at the mundanity of most of his subject matter, some parts clearly stuck. I find they often do, with poetry. Anyway, I was having some problems with coming up with a satisfying conclusion to my story, and then suddenly I recalled Tam O’Shanter… problem solved. Thanks, Robbie.