Writing a sequel to a fairy tale is a hard act to pull off but in our latest story – After the Dragon – Tobias Backman manages it perfectly. As for his bio, he writes: Tobias Backman used to hate cliffhangers until... Find out what happened next and more at www.tobybackman.wordpress.com
After The Dragon
by Tobias Backman
The knight had found the secret lair, slain the dragon, and, despite burns and bleeding wounds, he’d rescued the princess, dragged her out of the cave seconds before it collapsed.
That should’ve been the hard part. From then on it was just marry the princess, inherit half the kingdom, and happily ever after. But nobody had warned him how much of a bother the princess was – eighteen years old and never heard the word no. Nobody had told him how hard it was to rule a kingdom: dodging arrows and training with sword and shield nine hours a day was nothing compared to managing inbred nobles and peasants who thought pigs a legitimate currency.
He probably should’ve asked himself, though, who was inheriting the other half of the kingdom. He should’ve wondered if there wasn’t a younger sibling, a prince who became sole heir when his sister was gone, a prince with a massive grudge now that his plans had been foiled. And he probably should’ve wondered if the prince wasn’t the type who’d poison his own family to get rid of a few obstacles.
Taking in the scene of his in-laws and wife sprawling with their faces planted in their soup, his own throat itching and burning, and the prince grinning at him from across the table, he definitely should’ve asked the cook who’d been helping out in the kitchen lately.
Goths, Ghosts and Kung Fu
Episode 18 of the Weird Tales Radio Show is our “Down with the codfish aristocracy” edition… We look at the mystical side of Japanese martial arts + get the inside skinny on Goth culture from alternative fashion, culture and travel superstar blogger La Carmina (pictured above http://www.lacarmina.com/blog/ + see embedded link) + we report on the builder who sold his soul to the Devil and is now trapped for all eternity in a churchyard porch + in a true WTF?!? moment, learn about a deadly riot in New York that was sparked off by a dispute over who was the best Shakespearean actor treading the boards.
Click on the <player> button below or find the show on iTunes, YouTube and all the usual podcast platforms.
Separated at birth? My thanks to Andy Stokes for snapping this image of a hare with a tabor – the location is Chatsworth House Gardens and the sculpture is by the late Barry Flanagan.
D.A. Xiaolin Spires waits by ponds, making faces until the fishes emerge. Her work appears or is forthcoming in various publications such as Grievous Angel, Clarkesworld, Fireside, Analog, Reckoning, Galaxy's Edge, Terraform, LONTAR, Gathering Storm Magazine, Andromeda Spaceways, Star*line, Eye to the Telescope, Liminality and Story Seed Vault as well as anthologies of the strange and delightful, such as Sharp & Sugar Tooth, Broad Knowledge and Ride the Star Wind. She can be found on her website daxiaolinspires.wordpress.com or on Twitter: @spireswriter
Original photos by: Jeremy Thomas, Elise St. Clair and Octavian Rosca
Welcome to Episode 17 of the Weird Tales Radio Show. We talk about the folklore of the St Mark’s Eve Vigil and learn how Charles failed to see any ghosts. In our big interview we talk to artist Stuart Pearson Wright about art, werewolves and J.K.Rowling. Janie explores the myth of the underground tunnel beneath Bungay Castle. We look at the legend of the Spinning Highwayman’s Stone and ask if Countess Elizabeth Bathory may have been right about bathing in blood. And, for light relief we’ll also be playing some suitably occult music by Jethro Tull and the late Warren Zevon. Available now on iTunes, YouTube and all the usual suspects OR just click on the player below.
Here's an update on 2018 the SCI-FI-London 48 Hour Flash Fiction Challenge which is sponsored by Urban Fantasist – that's us! The entries are all in – and we have a shortlist of six, which is now in the hands of our judges.
Not only that but we also have a date and time for announcing the winner: The location is the Stratford Picturehouse in East London on Wednesday 2 May where, following a drinks reception from 7.00pm, the awards ceremony will start at 8.45pm.
Here is the Shortlist (in alphabetical order)...
All My Blood - Simon Bennett
My Electric Friend - Michael Adam Robson
Survival Mechanism - Natalie Dixon
The Charm - Bethan James
Timeless Classic - Mark Huntley-James
Windmills Turn - Sean Mason
And here is a short video about the SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival this year...
Weird Tales Radio Show
Episode 18 of the Weird Tales Radio Show is our “Down with the codfish aristocracy” edition… We look at the mystical side of Japanese martial arts + get the inside skinny on Goth culture from alternative fashion, culture and travel superstar blogger La Carmina (pictured above) + we report on the builder who sold his soul to the Devil and is now trapped for all eternity in a churchyard porch + in a true WTF?!? moment, we learn about a deadly riot in New York that was sparked off by a dispute over who was the best Shakespearean actor treading the boards.
Follow this link to access all episodes of the Weird Tales Radio Show podcasts. The page also contains links to all our platforms. Click the player button below to hear latest show.
New on the Grievous Angel
Three fantastic new poems for you now. What more can I say except they are SO Grievous Angel! You can read them HERE
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Curated by former barrister and Reuters correspondent turned writer, award-winning tech journalist, best-selling non-fiction author, sometime werewolf hunter, and internet radio host Charles Christian – Urban Fantasist is here to inform and entertain you with news and comment on weird tales, geek stuff, tech, urban myths, and folklore.
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