No, it's not yet the last Sunday of the month. Nor have I learnt the magic of time-travel yet.
But I popped in to your inbox a week earlier than usual to let you know that the ebook version of A Benevolent Goddess is free on all bookstores for the next five days, Aug 21–25. (Hence, this unexpected missive that couldn't wait until next Sunday!)
The short story is free as part of a promotion being run by The International Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors (IASFA) and for the next five days, you can grab a number of fantasy short stories, including mine, for free. And you don't even need to sign up for anything to access these tales!
The IASFA is a professional organization focused on aligning readers with authors. In my opinion, it is just as delightful for an author to find new connoisseurs of their fiction as it is for a reader to come across an author whose stories grab them by the heart and soul.
You don't need to sign up to get this month's collection of free fantasy short stories. But if you like what you see, you can also join the IASFA monthly newsletter to get five free books across a variety of SFF sub-genres when you sign up and more free books thereafter every month.
This month, IASFA included in its newsletter a brief brief history of the short story format in the fantasy genre, and it was so riveting I have included an excerpt from it below. Enjoy!
Fantasy Short Stories: Quick Quests for the Brave
We think of fantasy as being epic. Enormous tomes, multi-volume novels, sweeping landscapes, and a hero’s tale. Can fantasy be told effectively in a shorter format? This month’s collection of fantasy short stories answers that question with a resounding “yes!”
The Fantasy genre has been around a LONG time. Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey—those almost three-thousand-year-old classics—are fantasy literature, complete with magic, perilous journeys, and mighty battles.
Short stories, on the other hand, are newer. Edgar Allen Poe was one of the first writers to use the term “short story,” and he wrote less than two hundred years ago. But short-form fantasy stories have been around for a while: ETA Hoffmann’s The Golden Pot, The Brothers Grimm’s fairy tales, and (Poe’s contemporary) Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen. And all of those were likely based on older oral traditions.
JRR Tolkien also wrote shorter works. His Leaf by Niggle, which was written shortly after The Hobbit was published, is probably his most famous.
Last month we talked about some of the great SF Magazines—most of them contained short stories in both Science Fiction and Fantasy. In the 1930s, Robert E Howard wrote his first Conan the Barbarian story which appeared in the magazine Weird Tales. Many consider Conan to be the original Sword and Sorcery stories. While there are more than fifty Conan novels, written by a number of authors, Howard penned 21 stories featuring the barbarian.
If you love fantasy, but have little time to indulge, check out the IAFSA’s gift of short fantasy stories. From August 21st through the 25th, grab free short stories about dragons, wizards, elves, sprites, knights, gods and goddesses and so much more.
This collection is brought to you only by the mysterious high council at the IASFA. No signup necessary, but if you want more free Science Fiction and Fantasy books every month, join our newsletter. Next month is free Science Fiction novels!
And we shall meet again next Sunday to mark the near-end of yet another month and the slow but steady inching of our lives towards the last four months of the year. Now, where did all that time go?