It begins today with an idea for an award to be given for the best heroic fantasy or sword-and-sorcery published during the year.
There are actually two awards - one for the author of the best story, and one for the magazine who publishes the best story.
It's a monetary award. And it's recognition - something for the winners to put on the cover page and their web site.
But why an award?
Because in our humble opinion, heroic fantasy and sword-and-sorcery have become the red-headed stepchildren of fantasy publishing, forever ruined by the piles of garbage the industry churned out many years ago, virtually destroying the genre's respectability.
Because not enough of it is published today, and what little is published isn't recognized as worthy of praise, no matter how good it is. Because, as a slush reader once put it to me, "I think the time's past when we could get away with publishing simple good vs evil sword and sorcery stuff."
Dear reader, that's why.
Because that's just wrong. A good story should always be published, no matter what the editorial trend of the moment seems to dictate, because the times are always, always, always wrong. The next big thing in arts or letters is never discovered by the timid or conservative. It is always the result of someone willing to take a chance. The Ham-Sized Fist Award is meant to encourage editors and publishers and writers to take a chance, so that perhaps the genre can be reinvented, but more importantly rediscovered.
The first award will be granted for a story published in 2009. The total for the award will be periodically updated in the sidebar. It is my hope to bring the award up to at least $500 for the author and publisher, but more would be better. The award is bestowed through WordArts, Inc., a 501(c)(3) literary non-profit with tax-deductible contribution status. If you would like to help sponsor the award, please click here or use the donate button to the right.
The Rules appear in the next post.