Celebrating the fantastical. Let your imagination run wild.
Welcome to the Matrix
Just like a 3-dimensional Princess Leia burst out of a 2-dimensional piece of film and just like that 3-D image pops off the 2-D sticker on your credit card, evidence is growing that the universe around you may be a 3-dimensional bubble emanating out of a 2-dimensional surface.
The Temple of The Torn
Haran could feel the scorching heat of the merciless sun beating down upon the back of his neck and across his bare shoulders. His right hand rested on the bone handle of his knife where it protruded from the leather sheath that was slung about his body from right shoulder to left hip. He licked his lips nervously as he waited, his ears straining for any sound at all in the eerily silent streets of another abandoned town. The third they had encountered since crossing into Nod. Where all the people of the villages had gone was a mystery, they had left their homes with doors open, their fields unattended and their flocks had scattered to the hills as if something had frightened them. In one town they had visited, Aliuem, the evening repast had even been set out upon the tables as if the people had prepared their meals and then simply stood up and walked away. Whatever was happening in the land of Nod, Haran didn't like it and desperately wanted to turn west and go home. Fear coursed through his veins as his imagination worked it's evil charm upon his mind, with each passing second he imagined more and more terrifying explanations for what he and his companions had discovered here in this heat blasted wasteland. He wished they had never come here, wished they had never left him with the oxen and the cart, wished he knew where they were now. They had left to explore the small town when the sun was still low in the eastern sky – how long had they been gone? It seemed as if he had been alone here with only the team of oxen for company for days, although in truth it could not have been more than an hour. Something moved off to his left and he turned sharply, slipping his bone handled knife from it's sheath and dropping into a half crouch as he let the oxen's bridle slip form his left hand. Peering across the dusty square he could see a tall, dark man coming towards him from a side street, in a moment the man was joined by a second, shorter man and Haran felt a wave of relief wash over him as he took up the Oxen's bridle again and slipped his knife away once more. As the familiar figures of his companions Itamar and Eitan drew closer he could see the worry etched upon both their faces. “We should leave this place.” Eitan's tone was flat as he glanced about nervously, his studded club resting over his shoulders. “What did you find?” Haran asked, his nerves screaming at him to be away from this place. “Nothing,” Itamar answered for his friend, running a hand down his black beard as he spoke. If the gesture itself was intended to conceal from Haran how the older man's hands trembled, it didn't work. “We found Nothing, and no one. Just like before. Let us be on our way!” “We should go back!” Eitan grumbled. “There is a caravansary east of here, we can be there by nightfall if we do not tarry. We will rest there and decide what to do in the morning. Perhaps some one there will know what is going on.” Itamar climber up into the wagon as he spoke, his tone was uncertain. “and if there is no one there either?” Haran asked nervously. “We head east!” Itamar snapped, his mind evidently made up.
There was a little Eskimo boy that knew how to walk in the dark, over frozen sheets of ice. Guided by his sheltering stars and cautious of predators, he would meander for hours. Numb to the bone marrow with his frozen smile he drifted. The ocean did not move at all during this time of year. In fact, what were waves before, now look like a menagerie of unfinished eerie sculptures. His igloo village was 7 nautical miles away. The sun dared to show his face, but for just a few hours at a time.
A wooden decadent cafe on the beach is where his footsteps took him. It had no visible name and seemed rather rustic. All he had to do was go towards the moon light, which tonight, reflected lazily on the oceans ever changing face.
Some words with Zsófia Döme, Hungarian Treehugger and Illustrator
Zsófia Döme (http://zsofiadome.tumblr.com/) likes to get lost in the woods and draw the things she didn’t see, those things that imagination can’t help but see while surrounded by wild greenery teeming with hidden creatures. She is a Hungarian illustrator and a current student at the Hungarian School of Fine Arts. Rooted in a kind of grotesque and spooky fantasy aesthetic, her work exudes moodiness and mythology. She works in everything from playful creature studies to scenes lush with atmospheric tension, while incorporating just enough surreal quietness to make each image more than your average fantasy art.
Best Emerging Fantasy Authors of 2016
What once was pure science fiction is looking more and more like science fact. While I have no intention of abandoning my space travel and AI fiction, I have a soft spot for fantasy simply for its disconnect from the changing world: Star Wars is a glimpse into the future, but alternate universes filled with fairies and monsters are still the ultimate escapist paradise. I spent the bulk of my free time in 2016 catching up on my pleasure reading and stumbled upon some amazing emerging fantasy authors and some of the great books they published in 2016.