Enjoying paperback book cover art has been one of my guilty pleasures since I was a kid. If there was paperback cover art to be stared at, well I stared at it. Sometimes that was my ultimate goal going into the library. I did read as well, but there were some days I would just consume paperback cover art. Well there have been some covers that impacted me more than others. Some of them even inspired me to write. I thought I would share one of the most impactful.
Having no more to do and nothing to affect, Surek Taban, Minister of Port Frailty and hero of the Sixteen Generations War gave a final look of warning and signaled the warriors at his side to move out before himself disappearing southwest into the fog-blanketed alleys of Neodan, presumably back to his stronghold at the center of the city.
Once the three condemned, former students reached their places on the gallows, the person in the raven costume prepared them for hanging. This was an occasion crucial to the Choosing. That is, trading out the lives of those who had failed for those new Chosen who would take their place. Xala had always thought the practice barbaric, but it was accepted as part of the process by the people of Undertown.
It was here, within the northeastern walls of Port Frailty, at the gate of filigreed iron called the Maerg which separated the neighborhoods of Aefenrest from Neodan, the morning throng was gathering for the Choosing.
In the search to define the increasingly nebulous term Dark Fantasy, I have found myself surrendering to self-imposed meditations during which I try to relegate the din of the interwebs on the subject to the back of my mind. No, it hasn't worked so well to that end, really. However, it has helped me to integrate the cacophony of online content into my own pre and post internet experiences as an enthusiast and consumer of dark fantasy into a shortlist of more-or-less generalized Dark Fantasy constructs and tropes.
There are many ways that writers are inspired to write, spanning the gamut of available entertainment modalities, occurrences in daily life and well just about everything in between. And writers are typically inspired by a variety of things all of which can change over time. However, for me, the single most impactful form of inspiration for my writing has come from art. That is, imagery mostly in the form of fantasy and science fiction paintings or illustrations. It is my desire to share some of those images with you along with the way that they affected me as a writer.
It is the biggest reason I wanted to see it in the theater. It is what I have been waiting for since I was a kid. And I knew, I knew that with today's technology, it had to be worth seeing on the big screen. That is, the environments and cityscapes of course.
The word forlorn is awesome. It is just one of those words that conveys such a deep furrow of mood texture but within a very specific field of context. And if there were ever a genre of fiction that could lay claim to the word as its own, I would submit that dark fantasy deserves the honor. I am not so much talking about using the actual word in a description of a character, although that might be impactful, but to actually create a character that embodies the the essence of the word.
This is a growing collection of short works set in a sprawling and venerable city called Port Frailty.