Last issue, I started the editorial by talking about my new favorite writing position, which can be summed up as “lying back on the couch with a bottle of red wine.” It seems a bit of an obvious, or even stereotypical, revelation. I have another obvious revelation for you: sitting at a playground full of screaming children is *not* my favorite writing position. It’s not that I don’t love children, especially my own kids, but the concept of going to a park and letting my kids run around while I sit back and concentrate on some Dargon work is, if not a complete farce, then at least ill advised. Somehow, no matter how many times I’ve been there and allowed them to run around without them ever bothering me, they seem to know immediately when I am relying on their inattention, and reverse course directly. Suffice it to say, instead of hammering out my editorial at the park, I ended up playing “Groundy” (a version of “Tag”), pushing swings, and helping the youngest make her way across monkey bars. It was enjoyable, but not productive in the sense for which I’d hoped.
Last issue, I also started taking focused looks at the various authors in the Dargon Project. I had the opportunity to review someone from the leadership team as well as one of our newer authors. Thanks to this issue’s stories, I again don’t have to choose from the loose pool of authors we have, but rather can focus on the two who are seeing publication herein, namely Dafydd Cyhoeddwr and Keith English.
Dafydd. Where to begin? With Dafydd, at the beginning of the Dargon Project itself, prior to the formation of DargonZine. Our first zine was a publication titled FSFNet, and the Dargon Project was an idea that Orny and a few scattered authors across Bitnet (one of the precursors to the Internet) to start a shared world where every story had a common millieu, and every action in one story had the possibility of affecting another story further down the line. Dafydd wrote one of the earlier stories to ever see print, and has remained a consistent presence ever since. This was more years back than our esteemed former editor would likely care to remember, but just in case someone asks, it was in FSFNet Volume 5, number 3, the summer of 1986, and the story is called A New Life. Since then, Dafydd has become far and away the most prolific author the Project has seen, with over 70 stories in print. You can check them all out via his profile, here. But that’s not all! Dafydd also manned the helm of this ship of fools for several years, taking over from Ornoth and initiating DargonZine as a formal publishing vehicle. And as if that weren’t enough, Dafydd was also presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dargon Project for his massive effort on Talisman, as well as his leadership throughout the years. And, just in case you thought his accolades couldn’t go on, Dafydd also started this
mess great new arc by introducing us to the Doravin. He is a force of nature, where Dargon is concerned, and consistently writes compelling characters, intricate plots, and manages to break all the rules while convincing us it’s okay.
If my next author’s focus does not have such a huge pedigree, please remember that Dafydd has been here for a LONG time, and Keith is relatively new by our standards. That being said, Keith is no slouch for the Project. While this issue is publishing only his third story, he has been highly active for the past several years, participating, producing, and basically being a model author for Dargon. (Keith has just published his first professional book of short stories, Fragments of the Coil. Nine original pieces by one of our most aspiring authors. It’s available exclusively on Amazon for the time being, and I highly recommend picking up a copy. -Ed.) Keith’s background in martial arts has assisted us with blocking and tactics in fight scenes, he’s lent a critical eye toward story reviews, and he brings a level of energy and enthusiasm to the group that makes me hopeful for the Project’s future. As the Old Guard gets older, new blood needs to come in and take the reins, and Keith embodies the kind of person I’d like to see do just that.
All that being said, let’s get on to the issue. As usual, we have two stories being published this issue, by the authors mentioned above. The first is part two of Keith’s Sowing Seeds, which continues the story of Aerimon and the new Captain of the Guard, Kalen Darklen. The second story is Thread Five of Ol Tamboch Narhin, Dafydd’s tale of a magic, the Beinison Empire, the Doravin, and a chaos wizard that has been plaguing Dargon. Don’t forget to leave feedback, and — as ever –