Sunday, July 26, 2009


My latest story "The Grey Div" is online at Abandoned Towers Magazine. It's a Sword & Sorcery tale that takes its cue from Persian legend. Just go to the menu for "Fantasy" and click on the link!

Also online is my Western "Jayhawker Ague, Bushwhacker Fever" online at Pulp Spirit, an e-zine associated with Planetary Stories. It's about a cattle drive to Sedalia, Missouri in the days of the Border Ruffians.

And finally, you can still see my tale "The Bunyip Sea" at Static Movement. Its a story of exploration and mayhem in the Australian Outback.

Feel free to drop me a comment here about any of the stories and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Dark Worlds #4 is out!


The feature tale is Derrick Ferguson's "The Tale of Baron's Tribute" -a Fantasy novella - (cover and illos by M. D. Jackson). Also in this ish are " A Little Nest Egg" by Ken Goldman - a creepy horror tale - (illos by Sam deGraff), "Ma Ca Rong" by Jack Mackenzie, an occult investigation by Harlan daVinci set in Viet Nam (illos by G. W. Thomas), "One Last Run, Among the Stars" by Michael Ehart - a space opera with plenty of heart (illos by M. D. Jackson), "Redneck Meatwagon" by Skadi meic Beorh - a futuristic horror tale (illos by Sam deGraff), "Midnight in the Wax Museum" by Orrin Grey is a comedic fantasy (cartoon illos by G. W. Thomas), "Black Sun", a Mythos SF tale by G. W. Thomas (illos by M. D. Jackson) and a Sword & Sorcery novella "Sometimes Death Gods are Merciful" by the master, C. J. Burch.

Also a review of Terror Time by William P. Robertson (Pennsylvania's poet laureate) with an interview.


By Jack Williamson

Clay Forester is a research scientist in a society poised for apocalyptic war with a totalitarian neighbor. Once he learned for the sake of learning, now defense work is his lifeblood, the essence of a society with a single-minded focus on war. Then the Humanoids show up.

In this tale of ‘50s America transported to outer-space Jack Williamson spins one of his most dystopian of utopias. The Humanoids are graceful, indestructible, black-plastic coated robots. Their single imperative is to serve and protect mankind, and especially to protect him from himself. The result is a surrealist tale of war between a galactic empire of robots and a tiny band of refugees waged on a level far beyond the merely physical.

Williamson’s mastery of pace and characterization match his grasp of the philosophical and moral complexities of his cybernetic proposition. The direst consequences proceed from a will to do what is best for mankind. Good and evil are sharply defined only to become confused again in an instant. The Humanoids is one of SF’s most challenging and rewarding novels.

-Dave Hardy

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I have a new story on Pulp Spirit #6. It is Jayhawker Ague, Bushwhacker Fever. The story is a Western albeit not the usual. In the 1850s, one of the main markets for Texas cattle was Sedalia, Missouri. That was where the railroad to the Northern states ended, thus it was where ranchers could drive cattle to sell to beef-hungry markets.

Of course Missouri in the 1850s was in the throes of a war between anti-slavery settlers in Kansas and pro-slavery settlers from the South known as "Bleeding Kansas." The rival factions were known as Jayhawkers (anti-slavery) and Border Ruffians or Bushwhackers (pro-slavery). Years ago I read R.H. Wilson's memoir With the Border Ruffians. Wilson was an Englishman who came to America and lived in the mountains of Virginia, tried settling in Kansas, and was a rancher in Texas during the 1850s and '60s. It gave me my first idea that the West was a good deal different from movie-Westerns.

Incidentally, I have long believed that the bitterness of "Bleeding Kansas" lingers on. I vividly recall Attorney General Ashcroft, a Missourian, announcing after 9/11, "We've secured the border with Kansas. I mean Canada."

Well of course. In their day men like James Lane, John Brown, and William Quantrill were regarded much as Osama bin Laden, George Bush and other GWOT luminaries: heroes dedicated to a principal to some, blood-thirsty fanatics to others. Though lacking the scope of our modern GWOT-warriors, they left a trail of death and destruction.

In this story, I have focused less on the politics than the economics of slavery, specifically the monetarization of people.

Pulp Spirit is a companion to Planetary Stories, their homepage is

-Dave Hardy

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


My short story, "The Bunyip Sea" is online now at Static Movement. It's a sort of Australian Outback-Western about the search for mysteries in the hearts of continents or of men.

An Australian Western may seem like an odd combination, but it seems natural to me. I grew up watching Westerns and reading Western history (from "Roughing It" to "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" to "I'll Die Before I Run" etc). When I encountered the history of other frontier lands of the Victorian era: Australia, South Africa, the Argentine pampas, & more, I realized the patterns I had of the Western: cowboys, Indians, outlaws, lawmen, etc repeated in strange ways across the world. However exception America is, it is the product of the forces of colonialism, the conquest of lands, the destruction of the natives and the construction of new communities from disparate elements.

This particualr piece owes a fair bit the Alan Moorehead's account of the Burke & Wills expedition, Cooper's Creek, though Graeme Clifford's film (starring Jack Thompson) and an ancient Smithsonian article on Burke & Wills shaped my imagination as it relates to those gallant, doomed explorers.

Speaking of cimantic Aussie Westerns, by all means check out The Proposition, directed by John Hillcoat & written by Nick Cave. Excellent perfomrances by Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone, Emily Watson & Danny Huston to name a few.

-Dave Hardy