Welcome to Issue 2 of the Grendelsong reboot! We have some fantastic stories in this issue, ones that one-punch knocked me out. As we move forward with each issue, I realize in order to keep that grendeltaste pure and undiluted I’ll need to cut back to two issues a year. I know I should probably bring in some slush readers, but I have a very specific vision for these grendelworks, something burning to the taste and howling to the touch. One other thing I want to bring up is the non-fiction in this issue (The White Snake by Humberto Maggi) is a long essay on occultism and it’s rock awesome. It’s so long I had to split it into three issues, but it’s well worth it. Very cool stuff.
These essays are a part of how I envision Grendelsong in the future, as a part of the whole feeling for everything. Mixing an inquisitive mind to all things fantastical and ur-real, whether its fiction or folklore, or fairy tales, or occultism, or alchemy, or what have you. Fiction, non-fiction, proem, prosery, poetic, perfection. Let me also talk for a bit about the fiction as well. There is a certain grendeltaste, that I’m sure you can tell when you compare the last two issues. Prose is important, sentences, structures, a voice that carries through with poetry. Sometimes that poetry exists in a minimalist form (recalling the alt-lit scene), other times it takes on a verbal firework, similar to the modernists or the beats.
Sentences as music, I think, is an important quality in that grendeltaste. Another important piece is the fantastic itself, not existing as a simple thing. This fantastic belies modern conventions of what is considered fantasy. It tears it down, builds it back up again brick by brick. There is something ancient and earthy about the grendelfantastic. It’s not about time periods or history or even time itself. It’s an ancient in the bones feeling. Something from the underground, burning inside.
The real is another key piece. Something in the key core of it all. It’s not just the strange and ethereal, it is also dead leaves scattered on a desk. Window open, autumn breeze coming in. Something feels fantastic about this, but it is not fantastic in itself. It carries the bones of fantasy, the core eruption of the fantastic.
At least, that is how I picture it. That is how it feels to me. It is a Wild Fantasy, an untamed Primal Fantasy. A fantasy of fire and sunlight. It’s that moment of climbing the mountain and seeing yourself at the roof of the world.
So turn the page, enjoy. Turn the page, breathe in the revolution and exist in fiery revelation.
Paul Jessup is the editor of Grendelsong. Paul Jessup does not exist.