“The Hungry Wind” was accepted by Space and Time Magazine in December of 2008 but didn’t get into the publication schedule until now. So while it appeared after “Monster in the Mountains,” it was written and sold before that story, making it the first story I sold and the second story to see publication.
In late 2007, fantasist M. John Harrison published a blog post titled “All the Roary Night.” The post isn’t available anymore, but it caused a bit of a stir in the fantasy blogosphere. Harrison talked about what he really wanted from a fantasy and took a few jabs at complex worldbuilding in the tradition of the legions of Tolkein’s imitators.
In the middle of this rant, Harrison gives a directive to his imaginary reader to go out and write him a different kind of fantasy:
Write it out of some emotion of yours you never understood, or some decision you made you’re not sure if you regret; but never once name that emotion or let me see the decision. I want what’s underneath.
“The Hungry Wind” is my response. I won’t talk about the feelings I had in mind when I wrote it. I’ll leave that up to the story.
Space & Time Magazine is available at many independent science fiction and fantasy book stores and back issues, including this one, can be ordered online directly from the publisher.