THE NEW VOICES OF FANTASY preview: “My Time Among the Bridge Blowers” by Eugene Fischer

In celebration of the recently released THE NEW VOICES OF FANTASY, Tachyon and editors Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman present glimpses into the future of fantasy from several of the volume’s magnificent tales.

Time Among the Bridge Blowers 


Eugene Fischer

I continued my journey south, I took a detour to the tall Gamal
Mountains in the west, among whose peaks I was told could be found a
still thriving village of one of the rarest and most intriguing of
the tribes of man. I reached the foothill town of Reninep by autobus,
but once there had to secure a guide and mount one of the animated
clay donkeys favored by the local traders for the trip to the
village. Mine was an intricately sculpted beast, well named and
sure-footed, and, led by my guide Sant, I rode it up the
half-abandoned mountain trails with relative ease. (As the
temperature dropped with elevation I wrapped myself tightly in the
quilt Marta had gifted me, that we had shared during our time
together, and thought myself already quite as glad of it as she had
prophesied I would come to be.) When the sky began to darken on the
first day of our journey, Sant unpacked long, curved poles that
fitted into notches in my donkey’s sides. Between these poles he
strung a net hammock, to allow me to “sleep in the saddle” as my
mount marched forward. I was initially terrified at the prospect of
being suspended in the air while my donkey trod the steep mountain
paths, but my mind was put significantly to rest by the sight of Sant
unpacking an identical set of poles for himself—though I did then
wonder if it was him or his donkey who was truly leading us! The
hammock proved comfortable enough to sleep in, and so we were able to
travel near-continuously for the three full days it took to reach the
cliff-carved buildings of the village of the Hiatha, known more
commonly as the Bridge Blowers.

For more info about THE NEW VOICES OF FANTASY, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover art by Camille André

Cover design by Elizabeth Story