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Strange Charms: Resistance

Strange Charms: Resistance

There is a lot of talk about resistance on the interwebs right now. And just because I love words, I looked it up.

the refusal to accept or comply with something; the attempt to prevent something by action or argument.
“she put up no resistance to being led away”
synonyms: opposition to, hostility to, refusal to accept
“resistance to change”
the ability not to be affected by something, especially adversely.
“some of us have a lower resistance to cold than others”

At QFT, we resist all the time. We refuse to accept life as we know it. We face challenges in our personal lives and careers. We stare hardship in the eye and sometimes it gets the better of us. But then we get up and we create better worlds, worlds with dragons that turn into teardrops, and ghosts of mushrooms past, rocks who take human form, trees who hold secrets and heroes and heroines of unlikely vampires and golems.

We also make sure that even when we are affected by the world around us, we don’t let it stop us. We find our safe places and create beautiful things, whether it be poetry, art, or story form. We protect our creativity from those forces that would stop us and we continue to create.

At QFT, we commend you for continuing to create as well– to draw, to write and to dream. No matter your politics, country, race, religion, creed, or preference for Marvel or DC, there are Gnomies at your back, cheering you on as you make this world a better place.

Because, ultimately, that’s our job as creators– to give the world our heart and soul and dreams. Without those, it’s just dirt and rocks and leaves.

Carry on, Gnomies. Carry on.

Strange Charms – Themes in 2017

Strange Charms – Themes in 2017

In the words of my favorite movie Labyrinth, “Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered [the Gnomies] have fought [our] way here to”… bring you Quantum Fairy Tales 17th issue! But really, we’ve fought through high winds, flooding, power outages, and giant falling trees to bring you our fall issue. Hurricane Matthew has not been kind to those of us on the east coast, but now the worst is over and the time has come to celebrate!

As part of the celebration, we want to announce some exciting news for the upcoming year. Starting in winter 2017, we will have a theme assigned to each issue.  We felt like this would be a great opportunity to give genres we don’t see enough of in our submissions a chance in the spotlight and have whole issues dedicated to them.

So, without further ado, the genre for our very first themed issue will be…

Drum roll, please…


For our upcoming winter issue (submission deadline on January 15, 2017), please send in all your stories, poems, and art depicting things like sword-wielding mermaids in outer space, time-traveling serial killers, advanced technologies used by alien babies, or other ideas that fit into the sci-fi category.

We will announce the other themed issues for the year soon. Also, just as a note, Quantum Fairy Tales has already received quite a few submissions before making this announcement, and we want you to know that each of these submissions will be considered for the themed issue we feel best fits the story/poem/art.

Have a very happy and spooky Halloween! Now, grab yourself a bowl of candy, and enjoy reading through Quantum Fairy Tales’ fall 2016 issue.

Strange Charms—Heeding the Siren’s Call

Strange Charms—Heeding the Siren’s Call

Sometimes themes inexplicably emerge for different QFT issues, and this time around, there seems to be a focus on sirens. Sirens are popular in mythology, where their enchanting voices and beauty pull sailors toward them, causing them to drown or wreck on rocky coasts. I’ve always loved the idea of sirens—a voice that captivates you and won’t let you go, no matter the dangers it may bring. The idea of being physically and mentally unable to resist the pull.

In the midst of writing-related deadlines and failures, it’s hard not to draw the comparison of listening to the call of sirens being the downfall of otherwise strong, intelligent people to pursuing a creative career. As writers and artists, we’re beckoned by the promise of book deals, fame and fortune, and quaint writing sheds in picturesque forests. But as with sirens, the reality is almost always less glamorous.

Why do we do it then? Why would sailors who know the mythology of sirens still be pulled toward the sight and sound, even though it means certain death? Sure, the comparison to creativity is a bit dramatic, but the question remains: when chances for “success” are so slim, why do we think we’ll be the exception? Why do we read rejection after rejection and still keep going? Why do we spend hours every single day for years with no discernible success and still think it’s a viable option?

There are a million motivational quotes about why to pursue a creative career and how imagination changes the world, but one that comes to mind is Edward de Bono’s “creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.”

The truth is that we create because we aren’t content with the status quo. We’re curious. We’re distracted by things shiny and new and the chance to make the world a more interesting place. Like those ill-fated sailors, if there’s any chance we can hear the ethereal voice, catch a glimpse of that stunning creature, or succeed where so many have tried and failed—then we’re going to take it! Because, dang it, it’s the dreamers and the creators that change the world.

The story I love most about sirens is in Homer’s The Odyssey. Odysseus wants desperately to hear the sirens’ song, so he comes up with a brilliant plan to have his crew seal their ears with wax, while he’s tied with unbreakable ropes to the mast of the ship. They sail through the deadly passage with ease, while Odysseus has the unprecedented opportunity of enjoying the mystical melody of the forbidden song.

Odysseus is an example that creativity—that experiencing heightened moments beyond the routine of day-to-day life—is essential for the human spirit. Is it any coincidence that during political upheavals, creative works are destroyed? Regimes throughout history have decimated paintings and books and music and architecture. Free thinkers and creators are often the first detained or killed by tyrants. Why? Because art is what brings hope and empathy and change. Art is what fosters humanity.

Even though we know that sailing life’s charted course is the safest way to go, it’s the people willing to break ranks who change the world. So to those of you chasing the siren song of writing or illustrating or otherwise creating, I say: Forward, ho! We may have to tie ourselves to the mast of a “real” job by day, while letting our ears savor the creative tones by night. We might crash and burn. We might drown. Hey, we might even be eaten by sharp-toothed, cannibalistic she-fish demons. But we might also be the outlier. The creator. The one who changes the status quo. Go on. Be that person.

Strange Charms: The Rebirthiness of Spring

Strange Charms: The Rebirthiness of Spring

Here we are, another spring has arrived in our hemisphere. That means all kinds of pollen and bugs and green things sprouting all over. Baby birds squawk and the naked trees grow new green clothes. Quantum Fairy Tales has grown a bit as well. We have a lovely new website, a couple of new members, and new plans for 2016. We also lost a few gnomies we love over the winter, but the good news is that in Gnomieland, no one ever really dies, they just move on to better things and we still see them regularly.

First of all, a profound Thank You to Quantum Fairy and Ninja Monkey for their brains, brawn and all around amazingness. They will always be co-founders of this magazine and will hopefully be back in the future. For now they are working on bigger and better things, and we wish them well–maybe even a well with a magic frog in it. KISS THE FROG!!

Next up, our newest member of the team, Queen Bean, is our new poetry maven. She comes to us from the sultry shores of South Carolina and has her debut speculative poem, Library Dragon, in this issue. She will be handling all of our poetry from now on. And let me tell you, you gnomies out there are lucky to be getting her feedback. This chick knows her poetry. She also knows coffee, like, REALLY knows coffee. Don’t try to burn her espresso, she’ll give it right back to you.

We are also welcoming The TIM Lord on as a full time editor. Many of you know him as our long running contributor and author of the series Science for Fiction. Now he will be reading, editing, and causing gnomie mayhem full time. We couldn’t be happier.

Pull up a toad stool, nibble on some asparagus, and join us for this brand new springtime issue celebrating all things new and old. And as always, we thank you, dear readers and contributors. None of this could happen without you.


Clockwork Gnome

Strange Charms

Strange Charms

Spring is here once again. Outside everything is changing, waking up, warming up, and getting ready to bloom. People are walking around red-eyed (not because they are cyborgs) and sneezing. Little animals are being born, gardens are being planted, and the gnomies are dusting off their winter chops; editing, sorting, sniffing and changing things up.

First of all, this is our last issue with the incomparable Seaside Sprite. She leaves a hole in our hearts, but she is off to take the world by storm with her good deeds of charity and her smile. No, really, I’m serious. She’s heading to Ghana to spread her sunshine on a new continent. All the Gnomies wish her the best of luck and thank her for her years of service.

But with that goodbye, we also offer a big a warm Gnomish “Hello!” to Princess Peeps. She is the amazing artist whose artwork graced the cover of our premier issue, and now she is our new Art Director. You can all look forward to many great images in the issues to come and we hope to have her around for a very long time.

So with that, we give you our eleventh issue, and we look forward to your comments and submissions. You guys keep us hopping, just like fluffy little spring bunnies.



Clockwork Gnome

Strange Charms-Celebrate

Strange Charms-Celebrate

My husband (you might know him as Schrödinger’s Cat here on Quantum Fairy Tales) and I love to celebrate—mostly because a celebration at our house involves pizza, ice cream, Fruit Roll-ups, or Toaster Strudels. As you can tell, we spare no expense!

For the past couple months, Schrödinger’s Cat has been working on a big project at work. He is a mad scientist (physicist to be more precise) and built a camera for his lab that can take pictures of super cold atoms in a vacuum chamber. Pretty cool, huh? Well, today he completed the camera, and all that hard work paid off because the camera takes amazing pictures, and he received lots of praise from his boss and co-workers.

Today was a day to celebrate! We took our daughter and went out and stuffed our faces with cookie sundaes.

Getting recognized for something you have worked so hard on is a great reason to celebrate. We owe a big thank you to all those who sent in submissions for this issue and a big congratulations to those whose work is being recognized in Quantum Fairy Tales’ Winter Issue. Grab some friends and go celebrate!

Strange Charms: COMICS!

Strange Charms: COMICS!

This is largely unrelated to the specific contents of this issue, other than the fact that this is what I’ve been thinking about while working on this issue.

I was out of work for most of the last month with some sort of creeping lung disease. My doctor gave me some names of what happened, using words that end with “itis” and “olis” and the like. I reckon it was probably a xenomorph that my body managed to abort.

After about 2 weeks of illness you start to worry about what your employer will do with you if you stay sick and can’t work. After 3 weeks, you stop caring and just want it all to end. You start doing anything

Read More Read More

Strange Charms

Strange Charms

Ahhh… summer. Lazy days by the pool, or at the beach. Lemonade, hot dogs, and watermelon. Flirting with that certain someone who’s wearing a lot fewer clothes than usual, and maybe even stumbling into a hot new fling in an exotic vacation spot.

This classic imagery is easy to lose yourself in. But be careful, because at QFT, all is not what it seems. That hunky new beau who takes you apple picking just might have a tale. Or your favorite video game that you escape to in the heat of the day might lead you to do things you never dared do before. The sweet babe you hold in your arms may even be the one to decide when you take your last breath.

It’s been one crazy summer here at QFT, we hope yours has been relaxing. If not, we hope you take the time to write to us about it. And we hope you enjoy the adventures that await in this issue.

Yours in caution,
Clockwork Gnome

Strange Charms: Science Fiction Haiku Contest!

Strange Charms: Science Fiction Haiku Contest!

Quantum Fairy Tales wanted to hold a special contest this month to honor one of our favorite genres, Science Fiction, by asking our readers to submit their best Sci-Fi themed Haikus!

The winner will receive a gift card to the amazing Think Geek website. Whatever your fandom encompasses, Think Geek has your fix. Unless you’re into the really, really weird stuff. There are sites for that as well, but we’re not linking to them. Thats why you learned Japanese.

ANYwho… here’s how to enter and the rules:

  • Must be a Haiku. Its all in the syllables—5-7-5. Simple. See Final Frontier by Daniel Holt in this month’s issue for awesome examples!
  • Staff of are not eligible to win. ::sadface::
  • To enter, post your haikus in the Comments section of Final Frontier. If your post doesn’t show at first, don’t worry—all commenters have to be approved in order to post on QFT, just be patient and a staff member will approve it as soon as possible. Be sure to use your real email so we can get in contact with you if you win!

As of the time of this posting, the contest ends May 30th, 2014. Winners will be chosen by voting and will be notified by June 15th, 2014.

Strange Charms: The Rejected

Strange Charms: The Rejected

I remember the first time I got a rejection for my writing. I was in fifth grade in Bakersfield, California, and all the fifth grade students were required by the state to complete a writing benchmark. We were supposed to write some type of historical fiction for the test. As my teacher stood in the front of the class giving us instructions before we started, I thought about all the awesome possibilities for my essay.

I don’t remember how long this test took me, but in the end, my finished product consisted of a story revolving around time travel and the California Gold Rush.

Not bad, right?

But wait, I forgot to mention that during this historic event, Mariah Carey and I rode around in a red convertible, dug up gold, and spent the sparkly nuggets at my favorite teenybopper clothing stores.

After our teacher read through our papers, she called me into her office to talk to me. She sat me down at her desk and went through my writing test to tell me what was wrong with it. She told me she knew I could do better. Then, my teacher put down a pencil and paper in front of me and told me to take as long as I needed to write something completely new. As you can probably imagine, I was not excited at all about having to start over again.

I’m not sure of the specifics of what my teacher said to me, how long I took to write, or what happened while I sat alone writing in her office, but when I finished, it was a fifth- grade masterpiece. My teacher was so happy with the story I came up with that she used it as an example for other fifth grade classes. I was one happy little girl.

The point of this whole story is that I am so glad my teacher rejected my mediocre (or should I say atrocious?) work. She talked me through what I did wrong because she wanted me to get better—and I did.

As editors at Quantum Fairy Tales, improvement is something we want for all of our amazing contributors. We hope this is a place where you feel like you can grow as writers and get the feedback you need to come back even stronger.

As always, thank you for your ongoing support, and we hope you enjoy this new issue.

-Ruby-eyed Cyborg