Rules of Fiction

DreamForge-Magazine Rules of Fiction
By Atelier Sommerland

Our Thematic Values

What shall readers, subscribers, and contributors expect of DreamForge Magazine?

Are our pages filled with fantasy or science fiction? Is our viewpoint apocalyptic and dystopian or visionary and romantic? Is our science hard, our fantasy medieval?

At DreamForge, our niche is speculative fiction, encompassing both imaginative and futuristic tales in a variety of settings; our thematic values are hope and humanity.

If you are an eclectic reader who doesn’t mind jumping from the last star at the end of time, where ancient memories struggle to remain free, to an engaging world of magic, where overlooked heroes find love in an unforgiving realm, then DreamForge may be for you.

While the universe is a dangerous place and we, as a species, often add to that danger by becoming our own worst enemies – at DreamForge we do not subscribe to hopelessness or futility as a vision of the future or of any setting or situation.

Our goal is to publish fiction and commentary that embody, in one way or another, these essential principles: integrity and decency, compassion and creativity, intelligence and inventiveness, the rule of law and liberty under the law, the dignity of the individual, and the power of synergy to unleash the potential of disparate individuals and communities for the betterment of all.

Instead of heroes whose trials save the world, we prefer tales where individuals struggle for the ascendency of humane values and communities work together to overcome dire challenges. We believe the core tool kit for human advancement is comprised of science and medicine, technology and artistic expression, an adherence to irrefutable and objective truth, universal education, exploration, and the free and equitable commerce of goods and ideas.

Even so, we see no value in demonizing any of the forces that stand against these ideals, including the powers of oppression and of discord and divisiveness. We are all human, and the best stories embrace the many facets of our long-troubled species while holding firm to the better angels of our nature.

What Does That Look Like in a Story?

Rules of Fantasy
By Kiselev Andrey Valerevich

At DreamForge Magazine, our primary focus is to present stories of imaginative fiction featuring engaging characters immersed in compelling plots, the outcomes of which, win or lose, present compassion and perspicacity as enduring and indomitable parts of the human spirit.

We prefer basic, traditional storytelling. An empathetic protagonist (or group of characters) faces a difficult challenge.

Engaging with the challenge reveals further difficulties, the consequences of which could be catastrophic for the character, their loved ones, or their community. By putting themselves at risk and proceeding with perseverance, integrity, and intelligence, the character brings the evolving crisis to a conclusion.

The challenge could be physical, moral, existential, or psychological. The protagonist need not be human, only humane. The conclusion need not be an ultimate one (the world is saved), nor a happy one, nor one in which the character survives. Only hope, compassion, love, and another chance at a better future must endure.

The worlds of DreamForge Magazine are imaginative alternatives to known reality.

Our stories of Science Fiction are based in worlds where the core theory of physics holds sway and technology, science, and scientific thinking are critical aspects of solving challenges and securing a better future. (Presenting science as a key human endeavor takes precedence over delivering “hard” or factually accurate science.)

Our stories of Fantasy are based in worlds where the author’s own imagination sets the rules, but where the rules are coherent and understandable, and where critical thinking and inventive approaches win out.

These structures and themes need not be heavy-handed, but they must be discernable. They can certainly be artful, but they must not be cynical or smugly presented.

In size, stories may range from flash fiction to novellas and novel serializations.

What DreamForge Magazine does not present are pure vignettes, atmosphere pieces, experimental fiction, and the like. Unless you are absolutely brilliant and we can’t quit re-reading what you did, even if we don’t understand it.

Where Do Our Stories, Illustrations, and Commentaries Come From?

DreamForge content has three main sources: the DreamForge team, commissioned stories and illustrations, and unsolicited submissions.

When we say we are “Connecting Dreamers – Past and Future,” we mean our goal is to publish new works by old hands and experienced authors alongside new contributors, including members of marginalized communities in their own voices.

Neither the future nor any conception of meaning and value in life has one viewpoint, one experience, or one set of hopes and aspirations. For us, part of the excitement of reading is engaging in worlds beyond our own experience and seeing through minds that challenge our preconceptions.

We hope that what we produce, solicit, and find in our journey to produce DreamForge Magazine, those treasures that delight us find favor in your eyes as well.

In the End

The course of history is clear. The dreams that have opened the universe to us live longer than the nightmares which test our resolve.

Star Field Rules of Fiction
By Outer Space