Long time reader Brent Knowles, who reviewed our last issue here, has now also weighed in on Black Gate 14, as viewed in PDF on the iPad:
Earlier in the year I changed my print subscription to Black Gate into an electronic one. This was done mostly to save postage expense, I love the print magazine and have every issue and so this was my first time reading it digitally. I transferred the PDF through the iTunes Books folder and read it using the iBooks app. As you can see the text and images look sharp on the iPad… So all in all I’m pretty happy with reading Black Gate this way.
Brent did acknowledge the one drawback other readers have commented on — the two-column format:
About the only difficulties I encountered were with the two-column layout that appeared for longer stories (most stories were single column). The two-column stories and articles were more of a challenge to read because the text became rather smallish.
Something of a dilemma, since the feedback on the two-column format for print readers has been universally positive, and we plan to switch the entire issue to two columns starting with Black Gate 15. We’re still looking for a solution for PDF readers.
Concerning the contents of the issue itself, Brent had several kind things to say.
I always look forward to issues of Black Gate… all the stories are very well executed. This was a huge issue… stories show fabulously detailed world building, really drawing me into the universes the authors have created. Others have clever plots or outrageous events. And many do all of this well — great characters, engaging world, strong plot.
I will mention “The Renunciation of the Crimes of Gharad the Undying” by Alex Kreis — I thought this very funny and I normally don’t like humor stories and through his written apology to the peoples he has oppressed you see snippets of clever world building and more. Nicely done. I also really enjoyed The Word of Azrael” by Matthew David Surridge… very engaging, in a single story the author builds both an interesting world and a fascinating history for that world.
All in all a fine issue and several stories I’ll go back and reread…. Go out and buy this issue. Highly recommended.
You can find the complete review here.