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The Best One-Sentence Reviews of Edmond Hamilton: The Winner of The Collected Edmond Hamilton, Volume Four

Sunday, April 20th, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

The Collected Edmond Hamilton Volume Four-smallLast month, we invited Black Gate readers to send us a one-sentence review of their favorite Edmond Hamilton novel or short story.

In return, we offered to award a copy of the long-awaited fourth volume of The Collected Edmond Hamilton from Haffner Press to one lucky winner. The winner was randomly drawn from the list of all qualified entrants.

Before we announce the winner, let’s have a look at some of the entries. We can’t reprint all of them, but we can hit the highlights. (But fret not — all qualifying entries received before April 20 were included in the drawing.)

We left the choice of what novel or story to review up to you and we weren’t too surprised to find the most popular topic was Edmond Hamilton’s The Star Kings series. Robert James Parker kicked things off with this review:

John Gordon, suffering from an existential crisis, agrees to travel through time and space to the far future where he gets caught up in a sweeping space opera full of cosmic space battles, beautiful princesses, and bizarre monsters.

Andy Sheets gets bonus points for a completely à propos Alan Rickman reference.

How can you not be enticed by a story about an out of step WWII veteran getting mind-swapped into the body of a prince 200,000 years in the future, hooking up with a foxy future princess, and battling The League of Dark Worlds, lead by a guy who should totally be played by Alan Rickman in the movie, with a super-weapon called the Disruptor, all tightly packed into a fast-moving novel not even 200 pages long?!

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Last Chance to Win a Copy of The Collected Edmond Hamilton, Volume Four from Haffner Press

Sunday, April 13th, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

The Collected Edmond Hamilton Volume Four-smallIn a moment of weakness earlier this month, I decided to give away a copy of the long-awaited fourth volume of The Collected Edmond Hamilton from Haffner Press. Too late to back out now. How do you win one, you lucky dog? Just send an e-mail to john@blackgate.com with the title “Edmond Hamilton” and a one-sentence review of your favorite Hamilton novel or short story. And don’t forget to mention what story you’re reviewing.

That’s it. One winner will be drawn at random from all qualifying entries and we’ll publish the best reviews here on the Black Gate blog.

But time is running out — the contest closes April 18. If you need more inspiration. we recently covered several Edmond Hamilton books — including Starwolf and The Best of Edmond Hamilton — and we reprinted his very first story, “The Monster-God of Mamurth” (from the August 1926 issue of Weird Tales) in Black Gate 2.

Haffner’s archival-quality hardcovers  — including The Complete John Thunstone by Manly Wade Wellman; Henry Huttner’s Detour to Otherness, Terror in the House: The Early Kuttner, Volume One, and Thunder in the Void; Leigh Brackett’s Shannach – The Last: Farewell to Mars; and Robert Silverberg’s Tales From Super-Science Fiction — are some of the most collectible books in the genre and you won’t want to miss this one.

All entries become the property of New Epoch Press. No purchase necessary. Must be 12 or older. Decisions of the judges (capricious as they may be) are final. Not valid where prohibited by law. Or anywhere postage for a hefty hardcover is more than, like, 10 bucks

The Reign of the Robots, The Collected Edmond Hamilton, Volume Four was published by Haffner Press on December 30, 2013. It is 696 pages, priced at $40 in hardcover. There is no digital edition. Learn more here.


Win a Copy of The Collected Edmond Hamilton, Volume Four from Haffner Press

Friday, April 4th, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

The Collected Edmond Hamilton Volume Four-smallHaffner Press has released the long-awaited fourth volume of The Collected Edmond Hamilton and we have a copy to give away to one lucky winner.

How do you enter? Just send an e-mail to john@blackgate.com with the title “Edmond Hamilton” and a one-sentence review of your favorite Hamilton novel or short story (don’t forget to mention the title of the story). One winner will be drawn at random from all qualifying entries and we’ll publish the best reviews here on the Black Gate blog. To give you the idea, here’s my one-sentence review of my favorite Hamilton story, “The Man Who Evolved.” (read the complete story here)

Arthur Wright and Hugh Dutton visit Dr. John Pollard on the night he first tests a ray that allows him to experience millions of years of human evolution… and witness a deadly experiment that threatens the entire human race.

See how easy that was? If you need more inspiration. we recently covered several Edmond Hamilton books — including Starwolf and The Best of Edmond Hamilton — and we reprinted his very first story, “The Monster-God of Mamurth” (from the August 1926 issue of Weird Tales) in Black Gate 2.

All entries become the property of New Epoch Press. No purchase necessary. Must be 12 or older. Decisions of the judges (capricious as they may be) are final. Not valid where prohibited by law. Or anywhere postage for a hefty hardcover is more than, like, 10 bucks. Seriously, this thing is huge and postage is killing me.

The Reign of the Robots, The Collected Edmond Hamilton, Volume Four was published by Haffner Press on December 30, 2013. It is 696 pages, priced at $40 in hardcover. There is no digital edition. Learn more at the Haffner website.


Confessions of a Reluctant Self-Publisher — Now with extra Giveaways!

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014 | Posted by peadarog

Forever In The Memory Of God-smallI’ll be giving away copies of my mini-ebook-collection Forever in the Memory of God and Other Stories to the first five commenters who ask for one. But why should you bother? Read on!

Here is a list of things I want to do: Write; make a living with my pen.

And a list of the things I don’t want to do: marketing; selling; formatting; cover design; manual reading; forum perusing; guru worshipping; elbowing my way through the pack; self-publishing…

And yet, here we are.

Once upon a time, it was all so very different. I wrote a book and the first agent I sent it to loved it. So did a large number of publishers and in no time at all, they were clawing each other’s eyes out to get access to my manuscript. Then, exactly as it had happened in all my dreams, editors were engaged in an auction for the right to publish me. Me!

My agent used to ring me once or twice a day, cackling with glee over the latest rise in the price and the shameless favours being offered, until finally, we had hitched ourselves up to a brilliant and famous editor. How could it go wrong?

Oh, it didn’t! Not yet! Because, next came foreign language publishers from every corner of the globe. They too pledged undying love for a li’l ole book called The Inferior, and what they said about the story and the characters made me blush in parts of my body that few cameras have ever seen.

I’m sick of this boasting. Can we get to the bad part?

Yes, let’s start the dive now. Or “death-spiral,” if you prefer.

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Announcing the Winners of Advance Reading Copies of Jon Sprunk’s Blood and Iron

Saturday, March 1st, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

Blood and Iron Jon Sprunk-smallLast month, we announced a contest to win one of two advance reading copies of Jon Sprunk’s highly anticipated fantasy epic Blood and Iron, compliments of Pyr Books. What’s that? You don’t recall the announcement? Strange — it was in the third paragraph of the post on our exclusive fiction excerpt of Blood and Iron, which we debuted right here.

You’re right. Perhaps that was a little sneaky. But plenty of readers fans did spot the contest, and we received a surprising number of entries. Attentive folks, those Sprunk fans.

The deadline for entries was February 28th. And so, early this morning, we carefully inscribed the names of each entrant on a numbered clay tablet, and then used the only scientifically-proven method of pure random number generation to select two random winners: D&D dice. Without further ado, we’re very pleased to announce the winners of two rare advance reading copies of Blood and Iron:

Travis Bingaman
Shauna Kosoris

Congratulations to the winners! It’s too late to enter the contest, but it’s not too late to discover Jon’s unique brand of heroic fantasy. Visit his blog here or stop by Black Gate every Wednesday to read his regular column.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and to Jon Sprunk and Pyr Books for sponsoring the contest. Blood and Iron will be published by Pyr Books on March 11. Read an exclusive excerpt here.


Black Gate Online Fiction: Blood and Iron by Jon Sprunk

Sunday, February 9th, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

Blood and Iron Jon Sprunk-smallBlack Gate is very pleased to offer our readers an exclusive excerpt from Blood and Iron by Jon Sprunk — a new novel of heroic fantasy that reads like a sword-and-sorcery version of Spartacus.

It starts with a shipwreck following a magical storm at sea. Horace, a soldier from the west, had joined the Great Crusade against the heathens of Akeshia after the deaths of his wife and son from plague. When he washes ashore, he finds himself at the mercy of the very people he was sent to kill, who speak a language and have a culture and customs he doesn’t even begin to understand.

Not long after, Horace is pressed into service as a house slave. But this doesn’t last. The Akeshians discover that Horace was a latent sorcerer, and he is catapulted from the chains of a slave to the halls of power in the queen’s court. Together with Jirom, an ex-mercenary and gladiator, and Alyra, a spy in the court, he will seek a path to free himself and the empire’s caste of slaves from a system where every man and woman must pay the price of blood or iron. Before the end, Horace will have paid dearly in both.

Jon Sprunk is the author of the Shadow Saga (Shadow’s Son, Shadow’s Lure, and Shadow’s Master) and a mentor at the Seton Hill University fiction writing program. He is a regular blogger for Black Gate.

Win one of two Advance Reading Copies of Blood and Iron! Just send an e-mail to john@blackgate.com with the subject “Blood and Iron,” and we’ll enter you in the drawing. Entries must be received by Friday, February 28, 2014. No purchase necessary. Terms and conditions subject to change. Not valid where prohibited by law.

The complete catalog of Black Gate Online Fiction, including stories by Tara Cardinal and Alex Bledsoe, E.E. Knight, Vaughn Heppner,  Howard Andrew Jones, David Evan Harris, John C. Hocking, Michael Shea, Aaron Bradford Starr, Martha Wells, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, C.S.E. Cooney, and many others, is here.

Blood and Iron, Book One of The Book of the Black Earth, will be published by Pyr Books on March 11, 2014. It is 445 pages and will be available in trade paperback for $18.00 ($11.00 for the digital version). Learn more at Pyr Books.

Read a complete sample chapter of Blood and Iron here.


Announcing the Winner of M. Harold Page’s The Sword is Mightier and Blood in the Streets

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

The Sword is Mightier-smallLast month announced a contest to win both novels in M. Harold Page’s exciting Scholar Knight series: The Sword is Mightier and Blood in the Streets, compliments of Paradox Interactive and M. Harold Page.

It’s too late to enter the contest now, but it’s not too late to discover Mr. Page’s unique brand of heroic fantasy. Visit his blog here or stop by Black Gate every Thursday to read his regular column.

His recent articles for us have included So What’s Wrong With (Some) Modern Fantasy?Understanding Tolkien: Why His Landscapes Work, Why Evil Overlords Need to be Competent, and Why Medieval Fantasy is Not Inherently Conservative (or Inherently Anything Political).

We received so many entries for this contest, we had to abandon our usual tracking and selection process. We gave up on spreadsheets to track the entries — but at least our D&D dice didn’t fail us when it came time to determine a winner.

We are pleased to announce that the winner of both volumes in M. Harold Page’s Scholar Knight series is Jackie Stevens of Aylesbury. Congratulations, Jackie! We’ll be touch to let you know how you can claim your books.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and to M. Harold Page and Paradox Interactive for sponsoring the contest. The Sword is Mightier and Blood in the Streets were published on September 25 and December 12, 2013, respectively. They are available in digital format for $4.99 each.


Last Chance to Win a Copy of M. Harold Page’s The Sword is Mightier and Blood in the Streets

Monday, January 27th, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

Blood in the Streets-smallOn January 7th, we announced a contest to win a copy of both of M. Harold Page’s exciting Scholar Knight novels: The Sword is Mightier and Blood in the Streets. Here’s the description for the second, Blood in the Streets:

Jack shifted both hands to his blade. With an animal roar, he executed a ‘Murder Strike’, swinging the weapon like a hammer. The crossguard caught the Lancastrian where only mail protected the nape of his neck. There was a loud crack. A shock reverberated up the blade stinging Jack’s palms.

AD1455. The Yorkists are marching on London. What happens next is History… but Jack Rose must still live through it. Jack had planned to live quietly as a country gentleman while wooing the illusive Theodora, a fiery Greek lady of mysterious origin. Unfortunately, the price of keeping his land is following his lord to war. Now Jack must stop his men from getting themselves killed, survive lethal assassination attempts, win Theodora despite her fear of losing him, and, ultimately, pick up his greatsword and plunge into the first brutal battle of the Wars of the Roses.

In this standalone sequel to The Sword is Mightier, Jack wades through brawl, skirmish and melee, his fallen foes paving his path from scholar to knight.

How do you enter to win? Simple — just send an e-mail to john@blackgate.com, using as the subject the name of the first Master Strike in the German School of Fencing (we’ll even give you a clue: it’s “Zornhau”), and we’ll enter you in the drawing.

Entries must be received by Friday, January 31, 2014. One lucky winner will win both books. The winner will be contacted by e-mail and books will be delivered in digital format.

All entries become the property of New Epoch Press. No purchase necessary. Must be 12 or older. Decisions of the judges (capricious as they may be) are final. Terms and conditions subject to change. Not valid where prohibited by law. Eat your vegetables. And good luck!


Win a Copy of M. Harold Page’s The Sword is Mightier and Blood in the Streets

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

The Sword is Mightier-smallIt’s January 7th already and we haven’t given away any books this year. Time to fix that.

Here at Black Gatewe like to reward faithful readers with the finest in free fantasy and that tradition continues this month with the exciting Scholar Knight novels of M. Harold Page: The Sword is Mightier and Blood in the Streets. Here’s the description for the first, The Sword is Mightier:

The blade sheared through padding, collar bone, ribs, and came out the other side. Head, arm and shoulder thudded to the ground. The remainder of the corpse still stood, sheared torso like a bucket of steaming offal.

England AD 1454, the chaotic eve of the Wars of the Roses.

Jack Rose would rather be a scholar than a knight. However, when a brutal landowner steals his family estates and plans to evict the tenants, Jack must take up the sword and win back his inheritance by force of arms. As he wades through increasingly lethal encounters, it becomes clear that War is in his blood. Now he must decide who he really is…

How do you enter to win? Simple — just send an e-mail to john@blackgate.com, using as the subject the name of the first Master Strike in the German School of Fencing (we’ll even give you a clue: it’s “Zornhau”), and we’ll enter you in the drawing.

Entries must be received by Friday, January 31, 2014. One lucky winner will win both books. The winner will be contacted by e-mail and books will be delivered in digital format.

All entries become the property of New Epoch Press. No purchase necessary. Must be 12 or older. Decisions of the judges (capricious as they may be) are final. Terms and conditions subject to change. Not valid where prohibited by law. Eat your vegetables. And good luck!


Announcing the Winner of the Autographed Set of John R. Fultz’s Books of the Shaper Trilogy

Sunday, December 29th, 2013 | Posted by John ONeill

Seven SorcerersTwo weeks ago we told you about the arrival of Seven Sorcerers, the third and highly-anticipated final volume in John R. Fultz’s Books of the Shaper trilogy. The trilogy opened with Seven Princes (January 2012), and Seven Kings (January 2013). To celebrate the publication of the concluding book, we announced a contest to win a complete autographed set of all three, compliments of Orbit Books and John R. Fultz.

It’s too late to enter the contest now, but it’s not too late to discover Fultz’s unique heroic fiction, which Barnes & Noble calls “flawless epic fantasy.” You can try some of John’s exciting stories right here at Black Gate, including “When the Glimmer Faire Came to the City of the Lonely Eye,” which appeared as part of the Black Gate Online Fiction line, or the three stories that appeared in our print version: “Oblivion Is the Sweetest Wine”(BG 12); “Return of the Quill” (BG 13); and “The Vintages of Dream” (BG 15). And you can read more about John’s philosophy of fantasy in his recent article, “One Man’s Trash…

We received a record number of entries, which just shows the high level of excitement among our readers for everything written by John. All the entries were recorded on a spreadsheet, and the winner selected using the office percentile dice.

We are pleased to announce that the winner of the autographed set of John R. Fultz’s Books of the Shaper trilogy is Massimiliano Izzo. Congratulations, Massimiliano! We’ll be touch to let you know how you can claim your books.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and to John R. Fultz and Orbit Books for sponsoring the contest. Seven Sorcerers was published on December 10th by Orbit Books. It is 448 pages, priced at $17 in trade paperback and $9.99 for the digital edition. Look for it in bookstores everywhere.


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