Announcing the Winners of Free Copies of The Ultra Thin Man and Echopraxia

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

The Ultra Thin Man-smallLast month, we told you that you had a chance to win two new novels from Tor: Patrick Swenson’s The Ultra Thin Man, and Peter Watts’s Echopraxia. How did you enter? Just by sending us a one-sentence review of your favorite Tor fantasy or science fiction novel. Easy as that! One winner for each book was drawn at random from all qualifying entries.

We are pleased to announce that the winner of The Ultra Thin Man is Guillermo Cantu, who reviewed a fantasy classic by Glen Cook:

The Black Company is the gritty tale of a band of crafty mercenaries that get entangled in a war of ancient and wicked sorcerers against questionable rebels, as told by the sarcastic company analyst, from the trenches.

And the winner of Echopraxia is Lee Hunter, with this one-sentence review of his favorite Tor science fiction title:

David Weber’s Off Armageddon Reef is an original story about fighting in the face of overwhelming, impossible odds; and the innate human will to survive and overcome an enemy.

The Ultra Thin Man was published by Tor Books on August 12, 2014. It is 334 pages, priced at $25.99 in hardcover and $12.99 for the digital edition. The cover is by Victor Mosquera. Echopraxia was released on August 26, 2014 by Tor Books. It is 383 pages, priced at $24.99 for the hardcover and $11.99 for the digital version. The cover is by Richard Anderson.

Thanks to all those who entered our contest and thanks again to Tor for making it all possible!


Last Chance to Win a Copy of Peter Watts’ Echopraxia

Friday, August 29th, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

Echopraxia-smallLast week, I told you that you had a chance to win a copy of Peter Watts’s brand new novel Echopraxia, on sale this week from Tor Books.

How do you win? Just send an e-mail to john@blackgate.com with the title “Echopraxia” and a one-sentence review of your favorite Tor science fiction novel. One winner will be drawn at random from all qualifying entries and we’ll publish the best reviews here on the Black Gate blog.

What could possibly be easier? But time is running out — the contest closes August 31.

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. Eat your vegetables. Thanks to the great folks at Tor for providing the prize.

This Peter Watts fellow is one of the most acclalimed young science fiction writers working today. The first novel in the Echopraxia series, Blindsight, was nominated for the Hugo Award, and in starred review Publishers Weekly called it “a terrifying and original spin on the familiar alien contact story.” Watts has been called “a hard science fiction writer through and through, and one of the very best alive” by The Globe and Mail.

Read an excerpt from Echopraxia, and see the book trailer, here.

Echopraxia was published on August 26 by Tor Books. It is 384 pages, priced at $24.99 in hardcover and $12.99 for the digital edition.


Last Chance to Win a Copy of Patrick Swenson’s The Ultra Thin Man

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

The Ultra Thin Man-smallLast week, I told you that you had a chance to win a copy of Patrick Swenson’s new novel The Ultra Thin Man. Why? Because good things happen to good people.

How do you win, you lucky dog? Just send an e-mail to john@blackgate.com with the title “The Ultra Thin Man” and a one-sentence review of your favorite Tor fantasy novel. 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 hurry, because the contest closes August 31.

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. Eat your vegetables. Thanks to Tor for providing the prize (and for footing for shipping). Here’s the description, because I think it sounds fantastic, and I wish Tor would let me enter my own contest. Bastards.

In the twenty-second century, a future in which mortaline wire controls the weather on the settled planets and entire refugee camps drowse in drug-induced slumber, no one — alive or dead, human or alien — is quite what they seem. When terrorists manage to crash Coral, the moon, into its home planet of Ribon, forcing evacuation, it’s up to Dave Crowell and Alan Brindos, contract detectives for the Network Intelligence Organization, to solve a case of interplanetary consequences. Crowell’ and Brindos’s investigation plunges them neck-deep into a conspiracy much more dangerous than anything they could have imagined.

The two detectives soon find themselves separated, chasing opposite leads: Brindos has to hunt down the massive Helkunn alien Terl Plenko, shadow leader of the terrorist Movement of Worlds. Crowell, meanwhile, runs into something far more sinister — an elaborate frame job that puts our heroes on the hook for treason.

In this novel from Patrick Swenson, Crowell and Brindos are forced to fight through the intrigue to discover the depths of an interstellar conspiracy. And to answer the all-important question: Who, and what, is the Ultra Thin Man?

The Ultra Thin Man was published by Tor Books on August 12, 2014. It is 334 pages, priced at $25.99 in hardcover and $12.99 for the digital edition. The cover is by Victor Mosquera.


Win a Copy of Peter Watts’ Echopraxia

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

Echopraxia-smallPeter Watts is a fellow Canadian and that makes him cool.

Well, that and the fact that he writes intensely cool SF novels, like the Hugo-nominated Blindsight, which Charles Stross described as “a first contact with aliens story from the point of view of a zombie posthuman crewman aboard a starship captained by a vampire.” Any time you can get Charles Stross on record saying “zombie posthuman crewman,” you know you’re cool. Plus, Ken Levine, the Creative Director for the hit video game BioShock, credits Watts as a significant influence on his game. That’s coolness right there.

Watts’s latest novel Echopraxia, described as a “sidequel” relating events on Earth during Blindsight, arrives at the end of the month, and Tor Books has been kind enough to offer us a copy to use as a giveaway (Thanks, Tor! You guys are super-cool.)

How do you enter? Just send an e-mail to john@blackgate.com with the title “Echopraxia” and a one-sentence review of your favorite Tor science fiction novel. One winner will be drawn at random at the end of the month from all qualifying entries and we’ll publish the best reviews here on the Black Gate blog.

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 outside the US and Canada.

Here’s the book description.

Read More »


Win a Copy of Patrick Swenson’s The Ultra Thin Man

Sunday, August 17th, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

The Ultra Thin Man-smallPatrick Swenson may be the coolest guy in the genre.

He started doing what all the cool people do, of course: editing a magazine. Patrick founded Talebones in 1995, a small press magazine of SF and dark fantasy, and he produced 39 issues over the next 14 years, discovering writers like Patrick O’Leary, Ken Scholes, Carrie Vaughn, and many others in the process. I called the magazine “a thoroughly impressive piece of work” when I reviewed issue #17 in 1999 for SF Site. Patrick then turned to small press publishing with Fairwood Press, where he’s published over 50 books from folks like James Van Pelt, Mary Rosenblum, Ken Rand, Jay Lake, Michael Bishop, Devon Monk, Alexei Panshin, William F. Nolan, and dozens of others. Most recently he has turned his hand to writing, producing short stories for Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine and other outlets.

Last year, Patrick announced that he’d sold his first novel, The Ultra Thin Man, to Tor, cementing his creative conquest of the entire genre. Not content with merely conquering science fiction, Patrick has also sent stories out to other genres, especially noir and detective fiction. Here’s a snippet from his recent interview with Forces of Geek on the inspiration behind The Ultra Thin Man.

It probably goes without saying that Dashiell Hammett’s novel The Thin Man was an influence, as was the 1934 film. Not so much for that particular plot, but the detective story in general. The witty dialogue. The one-liners. The back and forth repartee between the lead and other characters. Besides Hammett, I’d single out some of my favorite mystery writers, all of whom are masterful writing dialogue: Robert B. Parker, Elmore Leonard, Raymond Chandler, John D. Macdonald, and James W. Hall, to name a few.

To celebrate Patrick’s deep contributions to fantasy over the decades — and the fact that one human being can attain this level of coolness — we’re giving away a copy of The Ultra Thin Man, compliments of Tor Books.

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Announcing the Winner of the Laurence Manning Giveaway

Sunday, May 4th, 2014 | Posted by westkeith

Man Who Awoke 1st edIn my recent review of Laurence Manning’s The Man Who Awoke, I ran a giveaway for a copy of the book, in which the winner would be determined by who best answered the question “Why is pulp era science fiction and fantasy still relevant today?”

I had intended to respond to the entries to generate some discussion, as well as posting a reminder. Then Murphy stopped by for an extended visit, and none of those things happened before the deadline.

However, we had two good entries. The first was from Anthony Simeone. Here’s an excerpt from his answer:

In genre fiction above all other forms of literature, writers act as living lenses, through which we can see the world in a different way. That is one of the great blessings of the passage of time and death: we get to see the world afresh with each passing year, and through each new person that walks the Earth. Fiction, the written word, are telepathic messages sent forward in time for us to experience and enjoy. Ultimately, they are voices from the void of the past, without which the years behind us would be tragically silent.

The other entry was from Daniel J. Davis. Here’s some of what he had to say.

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A Review of The Man Who Awoke, Plus a Giveaway

Friday, April 25th, 2014 | Posted by westkeith

Man Who Awoke 1st edThe Man Who Awoke
Laurence Manning
Ballantine (170 pgs, $1.50, 1975)

Back in February, our editor John O’Neill featured Laurence Manning’s The Man Who Awoke in one of his Vintage Treasures posts. I first read the book sometime around the summer (I think it was summer) of 1981 or 1982. I was in high school and had picked up a copy at a local used book store. When I mentioned in the comments that I’d been thinking of rereading it, John graciously offered to let me do a review. I’d like to thank him for the opportunity.

It had been on my mind recently when I read an ARC of Michael J. Sullivan’s Hollow World. Then I attended ConDFW this past February, where the charity book swap had dozens of paperbacks from the late 70s and early 80s in excellent condition. Among the titles I picked up was a first edition of The Man Who Awoke.

The novel was originally serialized in five parts in Hugo Gernsback’s Wonder Stories in 1933. The first part was included in Isaac Asimov’s anthology Before the Golden Age, another book I need to reread. I had enjoyed the first installment, so when I came across the paperback of the whole novel, I snatched it up and dashed home with it, after properly paying for it of course.

The story concerns Norman Winters. He’s a wealthy scientist who develops a method of putting himself to sleep through a process very much like hibernation. I don’t know if this is the first use of what would later come to be called suspended animation, but it had to be one of the earliest. I’ve not read H. G. Wells’s When the Sleeper Wakes, so I don’t know the mechanism Wells used. Manning has his protagonist use this device to search for meaning and happiness in the future.

In the first story, “The Forest People,” Winters places his apparatus in a chamber deep underground, and with the aid of a timer, sleeps for a few millennia, waking in 5000 A.D. When Winters comes out of his chamber, he discovers that the world has reached a state in which humans live in small villages, using trees to supply almost all their needs. Most of the world is covered by forest, and open grasslands are anathema. The time Winters comes from (our present age) is known as the Age of Waste.

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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.


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