Future Treasures: The Madness of Cthulhu, edited by S.T. Joshi

Sunday, September 21st, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

The Madness of Cthulhu-smallWith all the recent discussion we’ve had on collecting H.P. Lovecraft, I thought S.T. Joshi’s latest Mythos-inspired anthology The Madness of Cthulhu, due to be released next month, might be of interest. It’s certainly got my attention.

The Madness of Cthulhu collects fourteen new tales — and two reprints — inspired by Lovecraft’s masterpiece At the Mountains of Madness. Authors include Arthur C. Clarke , Robert Silverberg , Caitlin R. Kiernan , John Shirley, and Harry Turtledove.

According to Joshi’s blog, this is the first two volumes, with the second to be released Summer 2015. This volume is introduced by Jonathan Marberry. Here’s the book description:

Sixteen stories inspired by the 20th century’s great master of horror, H.P. Lovecraft, and his acknowledged masterpiece, At the Mountains of Madness, in which an expedition to the desolation of Antarctica discovers evidence of an ancient ruin built by horrific creatures at first thought long-dead, until death strikes the group. All but two of the stories are original to this edition, and those reprints are long-lost works by science fiction masters Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Silverberg.

The Madness of Cthulhu, Volume One will be published Titan Books on October 7, 2014. It is 304 pages, priced at $15.95 in trade paperback and $9.99 for the digital version. I can’t find a cover credit, but it sure looks like John Jude Palencar (click for bigger version).

See all of our recent New Treasures here.

Future Treasures: Old Venus, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

Old Venus-smallA while back, I was lamenting the disappearance of the modern SF anthology, and commenting that very few editors (or publishers, for that matter) have been successful at individual anthologies — let alone the anthology series, like the old Orbit and New Dimensions.

In so saying, I was overlooking the team of George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, who have produced a loose series of top-selling SF and fantasy anthologies over the last few years – including the massive heroic fantasy volume Warriors (2010), the star-crossed love story collection Songs of Love and Death (2010), the massive Jack Vance tribute Songs of the Dying Earth (2010), the urban fantasy-focused Down These Strange Streets (2011), the even massive-er 800-page Dangerous Women (2013), and the just-released Rogues (2014).

My personal favorite was Old Mars, a tribute to “the Golden Age of Science Fiction, an era filled with tales of interplanetary colonization and derring-do” — which, if you’ve read even a handful of posts here at Black Gate, you’ll understand is the kind of thing that makes me very happy. When I blogged about it in January, Gardner sent me this intriguing message:

Glad you enjoyed it… If you liked this one, keep an eye out for Old Venus from the same publisher; same kind of thing, although I think it’s even stronger than Old Mars. Pub date is sometime in 2015.

I was delighted to hear it. Now Bantam has released the cover, and it looks gorgeous — and makes a terrific companion piece to the Old Mars cover. These will look very handsome indeed, back-to-back on my bookshelf.

Old Venus will be published by Bantam Books on March 3, 2015. It is 608 pages, priced at $30 in hardcover and $11.99 for the digital version. No news on who the contributors are — when we learn more, so will you.

Future Treasures: Check-Out Time by Mark Rigney

Sunday, September 14th, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

Check Out Time Mark Rigney-smallMark Rigney’s Tales of Gemen — a three-part adventure tale featuring a deadly tomb, a ruined gateway, and the mysterious trader Gemen, who risks everything to plumb their secrets —  have consistently hovered near the top of our Fiction charts since we first published them in 2012. Tangent Online called the tales “Reminiscent of the old sword & sorcery classics,” high praise in our book.

More recently, Mark has turned his attention to a series of thrillers starring the occult investigators Reverend Renner and Dale Quist. Bill Maynard raved about the first, The Skates, in his review for us last year.

I envy Rigney for his talents… Rigney can write circles around most of us as he seamlessly blurs the lines between genres and switches voice from one first person narrator to the other…

Rigney’s odd couple (in more ways than one) comprises a stuffy Unitarian minister and a rather crude, sometimes boorish, ex-linebacker. Together they solve occult mysteries… Make no mistake, this book is grand entertainment.

Simply put, I love this book.

The second in the series, “Sleeping Bear,” appeared in February, and anticipation has been building for their first novel-length adventure. Check-Out Time finally arrives next month.

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Alan Moore Completes 1 Million+ Word Historical Fantasy Novel, Jerusalem

Saturday, September 13th, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

Alan-Moore-smallAlan Moore’s daughter Leah has posted a report on Facebook that her father has completed the first draft of his second novel, Jerusalem, and that the draft clocks in at more than one million words.

To give you a sense of perspective, that’s more than five times the length of Dune (186,000 words), and twice the length of all three novels of The Lord of the Rings (473,000 words). As The A.V. Club puts it, “Alan Moore wrote a novel so heavy even he can’t lift it.”

Jerusalem reportedly examines history of a small section of Moore’s native Northhampton, with chapters written in dramatically different styles. Here’s Moore’s description:

I’ve done a chapter that’s like a mid-sixties New Wave, New Worlds Michael Moorcock-era science fiction story. There’s one that’s like a piece of noir fiction. It’s all these different styles…

In some ways, the book sounds similar to his first novel, The Voice of the Fire, which portrayed 6,000 years of English history by following twelve different characters in the same region of central England. As Comics Beat points out, it’s also similar in some respects to his unfinished comic opus Big Numbers.

Alan Moore is the writer of some of the most famous comics of the 20th Century, including Watchmen, V for Vendetta, Swamp Thing, From Hell, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Moore does not yet have a publisher for the mammoth tome.

Goth Chick News Crypt Notes: Holy Millennium Falcon Han Solo!

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Holy Millenium Falcon Han SoloWhere Star Wars is concerned, even a goth chick can go fan-girl.

Just in from the UK today: A pilot taking publicity photos for a flying school accidentally buzzed one of the sets of the new Star Wars movie with pretty impressive, if unintentional, results.

Matthew Myatt originally thought his pictures were of experiment aircraft at the Greenham Common airfield in Berkshire, England. Greenham Common is a former RAF airbase. Myatt was photographing one plane from another and it wasn’t until he got back and started reviewing his images that he realized what he had captured: none other than a partially built Millennium Falcon and an X-Wing fighter.

It appears that, at least in part, director J.J. Abrams will use models for filming rather than pure CGI. As one excited fan wrote on www.theforce.net, “Who’d’ve guessed filmmakers still build physical models?” and “Looks like the Falcon got a paint job!”

Star Wars is due out in December, 2015

Future Treasures: Shattered Shields, edited by Jennifer Brozek and Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

Shattered Sheilds-smallWell, here’s a fun thing: an upcoming anthology packed with tales of epic battles and soldiers struggling against overwhelming odds, with a stellar cast of contributors.

Shattered Shields is edited Jennifer Brozek and Bryan Thomas Schmidt, and will be available in November. Jennifer — who got her start as an RPG reviewer in Black Gate magazine back in 2002 — has previously edited no less than ten anthologies, including Space Tramps and Human for a Day. Her co-editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt has also edited Space Battles and Beyond The Sun, among others.

The book includes a brand new Black Company story from Glen Cook, a Paksenarrion tale from Elizabeth Moon, a Runelords story by David Farland, a tale of October Daye from Seanan McGuire — and a story set in the World of Zang by our very own John R. Fultz. Here’s John on his story:

“Yael of the Strings” is my contribution…  Most of the Zang Cycle stories were collected this year in The Revelations of Zang, but this is a brand-new excursion into that world. The protagonist isn’t a soldier at all, but a minstrel whose fencing skills become his only chance at survival when the red tide of battle overwhelms. “Strings” revisits the nation of Ghoth with its behemoth spiders (from “Oblivion Is the Sweetest Wine”), and introduces Sharoc, Land of the Griffon.

Readers who remember John’s terrific sword and sorcery tale, “Oblivion Is the Sweetest Wine” (from Black Gate 12) will surely want this one. Other contributors include Cat Rambo, Robin Wayne Bailey, Dave Gross, James L. Sutter, and many others.

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Future Treasures: The Baen Big Book of Monsters, edited by Hank Davis

Saturday, September 6th, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

The Baen Big Book of Monsters-smallMonsters!! And lots of ‘em.

That’s all you need to know. Big monster book comin’. A Halloween-themed monster anthology, with a tantalizing a mix of classic reprints and original stories, all featuring REALLY BIG MONSTERS. Contributors include names that will be very familiar to Black Gate readers, such as Robert E. Howard, Henry Kuttner, William Hope Hodgson, Murray Leinster, James H. Schmitz, Arthur C. Clarke, H.P. Lovecraft, Robert Bloch, David Drake, and many more.

It even includes the pulp classic “The Monster-God of Mamurth” by Edmond Hamilton. And Harlan Ellison told us that story sucked when we wanted to reprint it. What does he know?

I approve of this Hank Davis fellow. His last anthology for Baen was the awesome In Space No One Can Hear You Scream, released last Halloween. This man is doing God’s work. Next time you run into him tell him he is blessed, and we’ll be rubbing elbows with the saints in the line to buy his book.

Here’s the book description, and the complete Table of Contents.


From the dragons of legend to Jack the Giant Killer’s colleague to King Kong and Godzilla, people have found the idea of giant creatures both scary and fascinating. Why so many should find accounts of a critter big enough to gulp down a puny human like an insignificantly small hor d’oeuvre or step on said human and leave a grease spot might be explained by the psychologists, but such yarns are undeniable fun.

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Future Treasures: The Mammoth Book of Steampunk Adventures edited by Sean Wallace

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

The Mammoth Book of Steampunk Adventures-smallLast January, we told you about Sean Wallace’s intriguing anthology The Mammoth Book of Steampunk, a generous collection of short fiction from Amal El-Mohtar, Barth Anderson, Jeffrey Ford, James Morrow, Mary Robinette Kowal, Aliette de Bodard, N.K. Jemisin, and many others.

The book was a solid success and no publisher can resist success. So it should be no surprise that the sequel, The Mammoth Book of Steampunk Adventures, is scheduled to arrive next month here in the US (it’s already on sale in the UK).

This volume collects over 30 steampunk tales, including three originals from Benjanun Sriduangkaew, E. Catherine Tobler, and Jonathan Wood. Other contributors include K.W. Jeter, Tobias S. Buckell, Cherie Priest, Jay Lake, Christopher Barzak, Carrie Vaughn, Chris Roberson, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Tony Pi, Aliette de Bodard, Nisi Shawl, Genevieve Valentine, Sofia Samatar, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Cat Rambo, Margaret Ronald, Ken Liu, and many others.

Our very own C.S.E. Cooney contributes a reprint, her marvelous tale “Canary of Candletown,” from Steam-Powered II. Ann VanderMeer provides the introduction.

Sean Wallace is also the editor of the upcoming The Mammoth Book of Warriors and Wizardry, a very promising sword & sorcery collection with a story reprinted from Black Gate (Matthew David Surridge’s “The Word of Azrael”), as well as contributions from James Enge, Chris Willrich, Aliette de Bodard, Mary Robinette Kowal, N.K. Jemisin, Saladin Ahmed, and many others.

I’m a big fan of these Mammoth anthologies. They’re attractive, well edited, and a great value for the money. Keep your eye out for this one.

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Discover the Prototype for Lord of the Rings: The Zimiamvia Trilogy by E. R. Eddison

Sunday, August 31st, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

The Mezentian Gate-small The Worm Ouroboros-small
A Fish Dinner in Memison-small Mistress of Mistresses-small

Many decades ago, I discovered four volumes of fantasy by the British author E. R. Eddison: The Worm Ouroboros, and its sequel, The Zimiamvia Trilogy (Mistress of Mistresses, A Fish Dinner in Memison, and the uncompleted The Mezentian Gate.) They were a handsome set of Ballantine paperbacks from 1967, all with gorgeous covers by Barbara Remington.

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Future Treasures: The Cobbler of Ridingham by Jeffrey E. Barlough

Saturday, August 30th, 2014 | Posted by John ONeill

The Cobbler of Ridingham-smallJeffrey E. Barlough is one of the most gifted and ambitious fantasists at work today and his seven volume Western Lights series is unlike anything else on the shelves. In his review of the fifth volume, Anchorwick, Jackson Kuhl sums up events as follows:

Eugene Stanley has come to the university at Salthead (a parallel Seattle? Vancouver?) to assist his professor uncle in preparing a book manuscript. One night, while working in a deserted turret room at the college…  Stanley is accosted by a phantasmal form. This ignites a definitive search for the missing don as Stanley and friends uncover lost civilizations, ancestral curses, whole companies of ghosts, monsters from Greek myth, and a few red herrings, all told in rich, dryly humorous style. It’s P.G. Wodehouse with woolly mammoths.

Those who complain that there’s nothing new in fantasy today aren’t looking hard enough. And they’re definitely not reading Jeffrey E. Barlough.

The eighth volume in the Western Lights series, The Cobbler of Ridingham, will be released in November and it features Richard Hathaway, who previously appeared in Bertram of Butter Cross and the short story “Ebenezer Crackernut” (from A Tangle in Slops).

A creeping shadow, a bump in the night, a thing in the trees — these are but a few of the surprises lurking in the pages of The Cobbler of Ridingham… The new work relates a curious adventure that befell Richard Hathaway while visiting at Haigh Hall, the home of a family acquaintance, Lady Martindale, on the marshes outside the picturesque old country town of Ridingham.

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