Ready yourselves for Black Gate 11, because it is almost here.
It can take a long time to take a magazine from a whole bunch of separate submissions to a coherent magazine-like shape. You have to remember that Black Gate is much thicker than most of its competition. It will be handed off to the printer very shortly now.
If you’ve grown curious about what we’re publishing now’s the time to subscribe. We’re pretty sure you’ll like what you see. John will be uploading a preview of issue 11 soon. But, really, if you like adventure fantasy, why aren’t you supporting the best source of it on the newsstands today? Here, take a look at what reviewers have said about recent issues.
After Black Gate 11 we’ll get back to the business of responding to e-mails and reading manuscripts. John and I were talking just today, and once this is all cleared away we’ll probably start having reading periods rather than being open to subs at all times. It’s my fervent hope that we’ll have all the backlog cleared away in just a few more months.
There are a number of things I’m proud of having accomplished in my life, but one of the ones I am most pleased with is having earned a first degree black belt in Shotokan Karate. I’m now working toward my second degree. As someone who was never especially good at athletic pursuits and was always that short skinny pale kid with glasses, I used to believe the chances of me earning a black belt were about as good as the chance of me becoming an astronaut. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of earning my master’s degree, and it was harder to achieve than I expected, but I knew I could get that because I had been taking classes and reading and writing all my life. Studying martial arts for four years and advancing and then earning a black beltÃ‚Â — well, I wasn’t sure I could pull that off. (Of course, once you get that black belt you realize just how much more you have to learn, but that’s another story.) I try not to go out of my way to mention it, but I suppose I do sometimes, because I’m inordinately proud of that piece of cloth.
Anyway, so yesterday I came home from a workout, wearing my karate pants and my karate t-shirt and feeling all lean and flexible, and I stopped to pick up a package in front of the house. When I stumbled on the step because the package blocked my view of the stairs and my old, old sandals snagged on something, did my cat-like ninja reflexes keep me from injury? Nay, I slammed my foot into the walk at exactly the wrong angle and collapsed on the stones as pain shot up my ankle and spread like rabid fire ants across the top of my entire foot. It hurt too much to curse, but I managed to tell my daughter to go get her mother and to tell her that I had hurt myself. Humble pie. Yes, black belts aren’t a guarantee against being clumsy. (And, incidentally, I need sandals that don’t have bottoms that are split in half.) I had to lean on my lovely wife to walk into the house. Today I am mostly well, and only limping a bit. My wife theorizes I injured a ligament, but not severely.
Those of you who’ve visited the Black Gate rooftop headquarters overlooking downtown Chicago know that there are wall-to-wall oak bookshelves stuffed with rare and wonderful books, pulps, and busts of our favorite writers, editors, and a few characters from our favorite stories. I know some of you have noticed the bust of Solomon Kane along the south wall, near the bound volumes of Weird Tales and Spicy Troubador Stories, but you probably didn’t know that the Black Gate priority line is hooked through good Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ol Solomon. Today when his eyes gleamed bright I flipped up his hat to access the line, only to learn that a disaster was imminent, one that only the staff of Black Gate was capable of averting. Since John is heads-down over the magazine, I am jetting off to deal with the matterÃ‚Â — which naturally I dare not discuss in detailÃ‚Â — despite my recent injury. I may well be away for several days, but I will return.