Black Gate Short Fiction Reviews

Sunday, December 30th, 2007 | Posted by Web Master

Black Gate‘s David Soyka examines two new offerings from Apex SF & Horror Digest and Subterranean Magazine, in the process delineating the modern boundaries of horror. In tales by notables with names like Shepard, Creasey, Tuttle, Priest, Bisson, Tidhar, and Ford, there’s a wide swath cut between subtle creeping dread and rank gratuitous gore. Which is more effective in a literary sense? Or as pure visceral terror? Come inside to find out…if you dare.


The Sword-and-Sorcery of History Part I: The Flashing Sword of Hereward the Wake

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007 | Posted by Web Master

The literary devices and themes that lie at the heart of Sword-and-Sorcery far predate the twentieth century. Join Black Gate‘s Joe McCullough on a quest back in time to visit some of the myths and legendry that led to the genre we know and love. In this first installment, McCullough takes a look at the battle-torn life of Hereward the Wake, who thrived during the time of William the Conqueror.



Thursday, December 20th, 2007 | Posted by Managing Editor Howard Andrew Jones

One thousand words on sequel novel today. I am trying not to be a word count guy on this manuscript so much as a “time put in and making headway” guy (I have discovered that when I write to a set word count it’s easier for me to produce wretched prose than it is when I write to finish a scene), but I’ve been feeling like a lazy slug re: writing for the last week or two and this much progress feels pretty darned good. I keep thinking I’ll reach the end of the chapter, but I’m working with a bunch of sail jargon and inventing conditions my mist sailors have to deal with and I still haven’t reached the chapter climax. Maybe if I could just write all day long…


My Favorite Show

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007 | Posted by Managing Editor Howard Andrew Jones

Hands down, my favorite modern sitcom is Scrubs. I enjoy My Name is Earl — though I never seem to catch it anymore — and there are others in previous years I’ve enjoyed, but Scrubs is the family favorite in these parts. It’s absurd and wonderful and cartoony and moving, sometimes all in the same episode. I do think that the last two seasons haven’t hit it out of the park as often, but it’s still a long way from jumping the shark.

I just spent WAY too much time searching YouTube for some of my favorite moments from the series, so the least you can do is waste some time and watch them.

The core of the show is the relationship between best friends J. D. (Zach Braff) and Turk (Donald Faison). Here’s a typical clip of the two of them.

It’s an ensemble show, though, and I really can’t imagine the show without the rest of the players, all of whom make the show. Here’s a few more of them, this time auditioning Turk for an air band. Donald Faison is pretty amazing, and reportedly pulled this off in only two takes.

Here’s another funny ensemble scene with Carla (Judy Reyes) and Elliot (Sarah Chalke) and Molly (Heather Graham).

There are frequent bizarre dream sequences or outright lies played out onscreen. Here are two of my favorites.

J. D.’s date with Turk and Carla’s hot nanny.

One of the best moments from any season is when Turk is trying to curry favor by retrieving the chief surgeons briefcase, assisted by “The Todd” (Robert Maschio).

Lastly, what would a clip celebration be without an appearance from Turk and J. D.’s stuffed dog, Rowdy?


Black Gate Submission Report

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007 | Posted by Managing Editor Howard Andrew Jones

John’s nearly through with all the physical slush, and has a few stories left to look over that I’ve forwarded on to him. With the New Year will come an end to the great slush pile.

As I’ve probably mentioned before, once we re-open, we’re going to use reading periods.

Meanwhile, work has begun on the non-fiction portions of Black Gate 12 and copies of various things we’ll be reviewing are going out to our, well, our reviewers.

I hope all of you are remembering that Black Gate website editor Leo Grin publishes articles on our web site every single Sunday… although there may be a hiatus for a week or two for the holidays. In any case, we’ve readied some good stuff for your reading pleasure in the last few weeks over at and hope you’ve been visiting.

Here I’ve just finished my first semester of teaching English composition at one of the local universities. Ironically,  I’d put off getting my masters for years with many excuses, one of them being that I never wanted to teach English comp. That’s ironic because I ended up enjoying myself — by semester’s end I felt like I’d really made a difference and helped the students to grow into better writers. With what I’ve learned this semester, next semester should be even better.


A Review of City of the Beast

Sunday, December 16th, 2007 | Posted by Web Master

Fantasy readers well know Robert E. Howard’s Solomon Kane and Karl Edward Wagner’s immortal warrior Kane, but there is another Kane in fantasy. Michael Moorcock is most famous for his Elric novels, but back in the sixties he penned a Sword-and-Planet trilogy that owes much to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars, one featuring a hero named Michael Kane. This fall, Paizo Publishing re-released the first novel in the series as part of their Planet Stories imprint. But after four decades, does it hold up? Black Gate reviewer Ryan Harvey delves into this new edition to find out.


A Need for Creed

Sunday, December 9th, 2007 | Posted by Web Master

This week, Black Gate lets the author of the Vampire Earth and Age of Fire series of novels take you on a trip through literature and film to illuminate the importance of morality in the fantasy field. “We all need ideals,” says E. E. Knight, “gods and heroes to look up to who offer us answers and examples to the Big Questions about right and wrong, life and death.” From The Lord of the Rings to Blade Runner, from George Lucas to Carl Jung, Knight sees common moral threads coursing throughout all of the best fantasy. Intrigued?


The 2007 World Fantasy Convention

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007 | Posted by Web Master

It’s the capital of the fantasy publishing kingdom, the one con where everyone who is anyone comes together once a year to hobnob, sell, pitch, and perhaps even snag one of the most coveted accolades in the industry, the World Fantasy Award. Howard Jones and John O’Neill once again made the trek under the Black Gate banner, braving the wilds of New York to bring you back tales of pleasant panels, bustling bars, and delightful dealer’s rooms — all the things that make a con worthwhile.



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