The best of Black Gates 1-3

The best of Black Gates 1-3

Now that the long-awaited Black Gate #13 is in sight, I thought I’d take the opportunity to look at some of the old issues, and, out of curiosity, see what other people’s favorites were.
While I enjoyed “Golden Bell, Seven, and the Marquis of Zeng” by Richard Parks – the title alone is great – it’s nearly impossible to compete favorably with Charles de Lint. “Wingless Angels” is a short, but tightly written story of hope for redemption, even among the unredeemable. It’s remarkable not only for its excellent characterization, but also for what must unfortunately be described as an unconventional approach to traditional Western religion, treating it as a mere basis for the plot rather than an editorial.
The second issue featured a wider range of stories from which to choose. I quite liked Harry James Connolly’s “The Whoremaster of Pald”, which was the first of several Paldian tales, but my favorite was “Heart of Jade” by Amy Sterling Casil. It wasn’t the literary quality of the story that appealed to me, as it was, in my opinion, no more than competently written, but the unusual setting, the historically apt violence, and the unexpected twists and turns of the story combined to make it much more interesting than the average short story.
When the third issue, Winter 2002, arrived, I was rather disappointed by the cover artwork. But I was pleased with the contents, particularly with Todd McAulty’s “The Haunting of Cold Harbour”. It wasn’t just the best story in that issue, I thought it was the best piece of short fiction published that year, and I was very disappointed that the SFWA did not see fit to honor it with a Nebula award that year. But then, reading is a subjective activity, and one’s mileage is bound to vary.
What were your favorite stories from the first three issues of Black Gate?

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Sometime around the 2nd half of last year, I bought issues 1-8 of BG. I’ve been reading them ever since 🙂

Some of my personal faves:
The Dark Muse
The Dreamthiefs Daughter

The Whoremaster of Pald
Heart of Jade
Bones of the Dead

Iron Joan
The Chinese Sandman
The Haunting of Cold Harbor


Black Gate 01 : The Dark Muse – Karl Edward Wagner

Black Gate 02 : Bones of the Dead – Julia Blackshear Kosatka
Black Gate 02 : The Monster-God of Mamurth – Edmond Hamilton

Black Gate 03 : Iron Joan – ElizaBeth Gilligan
Black Gate 03 : The Chinese Sandman – Mike Resnick
Black Gate 03 : A Taste of Summer – Ellen Klages
Black Gate 03 : The Haunting of Cold Harbour – Todd McAulty

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