What’s the point of toiling long hours in relative obscurity for Black Gate, if we don’t pimp your new books?
With that in mind, I’d like to draw attention to a trio of new and upcoming titles from BG contributors – starting with a handsome little volume that caught my eye on the New Arrivals table at Borders last week. The summary sounded terrific, but it wasn’t until I saw the author photo on the inside flap that I exclaimed “Hey! I know this guy!”
That’s because Johannes Cabal the Necromancer was written by Jonathan L. Howard, author of the lead story in our last issue, “The Beautiful Corridor,” a nifty little tale of a resourceful young thief penetrating a very dangerous crypt – and the talking corpse (and other surprises) that await her at its heart.
Here’s what I cribbed from the jacket copy of the novel:
Johannes Cabal, a brilliant scientist and notorious snob, is single-mindedly obsessed in heart and soul with raising the dead. Well, perhaps not soul… He hastily sold his years ago in order to learn the laws of necromancy. But now, tormented by a dark secret, he travels to the fiery pits of Hell to retrieve it. Satan, who is incredibly bored these days, proposes a little wager: Johannes has one year to persuade one hundred people to sign over their souls or he will be damned forever.
To make the bet even more interesting, Satan throws in that diabolical engine of deceit, seduction, and corruption known as a “traveling circus” to aid in the evil bidding. With little time to lose, Johannes raises a motley crew from the dead and enlists his brother, Horst, a charismatic vampire, to be the carnival’s barker. On the road through the pastoral English countryside, this team of reprobates wields their black magic with masterful ease, resulting in mayhem at every turn.
Contributing Editor Steven Silver is one of the unsung guys-behind-the-scenes at Black Gate – tracking down and scanning reprints, writing sidebars, working the booth at conventions – and his latest fiction efforts will be appearing in future issues (and have already appeared in places like Helix).
He’s recently completed the first of two volumes of a Lester del Rey retrospective, gathering 250,000 words of fiction from the Golden Age of SF in a thick new volume from NESFA Press:
War and Space collects 29 of del Rey’s stories – portraying different visions of the far reaches of space, travel between the planets of our own solar system, and life in a post-apocalyptic world. This volume includes “Nerves”, “My Name is Legion”, and “For I Am a Jealous People!”
Steven tells us the second volume, of similar length, will collect stories of robots and fantasy stories, and will be out in February.
Finally, all indications are that James Enge’s first novel Blood of Ambrose has been a big hit, both among Black Gate fans and new readers. Now comes word that his second book, This Crooked Way, which collects all his short fiction featuring Morlock the Maker, will arrive in October.
Travelling alone in the depths of winter, Morlock Ambrosius is attacked by an unknown enemy. To unmask his enemy and end the attacks he must travel a long crooked way through the world: past the soul-eating Boneless One, past a subtle and treacherous master of golems, past the dragon-taming Khroi, past the predatory cities of Sarkunden and Aflraun, past the demons and dark gnomes of the northern woods.
Soon he will find that his enemy wears a familiar face, and that the duel he has stumbled into will threaten more lives than his own, leaving nations shattered in its chaotic wake. And at the end of his long road waits the death of a legend.
Strung together like that, it sure sounds good. I thought I’d seen most of the stories already, but according to Pyr publisher Lou Anders This Crooked Way is more than just a round-up of previously published Morlock fiction. The book has 15 chapters, only 5 of which have previously appeared. Looking forward to this one.
We sure are a creative bunch here at Black Gate. There are more great book projects in the pipeline… stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted.