“Quit Messing Around and Subscribe”: James van Pelt Reviews Black Gate 11
I was doing a search earlier today and stumbled on a review of Black Gate 11 by none other than the distinguished author James van Pelt. It was written in Sept 2007, though I missed it until now. Here’s what Jim says, in part:
In the last three days I’ve received my subscriber copies of my two favorite magazines, Talebones and Black Gate. As I was looking them over (lovingly), it suddenly occurred to me that both of these magazines should have kick-butt subscription numbers. They’re wonderful, issue after issue… Here’s what you’re missing in this month’s issue of Black Gate:
- Really superior production values… This is a beautiful magazine
- Great cover art… my little image doesn’t quite capture the impact of the magazine…
- Top notch high and heroic fantasy. Where do you go for your fantasy kick of that sort? The contents of Black Gate leans toward the adventure fantasy side of the field, but there’s a lot of range in the magazine in approach, style and tone.
- A serialized story from Mark Sumner, “The Naturalist: Part II.” I like serialized work. Do you remember when that was common in most of the magazines? I first really started paying attention to Sumner when he published an earlier story in Black Gate called “Leather Doll.”
- Interesting, in depth reviews of the latest fantasy books. Unlike a lot of review venues, Black Gate gives me enough insight into the book to decide to buy it or not
- Articles by Rich Horton, one of the towering authorities on short fiction in science fiction and fantasy. He can write about a 1954 issue of Galaxy magazine that makes me want to try to find it.
- A column on gaming
- A funny multi-page cartoon called “Knights of the Dinner Table: the Java Joint” that in this issue mentioned another favorite author of mine within the cartoon, Carrie Vaughn
- A lively letter section
This is the second shout out this week for Mark Sumner’s “Leather Doll” (the first was in today’s Letters Column). Not bad for a story which appeared over eight years ago in Black Gate 7. You can read Jim’s complete review — as well as his comments about Talebones, another terrific small press magazine — here.
Black Gate 11 is still available on our back issue page. Buy the PDF for just $8.95, or the print version as part of our back issue sale — any two issues for just $25.
And I still haven’t sold anything to Black Gate. Oh . . . I need to submit more? Sheesh!
And it’s still a great magazine. The cover art alone should sell a zillion issues. I imagine the perfect writer’s study with framed Black Gate cover art on the wall.
Thanks for the great review! And sadly, we’re currently closed to submissions.
When I was getting started, I dreamed of decorating my study with framed original art from the covers of Black Gate. Unfortunately, I learned that while editors can enjoy working with artists, they don’t earn nearly enough to own the original art! Plus, my walls are covered with bookcases.