2014 was a pretty good year for Black Gate. Our readership nearly doubled, and we published a record number of articles. I was going to do an exact count of all the posts we made in 2014 so I’d sound a little more together here, but I lost count after 1,200.
But trust me. It was a lot.
At the end of every month last year, I compiled a brief report itemizing our Top 50 articles for the month (here’s the list for December, for example). Mostly because the lists were fun and popular. But also because I couldn’t believe Scott Taylor’s Art of the Genre pieces kept beating my Vintage Treasures posts, month after month. Seriously, how does that happen?
Anyway, those of us who obsess over traffic stats every month (chiefly me and Scott) noticed a few surprises when we tabulated the results for all of 2014. Several of the overall most popular articles of last year rarely made the Top 20 every month. But they had steady traffic month after month, and those numbers added up. I guess it’s true what they say about slow and steady winning the race. That Aesop guy knew what he was talking about.
Below we’ve tabulated the 80 most popular articles on the Black Gate website for all of 2014 — starting with Andrew Zimmerman Jones’ report on the hit Dungeons and Dragons reprint series, “My Youth Was Delivered Yesterday: AD&D 2nd Edition Re-Released,” originally posted in 2013. It was read 26,380 times last year, making it our most read blog post in 2014, and one of the most popular pieces we’ve ever published.
Second on the list was Scott Taylor’s “Art of the Genre: Reki Kawahara, Depression, and Sword Art Online,” read 21,114 times in 2014. In third place was my June article “An Open Letter to Dave Truesdale” (18,422), followed by Elwin Cotman’s tribute to Conan creator Robert E. Howard, “My Inspiration: Black Canaan” (18, 268).
Rounding out the Top Five is M Harold Page’s “Death Knight Love Story: WMA meets WTF,” which may also have the distinction of being our best title for 2014. It was read 13,158 times.
Sixth is an article by Matthew David Surridge that never made the Top 20 for a single month in 2014… or in 2013 and 2012, for that matter. It was originally written in 2011, and has been read by nearly a thousand readers virtually every month since. It is “Internet Possibilities, Gene Wolfe, and The Fifth Head of Cerberus,” read 10,041 times in 2014.
Seventh on our list is Patty Templeton’s 2012 interview with Delia Sherman, author of The Freedom Maze (8,907), followed by another Matthew David Surridge piece, “David Lindsay, A Voyage to Arcturus, and Necessary Strangeness” (8,666).
Scott Taylor claimed the ninth slot with “Art of the Genre: Top 10 Fantasy Artists of the Past 100 Years” (8,362). And closing out the Top 10 for 2014 was our newcomer, Bob Byrne, with an installment in his popular Monday morning blog series, “The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes: Eille Norwood: the Silent Detective” (8.074).
Here’s the complete list of the Top 80 articles on the Black Gate blog in 2014. Posts written before 2014 are noted with the year in parentheses.
- My Youth Was Delivered Yesterday: AD&D 2nd Edition Re-Released (2013)
- Art of the Genre: Reki Kawahara, Depression, and Sword Art Online
- An Open Letter to Dave Truesdale
- My Inspiration: Black Canaan
- Death Knight Love Story: WMA meets WTF
- Internet Possibilities, Gene Wolfe, and The Fifth Head of Cerberus (2011)
- Time Travel and YA Lit: A Talk with Delia Sherman (2012)
- David Lindsay, A Voyage to Arcturus, and Necessary Strangeness (2011)
- Art of the Genre: Top 10 Fantasy Artists of the Past 100 Years (2011)
- The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes: Eille Norwood: the Silent Detective
- Nine (mostly) Distinct (almost) Positive Traits of Chainmail Bikinis
- Adventures On Film: Pan’s Labyrinth (2013)
- Godzilla (2014) Is a True Godzilla Film and a Unique Blockbuster
- A History of Godzilla on Film, Part 1: Origins (1954–1962) (2013)
- Robert Silverberg on the Tragic Death of John Brunner
- Why Medieval Fantasy is Not Inherently Conservative (or Inherently Anything Political)
- Firefly, A Retrospective — Part 3
- Secret Caverns and Death Traps: The Adventures of Captain Marvel, Chapter Nine: Dead Man’s Trap
- Heroic Fantasy with the Sharp Edge of Reality: A Review of The Sacred Band by Janet Morris and Chris Morris
- The HBO Season 4 Finale of Game of Thrones: How Different Was it from George R.R. Martin’s Version?
- Can SF Save the World From Climate Change?
- Star Trek 3 Confirmed
- Goth Chick News: Getting A-head at Airport Security (2013)
- House of Cards Kicked the Cat
- Return to Thieves World in Beyond Sanctuary: The Revised and Expanded Author’s Cut by Janet Morris
- A History of Godzilla on Film, Part 5: The Travesty and the Millennium Era (1996–2004)
- Firefly, A Retrospective — Part 1
- Dracula’s Daughter: From Script to Screen (2010)
- The Demarcation of Sword and Sorcery (2006)
- The Scariest Hour in TV History: Space 1999: “Dragon’s Domain” (2013)
- Caught Between Rebels and the Empire’s Blackest Magic: Beyond the Veil: The Revised and Expanded Author’s Cut by Janet Morris
- What’s the Point of Steampunk?
- How Much Backstory Do We Really Need?
- Register Your Interest, Copyright for Paper and E-Books (2011)
- Frederick Faust, Bound for SF and The Smoking Land (2010)
- Chris Braak Reviews The Winds of Khalakovo (2012)
- Stick This in Your Pipe and Smoke It (2013)
- SF/F Corruption: Part I (2012)
- Art of the Genre: Redheads Hate Clothes! (2011)
- A History of Godzilla on Film, Part 3: Down and Out in Osaka (1969–1983)
- A Bomb on a Plane: The Adventures of Captain Marvel, Chapter Four: Death Takes the Wheel
- Futuristic Myth: The Space Opera of Leiji Matsumoto (2013)
- A History of Godzilla on Film, Part 4: The Heisei Era (1984–1996)
- Dwarves, Dragons, Wizards and Elves: Thinking About the Standard Fantasy Setting
- Glenn Lord, Nov 17 1931 – Dec 31, 2011 (2012)
- Art of the Genre: Art of the Iconic Female #1; Dejah Thoris (2012)
- Star Trek Continues with “Lolani” and Soars to Warp Eight
- Writers, Readers, and Glorious Fools (2010)
- His Name is Vengeance: Kellory the Warlock by Lin Carter
- SFWA Ugliness Spreads to Personal Attacks on Mary Robinette Kowal
- Art of the Genre: Art of the Iconic Female #5: Princess Leia
- A Ride Along with the Thought Police: John C. Wright, Foz Meadows, and Rachel Aaron
- Art of the Genre: The Top 10 Dragon Magazine Covers of the 1970s & 80s
- The Decline and Fall of the Fantasy Novel (2011)
- The Fantasy Cycles of Clark Ashton Smith Part III: Tales of Zothique (2006)
- Sean P. Fodera Threatens to Sue 1,200 Writers Linking to Daily Dot Article
- John D. MacDonald: A Writer’s Writer
- Vintage Treasures: The Best of Fredric Brown (2013)
- Art of the Genre: The Top 10 TSR Cover Paintings of All Time
- The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes
- Lust, Women, and the Devil: Seven Decades of Fritz Leiber’s Conjure Wife
- Review: Ancient Germanic Warriors: Warrior Styles from Trajan’s Column to Icelandic Sagas
- Why I Created Labyrinth Lord (2012)
- Confessions Of a Cormanite
- Vintage Treasures: Galactic Derelict by Andre Norton
- Art of the Genre: Kickstarter, it Really Shouldn’t be About the ‘Stuff We All Get’ (2013)
- Jews With Swords: Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon
- Living Outside Society’s Rules: Blackguards
- Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy is Space Opera at its Best
- Self-Publishing Checklist: The Random No One Tells You
- The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes: Meet Nero Wolfe
- Novel Writing: Le Morte d’Arthur (2010)
- AD&D Figurines: Youth In a Box?
- Goth Chick News: A Review of The Heavens Rise
- The Fantasy Roots of Fan Fiction
- “What If Luck Wasn’t a Matter of Chance?”: OXV: The Manual (2013)
- Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook 5th Edition: Character Options & Rules Overview
- Four Books on Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA)
- Collecting Lovecraft, Part II
- Crossing the Threshold: Making Ultra-Long Fiction Work For You
The Top 5o Black Gate blog posts in December are here.