The Top 50 Black Gate Posts in September

The Top 50 Black Gate Posts in September

hall-of-bones-frog-god-smallThe most widely-read article last month — by a wide margin — was Bob Byrne’s look at classic role playing, “Why I Went Old School — or Swords & Wizardry vs. Pathfinder.” In fact, Bob’s piece is the most popular feature we’ve had at Black Gate all year (with the exception of our May announcement that we declined a Hugo nomination). He’s posted three recent updates to it so far, re-capping his group’s exploits in Matt Finch’s Hall of Bones adventure module, so check back if you haven’t recently.

Coming in at #2 was another gaming article, Carlos Hernandez’s “What No Man’s Sky Can Learn from SFF Worldbuilding.” Sometimes I wonder why we bother doing anything other than gaming pieces?

Rounding out the Top Five were our examination of Michael McDowell’s Blackwater serial novel from the 1980s, Thomas Parker’s fond look at the 1960s Batman, and Sean McLachlan’s writing confession, “When Researching Your Novel Scares You: Daily Life in the Third Reich.”

Violette Malan’s thoughtful look at one of the great 20th Century SF writers, “Andre Norton: Are Her Men Really Women?”, came in at number six, followed by Bob Byrne’s second gaming article for the month, “RPGing is Story Telling.” Next up was William Patrick Maynard’s review of his fellow Black Gate author, Josh Reynolds, who recently released two direct sequels to Philip Jose Farmer’s The Other Log of Phileas Fogg for Meteor House.

Bob continued to hog the Top 10 list, coming in at #9 with “The Master Plot Formula (per Lester Dent).” And Barbara Barrett wrapped up the list with her look back at a neglected fantasy classic from 1991, HBO’s Cast a Deadly Spell.

The complete list of Top Articles for September follows. Below that, I’ve also broken out the most popular overall articles, online fiction, and blog categories for the month.

The Top 50 Black Gate posts in September were:

  1. Why I Went Old School — or Swords & Wizardry vs. Pathfinder
  2. What No Man’s Sky Can Learn from SFF Worldbuilding
  3. The Shadow over Innsmouth as a Generational Family Saga in Rural Alabama: Michael McDowell’s Blackwater
  4. How We Got Where We Are, or Go Adam West, Young Man
  5. When Researching Your Novel Scares You: Daily Life in the Third Reich
  6. Andre Norton: Are Her Men Really Women?
  7. The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes: RPGing is Story Telling
  8. Phileas Fogg Finds Immortality
  9. The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes: The Master Plot Formula (per Lester Dent)
  10. Mixing Hardboiled Film Noir and Magic: Cast a Deadly Spell


  11. The Religion by Tim Willocks
  12. Heavy Metal Lyrics, Sword & Sorcery Fantasy and Video Games: A Cultural Synergy by Dr. Fred Adams
  13. Alan Moore’s Jerusalem Arrives Next Week
  14. Joe Bonadonna Reports on Weird Tales
  15. The Ancient Roman Vomitorium: It Wasn’t What You’ve Been Told
  16. The Mystery of New Dimensions 13
  17. Art of the Genre: Top 10 ‘Orange Spine’ AD&D Hardcovers by Jeff Easley
  18. A Story Checklist for Writers
  19. Much of a Muchness: Phyllis Eisenstein’s Born to Exile
  20. Series Architecture: The Same But Different in EC Tubb’s Dumarest


  21. Vintage Treasures: The Best Science Fiction of the Year #3, edited by Terry Carr
  22. The Print Version of the 7th Edition of Call of Cthulhu is Now Available
  23. The Top 50 Black Gate Posts in August
  24. Return to Enoch: The King of Nightspore’s Crown by Raphael Ordoñez
  25. Rich Playboys, Mad Scientists, and Venusian Monsters: The Best of Stanley Weinbaum
  26. You Say Acolyte, I Say Assassin
  27. A Secret Conflict During the Civil War: The House Divided Series by Sean McLachlan
  28. John DeNardo Proves Lovecraftian Fiction is Alive and Well
  29. Feast Your Eyes on Robert McGinnis’ New Covers for Neil Gaiman’s Early Paperbacks
  30. Blogging Marvel’s Master of Kung-Fu, Part Three


  31. The Life of a Reprint Anthologist: Paula Guran’s Research Stack for the Upcoming Swords Against Darkness
  32. Is Robert Reed the New Century’s Most Compelling SF Voice?
  33. Cugel in Golarion: Song of the Serpent by Hugh Matthews
  34. Exploring the Leonaur Science Fiction and Fantasy Catalog
  35. Old Dark House Double Feature III: The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966) and Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow (1959)
  36. Phoenician and Roman Cádiz: The Original Pillars of Hercules
  37. Space Barbarians and Uranium Mining on Mars: Rich Horton on Empire of the Atom by A. E. Van Vogt and Space Station #1 by Frank Belknap Long
  38. New Treasures: Ancient Egyptian Supernatural Tales edited by Jonathan E. Lewis
  39. Gypsies, Monsters, and Very Spooky Real Estate: Haunted Castles: The Complete Gothic Stories by Ray Russell
  40. Amazing, May 1963: A Retro-Review


  41. Can-Con: The Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature
  42. Goth Chick News: What a Beautiful Time to Be Obsessed with LEGOs
  43. Future Treasures: The Fall of the House of Cabal by Jonathan L. Howard
  44. The 2016 British Fantasy Awards Winners
  45. John DeNardo on the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Historical Fiction You Won’t Want to Miss in September
  46. September/October Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Now on Sale
  47. A Sorceress Hiding From the Most Powerful Sorcerer in the World: Annie Bellet’s Level Grind: The Twenty-Sided Sorceress
  48. The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes: Back to Otto Penzler’s SH Library
  49. Ares Magazine 3 Now Available
  50. Check Out the Recent Fiction at

The IXThere were plenty of older articles popular last month as well. The 25 most popular blog posts written before September were:

  1. The IX by Andrew P. Weston
  2. Heroic Fantasy with the Sharp Edge of Reality: A Review of The Sacred Band by Janet Morris and Chris Morris
  3. The IX: Exordium of Tears by Andrew P. Weston
  4. New Treasures: The Library of America Publishes Elmore Leonard
  5. A Fine Tribute to the Godfather of Weird Literature: The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu, edited by Paula Guran
  6. Art of the Genre: Top 10 Fantasy Artists of the Past 100 Years
  7. Part Gothic, Part Sword and Sorcery, and Part Horror: Andrew P. Weston’s Hell Bound
  8. Vintage Treasures: The Silistra Quartet by Janet Morris
  9. Tribulations Herculean and Tragic: Beyond Wizardwall by Janet Morris
  10. Return to Thieves World in Beyond Sanctuary: The Revised and Expanded Author’s Cut by Janet Morris
  11. A Detailed Explanation
  12. AD&D Figurines: Youth In a Box?
  13. Caught Between Rebels and the Empire’s Blackest Magic: Beyond the Veil: The Revised and Expanded Author’s Cut by Janet Morris
  14. Things Your Writing Teacher Never Told You: The Skeleton Matters (Or, Why It’s Not OK to Skip Scenes in Your Third Act)
  15. Love in War and Realms Beyond Imagining: A Review of The Fish, the Fighters and the Song Girl by Janet Morris and Chris Morris
  16. The Perfect Prescription for Perdition: Doctors in Hell, edited by Janet Morris and Chris Morris
  17. The Return of the King (1980)
  18. Giving the Devil His Due: A Review of Dreamers in Hell
  19. The Devil in the Details: A Review of Lawyers in Hell
  20. “A Great Place to let Your Imagination Run Wild:” Joe Bonadonna Reviews Rogues in Hell
  21. I, The Sun by Janet Morris
  22. How I Lost My Soul and Learned to Love Hell
  23. Fantasia Diary 2015, Day 5: Teana: 10000 Years Later, Crimson Whale, and The Shamer’s Daughter
  24. The Demarcation of Sword and Sorcery
  25. Art of the Genre: Art of Dungeon Maps

The Sacred Band-smallThe Top Black Gate Online Fiction features were:

  1. An Excerpt from The Sacred Band by Janet Morris and Chris Morris
  2. Seven Against Hell” by Janet Morris and Chris Morris
  3. An Excerpt from Truck Stop Earth by Michael A. Armstrong
  4. The Moonstones of Sor Lunarum” by Joe Bonadonna
  5. Iron Joan” by ElizaBeth Gilligan
  6. Fiction Excerpt: “The Beautiful Corridor” by Jonathan L. Howard
  7. Fiction Excerpt: “A Book of Silences” by James Enge
  8. Awakening” by Judith Berman
  9. Fiction Excerpt: “The Dark Muse” by Karl Edward Wagner
  10. Grady Spades Second Opinion” by Levi Black

The top categories last month were:

  1. Books
  2. Art of the Genre
  3. Vintage Treasures
  4. Future Treasures
  5. New Treasures
  6. Magazines
  7. Art
  8. Game Reviews
  9. Blog Entry
  10. Discovering Robert E. Howard
  11. Comics
  12. BG Staff
  13. Reviews
  14. Series Fantasy
  15. Conan
  16. Pulp
  17. Convention Report
  18. Contest
  19. Goth Chick
  20. Editor’s Blog

The Top 50 Black Gate blog posts in August are here, and you can see all 96 posts we made in the month of September here.

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This is one of the main reasons Black Gate is one of my top places to visit – you make it really easy to catch up on stuff I have missed each month. Much appreciated!


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