The Top 50 Black Gate Posts in December

The Top 50 Black Gate Posts in December

Star Wars Rogue One poster-smallThe top article at Black Gate in December was Foz Meadows’ “Unempathic Bipeds of Failure,” a look at the relationship between fiction and politics, which was read over 4,000 times in a scant handful of days here, before moving to its permanent home at Amazing Stories.

The second most popular blog post last month was Derek Kunsken’s enthusiastic film review for Star Wars: Rogue One, “I Am One With the Force and the Force Is With Me,” which I edited and posted with my eyes closed in case it had any spoilers. Just to prove he’s a master of all media, Derek placed a second article in the Top Ten this month: “Hammers, Chemo and Disapproving Dads: Marvel’s Thor.”

Rounding out the Top 5 this month were Fletcher Vredenburgh, with a fascinating piece on why he reads what he does, “Why Swords & Sorcery?”: our nostalgic survey of classic horror comics of the 1970s, “For the Love of Monster Comics;” and Martin Page’s tips for achieving authenticity in historical fantasy, “Truth in Historical Fiction.”

Coming in at number six was our look at the Top BG article in November, followed by the latest installment in James McGlothlin’s ongoing series on Del Rey’s seminal Classic Science Fiction line, The Best of Henry Kuttner. Ryan Harvey nabbed the #8 slot with his round-up of Marvel Studios’ recent string of hits, “With Doctor Strange Behind Us… My Ranking of the Marvel Studios Films.”

Finishing up the Top Ten was our latest Tale of Two Covers, a comparison of Alan Baxter’s Crow Shine and Sarah Remy’s The Bone Cave.

The complete list of Top Articles for December 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 December were:

  1. Unempathic Bipeds of Failure: The Relationship Between Stories and Politics
  2. Rogue One: I Am One With the Force and the Force Is With Me
  3. Why Swords & Sorcery?
  4. For the Love of Monster Comics
  5. Truth in Historical Fiction
  6. The Top 50 Black Gate Posts in November
  7. A Neglected Master: The Best of Henry Kuttner
  8. With Doctor Strange Behind Us… My Ranking of the Marvel Studios Films
  9. A Tale of Two Covers: Alan Baxter’s Crow Shine and Sarah Remy’s The Bone Cave
  10. Hammers, Chemo and Disapproving Dads: Marvel’s Thor


  11. Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Pellucidar Saga: At the Earth’s Core
  12. Red Sonja 0
  13. The Complete Carpenter: Dark Star (1974)
  14. How Long Does it Take For Treasure to Become Vintage? The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay
  15. Vintage Treasures: Watership Down by Richard Adams
  16. Goth Chick News: The Last Show of “The Season” – And It’s a Doozy
  17. Modular: Yggdrasill, the Roleplaying Game of “Viking Age” Adventure
  18. Goth Chick News: Tom Cruise Stars in Mission Impossible VII (aka The Mummy)
  19. Shaka When the Walls Fell: The Brunnen-G When They Sang “Yo-Way-Yo”
  20. No Adaptations?


  21. The Poison Apple: An Interview with T.J. Glenn
  22. The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes: A Holmes Christmas Carol
  23. Five Reasons Why a Writer Should Stay On Social Media!
  24. Absolutely Stunning: Kill Six Billion Demons
  25. The December Fantasy Magazine Rack
  26. Weird Tales Published by Goodman Games
  27. Modular: How to Introduce Kids to Tabletop Role-Playing #1: Picking a System and Genre
  28. Adventures in Earth’s Prehistory: Jane Gaskell’s Atlan Saga, Part III
  29. Future Treasures: Galactic Empires, edited by Neil Clarke
  30. Win a copy of The Watcher at the Door: The Early Kuttner, Volume Two, from Haffner Press!


  31. The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes: Cthulhu Casebooks & Nightmares
  32. The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes: Cool and Lam are Back!!!!
  33. The Blue Lamp by Robert Zoltan
  34. Original Woodgrain Edition Dungeons and Dragons Box Set Sells For $22,100
  35. The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes: The Field Bazaar
  36. Future Treasures: The Mammoth Book of the Mummy, edited by Paula Guran
  37. Always Winter, Never Christmas?
  38. Last of a Series… For Now: The Sea of Time by P.C. Hodgell
  39. The Very Opposite of a First Contact Novel: On Whetsday by Mark Sumner
  40. Future Treasures: The Heart of What Was Lost by Tad Williams


  41. December 2016 Asimov’s Science Fiction Now on Sale
  42. Amazing Stories, November 1961: A Retro-ReviewThe First Blade Runner 2 Trailer is Out!
  43. New Treasures: Worst Contact, edited by Hank Davis
  44. A Tale of Two Covers: Shadows and Tall Trees 7 edited by Michael Kelly
  45. Richard Adams, May 9, 1920 – December 24, 2016
  46. Modular: A New Kind of Monster Manual: Volo’s Guide to Monsters
  47. Modular: Boldly Go … with Star Trek Adventures RPG Playtest
  48. Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Selects the Best Novels of 2016
  49. Hammer Films for Your Holiday Joy: Rasputin the Mad Monk
  50. A Bittersweet Twist on Conventional Fantasy: Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire

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

  1. Death Knight Love Story: WMA meets WTF
  2. Series Architecture: The Same But Different in EC Tubb’s Dumarest
  3. Heroic Fantasy with the Sharp Edge of Reality: A Review of The Sacred Band by Janet Morris and Chris Morris
  4. The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes: Dirk Gently is Not ‘Timeless
  5. New Treasures: The Library of America Publishes Elmore Leonard
  6. Tribulations Herculean and Tragic: Beyond Wizardwall by Janet Morris
  7. Return to Thieves World in Beyond Sanctuary: The Revised and Expanded Author’s Cut by Janet Morris
  8. Caught Between Rebels and the Empire’s Blackest Magic: Beyond the Veil: The Revised and Expanded Author’s Cut by Janet Morris
  9. Book Pairings: Ancillary Justice and Cordelia’s Honor
  10. The IX by Andrew P. Weston
  11. Vintage Treasures: The Silistra Quartet by Janet Morris
  12. Part Gothic, Part Sword and Sorcery, and Part Horror: Andrew P. Weston’s Hell Bound
  13. Fantasia Diary 2015, Day 18: Ava’s Possessions, The Golden Cane Warrior, H., and Turbo Kid
  14. How I Lost My Soul and Learned to Love Hell
  15. “A Great Place to let Your Imagination Run Wild:” Joe Bonadonna Reviews Rogues in Hell
  16. AD&D Figurines: Youth In a Box?
  17. The Devil in the Details: A Review of Lawyers in Hell
  18. A Detailed Explanation
  19. Love in War and Realms Beyond Imagining: A Review of The Fish, the Fighters and the Song Girl by Janet Morris and Chris Morris
  20. I, The Sun by Janet Morris
  21. The IX: Exordium of Tears by Andrew P. Weston
  22. The Return of the King (1980)
  23. Fantasia Diary 2015, Day 5: Teana: 10000 Years Later, Crimson Whale, and The Shamer’s Daughter
  24. Challenging the Classics: Questioning the Arbitrary Browsing Mechanism
  25. Eccentric in Retrospect: Helen Simpson’s The Woman on the Beast

The Top Black Gate Online Fiction features were:

  1. An Excerpt from The Sacred Band by Janet Morris and Chris Morris
  2. A Holmes Christmas Carol” by Bob Byrne
  3. Seven Against Hell” by Janet Morris and Chris Morris
  4. An Excerpt from Truck Stop Earth by Michael A. Armstrong
  5. Iron Joan” by ElizaBeth Gilligan
  6. The Moonstones of Sor Lunarum” by Joe Bonadonna
  7. The Weird of Ironspell” by John R. Fultz
  8. An excerpt from “The Naturalist: Going to Applewash” by Mark Sumner
  9. An Excerpt from The Wall of Storms by Ken Liu
  10. Tsathoggua” by Michael Shea
  11. Awakening” by Judith Berman
  12. Godmother Lizard” by C.S.E. Cooney
  13. Queen of Toads” by Joe Bonadonna

The top categories last month were:

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

The Top 50 Black Gate blog posts in November are here, and you can see all 104 posts we made in the month of December here.

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R.K. Robinson

All I can say is Bob Byrne doesn’t get the love his columns deserve. But look, look at all the goodness on the blog.

Thank heavens for BLACK GATE.

Bob Byrne

R.K. – Thanks.

I’m happy to break into the top ten every so often. Especially since I’m usually writing mystery posts on a fantasy blog!

And while my ego appreciates making the Top 50 list, what I really enjoy about writing here are folks leaving comments on the posts and even generating discussion. It means people were interested enough to say something. Even if it’s to disagree with me. Of course, they’re wrong… :-).

And I’m here to learn about stuff, just like everyone else. I certainly know a lot more about Robert E. Howard than I used to thanks to Black Gate.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x