Merry Christmas from Black Gate

Merry Christmas from Black Gate

Black Gate Christmas tree

It’s been about as perfect a Christmas as you could wish for here at Black Gate — with the possible exception of the weather. After a ferocious November, and a whole lot of snow shoveling, December came in like a lamb and the snow melted weeks ago. I can’t remember the last time we missed out on a White Christmas in Chicago (and it’s forecast to hit the 50s by Thursday).

Weather aside, this has been a truly marvelous year for Black Gate. I look back at the last twelve months, and I know there’s a lot to be thankful for. But the thing I find myself most grateful for are those faithful readers who return every day, helping improve the site with comments and thoughtful feedback. We cherish all our readers, but it’s our regulars who have come to mean the most. Folks like Thomas Parker, smitty59, Major Wootton, Rich Horton, Eugene R, Glenn, R.K. Robinson, Aonghus Fallon, Joe H, silentdante, Charles_Martel, CMR, GusG, Jeff Stehman, Barsoomia, kelleyg, Allard, SELindberg, and many, many others, make the effort we put in every day worthwhile. Thank you.

It’s been an incredible run the last few years — an Alfie Award, a World Fantasy Award, and many other honors. We’re very well aware that the source of all that recent fame has been you, the fans, who work hard to spread the word and bring new traffic to our humble site.

So thank you once again, from the bottom of our hearts. On behalf of the vast and unruly collective that is Black Gate, I would like to wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Continue being excellent — it’s what you’re good at.

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This is one regular reader who’s very thankful for you, John, and Black Gate, which I visit 2-3 times a day and where I find, quite literally, a dozen or more books every week that I wish I could make part of my permanent collection. I enjoy just about everything I read here (something I can’t say about ANY other web sites I visit daily), especially Steve Silver’s birthday entries, Rich Horton’s comments, Bob Byrne’s posts, your own frequent new book listings, and any and all convention coverage. Retirement has kept me busy over the last few months in ways I hadn’t anticipated, so I don’t get the opportunity to comment as much as I like, but I look forward every morning to turning on the PC and bringing up Black Gate while I have my first (and sometimes second) cup of coffee. Merry Christmas to you and yours, and all Black Gate’s contributors and readers!

Thomas Parker

I long ago came to the conclusion that Black Gate was the best place on the internet, both in terms of content, which is always valuable and engaging, and tone, which is always…I was going to say respectful and civil, but it’s more than just that. Visiting BG is like time spent with family at its best. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2019 will bring! Merry Christmas to all!


i wish i had known about Black Gate back when the magazine was out, but as a more new fan of the same things Black Gate stands for i am greatful the website lives on. thank you for a great year, and hope everyone involved has a great holiday and an even better new year.


I was truly humbledto see my name listed as a contributor. I discovered the magazine back in the print days and enjoyed it immensely. I check this site every day regularly. Bob Bryne paid me the compliment of hoping I could write an informative article on John K. Butler but all I really have done was praise the stories without the insights I read here daily on why they matter. My comments on Rafael Sabatini I feel were my only worthwhile contribution but perhaps some thoughts on the Allan Quatermain might be in order. This site has introduced me to many new authors and I hope your success continues to grow. Secretly hoping for a return of the magazine. Thank oyu John.

Eugene R.

I spent the winter of 1986/87 in Chicago, and the city suffered all of 3 snowstorms, with a total accumulation of 1/2″. (The “big” storm was 1/4″ of snow.) So, I have the suspicion that all this talk of ferocious Chicago winters is just to scare non-Chicagoans from moving there!

What I shall affirm, though, is Mr. Parker’s sentiment that the Black Gate discourse is an excellent example of what we all hoped the Internet would be: a community of passionate fans, engaged in sharp debate, all to the betterment of our literature and of ourselves. Thank you, Mr. O’Neill, for shepherding the many wayward members of the BG flock.


Thanks for shout out and thank you and the contributors for putting out an interesting site.

I love the fact you guys can embrace the new without forgetting about the old.

Best site for the speculative genres going.

I’m still in awe of the birthday review series by Steven H. Silver. Above and beyond expectations.

Joe H.

Thanks for the mention! And Merry Christmas (slightly belated) and Happy Holidays to one and all! I’m always happy to check the site and see what the latest discussion is.

(And put me down as in favor of the return of the magazine as well!)

Where would we be without the photos of your marvelous book scores! Just think of all the great books you acquired (for a pittance!) in 2018! I’m hoping 2019 is even a better year! Keep those photos of classic SF paperbacks coming!

R.K. Robinson

John, thank you for the mention. I love Black Gate and look in every day, whether I comment or not. I’m very glad you had a fine Christmas, and look forward to my daily dose of BG in 2019!

Bob Byrne

smitty59 – Thanks for the mention. Glad you enjoy some of my stuff!

Allard – If I take a second run at a hardboiled column here, maybe we’ll manage to write about Butler. Of course, I should probably read the Steve Midnight stories first…

Jeff Stehman

Wait, your snow melted?!

/me starts shoveling into the largest box he could find at the Post Office


Just a belated thank you for another outstanding year. Keep up the good work. I log into Black Gate nearly every day – Christmas being an exception! – and never fail to find something of interest and excitement. Also, like many another commentator, the whole site is conducted with good manners and very little vituperation – something to be treasured these days. Neil


I know i’m a little late reading this (I was determined to stay off the internet as much as possible on my 5 days off), but I also visit this site several times a day.

I don’t remember how I discovered Black Gate but I barely knew what Sword and Sorcery was when i started reading. I’ve found so many great authors from this site.

The positive attitude and knowledgeable writers are what keeps me coming back every day.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x