Merry Christmas from Black Gate

Merry Christmas from Black Gate

Black Gate Christmas tree

It’s Christmas evening. All the presents have been opened, Alice’s quiche has been consumed, the kids have settled down… and it’s 56 degrees outside, the warmest Christmas of my entire life. Every year a new surprise.

I have a cup of hot cocoa, and it’s finally quiet enough for me to write my annual Christmas message. As the years have gone by (decades now, since that long ago time in 1999 when I made the fateful decision to start a fantasy magazine), I find that I look back at each successive year very differently. I used to take stock of our accomplishments, count up how many books and games we’d reviewed, how many articles written. Nowadays I value things differently. The things I care about now are the comments from our readers, the small suggestions and feedback from our regulars. In the end, it’s always the relationships that matter.

So I want to take a moment to thank all the BG readers who’ve given so generously of their time over the past year. Those that drop in with a book suggestion, a thoughtful comment, an encouraging word. It means a lot. And I’d especially like to thank our regulars: Thomas Parker, Rich Horton, Glenn, smitty59, Major Wootton, Eugene R, Bob Byrne, R.K. Robinson, James Enge, Aonghus Fallon, Joe H, silentdante, Charles_Martel, Jeff Stehman, Barsoomia, kelleyg, Allard, Joe Bonadonna, Jason Waltz, Robert Adam Gilmour, James McGlothlin, Gabe Dybing, Martin Christopher, James Van Pelt, Tony Den, Todd Mason, John E. Boyle, dolphintornsea, John Hocking, and many, many others. You make the effort we put in every day worthwhile. Thank you.

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.

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i might have only found Black Gate this year, but that alone makes it a great year. as i get older, and realize what my tastes are and what i have missed over the years it warms my heart to know there are others out there with much more knowledge to help point me towards what i want to be reading.

thank you for being welcoming, thank you for keeping things going, and for curating a place for fantastic articles, essays, and suggestions from all contributors.

i hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday and new year. lets all hope the new year brings many new favorite authors, new found old authors we missed, and a general love for our hobbies.

best regards,

Gabe Dybing

I love these Christmas posts, John. I remember one year, you writing about all the lights turned down low in the Black Gate offices, you alone and reflective in the building. Classic. You do good work.

Eugene R.

Being able to be a tiny part of this “vast and unruly collective” is one of the finer Xmas gifts I get every year. Thank you, Mr. O’Neill and all you Black Gaters who make this site a warm and welcome spot on the World Wide Web.

Thomas Parker

Being a part of Black Gate is something I value highly. Thank you, John, for making it the kind of place we all want to keep coming back to. Merry Christmas to the whole community, and I can’t wait to see what the new year will bring to BG!


Merry Christmas John,

I check out the site almost daily. I like the reverence for the past while also spotlighting the future.

Keep up the great work and here’s to an awesome 2020.


Thank YOU, John. That everyday effort is much appreciated. Other than my e-mail, Black Gate is the only place I go 4-5 times every single day on my PC. I have never been let down. And it’s great to see so many other names here on such a constant basis: many of the contributors (and particularly you, John) have helped keep my wallet thin and my personal library perpetually expanding. There’s so much good reading out there I would have missed — not just the books and mags, but the columns and comments of those who post here. I wish the best of the holiday season to ALL of you, and may we all see a brighter year in 2020.


Right back at’cha, John! x10,000. You are the Maxwell Perkins of the fantasy community. Long live Black Gate!

Joe H.

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good crushing of your enemies, driving them before you, and hearing the lamentations of their women.

James McGlothlin

I don’t interact with BG as much as I used to. But I still check it everyday and am more than proud to be associated with it! Keep up the good work John!

James McGlothlin

Yes I am, as soon as I finish the last of those Del Rey Best ofs.

Jeff Stehman

The lone tree reminds me of one I used to ski by on one of the hardest trails down the road. It was…off the beaten path, but for those who made it to the decorated tree, there was a cache of frozen mini candy bars underneath it.

Merry Christmas.

Bob Byrne

Hey, Steven Silver, did you hear there’s a Black Gate Christmas tree above ground?

That must be why he took the Christmas lights..I mean, OSCEAA approved safety lighting out a couple weeks ago from the hallway leading to the cellar…I mean, baseme….I mean, journalists suite…

Robert Adam Gilmour

Really appreciate the mixture of old and new here, and particularly grateful there isn’t undue focus on movies and tv shows that are covered on nearly every place that covers movies and tv.

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