Merry Christmas from Black Gate

Merry Christmas from Black Gate

Things have finally calmed down in the O’Neill household. Presents have been opened, snacks are munched, and hordes of Chaos Space Marines have been defeated in a family game of Dawn of War (I would have been exterminated if Tim and Drew hadn’t rushed to my base to assist. But we delivered the Emperor’s justice in the end.)

It’s been a trying year. We experienced intermittent site outages as we continued to adjust to our new service provider. At the day job, I had to fire a hard-working employee, and five months later was fired myself. I started two new writing projects, and accepted a full-time writing gig for the first time in my career. My wife retired. My kids started new jobs. And I read a lot of great fiction — but not nearly as much as I’d hoped to.

Black Gate, for me, continues to be a place where I share my love of fantastical literature and, through the depthless generosity of the loyal community it has attracted, I constantly discover new books, films, and writers. Far more than that, I find my own love of the genre deepened and expanded, as I learn to appreciate writers — many of whom I’ve been reading for decades — in brand new ways. That’s all down to you, our loyal readers, and the joy, enthusiasm, and amazing insights you bring.

So once again, as we close out another year, I’d like to thank all the BG readers who drop in with a book suggestion, a thoughtful comment, an encouraging word. It means a lot. You make the effort we put in every day worthwhile. 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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Adrian Simmons

Crom bless us, every one!

Eugene R

Thank you, again, for another great year on Black Gate, Mr. O’Neill. It is a pleasure to read the good words of you and your contributors over the 12 months of 2022 and to look forward to more in 2023. And, yes, those contributors are both official and unofficial, writers and commenters alike.

Thomas Parker

Merry Christmas to you, John, and to every member of the Black Gate community. I’m looking forward to a great 2023!

Thomas Parker

A better chance than that of seeing the comet Kohoutek again, I guarantee that!


another great year of christmas gifts in the form of articles and featres, new treasures and vintage. thank you and happy holidays from me to all the Black Gate people.

James McGlothlin

Thanks for a great website and the opportunities to share! Hope 2023 turns out a better for you.

Aonghus Fallon

Happy Xmas everybody!

Eugene R.

I got excited and “clicked over” to see who the STRANGE PORTS OF CALL cover artist was. Drat! False alarm, alas.

Aonghus Fallon

Thanks very much, John! Sadly I still haven’t found out who painted the cover for STRANGE PORTS OF CALL…..

C. S. E. Cooney

Obviously we need to zoom soon so you can catch me up on some details! Full time writing??? Maybe you and me and Templeton can have a zoom tea! And talk!

Robert Adam Gilmour

It’s nice coming here every week

Bob Byrne

Another year of me beating the Firewall and getting to pst. Thanks for not upgrading it.

Peter Fadness

Longtime lurker, first time poster–just to say thank you for this site. I enjoy coming here and discovering new as well as older books I may have missed (I really love your “Vintage Treasures” series). Sorry to hear about the hard year, especially the day-job stuff. That can be brutal. It’s good to find the joy where we can. Best wishes for a better new year.

Peter Fadness

Sorry for the slow reply! I’m just finishing up Tchaikovsky’s “Shards of Earth” and thought it very fun (maybe a bit drawn out in the end?). I read all over the place in terms of genres–some favorites would certainly be Tevis’ “Mockingbird”, Martin Cruz Smith’s “Polar Star”, Carr’s “A Month in the Country”–not a genre piece, Banks’ “Look to Windward,” John Crowley “Little Big,” many Jack Vance books, but “Lyonesse” was particularly wonderful,–sorry, realize I could just ramble on for a good while. I notice a common thread of melancholy running through all these I’ve listed… Maybe I need to lighten up, lol. Thanks for asking and thanks again for this wonderful site.


Your dedication to BG and the reading/writing/media-fiction community is not praised as often as it should. Thank you for providing us all with a solid forum & platform for yet another year. You rock, John! Sorry to hear that 2022 was rocky, but your writing gig is inspiring. Best you, your family, and your space marines in 2023.


OK, so I’m a little late. Not looked much at the computer, these past few days. Just wanted to say that, though I don’t comment much or, indeed, have the knowledge that some of your contributors show, I regularly visit this site. It keeps me informed and appraised of so much that reading material that I find fascinating, interesting and entertaining. Please keep up the good work, John and, in your personal life, please build on the successes you have had over the past year. Sound to me like getting fired was one of the great successes you experienced!! Best Neil


Nice to be welcomed as a new reader, although I have been reading and commenting occasionally over the past few years. Possibly don’t appear on last year’s statistics – can’t remember when I did last comment. Just to let you know that I am a great fan of the old stuff cos I am getting on in years (66 in March) but am always willing to look at new stuff as well. Neil

Joe H.

Joyeux Noël! And here’s to many, many more.

Joe H.

I’ll have to do something about that! I have to say that one of the highlights of my year was seeing one of my Goodreads reviews quoted in your Vintage Treasures about Hiero’s Journey/Unforsaken Hiero.

Jeff Stehman

Merry Christmas and a happy new year, John. I hope you love the new gig, and I hope we get a chance to love it. As much as I loved a lot of the fiction in the BG magazine and still follow some of those writers, your editorials were often a highlight.

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