Merry Christmas from Black Gate

Merry Christmas from Black Gate

It’s been another trying year at Black Gate. In early January we had a serious site outage (caused by poor backup management that built up 900 Gig of site backups); in February we realized our WordPress package couldn’t handle any more growth, and upgraded to a (much more expensive) dedicated server; and just four days ago we suffered a malware attack that rendered the entire site inoperable for 48 hours (traced back to an obsolete WordPress plugin).

It’s things like this that make me question why we still maintain the site. After 24 years of continuous operation, maybe it’s time to declare success, close up the Black Gate offices, and retire.

We’re not going to do that. There are lots of reasons, of course. Over the years we’ve achieved the kind of success I never dreamed of, surpassing two million pages views a month at our peak. But I’ve learned that true success isn’t captured in traffic metrics. The most rewarding part of running this site — by far — has been the amazing things our readers have taught me. It’s been in the surprising and endless ways this little website has enriched my life, by introducing me to so many wonderful folks who share my love of reading, and fantasy.

Black Gate continues to be a place where a small team of very dedicated writers and enthusiasts share our love of fantastic literature and, through the depthless generosity of the loyal community who regularly visit, we 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.

As we close out another year, I’d like to thank all the BG readers who drop in with a book suggestion, an unexpected insight, or just 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.

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Thomas Parker

“The vast and unruly collective” sounds like the title of a novel about a weird, sinister conspiracy to take over and rule the earth. I’d read it!

Lacking that book, however, I’m so glad to have found Black Gate all those years ago, and to be a slight part of its unruly collective. It’s a place where I feel at home just as much as I do in my own living room, and I know I’m not alone in that. Merry Christmas to all!

Thomas Parker

Come on over and I’ll read you a ghost story!

Sue Granquist

I call dibs on the spot next to you.


Merry Christmas

K. Jespersen

A very merry Christmas and happy holidays right back to you and the whole team! For all of the adversity you’ve dealt with, this year, you HAVE dealt with it, and grown excellently. Thank you for making this a place of unique insights, fascinatingly unusual scholarship, collaboration, and discussion.

…and thank you for not rolling up the rug and taking down the shingle just yet.


Happy Holidays to everyone involved with Black Gate, both the writers as well as the readers!

Peter Fadness

Happy Holidays to all at Black Gate and a sincere thank you for being here. I don’t always feel I have any particular insight or point of interest to add to the wonderful articles or reviews, but I enjoy checking the site out pretty regularly.

Peter Fadness

Interestingly, what I find most often is the “rediscovery” of books I read or knew about years ago but perhaps didn’t read, or I am prompted to pull books off my loaded shelves to finally read (the Keith Taylor “Bard” books are a good example of this–going to be starting them soon). I particularly love your “Vintage Treasures,” John, even if they do make me feel old, lol. I suspect we may be close in age. Keep up the great work!

Eugene R.

Merry Chrismahanukkwanzaa to the BG community! “Vast and unruly”? Well, we would not have it any other way.

Jeff Stehman

Merry Christmas, John & Co.


Your excellent site is always the first I check every day. I’m proud to be one of the contributors. My best seasonal greetings

Adrian Simmons

Merry Christmas to the Black Gate Team. John, you are doing the work of the people, and I’m glad to hear that you’ll be keeping it up!


my life has gotten to be changed, and it’s great to know i can still visit black gate and see articles, thoughts, and suggestions that lift my spirits when i need it. thank you very much for keeping it going and keeping the enthusiasm for fantasy, sci fi and all the other genre’s covered every week. with 12 hours plus a week of my life now spent where i just have to sit, having things to read and take the mind off are key. many happy wishes for a great new year everyone.

Last edited 2 months ago by silentdante
John E. Boyle

Merry Christmas to everyone at Black Gate and thank you: this site is always a pleasure.

Joe H.

Merry Christmas! And Happy New Year! And all other seasonal festivities!


Happy holidays! Thank you for providing us with BG. It’s something I look forward to almost every day.


Happy Holidays to the entire Black Gate crew! I’ve discovered so many good books via the site and it does have a sense of community that is very rare these days.

Thanks to all but especially John for all their hard work and hopefully 2024 brings all the contributors and readers some great new books to read.


Jim Pederson

Thank you Black Gate. I enjoy so much of the content you provide – especially the reviews of older books. Imagining my life without my daily dose of fantasy/sci-fi (ala It’s a Wonderful Life). “Where are we, Clarence?” “In your study.” “But the book shelf is empty!” That’s because Black Gate never had a chance to recommend all those fantasy/sci-fi books that were published in your youth.” “I want to go back now”. Thanks again and wishing you all the best in the new year.

Benjamin L

I’m a new reader here, having only just discovered the site through Lawrence Ellsworth’s Cinema of Swords column. I wish I had known about it sooner, but its better late than never I suppose. Reading this post, I was concerned I had showed up just in time for the windows to be shuttered on the website. I’m pleased that that is not the case, though I’m sorry to hear about the tribulations the editing team have undergone over the past year. Here’s hoping to smooth sailing in 2024 and beyond. I’m looking forward to catching up on the back catalog of articles. Merry Christmas to all, and a happy new year!

Jeff Baker

Yes! Merry Christmas and a Happier New Year to all of us!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x