The Top 50 Black Gate Posts in April

Saturday, May 19th, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill

Hell Hounds Banner

Joe Bonadonna had the top post at Black Gate in April, with his review of Andrew P. Weston’s Hell Hounds, the follow-up to his 2015 novel Hell Bound, and the second novel featuring the Daemon Grimm and his adventures in the Heroes in Hell universe created by Janet Morris.

Not to be intimidated, both Bob Byrne and Fletcher Vredenburgh placed two articles in the Top Ten last month. Bob’s feature on Arthurian Elements in the Conan Canon came in at #4, and his post on Tolkien’s Magic Sword Anglachel placed 9th. Fletcher claimed the sixth slot with his review of Andre Norton’s classic Witch World, and his look at Fred Saberhagen’s long-neglected novel The Broken Lands landed at #10.

There were a handful of folks in the Top Ten who weren’t named Joe, Bob, or Fletcher. Our feature on 40 Years of Gaming in Fritz Leiber’s Lankhmar grabbed the #2 slot, and Ryans Harvey’s celebration of My 300th Black Gate Post soared to #3. James Wallace Harris asked if we are Fans of a Dying Art Form in our #5 piece, and our Vintage Treasure article comparing The Best Science Fiction of 1974 anthologies from Lester del Rey, Terry Carr, and Donald Wollheim was good for #7. Rounding out the list was our brief history of Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine.

The complete list of Top Articles for April follows. Below that, I’ve also broken out the most popular overall articles, online fiction, and blog categories for the month.

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The Top 50 Black Gate Posts in March

Sunday, April 22nd, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill

Pathfinder by the Pound at the Frog God booth at Gary Con 2018-small

The most popular topic at Black Gate last month was the Gary Con gaming convention in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, Gary Gygax’s home town. Part 1 of my convention report, in which I detailed the angry fallout among Pathfinder licensees to Paizo’s announcement of an impending Second Edition — including the “Pathfinder by the POUND!!” liquidation at the Frog God booth — was our most popular post for the month, by a pretty wide margin. Part 2 of my report, a 17-photo pictorial walkaround of the gorgeously well-stocked Goodman Games/Black Blade booth, came in at #3.

Gary Con wasn’t the only topic of interest in March, however. The second most-trafficked article for the month was Rich Horton’s commentary on the Hugo nominations, and our look at Unbound Worlds’ suggestions on where to start with Gothic Space Opera came in at #4. Rounding out the Top Five was Bob Byrne’s recap of his epic adventures with Gabe Dybing, Martin Page and his son Xander, and the new Conan RPG from Modiphius Entertainment.

Thomas Parker got into the spirit of our recent Ace Double reviews with “Doubling Down, or Just How Bad Are Ace Doubles, Anyway?” and that was good enough to win him the #6 slot for March. Joe Bonadonna claimed #7 with his review of Tempus With His Right-Side Companion Niko, by Janet Morris. Sean McLachlan picked up on the vintage paperback theme nicely with “STRANGE! WEIRD! EERIE! The Odd, Unusual, and Uncanny Biography of Lionel Fanthorpe,” placing at #8.

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The Top 50 Black Gate Posts in February

Sunday, March 25th, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill


January sure was popular with readers. The most popular article at Black Gate last month was… our summary of the most popular articles at Black Gate the previous month. If that patterns hold, this will be the most popular article on the blog in March. To guarantee that, I’ve put a big picture of Godzilla at the top. You’re welcome.

Getting back to more regular fare, the second most popular post on the blog last month was Elizabeth Crowens’ epic interview with Buffy the Vampire Slayer author author Nancy Holder. Third on the list was a Vintage Treasures feature on Robert E. Howard’s Solomon Kane 1: Skulls in the Stars (which just proves Bob Byrne’s thesis that REH is a sure ticket into the Top Ten). Rounding out the Top Five were our look at a much more recent book, the new Looming Low anthology from Justin Steele and Sam Cowan, and my salute to a vanished book imprint, A Farewell to Roc Books.

As always, games were well represented in the Top Ten. Andrew Zimmerman Jones scored the #6 slot with his feature review of the new RPG Tales from the Loop, and M Harold Page entertained us with his report on I Love the Corps, which was good enough for #7. No Top Ten list would be complete without Ryan Harvey, and he made his appearance at #8 with the latest installment of The Complete Carpenter, this time featuring Big Trouble in Little China (1986). Wrapping things up was our look at Unbound Worlds on A Century of Sword and Planet, and the debut effort of new BG blogger David Neil Lee, with his review of Kong – Skull Island.

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The Top Black Gate Posts in January

Sunday, February 18th, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill


Ryan Harvey was the man to beat at Black Gate in January. He claimed three of the Top Ten articles — including our overall most popular post last month, a review of the new animated film Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters.

Bob Byrne came in at #2 with his Conan pastiche review round-up, “By Crom: Some Conans are More Equal Than Others…” Fletcher Vredenburgh took third with a look at J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Children of Húrin. Derek Kunsken’s review of Frank Herbert’s classic Dune was the fourth most popular post in January, and Fletcher rounded out the Top Five with “Why I’m Here – Part Two: Some Thoughts on Old Books and Appendix N.”

Our obituary for the great Ursula K. Le Guin was #6, followed by John DeNardo’s Definitive List of the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of last year. Eighth was my article on vintage paperbacks, “Christmas for the Paperback Collector,” followed by Ryan’s review of Beyond the Farthest Star by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Ryan closed out the Top Ten with a piece on that Saturday morning classic, Warlords of Atlantis.

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The Top 50 Black Gate Posts in December

Sunday, January 21st, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill

RuneQuest Griffin Island-small RuneQuest Griffin Island-back-small

Bob Byrne ruled the charts last month, with no less than three articles in the December Top Ten — a new record. Well done Bob! (But you’re still not getting a new office.)

Bob’s most popular piece was his report on the new Robert E. Howard pastiches coming in 2018, followed by a detailed look at the notorious takeover of gaming company SPI by its arch-rival TSR in 1982. His investigation of Heroic Signatures, a new venture to create digital properties based on Howard’s work, came in at #10 for the month.

The top article at Black Gate last month was another gaming piece: Michael O’Brien’s warts-and-all survey of Avalon Hill’s early Runequest releases, including classics like Griffin Island and Gods of Glorantha. Third on the list was our look at Frank M. Robinson’s legendary pulp collection. Rounding out the Top Five was Elizabeth Crowens’ far ranging interview with bestselling author Charlaine Harris.

Number six was our summary of the Top 50 Posts in November, followed by a sneak peek of the latest issue of Weirdbook. Closing out the list was our 2017 Christmas message, and Jess Terrell’s in-depth interview with Christopher Paul Carey, author of Swords Against the Moon Men.

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The Top Black Gate Posts in November

Sunday, December 17th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill


Sean McLachlan was the Black Gate MVP for November, with two articles in the Top 5: “Happy Halloween! Here’s Some Nightmare Fuel” at #3, and “Ten Ways You Know Your Evil Empire Is Doomed,” which scored the #5 slot. Hot on Sean’s heels was Ryan Harvey with two Pellucidar posts, his review of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Savage Pellucidar (#6) and the Series Wrap-Up (#10).

The most popular article last month was our survey of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword & Sorceress anthology series, which has been published semi-continuously since 1984. The post spawned at least one follow-up, a more personal look back on the series by Elizabeth Cady, to be published here in the next next few days. Coming in at #2 was Bob Byrne’s review of the film Murder on the Orient Express. Rounding out the Top Five was our look at S. A. Chakraborty’s new novel The City of Brass.

An update on Beneath Ceaseless Skies placed seventh, followed by Fletcher Vredenburgh’s review of Robert E. Howard’s The Road of Azrael. And Steven H Silver nabbed the ninth slot on the list, with his Michael Moorcock re-read “Elric and Me.”

The complete list of Top Articles for November follows. Below that, I’ve also broken out the most popular overall articles, online fiction, and blog categories for the month.

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The Top 50 Black Gate Posts in October

Saturday, November 25th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Tales from the Magician's Skull-small

Sword and Sorcery dominated the stage at Black Gate last month. The most popular topic in October was the new S&S magazine from industry pioneers Joseph Goodman and Howard Andrew Jones, Tales From the Magician’s Skull, which showed up twice in the Top Ten, first with a far-ranging interview with Joseph and Howard (and their undead overlord, the Talking Skull), followed by a report on the blockbuster Kickstarter that funded the first two issues.

Gaming and game news were definitely popular as well. The #1 article for the month was M. Harold Page’s review of Starfinder Alien Archive, followed by our look at the top-sellers at the semi-annual Games Plus auction in Mount Prospect. Goth Chick came in third with her trip report on the Cedar Point HalloWeekends event, featuring Midnight Syndicate’s 20th anniversary concert. Rounding out the Top Five were Elizabeth Crowens’ interview with horror master Nancy Kilpatrick, and M. Harold Page’s advance peek at the Elite Dangerous Role Playing Game.

Coming in at #7 for the month was Fletcher Vredenburgh’s touching reminiscence of his long-time gaming circle, “The Past Remembered.” Ninth was our feature on the very first piece of Greyhawk fiction, Gygax’s 1974 article “The Expedition Into the Black Reservoir: A Dungeon Adventure at Greyhawk Castle.” And closing out the Top Ten was our look at the popular Corpse-Rat King novels by Lee Battersby

The complete list of Top Articles for October follows. Below that, I’ve also broken out the most popular overall articles, online fiction, and blog categories for the month.

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The Top 50 Black Gate Posts in September

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

The God in the Bowl-small

The top articles at Black Gate in July and August were both features on Conan, and last month Bob Byrne managed to nab the top slot with his look at a strange mash-up of police procedural and sword & sorcery, the Conan tale “The God in the Bowl.” Conan was created by Robert E. Howard in the pages of Weird Tales in 1932; 85 years later, he’s still the most popular character among our readers. That’s durability.

The second most popular article at Back Gate in September wasn’t about Conan, but it did feature a sinister cosmic entity also created in Weird Tales, this time in H.P. Lovecraft 1928 story “The Call of Cthulhu” — our report on the latest Call of Cthulhu solo module, Alone Against the Flames. At #3 was Elizabeth Crowen’s interview with popular cosplay photographer Bruce Heinsius. Fletcher Vredenburgh placed two articles in the Top Ten last month; the first was his review of Roger Zelazny’s 1983 novel Dilvish, the Damned, which placed at #4. Rounding out the Top Five was an article on famous book hoarders, “What do George Lucas, Michael Jackson, and Harry Houdini Have in Common?”

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The Top 50 Black Gate Posts in August

Sunday, September 10th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Robert Jordan The Conan Chronicles-back-small Robert Jordan The Conan Chronicles-small

Our most popular blog post in July was M. Harold Page’s “Why isn’t Conan a Mary Sue?” Last month continued the Conan love: our top article for August was Bob Byrne’s survey of Tor’s years as a Conan pastiche publisher, including the popular series from Robert Jordan. Above — the first of multiple Jordan omnibus volumes from Tor, The Conan Chronicles (1995, art by Gary Ruddell).

Coming in second was our report on the Hugo Award winners, followed by Dominik Parisien’s announcement of the Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction Kickstarter. Fourth was Fletcher Vredenburgh’s look back at Frank Herbert’s classic Dune.

Rounding out the Top Five was our Future Treasures piece on Grady Hendrix’s upcoming Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of ’70s and ’80s Horror Fiction. Close on its heels was Sean McLachlan’s photo essay on his visit to Minster Lovell Hall in Oxfordshire, England. Ryan Harvey’s obituary for Haruo Nakajima, The Man Who Was Godzilla, was number seven.

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The Top 50 Black Gate Posts in July

Sunday, August 27th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill


Conan, and his creator Robert E. Howard, are perpetually popular topics at Black Gate. Our top blog post last month was M. Harold Page’s “Why isn’t Conan a Mary Sue?” followed by James McGlothlin’s review of two Howard biographies. Freelancers looking for topic suggestions: you can’t go wrong with Robert E. Howard!

The third most popular article last month was our report on the best readings at the Wiscon science fiction convention in May, followed by Ryan Harvey’s review of the 1985 film The Return of Godzilla. Rounding out the Top Five was an update on the second issue of the excellent new magazine Occult Detective Quarterly.

Sixth was our look at the Bantam Spectra Omnibus editions of Robert Silverberg, followed by Derek Kunsken’s list of the best hard science fiction he’s read in the past decade, “Any Sufficiently Advanced Technology…” Coming in at #7 was Matt Drought’s breakdown of the differences between Microsoft’s Xbox One and the PS4 Pro, followed by an examination of one of Gardner Dozois’s best anthologies, Modern Classics of Fantasy. Closing out the Top Ten for the month was our survey of Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom series.

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