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Author: SELindberg

S.E. Lindberg resides near Cincinnati, Ohio working as a microscopist, employing scientific and artistic skills to understand the manufacturing of products analogous to medieval paints. Two decades of practicing chemistry, combined with a passion for the Sword & Sorcery genre, spurs him to write graphic adventure fictionalizing the alchemical humors (primarily under the banner “Dyscrasia Fiction”). With Perseid Press, he writes weird tales infused with history and alchemy (Heroika: Dragon Eaters, Pirates in Hell, Lovers in Hell). S.E. Lindberg co-moderates a Goodreads group focused on Sword & Sorcery.
New Treasures: Shattered Dreams by Ulff Lehmann

New Treasures: Shattered Dreams by Ulff Lehmann

Shattered Dreams by Ulff Lehmann (Crossroad Press, March 16, 2018)

Shattered Walls, Book 4 of Ulff Lehmann’s Light in the Dark Book series, released this November, 2022. This post reviews Book 1, Shattered Dreams, to lure dark fantasy readers into the Dark. Do you like Tolkien-esque worlds with a unique perspective, perhaps sprinkled with Grimdark battle and horror? Shattered Dreams will whet your appetite. It’s a fresh, dark spin on traditional fiction.  You’ll be thrown into a mire of fractured perspectives and nightmares, and Lehmann controls the process of refining it all with a host of characters (the cursed Drangar Ralgon stealing the limelight). You’ll enjoy this if you enjoy mysteries, brutal melee, and Elvin worlds.

Shattered Dreams Cover Blurb

Epic Fantasy filled to the brim with Grimdark Reality.

If one looks too long into the abyss, the abyss looks back. Drangar Ralgon has been avoiding the abyss’s gaze for far too long and now he turns to face it. For a hundred years the young kingdom of Danastaer has thrived in peace. Now their northern neighbor, mighty Chanastardh, has begun a cunning invasion. Thrust into events far beyond his control, the mercenary Drangar Ralgon flees his solitary life as a shepherd to evade the coming war and take responsibility for his crimes.

In Dunthiochagh, Danastaer’s oldest city, the holy warrior Kildanor uncovers the enemy’s plans for invasion. As ancient forces reach forth to shape the world once more, the sorceress Ealisaid wakes from a century of hibernation only to realize the Dunthiochagh she knew is no more. Magic, believed long gone, returns, and with it comes an elven wizard sent to recover a dangerous secret.

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New Edge Sword & Sorcery Magazine Editor Oliver Brackenbury Interviewed by Michael Harrington

New Edge Sword & Sorcery Magazine Editor Oliver Brackenbury Interviewed by Michael Harrington

New Edge Sword & Sorcery Magazine, edited by Oliver Brackenbury. Published Sept 30th, 2022. Cover art Gilead; logo by Meg Berry.

Michael Harrington is a writer and course designer living in the Fort Collins Colorado area of the United States. Here we post Michael Harrington’s interview of Oliver Brackenbury who is an author, screenwriter, podcaster, and now a magazine editor. In fact, this interview highlights the release of Brackenbury’s new magazine New Edge Sword and Sorcery Magazine (released Sept. 30th, 2022. Hardcover $11.99usd, softcover $3.99usd, and the ePub free)!

Read on to learn more about Oliver Brackenbury, his blog, and New Edge!

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New Treasures: Servants of War by Larry Correia and Steve Diamond

New Treasures: Servants of War by Larry Correia and Steve Diamond

Servants of War by Larry Correia and Steve Diamond (Baen Books, 2022. 424pages). Cover art by Alan Pollack

Veteran fantasy readers may yawn if they hear about an epic fantasy about a farm boy in a remote village rising to power, and the first few pages of Servants of War dangles that trope before readers. And then horror rushes in like a tidal wave, and before Chapter 1 can end, the worn trope is burning with hellfire billowing alchemical smoke, a Grimdark spirit rises out of the book to slap the reader in the face, crank the head back, and pour gasoline-action down a thirsty throat.

Welcome to Servants of War. The combination of military-fantasy veteran Larry Correria with horror-guru Steve Diamond promises “military fantasy with horror” and you’ll get trenches full of that. Baen released this masterpiece that opens The Age of Ravens series in hardcover and audiobook in March 2022; the paperback is due February 2023.  Without spoiling, this post covers a summary, excerpts, and a small hint as to the forthcoming sequel.

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BAEN BOOKS SIGNS HOWARD ANDREW JONES TO FIVE-BOOK DEAL: THE CHRONICLES OF HANUVAR

BAEN BOOKS SIGNS HOWARD ANDREW JONES TO FIVE-BOOK DEAL: THE CHRONICLES OF HANUVAR

Hanuvar short stories by Howard Andrew Jones appeared in these fine magazines, and they lead to Aug 2023's release of the novels!
Hanuvar short stories by Howard Andrew Jones appeared in these fine magazines, and they lead to Aug 2023’s release of the novels!

We have exciting news to share about Howard Andrew Jones and Sword & Sorcery.

Howard Andrew Jones in Magazines

Howard Andrew Jones is a titan amongst the Black Gate staff, having served as Manager Editor of the paperback magazine from 2004 onward. He has also been a champion of adventure fiction, being the driving force behind the rebirth of interest in Harold Lamb’s historical fiction (assembled and edited 8 collections of Lamb’s work for the University of Nebraska Press). On the Sword & Sorcery front, he has been blogging about the genre for decades (and his posts on the now-obsolete Flashing Swords e-zine… and subsequently on Black Gate… regarding REVISITING THE NEW EDGE would eventually coin the term “New Edge S&S”).  Howard Andrew Jones is currently the Editor for the sword-and-sorcery magazine Tales From the Magician’s Skull, published by Goodman Games.

HAJ in Books

Howard Jones’s debut historical fantasy novel, The Desert of Souls (Thomas Dunne Books 2011), was widely acclaimed by influential publications like Library Journal, Kirkus, and Publisher’s Weekly, made Kirkus’ New and Notable list for 2011, and was on both Locus’s Recommended Reading List and the Barnes and Noble Best Fantasy Releases list of 2011. Its sequel, The Bones of the Old Ones, made the Barnes and Noble Best Fantasy Release of 2013 and received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly. He is the author of four Pathfinder novels, an e-collection of short stories featuring the heroes from his historical fantasy novels, The Waters of Eternity, and the Ring-Sworn trilogy from St. Martin’s, starting with For the Killing of Kings, which received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, and concluding with When the Goddess Wakes, which received the same recognition.

Now There is Even More!

Baen Books signed Howard Andrew Jones to pen five books: The Chronicles of Hanuvar (the first book to arrive August 2023). Press release below.

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New Treasures: Skallagrim – In the Vales of Pagarna by Stephen R. Babb

New Treasures: Skallagrim – In the Vales of Pagarna by Stephen R. Babb

Skallagrim – In the Vales of Pagarna (Hidden Crown Press, 373 pages; Kindle, Paperback, Hardcover, March 2022). Cover by Walking of Sky Tree
Frazetta – Against the Gods

Experience Skallagrim – In the Vales of Pagarna by Stephen R. Babb in all its forms. This post covers everything to get you hooked, from a summary, review, excerpts, and links to the complementing albums from Glass Hammer. Reading Skallagrim feels like you are a witness to the live version of Frazetta’s “Against the Gods” painting! You actually witness a hero grab a sword from the sky.

The opening scene poses a set of mysteries as the titular protagonist is brutally attacked in the streets of Archon, the Dreaming City. He loses his memory during the struggle, by wounds or sorcery, so the hero and the reader want to know: Why Skallagrim in a melee? Who is he, really? Why does he feel protective over a maiden kidnapped during the conflict? Why are multiple sorcerers after him? Why the hell can he grab a sentient, screaming sword that materializes from a sudden storm?

The rest of the book unravels these questions, as Skallagrim races against time to save the mystery maiden. He’ll wrestle with eldritch, chthonic creatures, a herd of ghouls, a few necromancers, and an assassin. As Skallagrim unearths the weird history of Andorath’s Southern Region, we get to learn about it as he battles. The book stands alone, but did you know that Stephen R. Babb has been a progressive rocker and theatrical-album-leader for thirty years (more on Glass Hammer below!). Poems and lyrics infuse the prose. For the full effect, readers should listen to the complementary Skallagrim albums. These are not Audio Books. These are thematic rock sets chronicling Skallagrim’s heroic journey.  Embedded below are the opening songs to (1) and (2).  Listen to these!  Babb is creating a rich world here.

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Making Weird Fiction Fun: Grilling Dorgo the Dowser!

Making Weird Fiction Fun: Grilling Dorgo the Dowser!

We have an ongoing series at Black Gate on the topic of “Beauty in Weird Fiction.” Usually we corner an author and query them about their muses and ways to make ‘repulsive’ things ‘attractive to readers.’ Previous subjects have included Darrell Schweitzer, Anna Smith Spark, Carol Berg, Stephen Leigh, Jason Ray Carney, and John C Hocking. (See the full list at the end of this post).

I’m excited to corner Joe Bonadonna this round. When his Dorgo character grilled/interviewed me in 2017, the questioning began with:

Who the Hell are You?

JB: Who in the Nine Circles of Hell do you think I am? Quasimodo? Doctor Frankenstein? You mean you don’t know who I am? Have you never heard of me? Why, I’m famous the world over! Joe Bonadonna, I am. (I could never settle on a pen name, so I stuck with the name I was given at birth.)

[Aside by SE: To clarify, he often writes about Quasimodo and Dr. Frankenstein for Janet E. Morris’s Heroes in Hell series (Perseid Press). Here’s Joe Bonadona’s official Bio.]

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New Treasures: The Siren’s Song by Andrew Paul Weston

New Treasures: The Siren’s Song by Andrew Paul Weston

The Siren’s Song: The Cambion Journals, Book Three, by Andrew P. Weston (Raven Tale Publishing. Kindle edition; released July 2022).

Andrew Paul Weston has described himself as a “Former Royal Marine, Police Officer & Crime & Intelligence analyst, cursed with an overactive imagination.” His muse and expertise drive him to write action-adventure that spans genres. Black Gate’s Fletcher Vredenburgh reviewed his internationally bestselling IX Series, military sci-fi that transports the lost Roman IX Legion across time & space to fight energy-eating monsters (book #1 The IX, book #2 Prelude to Sorrow, book #3 Exordium of Tears). And Joe Bonadonna covered Weston’s trilogy following the Devil’s hitman, Daemon Grim, set in Janet Morris’ Heroes in Hell ™ universe (book #1 Hell Bound, book #2 Hell Hounds, book #3 Hell Gate).

With The Siren’s Song (just released), Weston continues The Cambion Journal series which promises to be a six-novella series. It tracks Augustus Thorne, a “Cambion” (a half-demon, half-human hybrid). He’s cursed with a terrible hunger he can barely control, hunting and exterminating any Incubi and Succubae he can find.

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Rogues in the House Podcast releases A Book of Blades Sword & Sorcery Anthology

Rogues in the House Podcast releases A Book of Blades Sword & Sorcery Anthology

A Book of Blades (Rogues in the House Podcast, July 2022; 233pages; cover art by Jesus Garcia)

This January Black Gate teased a second publication from the Rogues in the House Sword & Sorcery podcast while we covered the folks/rogues behind the show and highlighted episodes (Go Rogues! link). Beyond luring in S&S authors like Howard Andrew Jones, Scott Oden, John R. Fultz, and Jason Ray Carney, they’ve covered Morgan King & Phil Gelatt (creators of the movie The Spine of Night), Peter D. Adkison (founder and first CEO of Wizards of the Coast and owner of GenCon, the world’s largest board game convention), and Sara Frazetta (granddaughter of the fantasy master painter, an artist herself, and CEO of Frazetta Girls).

Now the anthology has been released into the wild. A Book of Blades hosts 15 short stories from established and emerging heroic authors! Check out the table of contents below. There are even illustrations from the aforementioned Morgan Galen King & Sara Frazetta, amongst other artists. All proceeds go toward making the show a stronger and more attractive platform for all. The anthology is available now in Paperback and Kindle.

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GenCon Writers Symposium (Aug 2022) : R. A. Salvatore Guest of Honor

GenCon Writers Symposium (Aug 2022) : R. A. Salvatore Guest of Honor

GenCon Writer’s Symposium is back!

Aug4-7th, 2022; Indianapolis, IN

Gen Con just announced that legendary fantasy author R. A. Salvatore is the 2022 Author Guest of Honor!

Thirty-four years ago, he created the character of Drizzt Do’Urden, the dark elf who has withstood the test of time to stand today as an icon in the fantasy genre. With his work in the Forgotten Realms, the Crimson Shadow, the DemonWars Saga, and other series, Salvatore has sold more than thirty million books worldwide and has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list more than two dozen times. He considers writing to be his personal journey, but still, he’s quite pleased that so many are walking the road beside him!

He will be participating in several Writer’s Symposium events (click to browse and register via the GenCon portalduring the convention, including book signings and appearances.

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New Treasures: Rainbringer: Zora Neale Hurston Against The Lovecraftian Mythos by Edward M. Erdelac

New Treasures: Rainbringer: Zora Neale Hurston Against The Lovecraftian Mythos by Edward M. Erdelac

Rainbringer by Edward M. Erdelac. (Cover by Jabari Weathers; (Kindle & Paperback Editions, 326pages. May 2021)

Rainbringer: The Symphonic Heavy Metal of Weird Fiction

Edward M. Erdelac has been writing entertaining weird fiction for over a decade. He pushes boundaries. One of his first spotlights on Black Gate was in 2014 regarding his Merkabah Rider (concerning the 19th-century Hasidic Jewish mystic turned gunslinger).  Erdelac also wrote an entry in Tales of Cthulhu Invictus mentioned in my recent 2022 review of Richard L. Tierney’s Simon of Gitta tales (this connection resonates since both Tierney and Erdelac extended the mythos of Robert E. Howard’s magical Ring of Set… more on that below). The author clearly has a knack for extending the landscapes (dreamscapes?) of modern fiction.

With Rainbringer: Zora Neale Hurston Against The Lovecraftian Mythos, Erdelac invites us to follow a fictionalized version of Zora Neale Hurston throughout the North American Twentieth Century. On the face of that description, you may not be hooked. Like most people, I presume, I had no idea of who she was…. or why she may present a wonderful lens into cosmic horrors. Read on! She’s a strong, witty survivor who is uniquely qualified.

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