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.
Catalyst by Brandon Crilly (Atthis Arts, October 11, 2022). Cover artist uncredited.
Hello, Black Gate folks! Normally I spend my time here raving about other people’s books, but this time I’m in the very weird position of talking about my own. Yikes. Catalyst is my debut fantasy novel, releasing in October from Atthis Arts, and John has graciously invited me to talk a bit about the world of the book.
Catalyst centers on three estranged friends: Mavrin, a street magician who doesn’t believe in real magic, other than what the Aspects provide; Eyasu, labeled a heretic by the Aspects’ followers but determined to prove a secret history everyone else rejects; and Deyeri, a retired soldier whose adopted city is threatened by forces tied to that history. They begin the story in different corners of Aelda, a world that split apart at its core a little over three centuries earlier, and would have been destroyed completely if not for the intervention of the Aspects: massive, cephalopod-like beings the people of Aelda believe to be their gods, who have been circling the planet ever since providing atmosphere and holding what remains of Aelda together.
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.
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.]
The Year’s Best Fantasy: Volume One (Pyr, August 16, 2022). Cover by Liu Zishan
Paula Guran edited ten volumes of The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror for Prime Books between 2010-2019. She brought the series to Pyr in 2020, and it’s done well enough that this year Pyr launched a companion volume: The Year’s Best Fantasy: Volume One, also with Paula’s capable hand at the helm.
I’m delighted to see a brand new BEST OF series devoted exclusively to fantasy. This is a great volume to start with, containing a new Morlock tale by James Enge, AND a story by our first website editor C.S.E. Cooney (co-authored with her husband Carlos Hernandez), plus fiction from P. Djèlí Clark, Karen Joy Fowler, Sofia Samatar, E. Lily Yu, Isabel Yap, Catherynne Valente, Tobias Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, and many others. It goes on sale next week.
A Strange and Stubborn Endurance (Tor, July 26, 2022)
Foz Meadows is conquering the world.
She won a Hugo Award in 2019 (as she puts it, “for yelling on the internet”), and she’s been a widely acclaimed essayist and blogger — at Strange Horizons, The Huffington Post, and Black Gate, among many other fine places — for nearly a decade. Her fantasy novel An Accident of Stars and its sequel A Tyranny of Queens were publishedby Angry Robot in 2016/17, and last year Tor Books announced they’d acquired her massive new fantasy novel, A Strange and Stubborn Endurance.
A Strange and Stubborn Endurance finally arrives next week and, if the early buzz is anything to go by, it’s shaping up to be one of the major fantasy novels of year. Publishers Weeklycalls it “lushly drawn fantasy romance… skillfully integrates gripping mystery and satisfying slow-burn romance,” and Library Journalproclaims it ““an emotionally gripping, delightful queer fantasy filled with political intrigue.” But my favorite notice came from SF Chronicle, which heralds Foz as “newly minted royalty of sci-fi fantasy.”
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. …
That is a slight oversimplification of M. Harold Page’s mission as a fiction writer. Let’s get the whole thing: “The exploration of complex human themes through the medium of interpersonal violence and blowing $%#! up in space.” If you threw “and magical worlds” on the end, you’d have a pretty good starting description of what most of us Black Gate readers look for in a book.
So when I saw the announcement that he had a new book available for preorder, I had to see it. Now you can find it here.
Which brings us to the cover copy:
Jason is a NetShooter champion. Now he must do it for real.
The teen coding nerd escapes hi-tech slavery only to end up on a gloomy jungle moon guarding an archaeological expedition, literally light years in the wrong direction from the comfortable new life he planned.
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 severalWriter’s Symposium events (click to browse and register via the GenCon portal) during the convention, including book signings and appearances.
May/June 2022 issues of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and Analog Science Fiction & Fact. Cover art by Alan M. Clark, 123RF, and NASA
There’s a fine batch of print magazines piled on my nightstand this week. But the clear highlight is the return of James Enge’s delightful traveling wizard Morlock Ambrosius, who made his debut in Black Gate 8. “The Hunger” appears in in the pages of F&SF; Sam Tomaino at SF Revu calls it “Richly done fantasy with a lot of detail in so few pages.”
On the thirteenth of Bayring on her world with three moons, Tilsyni escapes her servitude in a house and dares to walk out into Skeleton Park, a very risky venture. She winds up joining a man who looks like an old peddler but is really a warrior named Morlock Ambrosius with a great sword. When animated skeletons attack, Morlock chops them up. But they just come back together. What can they do about them? Morlock finds a way.
The May/June print magazines contain stories by Norman Spinrad, Octavia Cade, Albert Cowdrey, Paul Di Filippo, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Rich Larson, Sheila Finch, R. Garcia y Robertson, James Van Pelt, Bruce McAllister, Robert Reed, Adam-Troy Castro, C.H. Hung, Alice Towey, Jerry Oltion, Sean McMullen, Brendan DuBois, and many others.