Win a Copy of Carter & Lovecraft by Jonathan L. Howard

Sunday, October 4th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Carter & Lovecraft-smallJonathan L. Howard, author of the Kyth stories (BG 13 and 15) and the Johannes Cabal novels, is well know to Black Gate readers. We gave you a peek at his upcoming dark fantasy novel Carter and Lovecraft a few months ago.

Daniel Carter, ex-homicide detective, teams up with Emily Lovecraft, last known descendant of H.P. Lovecraft, to investigate a series of impossible deaths — and discovers the truth behind Lovecraft’s fiction, and horrors that make the terrible things he witnessed chasing a serial killer years ago seem very tame, indeed.

Now, with the generous support of the book’s publisher, Thomas Dunne Books, we’d like to offer you a lot more than just a peek at Carter & Lovecraft. We have a pair of advance review copies to give away to two lucky readers.

How do you enter? Just send an e-mail to with the subject “Carter & Lovecraft,” and a one-sentence suggestion for the ideal Lovecraft team-up — and what dark horrors your dream team should investigate. We’ll announce the winners the week before the novel is released, and present some of the best entries here.

Two winners will be drawn at random from all qualifying entries. All entries become the property of New Epoch Press. No purchase necessary. Must be 12 or older. Decisions of the judges (capricious as they may be) are final. Not valid where prohibited by law, or anywhere postage for a hefty trade paperback is more than, like, 10 bucks (practically, that means US and Canada).

Carter & Lovecraft will be published by Thomas Dunne Books on October 20, 2015. It is 320 pages, priced at $25.99 in hardcover and $12.99 for the digital edition.

Black Gate Online Fiction: Souldrifter by Garrett Calcaterra

Sunday, September 27th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Souldrifter-small2Black Gate is very pleased to offer our readers an exclusive excerpt from Souldrifter by Garrett Calcaterra, Book Two of The Dreamwielder Chronicles.

“Arm the ballistas!” Giorgi commanded from the helm. “Ready the naphtha charges!”

The crew sprang into action around Taera, taking up their battle stations and readying their weapons… Giorgi had been forthright in admitting that naval battles never went to plan. That was doubly true with the Old World — they were bound to have their own tricks. Explosive weapons. Firewielders. Beastcharmers with whales or giant squids at their command. Stormbringers who could very well negate the Pyrthin stormbringers’ efforts and snuff out the wind altogether, leaving both fleets still in the water. If that happened, it would turn to hand-to-hand combat. The grappling hooks would come out and then the cutlasses.

I hope you were right, Makarria, Taera thought as the enemy fleet loomed closer. The Old World armada was massive, easily outnumbering the Pyrthin fleet two vessels to one. And they weren’t backing down.

Garrett Calcaterra is author of the YA fantasy series The Dreamwielder Chronicles. His other full-length books include The Roads to Baldairn Motte and Umbral Visions, and his short fiction and non-fiction has appeared places such as Wet Ink, Pirates & Swashbucklers 1 & 2, Membrane SF, Arkham Tales, and here at Black Gate.

The complete catalog of Black Gate Online Fiction, including stories by John Fultz, Jon Sprunk, Tara Cardinal and Alex Bledsoe, E.E. Knight, Vaughn Heppner,  Howard Andrew Jones, David Evan Harris, John C. Hocking, Michael Shea, Aaron Bradford Starr, Martha Wells, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, C.S.E. Cooney, and many others, is here.

Souldrifter will be published by Diversion Publishing on September 29, 2015. It is 298 pages, priced at $15.99 in trade paperback and $4.99 for the digital edition. Learn more here.

Read an exclusive excerpt from Souldrifter here.

Future Treasures: Souldrifter by Garrett Calcaterra

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Souldrifter-small Souldrifter-back-small

Garrett Calcaterra’s most recent posts for us were “Fantasy Clichés Done Right and “Can SF Save the World From Climate Change?” But in addition to all the investigative reporting he’s been doing for Black Gate, he’s also been managing a career as a fast-rising fantasy author. His novel Dreamwielder (2013), the opening book in The Dreamwielder Chronicles, is a terrific sword & sorcery adventure, widely praised by fans and critics alike. James P. Blaylock called it “fast-paced, colorful, and richly detailed… My kind of book,” and Tim Powers proclaimed it a “good solid fantasy adventure.”

Souldrifter, the long-anticipated second volume in the series, finally arrives next week. Emperor Guderian’s empire has fallen, and young Queen Makarria finds herself in grave danger. The Old World Republic is demanding that she form a new empire, one she would rule as their puppet. When she refuses, the Old World threatens war… and sends a dangerous spy into the heart of her court. Wendy Wagner, author of Skinwalkers, describes it as “packed with sorcerers, spies, and high-stakes intrigue… a real page-turner.”

Souldrifter will be published by Diversion Publishing on September 29, 2015. It is 298 pages, priced at $15.99 in trade paperback and $4.99 for the digital edition. Get more details at Garrett’s website here.

Discovering Robert E. Howard: Howard Andrew Jones and Bill Ward Re-Read “Queen of the Black Coast”

Sunday, September 20th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Art by Brom for "Queen of the Black Coast"

Art by Brom for “Queen of the Black Coast”

Howard Andrew Jones and Bill Ward continue their insightful re-read of the first Del Rey Conan volume, The Coming of Conan, with the classic “Queen of the Black Coast,” featuring the beautiful pirate queen Bêlit, originally published in the May 1934 issue of Weird Tales.

Here’s Bill:

There’s a wonderfully vivid moment of stillness at the heart of “Queen of the Black Coast;” Conan sits high on the ruined pyramid of a vanished race as night falls over a scene of slaughter, the “black colossus” (which becomes the title of the next story) of the jungle a vast sea of darkness that enfolds him. He is as far away from any aid or comfort as we’ve ever seen him and far beyond the bounds of civilization, his lover lies dead on the ship they shared for years while the corpses of her pirate crew are scattered among the ruins, and a malignant evil that Conan has only glimpsed in a vision bides its time, waiting just as the Cimmerian, too, waits. Here is the man of “gigantic melancholies,” the man whose mind does not break, and, when the moon finally rises and the beasts rush upon him, the man of action.

Their previous posts on this topic have included discussions of Howard’s “The Hyborian Age,” “The Phoenix on the Sword,” and “The Tower of the Elephant.”

Read the complete exchange here.

New Treasures: Awaiting Strange Gods by Darrell Schweitzer

Thursday, September 17th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Awaiting Strange Gods-smallI was proud to publish two very fine stories by Darrell Schweitzer in the print version of Black Gate: the frontier horror story “A Dark Miracle” (BG 3) and the Thomas the Rhymer tale “Into the Gathering Dark” (BG 15). So I’m very pleased indeed to see a brand new collection from Mr. Schweitzer, Awaiting Strange Gods: Weird and Lovecraftian Fictions, which collects 22 tales in a very handsome package. In addition to a new introduction by S.T. Joshi, the book also contains three interior illustrations by cover artist Tim Kirk.

I’m especially delighted by Awaiting Strange Gods because it also marks the continued resurgence of Fedogan & Bremer, the Minneapolis-based weird fiction publisher that produced over two dozen fabulous volumes in the 80s and 90s, including Colossus by Donald Wandrei, Stephen Jones’ Shadows Over Innsmouth and Dark Detectives, and Exorcisms and Ecstasies by Karl Edward Wagner. It’s marvelous to see them active again.

Darrell Schweitzer, for 19 years co-editor of Weird Tales, is a familiar name in Dark Fantasy and fringe SF stories. But his forays into Weird/Lovecraftian got underway long after he had established his literary voice. These are very personal stories, notable for character development as opposed to HPL’s cutouts against a cosmic background. 22 tales ranging from straight Mythos to Historical, and from Pennsylvania to Asia Minor. We think these tales are a treat, and you will too!

John R. Fultz produced a marvelously detailed survey of Schweitzer’s weird fantasy, coupled with an interview, in “The Sorcery of Storytelling: The Imaginary Worlds of Darrell Schweitzer,” published at Black Gate ‘way back in 2006. Read it here.

Awaiting Strange Gods: Weird and Lovecraftian Fictions was published by Fedogan & Bremer on September 15, 2015. It is 292 pages, priced at $39.95 in hardcover, and $125 for the deluxe limited edition, with a signature page and fitted slipcase. The cover art is by Tim Kirk. There is no digital edition.

A Deal You Can Refuse, But Shouldn’t

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015 | Posted by Aaron Starr

Black Gate HQ in downtown Chicago

Black Gate‘s Manhattan offices

There were seven hundred and seven stairs leading to John O’Neill’s desk within the Black Gate publishing complex, twelve more than last time, and I was exhausted when I reached the top. There, I waited, watching with trepidation as he finished reading a sheaf of papers, each heavily marked with the red pencil in his white-knuckled fist. His youth of back-alley boxing had left his hands suited to little more than holding an editor’s pencil, and this he wielded furiously, gold rings glinting in the dim light. From behind his massive chair the bodyguard, Tolstoy, glowered silently. Finally, the publishing magnate looked up at me and scowled.

“Starr,” he muttered, running a finger down a printed agenda on his desk. “Something about a blog post.”

“Yes, sir,” I stammered, holding out the two flimsy pages in my hand. Sweat had made the paper soft and slightly rumpled, and he considered them with distaste before taking them. His eyes flicked down the length of the copy before he tossed them down on his desk.

“Rubbish,” he declared.

Read More »

Foz Meadows Signs Two-Book Deal with Angry Robot

Sunday, September 13th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Foz MeadowsBlack Gate blogger Foz Meadows has just signed a two-book deal with UK publisher Angry Robot, one of the most exciting and innovative genre publishers out there. Both books will be part of the same fantasy series. Here’s the release from Angry Robot:

An Accident of Stars, the first in the series, which is described by Foz as ‘a portal fantasy with the safeties off’, will be published in summer 2016, with a second novel to follow. You might know of Australian born, Aberdeen-based Foz through her Hugo-nominated blog, Shattersnipe, or from her many articles on The Huffington Post, Strange Horizons, or the sadly now closed A Dribble of Ink. Foz has also written two previous books, Solace and Grief and The Key to Starveldt.

Foz Meadows: “After years of quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) obsessing over magic portals, feminism and adventuring ladies, I’m delighted to announce that Angry Robot has decided to enable me in these endeavours. An Accident of Stars is the book I desperately wanted to read, but couldn’t possibly have written, at sixteen – and, as you may have guessed, it features (among a great many other things) magic portals, feminism and adventuring ladies. I’m immensely excited to share it with you, and I look forward to collaborating in its production with our glorious Robot Overlords, who only asked in exchange a very small blood sacrifice and part ownership of my soul.”

Congratulations Foz!

You can read the complete release at the Angry Robot website, or check out Foz’s most recent blog post at Black Gate, “The Fascination of Dragons.”

New Treasures: Crucible Zero by Devon Monk

Friday, September 11th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Crucible Zero-smallOne of the great joys of buying original fiction is seeing the talented writers you found in the slush pile finally get wider recognition. The very first story I ever purchased for Black Gate, a delightful piece called “Stitchery’ by Devon Monk, gradually evolved into the House Immortal fantasy trilogy, as Devon explained on her blog last year…

[House Immortal] isn’t a “standard” urban fantasy, but more like a science-fiction-y urban fantasy. But even though it’s set in the future a bit, it still (I hope) reads like urban fantasy, with a strong female lead character, some butt kicking, some humor, some trouble that could spell out the end of a world or two, and a host of interesting people and places.

Publisher and Editor John O’Neill at Black Gate noted here, that it reminded him of “Stitchery” the first short story he bought from me for Black Gate. I’m so happy he noticed! The series is based off of that short story, (albeit loosely) and Matilda, Neds, and Grandma were all first introduced in that short.

The first novel in the series was House Immortal, followed by Infinity Bell. Now Devon completes the trilogy with the final novel, Crucible Zero, on sale this month from Roc. The truce between the ruling Houses has shattered and chaos now reigns. Only one woman has the power to save the world — but she could also destroy it…

Read More »

New Treasures: Stories of the Raksura: Volume Two: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below by Martha Wells

Saturday, September 5th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Stories of the Raksura Volume 2-smallMartha Wells’s Books of the Raksura trilogy — The Cloud Roads, The Serpent Sea, and The Siren Depths — have captivated readers around the world. In Stories of the Raksura, Volume One: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud (details here), she returned to the world of Raksura with a pair of exciting novellas. With the second volume, Stories of the Raksura, Volume Two: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below, now available from Night Shade Press, Moon, Jade, and other favorites from the Indigo Cloud Court return in two more powerful novellas in the same setting.

Martha Wells continues to enthusiastically ignore genre conventions in her exploration of the fascinating world of the Raksura. Her novellas and short stories contain all the elements fans have come to love from the Raksura books: courtly intrigue and politics, unfolding mysteries that reveal an increasingly strange wider world, and threats both mundane and magical.

“The Dead City” is a tale of Moon before he came to the Indigo Court. As Moon is fleeing the ruins of Saraseil, a groundling city destroyed by the Fell, he flies right into another potential disaster when a friendly caravanserai finds itself under attack by a strange force. In “The Dark Earth Below,” Moon and Jade face their biggest adventure yet; their first clutch. But even as Moon tries to prepare for impending fatherhood, members of the Kek village in the colony tree’s roots go missing, and searching for them only leads to more mysteries as the court is stalked by an unknown enemy.

Stories of Moon and the shape changers of Raksura have delighted readers for years. This world is a dangerous place full of strange mysteries, where the future can never be taken for granted and must always be fought for with wits and ingenuity, and often tooth and claw. With these two new novellas, Martha Wells shows that the world of the Raksura has many more stories to tell…

The book also includes the short stories “Trading Lesson,” “Mimesis,” and “The Almost Last Voyage of the Wind-ship Escarpment.” Stories of the Raksura: Volume Two: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below was published by Night Shade Books on June 2, 2015. It is 232 pages, priced at $15.99 in both trade paperback and digital. The cover is by Matthew Stewart. Read an excerpt here.

The Growing Pains of Renner & Quist

Saturday, September 5th, 2015 | Posted by William Patrick Maynard

BonesyCheck Out TimeSamhain Publishing has just unearthed Bonesy, their fourth Renner and Quist occult mystery from one of my very favorite authors (and a regular contributor at Black Gate) magazine, Mark Rigney.

The idea of returning from a ten-month hiatus has me a bit nervous, but longtime readers may recall my heaping praise on Rigney’s earlier titles in the series: The Skates, Sleeping Bear, and Check-Out Time. Renner and Quist are an oddball double act in the classic tradition. Renner is a persnickety Unitarian minister, while Quist is a boorish ex-linebacker. Together, this unlikely duo team to solve occult mysteries.

This latest addition to the quirky and delightful series picks up where the last episode left off with Renner and Quist dramatically changed by their experiences. This time out, Renner’s mentor, Iris Buckhalter turns up needing his help.

She has developed an obsession with a brass rubbing of a strangely sexless 16th Century human skeleton she calls “Bonesy.” Her unhealthy obsession seems to have triggered premonitions of her death and she wants Renner, with his obvious occult abilities, to become Bonesy’s caretaker.

Read More »

  Earlier Entries »

This site © 2015 by New Epoch Press. All rights reserved.