Black Gate Online Fiction: Mouth of the Dragon by Tom Barczak

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Mouth of the Dragon wrap-small

Black Gate is very pleased to offer our readers an exclusive excerpt from Mouth of the Dragon: Prophecy of the Evarun by Thomas Barczak, published in deluxe trade paperback and digital formats this month by Perseid Press. Thomas Barczak’s short fiction has appeared in the award-winning Heroes in Hell anthologies edited by Janet Morris and Chris Morris; his previous novels include the epic fantasy novel Veil of the Dragon, and the Kindle serial Awakening Evarun.

Chaelus watched them fall, one by one, like cordwood; five Servian knights brought down to the bristling snow.

Crimson feathers stuck out against the pallor. Even from a half a league away he could see them, like the blood they let. The red fletching of the Khaalish. But Chaelus didn’t need the whisper of the Giver to drift through him to know it was a ruse. It wasn’t the Khaalish. It was something far worse.

It was the Hunters.

Idyliss bowed her head without his command and flew across the snow-covered plain.

They were still too far away for him to save them.

Read More »


Black Gate Online Fiction: An Exclusive Excerpt from Soleri by Michael Johnston

Monday, February 13th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Soleri-smallBlack Gate is very pleased to offer our readers an exclusive excerpt from Michael Johnston’s upcoming epic fantasy Soleri, to be published in hardcover by Tor this summer. We have the extended, “Director’s Cut” version of the prologue, entitled “The Black Sand,” which sets up the mythology of the book. Here’s a taste.

They used to be fishermen, but that night hunger made them thieves. Under a moonless sky the men set out from the island in small wooden skiffs, sailing across the ink black sea toward the distant city. They were crowded in the long thin boats, crammed shoulder to shoulder, some turned sideways or doubled over to shield themselves against the waves. Gusty wind and angry water forced a few ships to turn back, while others were lost to the surf, and those who journeyed onward kept their eyes focused on the horizon, searching for the dim silhouette of the Dromus. The great wall was hewn from cinder-grey rock and reflected no light, its jagged ridge biting at the lowhanging stars like a blacker piece of night. The skiff rolled and the boy caught sight of the desert barrier. His stomach ached, but not from nausea. He had eaten little in the past few days — stale salt cod, sea grass steeped in broth.

Up ahead, the first raiders made landfall. One by one the boats crashed into the surging whitecaps at the edge of the beach, the waves tossing the smaller ones, dashing others on the rocks, leaving the fishermen scrambling in the tide. The undertow took the unluckier of them, their bodies rolling over and over in the froth. Those who made it to shore moved quickly to conceal their arrival… The boy waited, trembling with fear and excitement as the last skiffs ground their hulls into the beach. The men were restless, eager. He felt an elbow in his side and craned his neck in time to catch the first sickle of sunlight as it lit the upper edge of the Dromus with a golden halo.

The complete catalog of Black Gate Online Fiction, including stories by Mark Rigney, Michael A. Armstrong, C.S.E. Cooney, Vaughn Heppner, E.E. Knight, Jason E. Thummel, Judith Berman, Howard Andrew Jones, Dave Gross, Harry Connolly, and others, is here.

Soleri is 368 pages, priced at $27.99 in hardcover and $14.99 for the digital edition. It will be published by Tor Books on June 13, 2017.

Read the complete excerpt here.


The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes: Nero Wolfe – Stamped for Murder

Monday, February 13th, 2017 | Posted by Bob Byrne

Nero Wolfe TrainThe New Adventures of Nero Wolfe radio show aired in 1950 and 1951, starring Sidney Greenstreet. I mentioned it in a prior post. I’ve taken one of the episodes, Stamped for Murder, and turned it into an 11,000 word story. I kept most of the dialogue and the original scenes, since I wanted to adapt the show. I’ve tried to make it more Stout-like, as I don’t think that the series was very true to the original stories. So, some liberties here and there. But hopefully you’ll enjoy a “new” Wolfe pastiche!

CHAPTER ONE

Nero Wolfe had just settled his seventh of a ton into the only chair that really fit him. Made of Brazilian Mauro wood, it was in this room, the office: as opposed to the dining room, kitchen or the front room because he spent about nine hours a day here. You read that right: nine hours. More on that later.

Down from his two hours in the plant rooms on the roof, he had greeted me with the standard “Good morning” and placed a spray of Miltonia Charlesworthi in the vase on his desk. After going through the usual ritual, which includes drinking beer, brought by our chef, housekeeper and doorman, Fritz, going through the morning mail and checking his pen (which I’ve already done), he looked up at me.

“Your notebook please, Archie.”

It was there on my desk, ready for use. I took a pen from the middle drawer and swiveled my chair, not made of Mauro wood but under much less pressure, to face him.

“Inform Mister Salzenzbach that the recent Long Island pea fowl he provided was most unsatisfactory. Pea fowl’s breast flesh is not sweet and tender unless it is well protected from all alarms. Especially from the air, to prevent nervousness. Long island is full of airplanes.”

Read More »


Black Gate Online Fiction: An Excerpt from Mad Shadows II by Joe Bonadonna

Saturday, January 28th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Mad Shadows 2 cover by Erika M. Szabo-small MAD SHADOWS 2 BACK Cover-small

Joe Bonadonna’s Dorgo the Dowser novelette “The Moonstones of Sor Lunarum,” part of Joe’s first swords and sorcery collection, Mad Shadows: The Weird Tales of Dorgo the Dowser, is one of the most popular pieces of fiction ever posted at Black Gate. Joe’s other contributions to the Black Gate Online Fiction library include an exclusive excerpt from Waters of Darkness, his supernatural pirate dark fantasy novel co-written with David C. Smith, and his recent story “Queen of Toads,” an old-fashioned pulp horror tale.

Black Gate is very pleased to offer our readers an exclusive excerpt from Part Three of Mad Shadows II — Dorgo the Dowser and The Order of the Serpent, published in trade paperback and digital formats this month.

Read More »


The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes: A Holmes Christmas Carol

Monday, December 19th, 2016 | Posted by Bob Byrne

A Holmes Christmas Carol – By Bob Byrne

christmastree_victorianIt is with a certain sense of misgiving that I relate the following tale, which took place during the Christmas season of 1902. I had moved out of our Baker Street lodgings earlier that year, having married only a few months before that most festive of holidays. I now had rooms in Queen Anne Street and was quite busy with my flourishing medical practice. A newly married man, I once again found myself as head of a household, with all of the duties thereof. I saw Holmes infrequently, but had found the time to visit him the day before Christmas. Certain that he would have no plans of any kind, I extended to him an invitation to join my wife and I for Christmas day.

Holmes rebuffed my attempts to have him share in the holiday spirit with us. “Watson, I have no use for the Christmas season. Is it rational to believe a man rose from the dead? And even if it were, do you not see the hypocrisy of it all? For one day, a man will give a beggar a farthing, because it is Christmas. He would pass by that beggar 364 other days and pay him no mind. That is Christmas?”

I could not recall Holmes being so churlish. When we had roomed together, he had not been an avid celebrator of Christmas, but he did accommodate my warm feelings towards the season. Now, left to his own devices, it seemed that his natural contrariness was shining through. I made one last effort to have him spend a pleasant dinner at the Watson household. It was to no avail.

Read More »


Black Gate Online Fiction: An Exclusive Excerpt from The Wall of Storms by Ken Liu

Monday, November 21st, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

the-wall-of-storms-banner

Black Gate is very pleased to offer our readers an exclusive excerpt from Chapter One of Ken’s Liu’s The Wall of Storms, the second novel of The Dandelion Dynasty, published in hardcover and digital formats last month by Saga Press. Here’s the description.

In the much-anticipated sequel to the “magnificent fantasy epic” (NPR) Grace of Kings, Emperor Kuni Garu is faced with the invasion of an invincible army in his kingdom and must quickly find a way to defeat the intruders. Kuni Garu, now known as Emperor Ragin, runs the archipelago kingdom of Dara, but struggles to maintain progress while serving the demands of the people and his vision. Then an unexpected invading force from the Lyucu empire in the far distant west comes to the shores of Dara — and chaos results.

But Emperor Kuni cannot go and lead his kingdom against the threat himself with his recently healed empire fraying at the seams, so he sends the only people he trusts to be Dara’s savvy and cunning hopes against the invincible invaders: his children, now grown and ready to make their mark on history.

The Grace of Kings, Ken Liu’s debut novel and the opening novel of The Dandelion Dynasty, was nominated for the Nebula Award, and won the Locus Award for Best First Novel. His short story collection The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories was called “Profound enough to hurt” by Amal El-Mohtar of NPR, and his acclaimed translation of Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2015.

Read More »


Black Gate Online Fiction: “Queen of Toads” by Joe Bonadonna

Sunday, October 9th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

joe-bonadonna-smallWe posted Joe Bonadonna’s Dorgo the Dowser novelette “The Moonstones of Sor Lunarum,” part of Joe’s first swords and sorcery collection, Mad Shadows: The Weird Tales of Dorgo the Dowser, way back in December 2011. It quickly became one of our most popular online stories, and it has remained so for nearly five years. We also presented an exclusive excerpt from Waters of Darkness, his supernatural pirate dark fantasy novel co-written with David C. Smith, in 2013. Since then, Joe has become one of our most reliable and popular reviewers.

We are very pleased to have the opportunity to present “Queen of Toads,” an old-fashioned pulp horror tale, for your reading pleasure.

In the marsh out back, these strange creatures. I’ve seen them at night, hopping back and forth across Venn Road, coming from and heading to the marsh. They must be going out hunting, though what they might prey upon sure has me stumped. Maybe fish or small game. Hell, they’re as big as some breeds of dogs. And the way those strange feathers of theirs glow in the moonlight — the same colour as the rocks! — makes me wonder how they could possibly sneak up on anything! Makes me wonder if they came here with those rocks, came from inside them, maybe. They look like frogs and toads, but like none I’ve ever seen before. I surely won’t be frying up and eating their legs! I told my Minerva to steer clear of the things, too. Told her not to touch or try to catch them. You never know where they might have come from and what sickness they might carry.

The complete catalog of Black Gate Online Fiction, including stories by Mark Rigney, Michael A. Armstrong, C.S.E. Cooney, Vaughn Heppner, E.E. Knight, Jason E. Thummel, Judith Berman, Howard Andrew Jones, Dave Gross, Harry Connolly, and others, is here.

“Queen of Toads” is a complete 9,000-word humorous Lovecraft-pastiche offered at no cost.

Read the complete story here.


Read an Original Short Story in the World of The Lazarus Gate and The Iscariot Sanction at the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi Blog

Sunday, October 9th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

the-iscariot-sanction-banner

Mark Latham’s new novel in The Apollonian Case Files, The Iscariot Sanction, was published by Titan Books on September 20. It’s the follow-up to The Lazarus Gate and, in honor of the occasion, the popular Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog at BarnesandNoble.com has posted a brand new story set in the same world, “The House of the Dead.”

Mark Latham’s two novels of The Apollonian Case Files, The Lazarus Gate and The Iscariot Sanction, take place in an alternate Victorian Age in which Her Majesty’s Empire is under attack by supernatural threats, and only a mystery “gentlemen’s club” stands in the way of total oblivion. They’re great fun, mixing elements of Sherlock Holmes and H.P. Lovecraft, James Bond and H.G. Wells, with a setting we love spending time in — which is why, in honor of the release of the latest in the series, we’re pleased to present an original short story set in the same universe. Enjoy!

Read the complete story here.

Read More »


Black Gate Online Fiction: “Grady Spades Second Opinion” by Levi Black

Sunday, August 7th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

Red Right Hand Levi Black-smallBlack Gate is very pleased to offer our readers an exclusive short story by Levi Black, author of Red Right Hand, on sale now from Tor Books.

“Is that an agreement?”

“Yes. Take away my cancer. I want to party some more.”

The words were barely past his lips when the Man In Black was on him.

The coat wrapped around Grady, slithering over his head and face, making the world go dark. Cold, so bone-achingly cold, seared his chin and cheeks. He couldn’t breathe.

He felt something digging in the crease of his hip and then a rough tearing sensation, as if his skin had been ripped asunder, and the pain flared to a white hot scorch.

Something curled in his guts and it sent a wet tickle up his spine and into his brain. Tug. Yank.

And something tore free.

Levi Black lives in Metro Atlanta with his wife and an array of toys, books, records, and comics.

The complete catalog of Black Gate Online Fiction, including stories by Mark Rigney, 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.

“Grady Spades Second Opinion” is a complete 1,500-word short story of dark fantasy.

Read the complete story here.


Black Gate Online Fiction: Truck Stop Earth by Michael A. Armstrong

Thursday, July 14th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

Truck Stop Earth banner-small

Black Gate is very pleased to offer our readers an exclusive excerpt from Truck Stop Earth by Michael A. Armstrong, published in deluxe trade paperback and digital formats this month by Perseid Press. Here’s Janet Morris, publisher of Perseid.

Is Truck Struck Earth a memoir? Science fiction? New Pulp? Paranormal (or paranoid) fantasy? Noir in the Shaver tradition? UFOlogy? Magical realism? Social Commentary? Black humor? We dunno. But we’re proud to bring you this tough, dangerous book that breaks every rule you thought separated true from false, good from bad, and literature from trash.

Michael A. Armstrong’s first novel was After the Zap. His short fiction has been published in Asimov’s, The Magazine of Science Fiction, Fiction Quarterly, and various anthologies, including Not of Woman Born, a Philip K. Dick award nominee, and several Heroes In Hell anthologies. His other novels include Agviq, The Hidden War, and Bridge Over Hell, part of the Perseid Press Heroes in Hell universe.

Read More »


« Later Entries   Earlier Entries »

This site © 2018 by New Epoch Press. All rights reserved.