Beneath Ceaseless Skies 173 Now Available

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Beneath Ceaseles Skies 173-smallBeneath Ceaseless Skies 173 looks like another solid issue, with two short stories and a podcast.

Out of the Rose Hills“ by Marissa Lingen
The shadow woman’s face was also made of shadows, so it was not visible as a face. But the shadows moved in a way that suggested an indulgent smile.

The Punctuality Machine, Or, A Steampunk Libretto“ by Bill Powell
WHITLOCK: (aside) An identical response! Perhaps free will is a mere illusion. On the other hand, she’s an automaton.

Marissa Lingen’s short fiction has appeared in Analog, Asimov’s, Apex, Lightspeed, and many other places. Her previous stories for BCS include “A House of Gold and Steel” (issue 162) and “On the Weaponization of Flora and Fauna” (issue #129). Bill Powell is a graduate of the Odyssey Workshop who blogs at

Issue 173 was published on May 14. Read it online completely free here.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies is edited by Scott H. Andrews and published twice a month by Firkin Press. Issues are available completely free online; you can also get a free e-mail or RSS subscription.

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Uncanny Magazine Issue 3 Now on Sale

Monday, May 25th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Uncanny Magazine Issue 4-smallWith only four issues under its belt, Uncanny Magazine is already becoming a significant presence in the field. It has gorgeous production, great covers, some terrific contents — and it’s published four issues since October. The new issue keeps the success story going, with an eye-catching cover by Tran Nguyen, and original fiction from Catherynne M. Valente, Elizabeth Bear, Lisa Bolekaja, John Chu, and A.C. Wise, and a reprint from Delia Sherman.

Nonfiction this issue includes “It’s the Big One,” a nice historical recap of the Hugos by File 770‘s Mike Glyer, with an on-point summary of the 2015 Hugo drama:

Never before in its history has its future been in greater doubt… there is no precedent for the absolutely public and devastatingly successful effort of two slates to control the 2015 Hugos, Brad Torgersen’s “Sad Puppies 3” and Vox Day’s parallel “Rabid Puppies” campaigns which filled 59 of 85 slots on the final ballot with their choices (and would have had more, but five declined their nominations and the committee ruled two others ineligible.)…

Only by tapping into anger over the culture wars has someone succeeded in motivating the requisite number of fans to buy supporting memberships at $40 a pop and take control of the Hugo ballot.

Among fans who are critical of the outcome there has been widespread talk of voting “No Award” ahead of nominees from the slate (again). There is also a great deal of technical discussion of rules changes designed to limit the influence of voting slates without creating any barriers to new voters.

Read the entire article here.

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Allen Koszowski’s Inhuman Magazine #6 Now on Sale

Friday, May 22nd, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Inhuman 6-smallWell here’s an unexpected bit of good news. Allen Koszowski’s Inhuman Magazine, which I had listed as defunct in our mid-May Fantasy Magazine Rack, has just released a new issue.

Allen Koszowski is a terrifically talented guy. I hired him to illustrate our reprint of Edmond Hamilton’s first story, “The Monster-God of Mamurth,” and he delivered three marvelous pieces that appeared in Black Gate 2. Since 2004 he’s been involved in the most noble and selfless act of creation known to humankind — publishing his own magazine. Allen K’s Inhuman Magazine is a monster magazine that consistently features the top names in dark fantasy and horror, and Allen handles the art for each story personally.

Centipede Press took over production with issue #5, and the magazine looks better than ever. Issue #6 is the first in four years, and it features original stories by Tim Curran, Peter Rawlik (two stories), Don D’Ammassa, Lee Weinstein, C. J. Henderson, J. F. Gonzalez, Marilyn “Mattie” Brahen, Weston Osche, and Randall D. Larson, plus reprints from Michael Bishop, Darrell Schweitzer, Gahan Wilson, Jason Van Hollander, and Chad Hensley and W. H. Pugmire. The magazine also includes verse and art from David Sutton, Kurt Newton, Justin Gustainis, Jill Bauman, Cullen Bunn, Gene O’Neill, William C. Rassmussen, Stephen Jones, Bob Eggleton, Augie Weidemann, Robert H. Knox, Nick Gucker, Chris Kuchta, Steve Gilberts, Alex Lakhtarnik, and Allen Koszowski. The artists this issue are all part of a special gallery section dedicated to The Thing from Another World.

The magazine is huge — 208 pages! — and copiously illustrated. It is perfect bound for the criminally low price of just $6.99. Copies of the latest issue can be hard to come by, but at least two eBay vendors are currently stocking it at cover price. Check it out — I think you’ll enjoy it.

We last covered Inhuman Magazine with Issue #5. See all of our recent magazine coverage here.

Apex Magazine #72 Now on Sale

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Apex Magazine Issue 72-smallI’m finally getting caught up on Apex Magazine. As I said last month, it’s tough been an obsessive magazine fan; there’s never enough hours in the day.

In his editorial, Jason Sizemore has a few gracious words for his competition, the magazines on the Hugo ballot this year for Best Semiprozine:

My first order of business is to congratulate this year’s Hugo Award nominees in the category of Best Semiprozine: Abyss & Apex, Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Lightspeed Magazine, and Strange Horizons. While other Hugo Award categories have been unfortunate victims of slate block voting, Best Semiprozine is one that has maintained its dignity. All five publications are worthy nominees and I wish them the best of luck at Sasquan.

He’s certainly right that it’s a solid slate of nominees. As editor-in-chief of Apex, Jason has been nominated for the Hugo three times himself, in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

The May issue of Apex contains original fiction by Sarah Pinsker, David Bowles, JY Yang, and Suzette Mayr — plus poetry, an interview with Sarah Pinsker, an article on “Eye-Based Paternity Testing and Other Human Genetics Myths” by Dan Koboldt, short fiction reviews, two novel excerpts (The Buried Life by Carrie Patel, and The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu), a podcast, and more.

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June 2015 Analog Science Fiction Now on Sale

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Analog Science Ficiton June 2015 1000th issue-smallI don’t usually cover Analog Science Fiction and Fact here at Black Gate — in fact, I think the most recent issues we’ve covered were April 1980 (containing George R.R. Martin’s “Nightflyers”) and August 1968. When it comes to science fiction, Analog is about as hard as it gets, and the magazine has always been proud of the fact that it doesn’t publish anything so fluffy as fantasy.

But I’m happy to make an exception in this case. The June 2015 issue of Analog happens to be the 1000th issue, a landmark well worth celebrating.

Analog first appeared in January 1930, as Astounding Stories of Super-Science, under editor Harry Bates, and it has been published continuously ever since. Over the course of 85 years, Astounding/Analog has become the most important magazine in the history of science fiction and fantasy, and it continues that proud tradition today under editor Trevor Qachari.

In celebration, this issue has special columns from emeritus editors Stanley Schmidt and Ben Bova, and genre historian extraordinaire Mike Ashley, as well as fiction from Sean McMullen, C. C. Finlay, Ted Reynolds and William F. Wu, Richard A. Lovett and many others, all under a great cover by Vincent DiFate.

Here’s the complete list of contents.

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Black Gate 4 is Sold Out

Sunday, May 17th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Black Gate Magazine 4-smallBlack Gate 4, originally published in Summer 2002, is now sold out.

BG 4 featured the start of a major fantasy series from Hugo Award-winning author Bill Johnson, a new novelette from David B. Coe, and fiction from Cory Doctorow, Tina Jens, Mark McLaughlin, Patrice Sarath, Keith Allen Daniels, and many others. The terrific cover art was by Charles Keegan. Here’s the issue summary:

A Chicago pub where the ghosts of Blues legends gather to swap tales and jam one final time… a post-apocalyptic cityscape where automated bombers still cruise overhead and the last rock band hears the sound of extinction… a wild west where a trio of demons test the wits of a lone bounty hunter… and the dungeons of Chateau Machecoul, where an aging knight comes face-to-face with a horror unlike anything he’s ever known.

Since the end of the print version of Black Gate, we’ve been selling the last of our back issues at ridiculously low prices. BG 14 and 15 were cover priced at $15.95 and $18.85 each, but now you can get any two two issues for just $15 — plus $5 for each additional issue after that. That includes our rare first issue. Get our first three issues for just $20!

Stock is running very low on most of our early issues, however, and we sold our last copy of BG 4 today. Back issues of Black Gate contain original short stories and novellas from Michael Moorcock, Charles de Lint, James Enge, Cory Doctorow, Devon Monk, Harry Connolly, Martha Wells, Howard Andrew Jones, Myke Cole, and many others.

Get all the details on our back issue sale here.

May 2015 Lightspeed Magazine Now on Sale

Saturday, May 16th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Lightspeed May 2015-smallIf you’re an aspiring fantasy writer, there’s even more reason to read Lightspeed this month. It has a short story by C.C. Finlay, the new editor of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Here’s your chance to do a little homework, and learn a little more about what kind of fantasy Charles enjoys.

There’s also a new story in Matthew Hughes’s long-running Kaslo Chronicles, as well as new fiction from Seanan McGuire and Helena Bell, and reprints from Sean Williams, Merrie Haskell, R.C. Loenen-Ruiz, and Annie Bellet.

Lightspeed publishes fantasy and SF, both new fiction and reprints. Here’s the complete fiction contents of the May issue.


Sun’s East, Moon’s West” by Merrie Haskell (from Electric Velocipede #17/18, Spring 2009)
Mouth“ by Helena Bell
“Breaking the Spell” by R.C. Loenen-Ruiz (from Philippine Speculative Fiction IV, 2009)available May 19
“The Blood of a Dragon” by Matthew Hughes available May 26

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The mid-May Fantasy Magazine Rack

Friday, May 15th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Apex-Magazine-71-April-2015-300 Asimovs-Science-Fiction-June-2015-300 Clarkesworld-104-300 The-Dark-Issue-8-300
Beneath-Ceaseless-Skies-172-300 Heroic-Fantasy-Quarterly-24-300 Innsmouth-Magazine-15-300 Knights-of-the-Dinner-Table-219-300

The mid-May April magazine rack is crowded with a mix of print (Asimov’s, Knights of the Dinner Table) and online (The Dark, Clarkesworld, BCS, and HFQ) magazines. This month we say goodbye to Innmouth Magazine, which published its last issue last summer. Click on any of the images above to see our detailed report on each issue.

As we’ve mentioned before, all of these magazines are completely dependent on fans and readers to keep them alive. Many are marginal operations for whom a handful of subscriptions may mean the difference between life and death. Why not check one or two out, and try a sample issue? There are magazines here for every budget, from completely free to $7.50/issue. If you find something intriguing, I hope you’ll consider taking a chance on a subscription. I think you’ll find it’s money very well spent.

Our late April Fantasy Magazine Rack is here.

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Knights of the Dinner Table #219 Now on Sale

Friday, May 15th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Knights of the Dinner Table 219-small DC Showcase 12 Challengers of the Unknown-small

The latest issue of Knights of the Dinner Table boasts another great Kirby tribute by the fabulous Fraim brothers. The cover is an homage to DC Showcase #12, featuring the Challengers of the Unknown, drawn by the great Jack Kirby and originally published in 1957. (Kirby later claimed he reused elements from this series at Marvel Comics, when he collaborated with Stan Lee to create The Fantastic Four four years later.) Click on the images for bigger versions.

I remember buying the very first issue of KoDT, at a comic convention here in Chicago. I had no idea then that it would become one of the longest-running independent comics in history.

Knights of the Dinner Table Magazine is written and drawn by my friend Jolly R. Blackburn, with editorial assistance by his talented wife Barbara. Readers of the print version of Black Gate may remember the KoDT spin-off The Java Joint, which appeared in the back of every issue (and was eventually collected in a single volume in 2012).

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Beneath Ceaseless Skies 172 Now Available

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Beneath Ceaseless Skies 172-smallI love a good weird western. So you can imagine how intrigued I was by the latest issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Scott H. Andrews’ magazine of literary adventure fantasy. It’s a special weird western issue, celebrating the release of their new themed anthology Ceaseless West. Issue 172 contains three new stories, a reprint, a podcast, and more.

Splitskin” by E. Catherine Tobler
My love reveled in winter’s sunbroken days, when the light spills to the fresh-fallen snow to stab a person in the eyes. Gugán flit from path to stone, a trickster comfortable with his Raven heritage. I, as Eagle, startled at every shift of snow, caught always unawares in the bright sun as he pelted me with clumps of melting cold.

Swallowing Silver” by Erin Cashier
John Halpern knew it should be a heavy weight on his conscience, to wake up and know that he was going to kill a thing that used to be a man. Whether it was or wasn’t was a topic of much internal contemplation for him as he walked up the long path to his brother-in-law’s house to ask for help. The fact that his brother-in-law was himself a devil-man did not escape him.

The Snake-Oil Salesman and the Prophet’s Head” by Shannon Peavey
Leaving Leo alone, with his brother’s head. Leo stepped closer to the jar. Cary’s white-blond hair floated up from his skull, the tips waving slightly. It looked like strands of spiderweb, or exposed nerves. “You still telling people things they don’t want to hear?” He tapped on the glass. As if he might rouse it to speech.

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