Another year has passed without a single Bram Stoker Award appearing for sale on eBay. I really thought my time had come when I I told you that the Horror Writers Association (HWA) announced it had expelled a member from its ranks, who had been the recipient of multiple Stokers. As the recipient was entirely unrepentant, I felt sure he would make a statement by publicly unloading his awards, but alas. As my only hope of having one is to buy one on the open market, my mantle remains bereft of the pinnacle of all awards.
The Bram Stoker Awards have been presented annually since 1987, and the winners are selected by ballot from the approximately 1800 active members (in good standing) of the HWA. Several members of the HWA, including Dean Koontz, were originally reluctant to endorse such writing awards, fearing it would incite competitiveness rather than friendly admiration. The HWA therefore went to great lengths to avoid mean-spirited competition by specifically seeking out new or overlooked writers and works, and officially issuing awards not based on “best of the year” criteria but for “superior achievement,” which allows for ties.
Recent issues of Clarkesworld magazine, edited by Neil Clarke
If you’re active on social media, or if you follow the major science fiction magazines, you’ve probably seen the headlines. It’s not every day that Neil Clarke, Sheila Williams, and Sheree Renée Thomas (editors of Clarkesworld, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, respectively) are quoted extensively in The New York Times. But that’s exactly what happened on Thursday.
It started with Neil, who reported on Twitter earlier this week that a sudden flood of AI-generated submissions, likely triggered by get-rich-quick schemes “making claims of easy money with ChatGPT,” had caused him to temporarily close submissions to Clarkesworld. (ChatGPT is the most popular of the new crop of chatbots capable of rapidly creating long-form text based on short prompts from users.)
As you can imagine, the news that a leading science fiction magazine had to close submissions because it was overwhelmed with AI-generated subs captured enormous attention, and that tweet garnered over 8 million views and, within a matter of days, national attention from press outlets like The Guardian and NYT.
KICKSTARTER FOR ISSUES 1 & 2 Thirty-day crowdfunding campaign begins on Feb 2nd, with issues shipping in Fall 2023
The legendary Michael Moorcock will have a brand new, original story featured in issue #1.
He joins twenty other fiction & non-fiction authors, such as Canadian horror master Gemma Files, Margaret Killjoy, David C. Smith, Hugo Award-winner Cora Buhlert, Milton Davis, and more. There will also be a tale by Jesús Montalvo, an author from the burgeoning S&S scene south of the US border, translated from its original Spanish.
Each issue will feature seven original stories and four works of non-fiction: one book review, one essay, one in-depth interview, and one historical literary profile of figures like Charles Saunders or Cele Goldsmith. All stories, essays, and the profiles will be paired with at least one original B&W illustration.
The Great Book of Amber, containing Roger Zelazny’s 10-volume
Amber Chronicles (Avon EOS, December 1999). Cover by Tim White
Molly Templeton at Tor.comis reporting that Stephen Colbert has joined forces with Skybound Entertainment to develop an adaptation of Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber, bringing much-needed hope that the long delayed-series will finally be brought to the screen.
In 2016, Skybound Entertainment announced that the series was in the works, with The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman also on board. Though it’s been nearly seven years, this team is still in place, alongside Vincent Newman Entertainment and now Colbert’s production company, Spartina. Variety reports that Colbert said, “I’ve carried the story of Corwin in my head for over 40 years, and I’m thrilled to partner with Skybound and Vincent Newman to bring these worlds to life. All roads lead to Amber, and I’m happy to be walking them.”
Roger Zelazny was one of the greatest fantasy and science fiction writers of the 20th Century, and The Chronicles of Amber was his magnum opus. If you want to dip your toe into the original novels, Rajan Khanna has a splendid book-by-book reread at Tor.com.
BAEN BOOKS SIGNS HOWARD ANDREW JONES TO FIVE-BOOK DEAL: THE CHRONICLES OF HANUVAR
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.
Back in March, I laid out the list of nominees for the Horror Writers Association’s 2021 Stoker Awards for superior literary achievement in horror, in a variety of categories. The Bram Stoker Awards (literally the coolest award in history) were instituted in 1987 and the eleven award categories are: Novel, First Novel, Short Fiction, Long Fiction, Young Adult, Fiction Collection, Poetry Collection, Anthology, Screenplay, Graphic Novel, and Non-Fiction. As I previously explained, I’ve tried everything short of writing a qualifying story, to get my hands on one.
But alas, the 2021 awards were distributed only to the worthy few (none of whom were willing to sell), at the Association’s annual banquet on May 12-15 during StokerCon 2022 which was held at the Curtis Hotel in Denver CO. Black Gate and Goth Chick News would like to congratulate the following authors and editors for their superior achievements and suggest you, beloved readers, start loading up your Amazon wish list immediately.
Every year around this time, The Horror Writers Association announces the nominees for the annual Bram Stoker Awards, which recognize superior achievement in horror and dark fiction. Also, every year, I go on an Internet search for one of these amazing awards for sale somewhere.
I mean come on, people have sold their Oscars, which admittedly are not this cool and are probably not this difficult to get. A general search got my heart racing a couple of times, only to discover the link sent me to a page where I could buy a Stoker award-winning book. eBay? Nope. Etsy? Someone has to have duplicated it on Etsy right? No joy, though I did find quite a lot of cool Dracula-related art, such as a bracelet with a quote from the book which reads, “I have crossed oceans of time to find you…”
In 1934, Weird Tales magazine published Robert E. Howard’s Conan story “Rogues in the House.” Bob Byrne covered the story on Black Gate as part of his “Hither Came Conan” series.
Just a few years ago, in late 2018, Sword & Sorcery enthusiasts and content creators forged Rogues in the House – the Ultimate S&S Podcast (the link is a portal page to multiple listening Apps). This post spotlights it because it is more than just a source of perspectives. The crew genuinely wants to support a growing community. Their roundtable discussions always start with the “Bazaar of the Bizarre” round table, in which the cast shares recent events or learning opportunities (the session a call out to Fritz Leiber’s 1963 Fafhrd and the Gray Mouserstory of the same name).
When I was at Kelly Robson’s launch for Alias Space and Other Stories, she got the inevitable question, “What are you working on next?” And she surprised everyone (or at least me) by revealing she’d been working on a stage play with fellow Canadian authors A.M. Dellamonica and Amal El-Mohtar, to be performed by actor/playwright Margo MacDonald. Even better, it would premiere as part of this year’s Ottawa Fringe Festival – which is happening right now!
Full disclosure, I’ve known the three authors behind Dressed As People for years, so I went into this with the sort of jittery excitement you get in Writer Land when your friends announce cool things. And I was not disappointed. This “triptych of uncanny abduction” is so good, courtesy of the care and attention to detail Kelly, A.M. and Amal put into their work and Margo’s stunningly amazing performances.
The Bram Stoker Awards have been presented annually since 1987, and the winners are selected by ballot from the active members of the Horror Writers Association (HWA). Several members of the HWA were originally reluctant to endorse such writing awards, fearing it would incite competitiveness rather than friendly admiration. The HWA has therefore gone to great lengths to avoid mean-spirited competition by specifically seeking out new or overlooked writers and works, and officially issuing awards not based on “best of the year” criteria but for “superior achievement,” which allows for ties.
Any work of horror first published in the English language may be considered for an award during the year of its publication. The categories for which a Bram Stoker Award may be presented have varied over the years, reflecting the state of the publishing industry and the horror genre and the twelve current award categories are: Novel, First Novel, Short Fiction, Long Fiction, Young Adult, Fiction Collection, Poetry Collection, Anthology, Screenplay, Graphic Novel, Nonfiction, and Short Nonfiction.
On May 24th the HWA announced the winners for the 2020 Bram Stoker Awards.
Black Gate and Goth Chick News would like to congratulate the following authors and editors for their superior achievements and suggest you start loading up your Amazon wish list immediately.