Black Gate – Number 11
by John O'Neill
Edited by John O'Neill
Cover Artist: Alessandra Kelley
Review by Sam Tomaino
Black Gate ISBN/ITEM#: 1531-7854
Date: 25 November 2007
This is the second issue of Black Gate that I've read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The magazine excels at "a tale simply told" and all the stories got a Very Good from me.
The issue starts off with "Where Beauty Lies in Wait" by Peadar O Guilin. Darrak is a man living in a kind of matriarchal society like nothing our world could ever have seen. Like any father, he wants his son to have a better life than his. In this world, that is something different from ours. James Enge gives us another story of Morlock the Maker in "The Lawless Hours". Morlock encounters a society constantly on guard against servants of the Boneless One who makes monsters out of their people. He meets a man who has lost his wife and daughter. He helps the man and his sons triumph over the perils of their land in a thrilling, imaginative story. Maria V. Snyder's "A Wizard's Daily Horoscope" is a short piece with a week's worth of horoscopes for a Virgo, a Sagittarius and a Gemini that are really classic archetypes for fairy tales. This one will make you smile.
Martha Wells has written a number of novels featuring wizard hunters Ilias and Gilead. In the last issue, she gave us a short story with this duo. In "Holy Places", she tells us how they met. These stories have been so entertaining that I might have to seek out the novels. "From the Heart of the Earth to the Peaks of the Sky" by Iain Rowan follows directly from "Welcome to the Underworld" in Black Gate #10. Exorcist Dao Shi is on the run from the Emperor's Guard and has been taken to the Underworld of the city of Quishen to hide out. There he finds more dangers and some hints about is own destiny. David Evan Harris's "The Mudslinger" features Dredge, a young wizard who has power only over...mud. He is now the only wizard left to save his people. What can he do?
In "Soulthief" by Ben Wolcott, Garren, an expert thief is hired by a wizard to break into his own tower. Garren is promised great riches but the wizard has not told him everything. We get another brief amusing story in "The Entrance of Bob Into Valhalla" by William I. Lengeman III. Bob Dogoil is a (mostly) ordinary dad whom takes his son on a roller coaster. Then, the harpies attack. Things turn out differently than Bob thought they would, but not bad after all. Last of all, Mark Sumner gives us another tale of the adventurous Mr. Brown in "The Naturalist, Part II: An Incident at Gray's Works". Brown, the soldiers, and a young woman face more danger against "the antriders", with more to follow in Black Gate #13!
If you like good old-fashioned exciting fantasy, the Black Gate is for you!