Editor: John O’Neill
Black Gate publishes epic fantasy fiction at all lengths, including novel excerpts, as well as articles, and reviews. We’re looking for adventure-oriented fantasy fiction suitable for all ages, as long as it is well-written and original.
The magazine publishes all kinds of fantasy. Nobody wants to open up a magazine, especially a big magazine like Black Gate at 224 pages, and read only one kind of fantasy, so we try to cover everything. Do we have a focus? Yes – about 70% of what we publish is adventure-oriented fantasy. Does that mean a lot of sword fights in fantasy? No. It means that we’re looking for stories with a lot of dramatic tension. A good, rousing climax. Something based on the basic rules set down by Aristotle two thousand years ago, the three acts of drama. You’ve got to have an introduction, introduce your characters. You’ve got to get your characters to a point where your audience is convinced they cannot succeed. And then they have to succeed.
We want fiction with a more exotic setting. Most of what we see has a very familiar setting. Generic Middle Ages. It starts off in a tavern with a ranger and a bard and a half-orc having a conversation. I want more originality than that. You need to grab the reader on the very first page. It’s tough to do that with character, because character needs to be developed. It’s tough to do that with plot, because any plot that’s simple enough to grab me on the first page probably isn’t complex enough to maintain my attention. It’s easy to with the setting. If you’ve got an innovative, dynamic setting, then you’ve got my attention on the first page. You’ve got my reader’s attention, and that works.
Awards and Recognition:
“Awakening” by Judith Berman was nominated for the Nebula and several stories have been reprinted in Year’s Best anthologies.
Information provided by John O’Neill