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Black Gate: Adventures in Fantasy…

Black Gate: Adventures in Fantasy Literature, Issue 8 (Summer 2005)

by John O'Neill (Editor)

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Another good issue of Black Gate. 208 pages. There is quite a variety of fantasy tales here. I'll take a stab at categorizing the tales below.

Turning of the tiles
Survival Horror/Humor in ancient China?
Another story of Dao-Shi. These stories are fun, since the guy is an exorcist. The thing is, he is really a fake. Which is ok, until he runs into a real spirit. There is a good bit of humor here, simply in how Dao-shi thoughts as things are happening.

Turn up this crooked way
Odd Sorcery
Morlock has to find his shoes (easier said than done). The characters in this story are fun. The terrain, elements, even the shoes, everything seems to have its own personality.

Heat Waves
Rural Fantasy (I hope)
The story is about a young girl waiting on her parents after church, and trying not to pee in her pants. In some way, she is telepathic (i think). There might be spiritual beings, or maybe it's all in her head.

The Carrion Call
Middle ages survival horror?
This might have been a swords and sorcery, or maybe historical fantasy. But it is told from the perspective of two young kids whom search a haunted battlefield for their fathers body. There is an interesting underlying theme of Norse religion giving way to Christianity. Some genuinely creepy and scary parts here.

Winters Touch
Magical tragic fantasy?
Two young witches (?) find an injured boy. They want to nurse him back to health, but they will have to somehow convince their father of this. Good character development here.

Mortal Star
Swords and Sorcery at a tribal level
This is my favorite story in this issue. Very interesting setting. Here, some humans are very long lived, if not immortal. But when their time is up, they have to travel to a place whispered to them by their guiding star. This story is about that journey, and the ramifications of surviving or failing in that journey.
Another nice part is the people are regarded as a nation. It's a tribal relationship they have, and I found it very interesting. Also, the main characters here are almost all women, as they are the ones who are capable of achieving the Wielder status.

Fat Jack and the Spider Clown
Sci Fi?
I didn't like this story all that much, it was just ok.

The Nursemaids Suitor
Historical Fantasy?
I'm not sure if this is based in an actual historical period, but it might be. Medieval times, and a nursemaid with an heir escapes a castle under siege with a soldier who loves her. There is some interesting prose, elephants, and basically a lot of hiding/stealth. Her goal is to protect the baby. His goal is to marry the girl.

The History of the Ace Doubles
I always enjoy these well researched articles in Black Gate. This one has all kinds of great information on Ace Doubles. So if you are a collector of Ace Doubles, you would love this.

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  NightHawk777 | Aug 23, 2009 |
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