Saturday, December 9, 2023


 Posted originally on Black Gate Dec 6, 2023

New Edge Sword & Sorcery Magazine, Vol. I Issues #1 and #2. Cover art by Caterina Gerbasi (Fall 2023); and Gilead (Winter 2023)

October 2022, Michael Harrington hosted an interview with Oliver Brackenbury on Black Gate; Brackenbury is the editor and champion of New Edge Sword & Sorcery Magazine. That post coincided with the release of the teaser Issue #0 including short fiction & non-fiction (free in digital format, or priced at cost on Amazon Print-on-Demand, through the New Edge Website). In Feb. 2023 Black Gate announced the magazine’s Kickstarter which succeeded and spurred the creation of the illustrated Issues 1 & 2 that are being released now (Nov 2023).  This post shares the official press release of these issues and adds the Table of Contents for both.  New Edge is setting a strong foundation with these, with illustrations and heavy-hitting authors.


New Edge Sword & Sorcery will be releasing issues #1& #2 in mid-November for direct sale through their website. Until then, the new issues are available for pre-order through Backerkit. Those who pre-order issues #1 & #2 will be paying slightly less than final retail prices, all the more reason to run over to the NESS pre-order shop now!

Issue one features an original Elric tale by Michael Moorcock! He joins twenty-three other authors across both issues, such as Canadian horror master Gemma Files, Margaret Killjoy, S&S veteran David C. Smith, Hugo Award-winner Cora Buhlert, Milton Davis, and more. There’s also a tale by Jesús Montalvo, an author from the burgeoning S&S scene south of the US border, translated from its original Spanish by Gonzalo Baeza.

Twenty artists are spread across the two issues, including Morgan King, who directed Lucy Lawless in his 2021 rotoscope-animated Sword & Sorcery film The Spine of Night.

Each issue features seven or eight 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 profiles are to be paired with two original B&W illustrations.

“Made with love for the classics and an inclusive, boundary-pushing approach to storytelling”, these Sword & Sorcery tales take place in settings inspired by Asian, African, and Central American, as well as European, cultures; featuring prominent disability, neuro-divergent, and LGBTQ+ representation; all while delivering high-quality writing in a wide variety of styles. Sword & Sorcery can be many things and still be Sword & Sorcery.

New Edge Sword & Sorcery #1 & #2 are available in digital, perfect bound softcover, and sewn-stitched hardcover formats which lay flat for ease of reading. Interiors are printed on eighty firm, 100gsm cream paper pages sized at a spacious 8½x11 inches. The hardcovers are also enhanced with bookmark ribbons in colors taken from the gorgeously painted cover art.

Brackenbury has plans for publishing further issues, as well as expanding into book publishing with a line of themed anthologies & novella series. News of future crowdfunding campaigns and more can be found via the New Edge Sword & Sorcery newsletterFacebookInstagramBluesky, and Twitter accounts. To help cut post-crowdfund turnaround in half, the NESS editorial team are already editing stories for next year’s issues.

Example illustrations for New Edge Magazine Vol I, Issue #1


Cover art by Caterina Gerbasi


CARNIVORA by Kirk A. Johnson, Illustrated by Daniel Vega

COME LAY THE CRONE TO REST by Margaret Killjoy, Illustrated by Gary McCluskey 

SISTER CHAOS – Bryn Hammond, Illustrated by Dan Rempel

CHAK MUUCH – Jesús Montalvo, Translated from Spanish by Gonzalo Baeza, Illustrated by Carlos Castilho

TEARS OF EB by Sarah A. Macklin, Illustrated by Trevor Ngwenya

THE PILLARS OF SILENCE by Prashanth Srivatsa, Illustrated by Hardeep Aujla and Gary McCluskey 

THE FOLK OF THE FOREST – Michael Moorcock, Illustrated by Sapro 


WHY (NEW EDGE) SWORD & SORCERY? by Brian Murphy, Illustrated by Sara Frazetta 






Cover art by Gilead


THE DEMON OF TASHI TZANG by Dariel Quiogue, Illustrated by Aldo Ojeda

FANG by Jacquie Kawaja, Illustrated by Ursa Doom (Björn Magnusson)

REVELSTOKE by Gemma Files, Illustrated by Saprophial

A DEBT FORGOTTEN, A DEBT UNPAID by Jeremy Pak Nelson, Illustrated by Damiano Di Marco

THE EYES OF THE DEMON by J.M. Clarke, Illustrated by Morgan King

WATER, WHICH LAUGHS AT ALL THINGS by T.K. Rex & L. Ann Kinyon, Illustrated by Magda Kulbicka

ATONEMENT FOR A RESURRECTED GOD by David C. Smith, Illustrated by Simon Underwood

HOW MANY DEATHS TILL VENGEANCE? By June Orchid Parker, Illustrated by Matthew Spencer


NEURODIVERGENCE IN SWORD & SORCERY by Jonathan Olfert, Illustrated by Remco Van Straten

SWORD & SOUL BROTHERS by Milton J. Davis, Illustrated by Chuah Shih Shin



Example illustrations for New Edge Magazine Vol I, Issue #2



Monday, December 4, 2023

Happy Holidays from the Lindbergs - 2023

Happy Holidays 2023 - Card by Heidi Lindberg, 2023

Happy Holidays 2023  

Heidi took the lead again on the annual card. She has a ton of material to choose from, including this cardinal she drew last year from a photograph she took in our backyard (photo below, along with two versions of the timelapse of her drawing in Procreate).

Previous cards (since ~1997) are displayed as a montage, and posts about each one.  

This past year, Connor completed a second rotation of co-oping at the Army Corp of Engineers in Louisville, KY (for his Environmental Engineering degree at the University of Cincinnati). Erin surpassed a year at P&G making Power BI Dashboards! Seth juggled authoring a few short stories outside of work and managed to Chair the Gen Con Writers' Symposium. Heidi continues to create lots of art while serving as a teacher's aide at Lakota.

Best to everyone in 2024. Peace, the Lindbergs

Photography of Cardinal in Hawthorn Tree by Heidi Lindberg

Time-lapse Videos - 30sec version

~6min Timelapse below

Monday, November 20, 2023

Good Vibes from Demons: Re-release and Commentary

Rogue Blades Presents Demons: A Clash of Steel Anthology ISBN-13: 9798863079608 (print) ASIN: B0045Y1LMS (Kindle); Cover Artist: Johnney Perkins. Interior Graphics: M.D. Jackson

  • Jason M Waltz (Publisher of RBE/RBF) had dedicated the re-release to Robert Mancebo, author for several Rogue Blade Entertainment anthologies, who sadly passed away in 2023.
  • For this "Good vibes from Reviews" tag, note the response from Robert Mancebo's daughter in the Black Gate commentary. Breathtaking. Reviews and announcements rarely are emotive. Writing and reading is often a solitary hobby, but as Rachel points out, books bring us together in ways often not told.

Here is my mini-review and re-release notice:

In 2010, Black Gate announced Rogue Blades Entertainment Conjures DEMONS. This October 2023, the third edition has been issued and with it a revamped Kindle version! The original Kindle edition lacked a functioning, linked Table of Contents, but that’s all brought up to modern standards. It is dedicated to Robert Mancebo, author for several Rogue Blade Entertainment anthologies, who sadly passed away in 2023.

Jason M Waltz is well known amongst adventure fiction readers, especially the Swords & Sorcery crowd. With his Rogue Blades Entertainment Books and associated Foundation, he’s brought us the epic Return of the Sword (BG review) and then Rage of the Behemoth, and Demons.  He’s edited/published a variety of other anthologies with themes of Weird Noir, Pirates, and Sword & Planet with Lost Empire of Sol (BG review), and splendid nonfiction like Writing Fantasy Heroes (BG review) and recently Robert E. Howard Changed My Life (BG review). He recently ran a successful Kickstarter for another anthology as spotlighted on BG: “Neither Beg Nor Yield – A Sword & Sorcery Anthology with Attitude.” As you await Neither Beg Nor Yield, you’ll want to revisit Demons.

Demons: A Clash of Steel Anthology – Blurb

When the gates of Hell open, who stands between Man and the Abyss? From mankind’s infancy, people have huddled in the dark, drawing signs in the air, muttering quiet prayers, quivering with dread at what roams in the night. Demons. Creatures of the Darkness. Evil spirits riding dark winds. And mankind trembled. Yet a few stood, drew steel imbued with magic to hue spirit as well as flesh, and walked out into the night to meet the foes of mortal men. Join the struggle in these 28 masterful tales of adventure and mayhem as heroes, forged as ‎strong as the steel they wield, defy foes from the realms of nightmare.‎


In Demons: A Clash of Steel Anthology, Rogue Blades Entertainment (RBE) delivers what it claims: a sampling of demon stories and adventure. Your chance of finding appealing stories is decent with 28 entries. Chock full of demons, champions, possession, witches, etc.. Kudos to RBE for keeping these tales alive from a 2006 publication (Carnifex Press). The purpose of an anthology is to provide an array of options, allow new readers to explore the genre, allow self-described “veteran readers” to identify new authors, and enable reading in small doses (i.e. great for traveling or parents with small children constantly interrupting their activities). “Demons” delivers this.

For anthologies, we expect to experiment with doses of new material/authors. For me, three stories that emphasized personal demons (or personal challenges) were outstanding. They stuck with me and are worth rereading; my favorites are in bold below in the Table of Contents listing. But you may have your own favorites! Check them out:

Demons: Table of Contents

  • “Foreword” by Armand Rosamilia
  • “The Man with the Webbed Throat” by Steve Moody
  • “Imprisoned” by Carl Walmsley
  • “Toxic” by Steven L. Shrewsbury
  • “Azieran: Bound by Virtue” by Christopher Heath
  • “Bodyguard of the Dead” by C.L. Werner
  • “Kron Darkbow” by Ty Johnston
  • “The Vengeance of Tibor” by Ron Shiflet
  • “The Beast of Lyoness” by Christopher Stires
  • “Fifteen Breaths” by Phil Emery
  • “The Pact” by Jonathan Green
  • “Blood Ties” by Trista Robichaud
  • “Zeerembuk” by Steve Goble
  • “The Fearsome Hunger” by Rob Mancebo
  • “The Furnace” by Sandro G. Franco
  • “The First League Out from Land” by Brian Dolton
  • “The Sacrifice” by Jason Irrgang
  • “Son of the Rock” by Laura J. Underwood
  • “Into Shards” by Murray J.D. Leeder 
  • “Through the Dark” by Darla J. Bowen
  • “Joenna’s Ax” by Elaine Isaak
  • “The Lesser: A Swords of the Daemor Tale” by Patrick Thomas
  • “When the Darkness Grows” by Frederick Tor
  • “Demon Heart” by Bryan Lindenberger
  • “Azieran: Racked upon the Altar of Eeyuu” by Christopher Heath
  • “Born Warriors” by TW Williams
  • “Mistaken Identity” by Robert J. Santa
  • “Box of Bones” by Jonathan Moeller
  • “By Hellish Means” by Bill Ward


Saturday, November 18, 2023

Annual Barczak Retreat - 2023

During my annual trip to the IASR surfactant consortium meeting in Norman Oklahoma, well before breakfast was served, I sought out my author/artist friend Tom Barczak (link to prior join-ups) and we snuck in a few minutes of drawing together. 

This time we convened at the newly opened DIAK office, the architecture firm owned by Tom's wife Shannon Barczak. Their clients are mostly indigenous (Native American) communities. Below is a blurb from their website. 

DIAK Architects is a Full-Service Native Woman Owned Architectural Firm, a leading design firm that specializes in producing a wide range of innovative architectural and interior design applications. 

DIAK is an Apsaalooke word, meaning “To make.” To make something, to create something, that wasn’t there before, and to take on the honor and responsibility for its effect on everything and every life that it touches. It is a gift, and a responsibility not to be taken lightly.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Authors serving the Skull meet at Dingles Irish Pub


Had a blast meeting up with fellow Sword and Sorcery authors at the local pub. With Andy Fix and Bill Pearce ... we salute Howard Andrew Jones whom we've admired and perhaps even served as Skull Interns. All hail the Skull!

With Bill Pearce who has a story in Tales from the Magician's Skull issue #11 (link to Gen Con 2023 when we first met),

Tuesday, November 7, 2023



Simulcast on Black Gate magazine Nov 6th, 2023.

Old Moon Quarterly is a magazine of dark fantasy and weird sword-and-sorcery. In the tradition of Clark Ashton Smith, Tanith Lee and Karl Edward Wagner, it contains stories of strange vistas, eldritch beings, and the bloody dispute thereof by both swordsmen and swordswomen. Old Moon Quarterly emerged in 2022 led by Editor-in-Chief Julian Barona, flanked by Assistant Editors Caitlyn Emily Wilcox and Graham Thomas Wilcox. This May 2023, Black Gate reviewed Issue #3 (with an overview of #1 and #2).  True to what the editors promise, the magazine consistently delivers strong doses of weird Sword & Sorcery.

This post reviews Old Moon Quarterly Issue V; shared below is the table of contents with summaries of each story and excerpts (these were selected to avoid spoilers while conveying the feel of each).  As with previous issues, expect stories that push the boundaries of uniqueness, blending poetic writing with horror and adventure. If you read tropes they’ll lean toward the twisted or bizarre.

But first a quick call out to the ongoing Kickstarter for Issues VII & VIII;  This campaign runs now through Nov 31st, 2023 and, if successful, would fund two more issues paying contributors professional rates!

Here is a key blurb from and about the Old Moon Quarterly crew.

Old Moon Quarterly is an award-winning print and digital magazine of sword-and-sorcery and dark fantasy fiction, featuring over 20,000 words of original fiction as well as poetry and original nonfiction. We’ve a love for the classics of the genre and a desire to push for some new, strange takes on our old favorites. And of course, the magazine is made with a particular love and affinity for the eldritch aesthetics and weird storytelling of BerserkBloodborne and Dark Souls.

We’ve published five issues so far, with a sixth issue on the way. Since our inception in June 2022, we’ve increased our pay for authors from 5c a word to 8c a word, making us the only sword-and-sorcery focused fantasy magazine that pays what the SFWA considers a “professional” rate. We firmly believe that dark fantasy and sword-and-sorcery authors deserve a venue where they can receive fair pay for stories that are often very difficult to place in other venues. We started Old Moon Quarterly to give authors that venue.

With the funding from this Kickstarter, we’ll be able to maintain that payrate for issues 7 and 8, which will release in 2024. And not only will we be able to maintain that payrate, we’ll be able to increase the amount of fiction in each issue from 20,000 to 30,000+; we’ll be able to include (for the first time) interior artwork in a classic black-and-white style!

Old Moon Quarterly Issue V: Stories and Poems

1) “Together Under the Wing” by Jonathan Olfert

The perspective and scale of this story are simply huge: the protagonists are mammoths, and they pale in size versus their giant antagonist!  Epic duels drive this revenge tale. Walks-like-a-Rockslide seeks revenge for the death of his mother (Grass-Wisper) by the hands of the ancient Giant King.

The matriarch Grass-Whisper had lived in a grove in the hills, now stomped flat by vast human-like footprints. Her carved tusks lay in cracked-off chunks; they and the blood were all that remained—that, and the huge flint used to skin her before eating. A flint five times the size of the quartz blades bound to his tusks… (p11)

2) Champions Against the Maggot King by K.H. Vaughn

Get ready for some Warhammer/Grimdark-Tolkien fare. The soldier Grath narrates this tale. He details an epic battle against the Maggot King. The titular, heroic champions lead an army of >60 thousand that ride in landships made from living stone, armed with canons, and fueled by elemental sorcery. The champions include the Dwarf Ko Mon who has a lengthy morning-star-like prosthetic, the sword-wielding elf-who-never-smiles lIhar, and their demoness leader Sergeant, the female Sorrow Mai.

A wave of wild men break against the ship. They are pathetic. Pale and soft, but secure in their sense of power, waving their genitals at us as they come. They howl in impotent rage as they die, mowed down by arrows and lances. The ship rolls over them and churns their corpses into dirt. No one will find their bones or mourn their deaths. Where does the Maggot King find them? There must be thousands of them in the dim light of subterranean caves, thinking nothing but their eventual victory.  (p49)

3) “The King’s Two Bodies” poem by Joe Koch

I enjoyed this so much, I read it three times to soak in the words. It is beautiful, but too cryptic to understand on its initial pass.  Two souls with liquid properties are contained within one body. One may exit the vessel via a ritual of exiting the body and filling a cup.

4) “The Origin of Boghounds” by Amelia Gorman

Samphire is a female bounty hunter searching out a snake-oil salesman at the edges of Sichel, the stained city that radiates a New Orleans swamp vibe. She’s not the only bounty hunter seeking a payout. Several other hunters stumble into her and boghounds as they track down their prey while unearthing mysteries and monsters.

Samphire blows out her candle and sips into the dark corner between the headboard and wall. She disappears into the dark sod and crouches down in a knot in the tiny crawlspace, barely fitting with her giant pack of unguents and vinegars. [A boghound] hops silently off the straw, pads over to her and crawls under the bed, looking up at her with those affectionate golden eyes like two stars in the dirty dark. As the dark obscured their faces, Samphire catches voices she’s butted against time and again.  (p56)

5) “Well Met at the Gates of Hell” by David K. Henrickson

An amoral warrior arrives in Hell and is met at the entrance by three antagonists (two humanoids, one not) seeking to duel.  Lots of banter makes this more of a light-hearted read.

In that moment, the newcomer skims the plate he has finally freed from his armor toward the giant’s eyes and throws himself in a roll.

Automatically, the giant flinches away from the spinning metal. ‘Faithless!” he cries out, aiming a blow at the tumbling figure as it dives past.

The newcomer is already inside and below the other’s guard. His blade flashes out in a backhand swing, shearing through the giant’s thigh just above the greave.  (p73)

6)  “A Warning Agaynste Woldes” poem by Zachary Bos

As the title suggests, this poem has an Old Shakespeare tone. It is cryptic like the previous poem. It conveys that nature, and its forests, are a type of temple or church. Be wary of entering the forest, since it is full of fear, faith, and spirits.

7) “The Skull of Ghosts” by Charles Gramlich

Confession: I’m a huge Gramlich fan and frequently seek out his Krieg stories (I interviewed him for Black Gate in 2019, and we discussed his Krieg character). Here the sorcerer-warrior receives a haunting call from “Amma”, so he seeks out his old acquaintance (of the same name) in a plagued city. An evil sorcerer is seeking bodies to possess, and as Krieg starts to put an end to the madness, he learns he’s jumped into a trap.

Krieg slipped to one side, caught the swordman’s hand and twisted. A raw shriek burst from the man’s lips; bones ground audibly together as his blade turned inevitably upward to point at his face.

The assailant’s hood fell back, revealing swarthy skin marked by plague skulls. A topknot of greasy reddish hair invited a hold. Krieg grabbed it, slammed the man’s face forward onto the sword. Once, twice, thrice. Wiping his hand on the man’s cloak, the black-eyed warrior let the body fall like a burden he’d grown tired of… (p87)


8) “The Headsman’s Melancholy” by Joseph Andre Thomas

This could easily be a Twilight Zone episode written by Edgar Allen Poe. Executioner Jack meets a robber multiple times on the chopping block. Written as a series of journal entries. The ending is emotive, and a bit abstract, as Jack seeks peace by stopping his profession, leaving town, or pursuing other options. Loved this.

The man screeched laughter as he eviscerated himself, His blood poured down my face, into my mouth. It seeped between my teeth and beneath my tongue.

I screamed.

His smile was no longer cocky, but overjoyed. He reached into his chest cavity and grabbed hold of something, pulled it out. His heart, I realized, still attached to whatever tubes and capillaries govern the viscera. He hung it out above me with one hand… (p129)


Sunday, September 3, 2023

Gen Con 2023 Game Playtesting and Playing

 Gen Con Writers Symposium 2023 - S.E. Lindberg Chronicles

Gen Con 2023 - Connections and Selfies

 Gen Con Writers Symposium 2023 - S.E. Lindberg Chronicles

Gen Con Writers Symposium 2023 - Overview

 Gen Con Writers Symposium 2023 - S.E. Lindberg Chronicles

  • Gen Con Writers Symposium 2023 - Overview from the Chair [you are here]

Gen Con 2023: Tales from the Magician's Skull

 Gen Con Writers Symposium 2023 - S.E. Lindberg Chronicles

Panels: Sword & Sorcery & Handling New Releases 

 Gen Con Writers Symposium 2023 - S.E. Lindberg Chronicles

Sunday, August 27, 2023

"The Last Witch of Salem" in WITCH WIZARD WARLOCK by West Mesa Press

I am excited to have a short story ("The Last Witch of Salem") in Witch Wizard Warlock

Wizardry is always a draw for attention. Halloween is around the corner too, and there will be special attention toward beloved (feared?) magical arts. Three Cousins Publishing (an imprint of West Mesa Publishing) gathered Carol McConnell, David Lawrence Morris and Robert Allen Lupton to collect tales of spellcasting with a global perspective from contemporary voices, and so Witch Wizards Warlock was conjured. It is available now in Kindle ($4.99), Paperback ($16.95), and Hardcover ($25.99).  An audiobook is in the works.

Salem Witch Trial: This a public domain image via Wikipedia, by an unattributed artist from William A. Crafts (1876) Pioneers in the settlement of America: from Florida in 1510 to California in 1849.

S.E. Lindberg's "Last Witch of Salem."

The "Last Witch of Salem" story revisits possible supernatural undercurrents behind the infamous town during the super-charged time of Leslie's Retreat. That event (aka "Salem Gunpowder Raid") was a standoff between the British military and American colonists in Salem, Massachusetts. Here's the historical context before & after the "Retreat":

  • 1692 - 1693 The Salem witch trials: These infamous Massachusetts: hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between
  • 1775 - 1778 Smallpox Epidemic: The illness spread across the Americas and hurting indigenous cultures tremendously
  • Feb-1775 Leslie's Retreat: The British sent troops to Salem to seize illegally held ammunition. They were repelled (i.e., the British forces under Colonel Leslie retreated), with only one person being officially wounded. The event somehow ended with a compromise, delaying the start of the... [sidebar: it is amazing that an account of this event is available via the Library of Congress, see below image for link]
  • Apr-1775 Revolutionary War leading to the 1776 Declaration of Independence, of course!
"The Last Witch of Salem" puts the Native American woman (presumed witch) Branwen ferch Gwynedd of Pinegrove in the middle of all this: smallpox, persecution, and impending war!

Modes Endicott’s 1775 account of Leslie’s Retreat (Account of Leslie's retreat at the North Bridge in Salem) is viewable online via THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS.

Back Cover Blurb

The massive volume contains thirty-four stories about witches, wizards, and warlocks from the brightest talents writing speculative fiction today, writers from seven countries around the world. Horror stories, fantasy stories, adventure stories, some with a touch of humor, and some that shouldn't be read after the lights go out. Young witches, old witches, pretty witches, and ugly witches, along with wizards, good and bad, share stories with warlocks. Are there good warlocks - who knows?

Readers can attend wizard school, fight monsters and of course, evil witches and warlocks. They can journey on magical quests, seek true love, and even take sides in the American Revolutionary War.

Contributors to the anthology include the following, some of whom may or may not be a witch, a wizard, or a warlock, but they all have a magical way with words. Many of them have books available, If you like their story, consider one of their other works. Three Cousins Publishing would like to thank: Alyson Faye, E. V. Emmons, Campbell Blaine, S. E. Lindberg, Carol McConnell, David Morris, Shebat Legion, R. L. Meldrum, Rose Strickman, Lawrence Dagstine, Catherine Jordan, Tim Pulo, Judy Mowdy, Donna Garren, Shane Porteous, Ann Tjelmenland, Kay Hanifen, Ann Solinsky, Jason Battle, Dwain Campbell, C. J. Carter-Stephenson, AE Stueve, Dr. Ayman Kole, Josh Schlossberg, Rie Sheridan Rose, Chris Adams, George Jacobs, Darren Lipman, Bill Durfy, DW Milton, Yvonne Lang, and Robin Allison Lupton.

One has to be careful when dealing with witches and the like, because none of us is every quite as smart as we think we are, but hopefully that rule applies to those who seek to master the dark arts.

So here's the book, sit down and light a candle, and make sure to keep a bell within reach. You never know when you'll need to break a spell. Enjoy.

From the Foreword:

This anthology contains stories from writers around the world, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, the United States, and the Bahamas. Each country has its own version of the English language, its own idioms, and its own way of spelling certain words. In the United States, the language varies from region to region. A Louisiana dialect bears no resemblance to what’s spoken in Boston. We’ve tried to respect and celebrate those differences. We learned that 'you lot' in the UK apparently means the same thing as all 'y’all' does in Mississippi. A pint in one country is a coldie in another. Innocuous words in one part of the English-speaking world are offensive in another. Our resident punctuation warlock insisted that we use consistent punctuation. Hopefully, we’ve accomplished that. So a quick toast before you start the first story, “To Witches, Warlocks, and Wizards; and to active verbs, proper use of conjunctions, and the Oxford comma. May all intransitive verbs, participles past and present, and gerunds rot away on some ancient alchemist’s shelf.”

... Whether you believe in witches, warlocks, or wizards, be nice if you meet someone who claims to be one. Politeness never hurts and you just never know.

Table of Contents

  • “The Old Magus” -- Alyson Faye
  • “Eggshells” -- E. V. Emmons
  • “Bad Ink” -- Campbell Blaine
  • “The Last Witch of Salem” -- S. E. Lindberg
  • “If You Give A Mule An Apple…” -- Carol McConnell
  • “The Making of Martin” -- David Morris
  • “The Mother Garden” -- Shebat Legion
  • “Witch Stones” -- R J Meldrum
  • “Blood is Blood” -- Rose Strickman
  • “Family Ties” -- Lawrence Dagstine
  • “No Hands of Time” --Catherine Jordan
  • “Witch for Hire” --Robert Allen Lupton
  • “A Wizard, a Centaur, and a Harpy Walk into a Bar” --   Tim Pulo
  • “The Witch Covens of Oklahoma” -- Judy Mowdy
  • “Disappearing Act” --Donna Garren
  • “A Sandy Solution” --Shane Porteous
  • “A Question of Betrayal” --Ann Tjelmenland
  • “The Apprentice” --Kay Hanifen
  • “Alchemy” --Ann Solinsky
  • “A Deal’s a Deal” --Jason Battle
  • “Texaco Thaumaturgy” --Dwain Campbell
  • “Do You Really Want to Know” --C. J. Carter-Stephenson
  • “The Witches Lament” --AE Stueve
  • “Two Candles for Dennis” -- Ayman Kole
  • “Levi Cures the Plague” -- Josh Schlossberg
  • “Where There’s a Witch, There’s a Way” -- Rie Sheridan Rose
  • “The Sorceress Ring” -- Chris Adams
  • “Beyond the Edge of the World” -- George Jacobs
  • “Deadlock Magic” -- Darren Lipman
  • “Wizard School” -- Bill Durfy
  • “His Wire-Rimmed Spectacles” -- DW Milton

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

A Book of Blades Vol 2 - Features Dyscrasia Fiction

A Book of Blades Volume II (Rogues in the House Podcast, July 2023).  Cover by Jesus Garcia.

In 2022, Dyscrasia Fiction appeared in Book of Blades Vol. 1.

The necromantic Doctor Grave still struggles to "raise" three daughters; so the chronology of Ember, Leech, and Mel continues with "Breaching Earth's Womb" appearing in the just-released A Book of Blades Vol. II

Contributing Authors to A Book of Blades Vol II:

  • Charles Clark
  • T.A. Markitan
  • S.E. Lindberg
  • Scott Oden
  • Bryn Hammond
  • Jason Ray Carney
  • Z.S. Reynolds
  • Matthew John
  • Oliver Brackenbury
  • J. Thomas Howard
  • J.M Clarke
  • Kirk A. Johnson
  • John R. Fultz
  • Steve Dilks

Go Rogue!

Join the critically acclaimed podcast focusing on Sword and Sorcery & Heroic Fantasy.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Rentschler Park - Earthworks, Deer, and Graves

From May 28th; Family hike at Rentschler Park. Spotted a fawn in the Native American mounds hidden in the forest... and then we stumbled into an old graveyard. Folks buried there around 1830's. Many born about 1800.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Old Moon Quarterly Vol III - Review by SE

 Old Moon Quarterly Vol III — Winter (119p, March, 2023). Cover by Daniel Vega.


Old Moon Quarterly is a magazine of weird sword-and-sorcery fantasy. In the tradition of Clark Ashton Smith, Tanith Lee and Karl Edward Wagner, it contains stories of strange vistas, eldritch beings, and the bloody dispute thereof by swordsmen and swordswomen both.

Old Moon Quarterly emerged in 2022. This reviews the four stories inside the Winter 2023 issue (Vol III), which delivers solid doses of the weird adventure it promises. The Editor-in-Chief is Julian Barona, flanked by Assistant Editors Caitlyn Emily Wilcox and Graham Thomas Wilcox (who recently debuted here on Black Gate with his review of John Langan's Corpsemouth and Other Autobiographies, so I gleefully checked this out).  Excerpts best convey the style and elements of what to expect, so you'll get those here!

Vol III Contents:

  • "Evil Honey" by James Enge.
  • "Knife, Lace, Prayer" by T.R. Siebert.
  • "Singing the Long Retreat" by R.K. Duncan.
  • "The Feast of Saint Ottmer" by Graham Thomas Wilcox.
  • A review of Final Cuts: New Tales of Hollywood Horror and Other Spectacles, edited by Ellen Datlow.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Gen Con Writers' Symposium - Special Guests and Program release


Gen Con is the largest tabletop gaming convention in North America. In 2019, they welcomed over 65,000 unique visitors and offered over 19,000 events. By its nature, Gen Con attracts a large number of attendees who enjoy speculative fiction.

Gen Con 2023 will be held August 3-6 in Indianapolis, Indiana

The Gen Con Writers’ Symposium (GCWS) is a semi-independent event hosted by Gen Con and intended for both new and experienced writers of speculative fiction. All registration is handled through the Gen Con website. 

Over the past 28 years, the Writers’ Symposium has grown from a small set of panels over a day or two to one of the largest convention-hosted writing tracks in North America, offering hundreds of hours of programming from authors, editors, agents, and publishers to nearly 3000 unique visitors per year on average.  

We’re proud to announce that the Scalzi Family Foundation will be this year’s Gen Con Writers’ Symposium Legendary Sponsor! This sponsorship will enable the symposium to support more writers to attend, creating a more representative and inclusive event.