To John O'Neill: "My one true love"
Black Gate, Dyscrasia, & Sword-n-Sorcery2010: I discovered the Black Gate print magazine by attending a panel at the 2010 World Fantasy Convention and listening to Howard Andrew Jones advocate for the adventure-fiction magazine. I subscribed immediately and got #15, the last print issue. The website for Black Gate (led by John O'Neill) has persisted and remains an outstanding resource for book reviews & perspectives on contemporary and historic dark fantasy.
2015: Author Joe Bonadonna reviewed Lords of Dyscrasia on Black Gate, which was a milestone for me. Authors thrive on recognition and visibility. I adore Joe's weird fiction and Black Gate, so getting acknowledged there, by Joe, was awesome. Scroll down for an excerpt.
2016: At the 2016 WFC, I got to meet John O'Neill, help save his marriage... right before he won a WFC award for Black Gate! Not only did I get a chance to meet John O'Neill, he bought a copy of Lords of Dyscrasia, but I was encourage to sign it "to my one true love." John’s explained on Facebook:
"Thanks for helping save my marriage, Seth!" - John O'Neill 2016
“It's not silly. Years ago my wife Alice asked why Catherynne Valente had autographed a book to me with "To My One True Love" (because she'd asked me what she should write, and that was the first thing that came to mind).
I hastily told Alice, "Oh, that's just how everybody signs autographs these days."
And so, for the last 15 years I've been begging writers to sign books with "To my one True Love, John." I have hundreds of them, which I strategically leave open around our house.
Oh what a tangled web we weave....
Thanks for helping save my marriage, Seth!" - John O'Neill 2016
The following day, Black Gate/John O'Neill won a WFC 2016 award! Read John's kind words on Black Gate.
Black Gate review, 2015 Joe Bonadonna
"S.E. Lindberg is an original voice in fantasy. His prose is lush and colorful, and his style leans toward that of classic literature, without being stilted, self-conscious or pretentious. He has a gift for putting words “down on paper” and constructing sentences that flow with a poetic nuance.
Lords of Dyscrasia (an abnormal or disordered state of the body or of a bodily part) is touted as “Graphic Sword and Sorcery,” but to me it has more in common with the dark fantasy of Clark Ashton Smith and the gothic tones of Mervyn Peake’s first two Gormenghast books. There is some nice Lovecraftian shading to this novel, as well, with a touch of Edgar Allen Poe to lend it a feverishness of tone, and even a psychedelic flavor in style.
While Lindberg channels his influences with a deft hand, he has mapped out a beautifully grotesque world that is truly his own unique creation. This book was described to me as being part of the Grimdark subgenre of dark fantasy, and it is indeed a grim, dark tale.
Lindberg’s “dyscrasia” is a really nasty plague — a disease of the blood that has infected the insectoid and avian elder lords of the Underworld. The disease also affects pregnant human women, who give birth to mutants — hybrids of human and elders — if they don’t die during pregnancy, that is..."