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“A Pound of Dead Flesh” in Black Gate

Holy *expletive deleted* I’m in Black Gate!

Listen, there are very few professional venues for heroic fiction, let alone something like Sword Noir fiction, so when John O’Neill—Black Gate’s editor—bought one of my stories, I was thrilled. Now that story has seen the light of day in Black Gate 15, a copy of which arrived in my mailbox today.

Here’s the thing about Black Gate—it’s much more a short story collection or anthology than a fiction journal. By that I mean it’s big, huge in fact—issue 15 clocks in at 384 pages and boasts 21 stories plus regular features. That’s a lot of heroic fiction. Unfortunately, it looks like Black Gate might be moving to an annual format, as the note with issue 15 indicated the next issue would be Spring 2012. Issue 15, as one might guess, is the Spring 2011 issue.

Still, annual is better than never! And that just gives all of you a little extra time to go buy Black Gate 15. The story “A Pound of Dead Flesh” was consciously a Sword Noir story, so pretty cool that it’s coming out a couple of months after the game it helped to inspire.

By way of introduction to the story, imagine Vorenus and Pullo from HBO’s Rome caught up in criminal machinations in my version of the Roman Empire—let’s call it the Aeolean Empire. An old “friend” hooks them into an easy gig that turns out—surprise surprise—to be not so easy.

I guess you could call it Sword & Sandal Noir. And yet a new genre emerges!

Check out Sword Noir: A Role-playing Game of Hardboiled Sword & Sorcery.

Go buy more Sword Noir fiction with For Simple Coin: Four Tales of Sword Noir.

You really should watch HBO’s Rome.

Oh, and in case you didn’t get the hint up there . . . go buy Black Gate 15.

2 thoughts on ““A Pound of Dead Flesh” in Black Gate”

  1. Hey Fraser,

    I just finished reading “A Pound of Dead Flesh” in BG 15. Nice stuff. You got some beautiful artwork for your piece as well. Quite cool.


  2. I was really thrilled to have Storn Cook illustrate my story. I love his stuff AND he used to have the best RPG podcast in the world–he was one of the Sons of Kryos.

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